Articles about Spirituality
Extract from the ebook
RIVERS OF GREEN WISDOM:
Exploring Christian and Yogic Earth Centred Spirituality
By Santoshan (Stephen Wollaston)
Published by GreenSpirit
There are crucial threads woven through all spiritual traditions and much common ground between them, but it is never as simple as a ‘one cap fits all’ scenario. Because traditions change, organically evolve and take on new and different perspectives – due to issues of power, control, or beliefs in what is valid and seen as right, just and compassionate, or a bursting forth of new revelation and experience – it often leaves us with no single perspective that can be used to summarise the whole of any one tradition.
Discovering important ground where we can healthily come together with people from different beliefs often requires time, study, flashes of insight, wise discernment and deep reflections. It will involve being open and making mature adjustments to some of our previously held beliefs. Such steps are essential to authentic and wholesome growth. If we take a leaf from the pages of Nature, which are about diversity and equilibrium, we can learn how to go forward. If we follow her example and are maturely sensitive enough to the differences that make up our human race, and appreciate how human life is enriched by its different people, beliefs and cultures, we can start to find ways of living peacefully with one another and working together for the betterment of all.
It is no longer a case of thinking in terms of whether religious and spiritual communities should be getting involved in becoming architects of a new spirituality or not, but about realising that humankind will not be effective enough in bringing about the necessary ecological changes that are called for if they don’t. This is not just about individual beliefs and what things we can do as individuals. It is also about addressing wider problems of materialism, sustainability, global responsibility, power, greed, exploitation and consumer addictions to harmful patterns of behaviour and increasingly wanting more stuff. Corporate businesses are of course only too happy for us to focus our passions on buying the latest gadgets and new items of clothing instead of concerning ourselves with environmental issues. “Collectively our global consumption of resources is 1.23 times that of our ecological footprint. That is, we humans are already using one and a quarter planet Earths. At the same time, the affluent 20 percent of the world’s population controls and uses approximately 80 percent of the Earth’s resources”, retired Uniting Church minister, Noel Preston, importantly brings to our attention in the recent book Why Weren’t We Told?
If we are to continue living with Mother Earth, we need to not only care about the diversity of life she has sought to celebrate, but also learn how to read her signs, understand her ways and adapt creatively to living in harmony with her. For she does not have inexhaustible supplies. “The maternal sea is polluted, the heavens are rent, the forests are being destroyed and the deserts are increasing”, Patriarch Ignatuis IV of Antioch informed us. Continuously taking what is not ours to take can only lead to a spiritual poverty of the natural world. Nonetheless, Ellen Bernstein encouragingly points out in The Splendor of Creation that, “just as we have the power to spoil the creation, we also have the power to make it whole. We have the power to mend the earth and to mend ourselves, to sew the pieces back together again”.
I fully believe that the majority of people mentioned in this book would unanimously agree that our current times need us to work together, to search passionately for a unitive spirituality that crosses all boundaries and looks for a multiple of ways to implement it for every species’ and region’s benefit, including Gaia’s river, forest, plant, sky, mountain, grassland and ocean queendoms and kingdoms.
Blessed are the man and the woman
who have grown beyond their greed
and have put an end to their hatred
and no longer nourish illusions.
– PSALM 1
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT RIVERS OF GREEN WISDOM
“Amazing loved every page.”
– Five Star Amazon review (verified purchase).
“Overall, this is a heart-warming book where I learnt a good deal about Earth based spirituality through the lens of different traditions.”
– Ian Mowll, Interfaith Foundation Minister.
“Seldom do you find such practised clarity in revealing the wisdom of Spirit.”
– Sky McCain, author of Planet as Self: An Earthen Spirituality.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen was given the name Santoshan, meaning ‘contentment’, by an English swami of the Bihar School of Yoga. He has served as a council member of the UK charity GreenSpirit and is the designer of GreenSpirit magazine. He has authored and co-authored several books on spiritual matters, including Spirituality Unveiled: Awakening to Creative Life (Earth Books, 2011), and holds a degree in religious studies and a post graduate certificate in religious education from King’s College London.
ABOUT THE GREENSIRIT eBOOK SERIES
The GreenSpirit ebook series is a low-cost series (via Smashwords and Kindle – see below), which is free for members. The main contents/written material, editing, design and promotional work for the ebook series is done on a purely voluntary basis, or given freely by contributors who share a passion for Gaia centred spirituality.
GreenSpirit Website: www.greenspirit.org.uk
GreenSpirit ebook Series Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenspiritebookseries
Rivers of Green Wisdom Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/riversofgreenwisdom