What do we mean by an ecological spirituality? Improvement of life in the 21st century will depend on our actions. We are already seeing the numbers of species reduced, and many continue to die. A column in the Peace Weekly acquaints us with this area of our spiritual life.
Thanks to the recent encyclical of Pope Francis we are all a little more understanding of the problems involved. We have the choice of destroying life and in the process killing ourselves. Or with our great potentiality, we can follow the direction of nature that continues to renew itself.
He mentions a number of authorities one of them David Korten: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. In this book during the empires, we had an unequal distribution of power and benefits. Our corporations are versions of the empires of the past, and as destructive of communities and the environment.
Problems that will arise will help us to change our way of thinking to concern for our 'Earth Community'. Understanding of ecology is spreading to various aspects of society. Movements are working for clean, safe and sustainable energy: wind, water, sun energy and bio-fuels. We have the 'Triple Bottom Line' thinking with more than profit as a goal but also the social and environmental results of work.
Eco-literacy is the study of the relationship between humans and nature. A connection not always measurable but a desire to have a good rapport with nature is a healthy result. The Rio Conference on the environment is continuing to get more participants and bodes well for the future.
Thomas Berry introduces us to the Ecozoic era. Earth is a communion of subjects not a collection of objects and exists and can survive only in its integral functioning. He gives us another era he calls the Technozoic--technology, which for a short-term benefit, nature is abused and controlled to an extreme. He compares the thinking of these two mentalities. Understanding the Ecozoic era is the only future that we have. Here we understand the rhythms of the earth and live accordingly.
In Ecozoic thinking, the whole earth and nature are all one body. We need to respect all of nature and protect the different species. Berry considers this new understanding as a grace. We need to be open to all life on the planet; the future of life will depend on our understanding of this reality.