Monday, March 2, 2009
In today's society, communication through technology is connecting people from all over the world. With the computer, phones and technical devices, there is literally no information or person we cant reach. On a daily basis we are concerned with our personal lives, going to work, paying bills, worrying about the future etc. In fact the only time we feel the need to think of more then ourselves, for most, is on Sundays when we go to our places of worship to consider the spiritual. That's it. As for the rest of nature and the natural world, it is never given hardly a second thought as being of any importance at all. I believe there are two reasons for this disconnect. Long ago people had to feel connected to the environment, there was all the time in the world to do so, but now with so much going on in our lives, the natural world is a fading memory. Another of the reasons for the disconnect is popular religious belief.
In the beginning Adam and Eve were given dominion over all the animals and plants in the Garden of Eden and the world. In essence, the Judeo-Christian world view is that nature is at a lower status then humans. Christianity states that man's spiritual home is in heaven and not on earth. People want to rise from the earth and its imperfection and be with God above in heaven. Whereas the majority of religious views are that man has ultimate domination over the earth and its creatures to do with as he wishes, many point out that the earth is "the visible sacrament of God".
The earth and all of the universe is the physical, bodily presence of the divine, and if God is transcendent as a spirit, then he can be present in all life. Ecotheologist Sallie McFague states "Would an infinite God have created all parts if he did not value them? We must assume that God created all life for him and not us." Everything is connected, valued and needed. Most people are too busy to imagine that they have anything to do with the natural world around them and only barely accept ( mostly through bringing up) that there is a heaven or God. We have to learn to listen and pay attention to the world we live in and not think of it as a backdrop for our daily lives. Everything has its purpose and we have lots in common with our natural surroundings whether we know it or not.
Quoted excerpts and philosophy from Ecotheologian Sallie McFague.