Earth's Desire

Post date: Apr 09, 2017 12:11:35 AM

To be seen in her loveliness, to be tasted in her delicious fruits, to be listened to in her teaching, to be endured in the severity of her discipline, to be experienced as the maternal source whence we come the destiny to which we return. Thomas Berry

Thomas Berry and Teilhard de Chardin both knew that all life was a communion of subjects not a collection of objects. All is connected through 14 billion years of unfolding creativity. The great symphony of creation emerges in enormous diversity. The unfolding story is not a random series of events but a chaotic order that is both bursting with novelty and the unexpected yet swirling with mysterious attractors that create elegant patterns of galaxies and starfish of exquisite beauty. There is an inner self-organizing dynamic that allows the galaxy to know how to be a galaxy and a starfish how to be a starfish. Each has an inner spirit that ensouls matter and holds it in a communion of life.

We are the children of 300 years of the scientific revolution known as the ‘Enlightenment’ but do not connect intimately at the heart in a deep sense of communion with every emerging element of life but experience the very opposite. There is a sense of isolation, separateness and aloneness. The suicide rate among young people testifies to that phenomenon of disconnection. We do not believe the Earth is our true home but a place that an external creator has made for us to work at our eternal salvation and hopefully, in the end, a heavenly reward. If we are to come home to being ‘earthlings’ then we may have wisdom aplenty from our indigenous brothers and sisters. Miriam Rose Ungunmerr invites us into a relationship with the Earth through ‘inner deep listening and quiet and still awareness’ which is not a passive activity but rather attentiveness. Is it time we spent weekends walking in the local forests and bush land listening attentively, working the soil in the garden with our bare hands to feel the energy of earth and lying on the cold grass gazing at the milky way at night experiencing her invitation to fall into her shimmering stars. We have much to learn and experience from gazing regularly at our own local group of galaxies. We are invited to participate as co-creators in bringing to life a world that respects all of life and to appreciate the connectedness of everything. ‘Only mutually enhancing human/Earth relationships will bring forth a new ethical way of living,’ says Freya Matthews. The Earth’s ethic of ‘mutual enhancement’ is reflected in the emu’s desire for zamia nuts and in the process of digesting them prepares them for germination. There can be no self-interest or acquisition that has no life giving purpose. An ethic of self-interest and exploitation for personal gain and profit is what brings many life forms to extinction.

Science tells us that the Earth, from which we have emerged as a species among many species, is a single living organism whose life force is grounded in communion, interrelationship and interdependence. As our consciousness evolves we may come to a new revelatory experience wherein human consciousness awakens to the grandeur and sacred quality of the Earth process. In such a renewal lies our hope for the future for ourselves and for the entire planet that sustains all we have ever loved and cared about. Are we prepared to make the change or at least begin to spend our free time differently?


(the basis of this reflection is from the editorial of Earth Song: Ecology, Spirituality and Education Vol 3, Issue 4, Autumn 2017 by Anne Boyd and contributors such as Miriam Rose Ungunmerr, Freya Matthew and Thomas Berry).