Tag: spiritual ecology

Spiritual Ecology

Ta Prohm temple with giant banyan tree at Angkor Wat complex SieThe New Revolution in Consciousness
by Les Sponsel

Some environmentalists have been accused of being alarmists for their predictions of global catastrophe,

Editors’ Note

Editors' Note MapIn December 1972, Apollo 17 gave us one of the most powerful photographs of the 20th century. It was called “The Blue Marble” and it was the first fully illuminated image of the earth taken from 45,000 kilometers away in space. For the first time people could visually comprehend something that mystic traditions have intimated for millennia—the earth as a unified, “absolute” being. The individual ego paled in comparison to the beauty of the earth floating in a vast cosmic ocean. The image continues to inspire contemplation of our existence within a delicate interconnected, interdependent ecological system.

It is too easy to forget the importance of nature to our spiritual nourishment, to forget our commitment to serve all living things—not just other human beings. However, as this issue of SUFI attests, there are remarkable people whose connection to nature translates to active engagement, who seek to adapt to nature’s creative ebb and flow, and for whom service to all of creation is at the heart of spiritual practice. Among the foremost of these are the Kogi people, whom Maria Gutierrez meets at the “Heart of the World” while traveling in Colombia. Les Sponsel reviews the case for a revolution in consciousness in his introduction to the field of spiritual ecology. The threads of his call to action are beautifully taken up by eco-activist and Jain monk, Satish Kumar, in conversation with Llew Smith and Annie Stopford. Wendy Tremayne shares her vision of a modern sustainable lifestyle, underpinned by Sufi principles, and Planetary Collective explores the power of wonder and awe in reconnecting us to a state of unity in CultureWatch.

Alireza Nurbakhsh’s discourse, “Perspectives on Climate Change,” goes to the heart of how taking a spiritual stance towards the world could lead us to overcome the distractions of “right” and “wrong” and change our collective behavior for the better. Andy Goldsworthy’s photo essay reminds us of the constant state of change, evolution and transformation all around us and within us at every moment, summing up anew ecological paradigm with its title: Shaking Hands with Nature.
—The Editors of SUFI

Summer Issue 2014

SUFI87_MASTER_ART_FILE_MAY2014-05.inddSUFI Issue #87-ENVIRONMENT features LES SPONSEL on Spiritual Ecology, SEEKING THE KOGI a journey in Colombia, artist ANDY GOLDSWORTHY photo essay, and an interview with SATISH KUMAR on his New Ecological Paradigm.


Biography of Les Sponsel

Leslie E. Sponsel holds a BA in Geology from Indiana University and the MA and PhD in Anthropology from Cornell University. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai`i. Sponsel is Founder and Director of the Research Institute for Spiritual Ecology (https://spiritualecology.info).


Spiritual Ecology References

Abdul-Matin, Ibrahim., 2010. GreenDeen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Berry, Thomas. 2006. Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books (Mary Evelyn Tucker, ed). https://www.thomasberry.org.

Bingham, Sally G., ed. 2009. Love God, Heal Earth. Pittsburgh, PA: St. Lynn’s Press. https://interfaithpowerandlight.org.

Boeckel. Jan van, et al. 2009. The Call of the Mountain: Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ReRun Productions (51 minutes) https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8meah_arne-naess_creation.

Bourne, Edmund J. 2008. Global Shift: How A New Worldview Is Transforming Humanity. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Buzzell, Linda, and Craig Chalquist, ed.  2009. Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.

Cain, Clifford Chalmers, ed. 2012. Many Heavens, One Earth: Readings on Religion and the Environment.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Carroll, John E., and Warner, Keith, eds.  1998. Ecology and Religion: Scientists Speak. Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press.

Carson, Rachel. 1962.  Silent Spring. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Catton, William R. 1982. Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Crosby, Donald A. 2002. A Religion of Nature. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

De Boer, K. Lauren. 2007. “Spiritual Ecology: A Practice of the Heart,” in EarthLight: Spiritual Wisdom for an Ecological Age, Cindy Spring and Anthony Manousos, eds. Oakland, CA: Friends Bulletin, pp. 11-17. https://www.earthlight.org.

Dregson, Alan, and Bill Devall, eds. 2008.  The Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint.

Foltz, Richard C., Frederick M. Denny, and Azizan Baharuddin, eds., 2003. Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gore, Al. 1993. Earth in Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. NewYork, NY: Penguin Books USA Inc.

Gottlieb, Roger S. 2006a. A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet’s Future. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

_____, ed. 2006b. Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Grim, John, and Mary Evelyn Tucker. 2014. Ecology and Religion. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. https://fore.research.yale.edu.

Guterl, Fred. 2012. The Fate of the Human Species: Why the Human Race May Cause its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA.

Hartman, Thom. 1999. The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Hawken, Paul. 2007. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. New York, NY: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Holthaus, Gary. 2008. Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us about Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.

Kaza, Stephanie. 2008. Mindfully Green: A Personal and Spiritual Guide to Whole Earth Thinking. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications , Inc.

Kinsley, David. 1995. Ecology and Religion: Ecological Spirituality in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Kopenawa, Davi, and Bruce Albert. 2013. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Korten, David C. 2006. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publications, Inc./Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, Inc.

Kumar, Satish. 2007. Spiritual Compass: The Three Qualities Of Life. Dartington, Totnes, Devon, UK: Green Books Ltd. https://www.resurgence.org/.

Leslie, John. 1996. The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lovelock, James E. 2010. The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Macy, Joanna, and Chris Johnstone. 2012. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy. Novato, CA: New World Library. https://www.joannamacy.net.

Maybury-Lewis, D. 2002. Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups, and the state. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon (Second Edition).

McGrath, Alister. 2003. The Reenchantment of Nature: The Denial of Religion and the Ecological Crisis. New York, NY: Doubleday/Galilee.

McKibben, Bill. 2010. Eearth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Metzner, Ralph. 1999. Green Psychology: Transforming Our Relationship to the Earth. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press. https://www.greenearthfound.org/.

Moore, Kathleen Dean, and Michael P. Nelson, eds. 2010. Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.

Mosley, Lyndsay, ed. 2008. Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. 1997. Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man. Chicago, IL: ABC International Group, Inc.

Raymond, June. 2010. Meditations with Thomas Berry. London, UK: GreenSpirit.

Rockefeller, Steven C., and John C. Elder, eds. 1992. Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment Is a Religious Issue. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Sponsel, Leslie E. 2012. Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. https://www.spiritualecology.info.

_____, 2014 (April). “Spiritual Ecology: Is it the Ultimate Solution for the Environmental Crisis?” CHOICE 51(8).

Spring, Cindy, and Manousos, Anthony, eds. 2007. EarthLight: Spiritual Wisdom for an Ecological Age. San Francisco, CA: Friends Bulletin. https://www.earthlight.org.

Spring, David, and Eileen Spring, eds. 1974. Ecology and Religion in History. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers.

Taylor, Bron, Editor-in-Chief. 2005. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. New York, NY: Thoemmes Continuum. https://religionandnature.com.

_____. 2010. Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. https://www.brontaylor.com.

Vaughan-Lee, Llewellyn, ed. 2013. Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth. Point Reyes, CA: The Golden Sufi Center. https://www.spiritualecology.org.

Worster, Donald. 2008. A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.