Finding our place in the natural order
These times, perhaps more than ever, call for a re-examination of our relationship with the world — with nature. How has humanity come to be so clearly adrift and to lose sight of the essential interconnections that were once understood and cherished?
We are part of the worldwide web of nature. This complex structure of interdependence linking all of life on earth is as inescapable as it is sophisticated. It is essential to our survival, a fact that humans once recognised and celebrated in rock carvings and cave paintings, in poetry and prose. Now, however, we appear to have forgotten the essential sacredness of life.
To list the problems is to risk being overwhelmed. On land and at sea, among freshwater supplies (barely 3 per cent of the earth’s total water) and mineral deposits, we are over-exploiting resources and leaving behind a trail of destruction and pollution. Agriculture, industry, even how we take our holidays, have become unsustainable and deeply damaging to the planet — yet this is our home!
From the spiritual perspective, it is not simply our connection with the earth that has failed. So has our connection with the divine. We have forgotten who we truly are. This explains the hunger for wealth, material possessions and status, and for relationships that rarely bring lasting happiness. Blown here and there by the winds of neediness, fashion and opinion, we come to rest for a while yet cannot explain why something always seems to be missing.
Once we find our way back to our inborn connection with the Supreme we understand who we truly are. We realise the greatest happiness and contentment is found within. With the awareness of soul-consciousness, material success and possessions, external validation and recognition, lose their place of primary importance. We have discovered — or rather, rediscovered — the route to true fulfilment filled with self-respect and respect for others.
With this changing consciousness there comes a vision of how we can impact the earth for the good. Our energy affects everything and everyone around us: Through meditation and a genuine commitment to channeling our energy positively, we can join with others to raise the collective consciousness. This uplifts the vibrations in the world.
As we recover a sense of our place in the web of nature, neediness and emptiness simply dissolve. We understand that, as trustees, we carry a responsibility to care for the earth’s well-being and to use resources mindfully and unselfishly. Further, we have a duty to husband the planet’s resources fairly, and yes, to care for the birthright of generations as yet unborn.
We can take practical steps, living simply, reducing our consumption and impact on the environment, and working with and learning from others to spread the message. We have the power to make change happen!
Sylvia Ismail, a writer and editor with a background in public affairs, radio broadcasting and journalism, is a student of Rajyoga with the Brahma Kumaris.