Reconnecting with Nature

Reconnecting with the Cosmos is what I’m hoping I’m doing at the time when this is published. I’ll be in a beautiful part of New-England, enjoying long walks and treks with my family. Not exactly a jet-setting kind of vacation, but something I hope will restore us all to our natural rhythm. And I’m hoping to get into the spirit of the writings of Thomas Berry.

Thomas Berry (1914-2009) was a Catholic priest, cultural historian and ecotheologian. Among advocates of deep ecology and “ecospirituality” he is famous for proposing that a deep understanding of the history and functioning of the evolving universe is a necessary inspiration and guide for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species.

Thomas Berry does not fit the image of a typical environmentalist. His main focus is not the immediate battles being fought, but the roots of the problem, which he traces back to the very beginnings of Western civilization.

Berry wrote his book The Dream of the Earth (Sierra Club Books) beneath an ancient oak in New York City, on a slope overlooking the Hudson River. That tree, to which he dedicated his book, lived through many changes, beginning with the arrival of the Europeans and the end of traditional Native American ways. It lived through the disappearance of the wood bison, the passenger pigeon, the great American chestnuts, the wolverines who prowled the shores of the Hudson, the Atlantic salmon that were once so numerous they threatened to carry away fishermen’s nets.

This ability to see the world we live in, interwoven with human history,  is one of the aspects of him that so much inspires me.

Some quotes of his:

“The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.”

“The environmental crisis can only be forestalled when there is a broad new cultural understanding of what it means to be human.  Sources of this new understanding would be myth – New Story…… a spiritually based on an understanding of nature as the primary revelation of the divine”.

“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.”

And then my favourite quote, that I hope will be what is left in me after 9 days of resting in nature:

“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.”

May there be community!


~ by Hege on July 7, 2010.

One Response to “Reconnecting with Nature”

  1. Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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