I was glad to read about the Lake Junaluska peace conference [“Hot Seat: Multifaith Peace Conference Explores Connection Between Conflict and Climate Change,” Nov. 2, Xpress]. The fact that an interfaith dialogue is occurring regarding the subject of climate change is certainly heartening.
I have become increasingly concerned, however, about the one-sided approach to the ecological crisis evident in much media coverage. That the fundamental environmental problem we face is too much carbon in the air has become something “everybody knows,” at least for those who care. One effect of this is to force spirituality into a secondary role in which it serves merely to support an agenda set by materialism.
The irony is that a reductive materialist worldview is arguably what has caused humanity to view the Earth as our own personal grab bag and dumping ground in the first place. If we wish not only to decrease our carbon emissions but to cease any number of destructive actions, then we need to bring our consciousness into a healthy state. This is a spiritual matter.
Contrary to established scientific theory and popular opinion, science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. In fact, conventional science unconsciously accepts and relies upon the reality of the spirit at every step. The creation of a rigorous spiritual science only requires the development of appropriate methods.
This is not some abstract fantasy, although there is unfortunately much nominal “spiritual science.” The Nature Institute in upstate New York, while not practicing full-blown spiritual science, has made great strides toward it.
Homeopathy teaches us that a one-sided focus on removing symptoms only pushes the pathology deeper. If we human beings continue in the future to believe that we live in a merely physical world, a world of things rather than of meanings, then it likely won’t matter how much carbon we put back in the ground.
— Andy Shaw