Saturday, 21 April 2007

Bridging Christianity and Animism (Part 1)

Stephan Harding in Animate Earth>, Green Books 2006, writes:
We need to sense that every step is taken not on, but in the Earth; that we walk, talk and live our lives inside a great planetary being that is continuously nourishing us physically with her miraculous mantle of green and her luscious swirling atmosphere, a being that soothes our psyches with her subtle language of wind and rain, with the swoop of wild birds and with the majesty of her mountains.

...we can cultivate our sense of belonging to Gaia: we can do this be developing a deep love of place. The soul of a place, when entered into with deep interest and concern that love entails, contains the quality of Gaia as a whole being.

I have just finshed reading this book and I am now finding myself at work listening to a CD version of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Although I find some of Tolles ideas a little beyond my reach and acceptability I was surprised at how much he referred to Christ and added a tiny bit more substance to the gap I am trying to bridge between animism and Christianity.

Can you have a Christian animism? My question to the church is also why in all the years that I have been in attendance have I not heard once any kind of message that attempts to explain my deep sense of connection to the Earth? Can the Bible message be taken from its so literal and word for word interpretation into something that allows so much more freedom of expression the realm of the mystical and unknown? To somewhere that allows me to begin to understand it in a way that is free its often seemingly depressive narrow-mindedness and intolerance of alternative ideas. I cannot now just sit back and accept what the church tells me for I need to find MY journey, which I believe has not been allowed to develop.

A few things from Tolles CD stood out which I noted down (hopefully correctly!). They need further thought, but I liked the ideas:
Felt one-ness of being: connectedness with something greater: essentially you, but yet much greater than you.

Everything has 'being'. Even stones have rudimentary conciousness otherwise it would not 'be' and its atoms would disperse. Its conciousness is God's essense expressing itself in form.

Christ is essense - indwelling Divinity.

I will continue my exploration of this in Part 2 and explore how an alternative view of the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh insight into exploring Divinity and the environment.

1 comment:

azulbug said...

I have similar thoughts. In my Christian heart and brain , I also have room and love for the Earth and all of its belongings. I believe God speaks to me sometimes through other people, sometimes through other lifeforms- animals, insects, and plants. Many will say this is wrong or blasphemous or even evil. I believe God is in everything great and small.