GreenSpirit ebook series, 2012
Reviewed by George Polley
“Green spirituality,” writes editor Marian Van Eyk McCain, is “a spirituality centred on this planet Earth, the only home we humans and our ancestors have ever known.” Rooted in the Earth and in all creation, greens’ spirituality focuses in a deeply connected way with living in and caring about and for the Earth and every living entity in and on it. Where traditional spirituality is defined in terms of otherworldliness and one’s affiliation with and allegiance to a God or deity, green spirituality eludes precise definition, describes itself as “a dimension in our lives,” a way of relating to the Earth and recognizing its importance to us. What green spirituality is not, is a “new religion” to be added to all the others. It is a way of looking at and relating to the Earth, to life in all its forms, and it is a gathering place for like-minded people to meet and celebrate life on this Earth and how we influence it.
Anchoring everything in this life and in this world shifts our focus as humans from ‘the beyond’ to right here with the questions, ‘What is it to be human?’ and, ‘What is my/our role in this life?’ very different from the otherworldly spirituality that many of us were brought up in. To me this green spirituality approach is refreshing, allowing me to celebrate this life, respecting and reverencing every living thing, including this very lively planet on which I was born and where I live my life. All of life, from a green spirituality point of view, is ‘inspirited’ and, if you will, made ‘holy’, and we have a definite role to play as a part of it.
My spirituality has gradually moved from a traditional Christian one to one that is firmly grounded in this world. This world is, after all, where I live and where my responsibilities are. Being firmly here, I’ve discovered, is also healthier. What I found to be most interesting in this little book are the stories of how others arrived at their earth-centred spirituality, how this has shaped their living, and what it takes to be earth literate.
What is Green Spirituality is an interesting and valuable resource and guide for those interested in an Earth-centred spirituality. Very highly recommended.
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