Waking Up To Climate Change: A Spiritual Rebirth

'Spirituality' has been described by every sage and prophet from Indian mystics to Jesus as the process of 'waking up.' For many, a personal investigation of the heart allows us to illuminate the social woes that confront our communities. Much like rubbing the fog from our morning eyes, arriving at climate action is a removal of this 'seal' to see what truly lay before us. Scriptures throughout time have alluded to the process of seeking clear vision through the transformative method of exploring spirituality. The opening passages of The Holy Quran speak this matter quite clearly (Al-Baqara).

Matthew Fox shared in his commentary for Religion News Services, "Our religions must change and be part of the solution and not the problem." What Fox suggests with this statement is not an abandonment of tradition, so much as a reapplication of our respective scriptures (hermeneutics). The unique nature of religious texts in not their static state, rather it is their unique ability to adapt and remain relevant throughout time, space and nation. 

At a certain level, it may be argued that America is undergoing one the greatest spiritual transformations it has ever seen. It is often purported that the climate fight in America is stagnant and unchanging, and while I agree that we are slow in this process, it is important to remember that climate attitudes in the U.S. are steadily waking up to the light of climate action. A recent survey found that 2/3 of Americans support positive climate talks in Paris. This number is by no means enough, but does demonstrate the presence of a rebirth – a spiritual awakening to the certainty of climate change.

Why battling climate change requires a spiritual rebirth (COMMENTARY)

Matthew Fox | Religion News Services

(RNS) On Monday (Nov. 30) representatives from 195 nations will gather in Paris to grapple with the greatest moral issue of our time — the war against Mother Earth. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warns that “It is life on our planet itself which is at stake,” and there is an “absolute urgency” to turn things around.

This is not political rhetoric or religious apocalypticism — it is science that is drawing (finally) nations together around our real foe: the environmental danger to our planet. If our forays into space the past 40 years have demonstrated anything they have instructed us that Earth is very special in the universe. Yes, we have discovered exoplanets we hope might some day reveal other forms of life — and hopefully of intelligent life — but for now, and in our neighborhood, Earth stands alone.

We are being urged as a species to wake up and get out of our narcissistic anthropocentrism, that is to say our preoccupation with all things human, at the expense of all our relations with whales and dolphins, elephants and tigers, birds and redwoods, rain forests and rivers, oceans and lakes.

Will we take this opportunity to wake up from denial? Whole political parties in America as well as giant industries supporting such head-in-the-sand candidates seem to prefer denial to truth. Yet only the truth will set us free and get us working.

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