I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change, I thought that with thirty years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy…and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation, and we scientists don’t know how to do that.
~ Gus Speth
The entrancement with industrial civilization…must be considered as a profound cultural disorientation. It can be dealt with only by a corresponding deep cultural therapy.
…At such a moment a new revelatory experience is needed, an experience wherein human consciousness awakens to the grandeur and sacred quality of the Earth process. This awakening is our human participation in the dream of the Earth….We probably have not had such participation in the dream of the Earth since earlier shamanic times, but therein lies our hope for the future for ourselves and for the entire Earth community.
~ Thomas Berry
Religious naturalists bear an attitude of reverence toward the universe as a whole, and toward the earth in particular – and they are disposed to expressing their reverence by affirming that nature is both sacred and mysterious. Naturalists are keenly aware of the contingency of all life forms, and when this awareness is taken to heart it generates a sense of gratitude toward nature.
~ Loyal Rue
If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old, which is exactly what large conservation groups are asking us to do.
~ Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.
~ Gwyn Thomas
Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, “What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.” Yes, evil often seems to surpass good. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I must still have hope.
~ Vincent van Gogh
At every moment you choose yourself. But do you choose your self? Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you can build many I’s. But in one of them is there a congruence of the elector and the elected. Only one – which you will never find until you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of being and doing with which you toy, out of curiosity or wonder or greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted to you which is your I.
What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt — it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
~ Hal Boyle
If you’re not beside a real river, close your eyes, and sit down beside an imaginary one, a river where you feel comfortable and safe. Know that the water has wisdom, in its motion through the world, as much wisdom as any of us have. Picture yourself as the water. We are liquid; we innately share water’s wisdom.
~ Eric Alan, “Meditation Draws Its Power From the Water,” The Oregonian, September 11, 2005