Potent Places

Image credit: 
Pooja Nayak

In October 2008, custodians of sacred natural sites and territories from the four continents declared that the whole Earth is sacred. They gathered prior to a World Conservation Congress to examine the growing threats to the Earth and to sacred natural sites. All agreed with Danil Mamyev, a shaman from Altai in Russia, when he said: “The whole Earth is sacred and there is a network of especially sacred areas like acupuncture points around the body of the Earth. Each has a Guardian who ensures that the local community practice to protect these sacred places, and to guide the community to live according to the law of the territory. The guardians are dying out, and it is urgent to rediscover and work with them to revive their vital role.”

The experience of the Earth as sacred was universally shared by diverse human cultures for most of history until, over the last few hundred years, the modern idea of materialism triumphed. The shared wisdom of the sacredness of life is based on the understanding that the physical world is animated by a spiritual force – all energy or intelligence – which imbues all forms of life and natural features. This intelligent universe has an order, into which humanity is born. This order is sacred, in that it must not be disturbed or violated. It is this order that maintains the integrity of life. Humans need to abide by the law of the universe, which is the source of true law. If we violate this order and its inherent energetic qualities, we suffer at all levels of our being.

Indigenous peoples have been warning those involved in the military-industrial complex that the accumulated effect of constantly breaking spiritual, energetic and ecological laws will lead inevitably to social, economic and ecological chaos. Pre–industrial societies, such as the Mayan civilization in Central America, which destroyed their ecological foundations also collapsed. The difference now is that the industrial mind, which recognizes nothing as sacred, has colonized the Earth. Hence, for the first time in human history, we face multiple planetary–level crises.

This article has been published with permission from Resurgence Magazine, UK.
Liz Hosken is the Director and the cofounder of the Gaia Foundation, working on ecological and social justice. (http://gaiafoundation.org/)

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