Mother Nature is an especially generous and loving mother, nurturing and caring for each of her children. So how can we, as inhabitants of the Earth, return what she so generously gives?
If we look at one of the most meaningful names for nature, it is Pachamama, given affectionately by the peoples of Latin America to Mother Earth as their way of recognizing her constant generosity towards human beings. Tatica Dios, the energy coming from Heaven and the Spiritual Father of every human child, often exists alongside her.
Similarly, India’s pantheon of deities features Prakriti as Mother Nature in all her aspects – the principle of matter; here too she counterbalances with Purusha, as the male spiritual energy and pure consciousness. Purusha and Prakriti have an extremely close relationship, and these two dimensions or energies are found intertwined within each of us. They are so well interwoven that consciousness neither recognizes itself nor the pure energy of matter.
As a modern civilization, and a forgetful one at that, where does that leave our relationship with matter and with our consciousness? Have we forgotten who we are and how to rediscover our filial relationship with the Spiritual Father and Mother Earth?
To whom do these abundant resources belong?
If we realize that we all live on the same planet Earth, such an old planet that has hosted us for thousands of years, we can become mindful that its resources are not mere commodities belonging to those who can pay for them.
All the Earth’s resources are precious and belong to all lifeforms and to humankind; and that includes future generations …
Develop an attitude of gratitude
What are the attitudes that cause environmental problems? One can easily see that these are attitudes akin to selfishness and the desire to always have more. However, these are attitudes that we can in fact fix on an individual level. As we educate ourselves, we can also help raise awareness of the damage these attitudes cause.
When I as an individual acknowledge that the constant generosity of nature allows each of us to breathe, drink, eat, and sustain a body that allows us to express ourselves; then gratitude comes naturally.
Additionally, if I consider the external or material reality to be a gift from Mother Earth, I realize that as a conscious being, I too can contribute to a humane balance through my inner attitude of generosity, respect, peace, appreciation …
With a more rational behavior towards consumption, I could go from having to being.
In the area of consumption, the state of dependency in which we find ourselves is pathological. Our consumerist society has ingrained in us the need to buy, to own, and to acquire as being the most important social and economic activity. We don’t even think about the impacts this can have. Having created and continued to fulfill these fabricated desires, thus reinforcing this habit, we are now trapped in these false needs.
If I as an individual realize that the environmental imbalance is being caused by overproduction and overconsumption, I will naturally choose to consume less. The same would go for a conscious community with the collective knowledge that it is possible to fight overproduction and overconsumption through awareness.
Our happiness is not dependent on materialistic gains, which are most often superfluous. Happiness is a precious inner treasure, and it is a question of rediscovering it and learning to cultivate it.
I am responsible for my ecological footprint
We all have the same needs: healthy food, clean air, to do the best that we can.
It is essential to develop, above all, the most respectful and positive relationship with nature; and to rethink our actions, our lifestyles, and various other options available to us. It is necessary to broaden our horizons to a whole new world of possibilities and to dare to want the best, in order to sincerely seek solutions and do our best.
Just as when I feel affection for someone or for something, a special relationship develops. With the relationship comes a sense of responsibility. Each of us is responsible for our ecological footprint and the impact each of us has on the Earth. So, when my relationship with nature becomes real and natural, I have a sense of responsibility that I can then take on with joy and creativity, and in full awareness.
There are solutions that I can implement at an individual level
To many, the task of transforming the economy and the way human beings live on this Earth seems so immense, that they don’t even try: they retreat into an attitude of inaction.
The solutions don’t have to be scientific and complicated. It is within the reach of each of us to be attentive to what we generate and thus become emitters of beneficial and benevolent energy. You don’t have to have studied long or be rich, to express and share love, peace, kindness, generosity, and gratitude. Being a channel of spiritual generosity just takes a little care and attention.
This is where the quality of energy that human beings can access is an exciting topic to investigate. It is a silent investigation that takes you to meet the highest Source of spiritual energy. This Source is accessible through our thoughts and we can immerse ourselves in it, refresh ourselves by it and draw inspiration from it. This energy within us creates new circuits of thoughts and feelings and allows us to access a new understanding and to envision unimagined solutions.
We are all together in the same boat, and the state of the boat is a responsibility that happens to be both individual and collective.
Valériane Bernard, Brahma Kumaris Representative to the UN in Geneva
Co-coordinator of Brahma Kumaris Environment and Interfaith Activities