Is this a cliche? Is environmental consciousness a central spiritual value? Or is it only a virtue when people act on it? In any way it’s the most modern of values on my list. A century ago the concept hardly existed – although of cource air and water pollution are as old as the industrial revolution.
Blavatsky wrote about the value of forests for instance. They were important, in her view, for their effect on consciousness. She said:
It is especially in the countries unblessed with civilization that we should seek for an explanation of the nature, and observe the effects of that subtile power, which ancient philosophers called the ‘ world’s soul.” In the East only, and on the boundless tracts of unexplored Africa, will the student of psychology find abundant food for his truth-hungering soul. The reason is obvious. The atmosphere in populous neighborhoods is badly vitiated by the smoke and fumes of manufactories, steam-engines, railroads, and steamboats, and especially by the miasmatic exhalations of the living and the dead [she means because of burial. She prefers burning the bodies, I forget the word – Katinka]. Nature is as dependent as a human being upon conditions before she can work, and her mighty breathing, so to say, can be as easily interfered with, impeded, and arrested, and the correlation of her forces destroyed in a given spot, as though she were a man.
Isis Unveiled Chapter VII, p. 210, 211
For me the problem of the environment is one of the central issues of our time. Technical advantage is great – I happily use it daily – but if we make our planet inhospitable in the process, we have a big problem.
I sometimes worry when I read about occult explanations about why we have a changing climate. Those denial of physical causes for the same may make people complacent. After all: if there is an occult cause, we don’t have to do anything. I don’t think that denial is particularly spiritual either: we have to face facts. This cold winter fits weather models that predict warming in the long run: while average warming is predicted, they also predict that in the current period there will be extremes in both directions. The fires in Australia and California in the past years fit the heating trend too of course.