Environmentally aware – spiritual virtue no. 7

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.

3 thoughts on “Environmentally aware – spiritual virtue no. 7”

  1. Hi Katinka,
    I gather you’ve heard about the fires of here in OZ, they have been incredible, we’ve never had weather like this before (a full week over 40 DEG). I must say the idea that climate change is linked to the Mayan calendar with the alignment of 2012 affecting our sun and hence our planet to be quite interesting and it does seem to have some strong evidence. I am not an expert on this however, and yes the standard model of man-made climate change seems to make sense.

    One way or another, we need to do something about pollution, whether or not it is causing climate change, it is natural to assume that environmental destruction will create side-effects one way or another. Humans have treated the environment as a bottomless pit since the start of the industrial revolution, and now we are paying the price. Also, many people have become polarized, taking extreme views left and right rather then being balanced and reasonable about it. Yes technology is wonderfull, but so is nature.

    God Bless,
    Hari Om

  2. I had never heard of 2012 mixed in with this, but I guess it doesn’t surprise me. Some climate experts do say that the current things we are seeing may be due to other causes (like sunspots, or the planet being closer to the sun than before), but they are a minority. On balance I agree with you: there is a lot of evidence we’ve been dumping stuff in that atmosphere and there is good reason to believe that will have effects.
    Fighting those effects and preventing further pollution is going to be hard enough without denying the problem in the first place. I think that insight is why there are so few people in the middle on this one: either we go on as before and continue polluting, or we really change things. The practice is (at best) going to be halfway on this, but in order for there to be enough change, the environmental camp does have to bring their message rather forcefully. After all – the full forces of greed are against them. And greed is probably the main sin of our century.

Comments are closed.