Eco-spirituality: to be and feel like Earth
The term ecology does not refer only to an “outside ecology”, that is, to ecosystems in their unstable balance. It also encompasses an entire “inner ecology”, proper to the human being: the universe of his psyche, of his affections, of his spirituality, of his basic relationships, both with himself and with others, and with the world and with God.
We belong to the Earth, we are sons and daughters of the Earth. We are Earth. The human being comes from humus. We come from the Earth and we will return to the Earth. The Earth is not before us as something distant and different from ourselves. We have the Earth within us. We are the Earth itself that, as we evolve, has reached the stage of feeling, understanding, will, responsibility and veneration. We are the Earth in its moment of self-realization and self-consciousness.
We are Land that thinks, feels, sings and loves
There is, therefore, no distance between us and the Earth. We form the same complex, diverse and unique reality. Humanity and Earth, we form a single splendid, shining, fragile and full of vigor. We are formed with the same energies, with the same physical-chemical elements within the same network of relationships of everything with everything, for more than 15 billion years. The Earth’s chemical elements circulate all over our body, blood and brain. We have in our body, blood, heart, mind and spirit the elements of the Earth.
From this realization is born the consciousness of deep unity and identification with the Earth and its immense diversity. We are one with it. In a unitary perspective, that which apparently is outside of us, in fact, is embedded within us. For example, all violence to the environment, in the past or in the present, has repercussions on our mental and affective structures, leaving traumas in the collective unconscious.
Because we feel that we are the Earth’s daughters and sons, because we are the thinking and loving Earth itself, we must live it as Mother. She is a generative principle. She represents the feminine who conceives, gestures and gives birth. She welcomes everything and collects everything in her bosom. When we die, we return to Mother Earth, we return to her generous and fruitful womb.
Feeling that we are earth makes us have our feet on the ground, makes us perceive everything on earth: its cold and warmth, its strength that threatens as well as its beauty that enchants. Feeling the rain on your skin, the breeze that refreshes you, the typhoon that frightens you. To feel in the breath the air that enters us, the odors that intoxicate us, the colors that haunt us. To feel the Earth is to feel its ecological niches, to capture the spirit of each place, to insert oneself in a certain place perceiving its sacrality.
To be Earth is to feel that one inhabits a certain portion of the earth. To be Earth means our firm base, our point of contemplation of the whole, our platform to be able to take flight beyond this landscape and this piece of land, towards the infinite All. To feel Earth is to perceive oneself within a complex community of living beings. It is the countless diversity of living beings, animals, birds and fish, our companions within the sacred unity of life. For all the Earth produces conditions of subsistence, evolution and nourishment, on the ground, underground and in the air.
Earth, our common home
To feel Earth is to dive into the earthly community, all sons and daughters of the great and generous Mother. The experience of the Spiritual Exercises means, therefore, “to plunge one’s feet into the earth” (Lev 25:1-24). It is in the darkness of the earth that the plant will seek the strength that will keep it alive, that will give it the condition to expand its canopy toward the immensity of heaven. The roots plunge into the earth in a deep, silent and slow way. On the ground, at first sight, are all the dirt, debris and things in decomposition. But for roots, all this means the origin of life.
In spiritual experience we are asked to immerse ourselves in the ground of life, like the roots in darkness, in the presence of silence. The movement of burying the roots deeply makes it possible to reach the sap, the pulse of life and balance. Feeling that we are earth makes us have our feet on the ground of life and live in communion with the community of creatures. The time is to add up for the sake of life and the care of all beings on earth.
It is necessary to put down roots in the depths of our humanity and awaken all the creative energies, all the great dormant motivations, all the goodness present there, all the decision to assume oneself as cooperator and craftsman of a new time. From this awareness comes praise, reverence and service. It is to God that everything converges. It is He who sustains everything. It is He who, in Love, attracts everything.