Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We ARE the earth

A wee bit from a conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Cambell in 1986 (twenty years ago when Global Warming was not on the front page everyday)
Moyers: Don't you think modern Americans have rejected the ancient idea of nature as a divinity because it would have kept us from achieving dominence over nature? How can you cut down trees and uproot the land and turn rivers into real estate without killing God?
Cambell: Yes, but that's not simply a characteristic of modern Americans, that is the biblical condemnation of nature which they inherited from their own religion and brought with them, mainly from England. God is separate from nature, and nature is condemmed by God. It's right there is Genesis: we are to be masters of the world. But if you will think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than having been thrown in here form somewhere else, you see that we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth.


Heather said...

Your post fits right in with what I am thinking about lately. We seem to be on the same track quite often. ;-) I am just listening to Starhawk's Earth Magic CDs and really enjoying the ideas she presents. They really ring true for me and seem very natural. I like the thought that there needs to be no separation in our spiritual, political, and daily lives - that they can have a connection to the earth, that they can all celebrate the earth.

Katherine said...

Funny how that scripture in Genesis means something different to me. I don't take it as meaning we should be "masters of the world" but rather as stewards of the planet. It is our responsibility to revere nature not destroy it for profit or pleasure.

Going further back than the 1980's, to my surprise this very attitude of being "masters of the world" was even an evident mindset in the book Swiss Family Robinson. Instead of observing and learning about the "new to them" natural world they found themselves in, they seemed intent on shooting creatures first and eating them. A wasted opportunity for learning and living with nature - in my opinion. Makes me wonder how long it will take before mankind appreciates that we are all connected and need to treat the planet conscientiously or all suffer the consequences.