Even though there is still much need and poverty in the world, there is enough for all of us – to survive, to live with dignity, and even to thrive. We just have to use what our Planet has bequeathed to us wisely.
Our ancient societies lived balanced lives. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives were in balance. And we understood the concept of enough.
Most native people worldwide today still understand this concept of enough. Those who live off the land, free of material obsessions, believe the earth will provide them with basic necessities. They take only what they really need.
They love and revere the Planet and understand our deep connection to it. They appreciate that it nourishes us with water, air, and food: it supports us, and they understand that maintaining the purity of these is crucial.
The Indigenous people around the world recognize the Planet as a gift from our Creator and that every molecule on it lives and breathes. Embedded in their histories is the belief that we are all its stewards.
Throughout the world, most native peoples understand and maintain a reciprocal connection with Gaia. This connection is their spirituality.
This article/blog post is based on concepts in my book Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science. Book Synopsis is found here).
Today, much of Western society is focused on acquiring far more than what we really need. This focus causes us to rarely move beyond physical concerns into the emotional or spiritual needs, which are necessary to keep us balanced.
Appreciating what we have ensures its continuation. If we could appreciate all that Mother Earth offers us – clean water, fresh air, and bountiful land we would make wise decisions so that they continue to support us.
Communing more often with nature we would be less inclined to focus on the material aspects of life. Her energy connects us to our hearts and true self. It holds a healing quality that helps us settle our emotional worlds. When are emotional worlds are settled and we are connected to our true self we are less inclined to focus on unnecessarily acquiring. We are more inclined to embrace the concept of enough.
What is enough? Enough is different for everyone. Most of us in the Western world do want some luxuries and modern commodities and some of it can be supported by Mother Nature (if we are wise about it), but many of us have gone overboard.
In The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight Thom Hartmann reminds us that our current society lives under the myth that “some stuff will make you happy, then twice as much stuff will make you twice as happy, and ten times as much will make you ten times as happy, and so on, into infinity.” (1)
And although greed has been around for eons, it has only recently extended to such abusive actions towards our Planet as to threaten her (and thereby our) very survival. Where did this current greed come from?
In his essay, “The World of Wonder” in Spiritual Ecology, Thomas Berry explains that in North America this attitude of acquiring grew as a result of our lack of embracing or understanding the concept of “Earth-based spirituality” when we first came here from Europe.
He reminds us that not only did the Indigenous people understand the relationship between heaven, earth, and its people, evidenced by their rituals and ceremonies to evoke the powers of the Universe, most ancient cultures did as well. He tells us that the pillars in India, China, Greece, Egypt and Rome “were established to delineate a sacred center which provided a point of reference for human affairs and bound Heaven and Earth together.” (2)
Barry explains that we came to America from Europe believing we were religious, educated, scientifically advanced, and able to create our own political organizations. We “saw ourselves as a divine blessing on this continent. In reality we were a predator people on an innocent continent.”
We saw a land that could allow us to break away from the “monarchical governments … and their world of royalty and subservience,” but rather than be in awe of the grandness and beauty of this land, we saw it as a “continent available for exploitation.” Although we were searching for new values, our attitudes of greed and control did not really change; nor did they reflect the values of the native people already here. (3)
In large part, except for the few who have rejected commercialism, such as the Mennonites, Indigenous peoples, and certain rural tribes, having lost the connection to the concept of enough and respect for our Planet, most societies have fallen under the spell of acquiring and greed.
Our Planet is meant to support us. If we return to a reciprocal relationship with Mother Earth we will all have access to its life-affirming energy: we will all have enough. Returning to the wisdom of nature at this juncture in our evolution and with our growing population is vital!
As I was exploring various subjects when researching for my book Your Journey to Peace …, (whose concepts this article is based on) a notion was growing in me that the Indigenous peoples’ gentle nature and connection to the earth were somehow connected to the healing of Humanity. I was directed to various answers.
More of what I discovered is further explored in my next article/ blog post, “The Indigenous Beliefs and Our Planet’s Healing.” I will explain how eons ago the Indigenous peoples around the world actually made a conscious decision to forego industrialization so that they could show us the roadmap back when we had lost our way – when we had forgotten about the secret of enough and the importance of our connection to Mother Earth and of our reciprocal relationship with her.
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(1) Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation (Northfield, VT: Mythical Books, 1998), 235.
(2) Thomas Berry, “The World of Wonder” in Spiritual Ecology, The Cry of the Earth, a collection of essays edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, (Pointe Reyes, CA: The Golden Sufi Center), 15-17.
~ Rosemary McCarthy© April, 2018, updated May 2018
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