The call of the Sunday morning church bells of childhood has been replaced by the call of the earth through the melody of wind chimes.
Watching the morning reveal itself while being a part of its appearance can be a ritual in this discovery of ourselves. The chimes gently play in the breeze, rising and falling with the urgency of the wind, accompanied by the constant rhythm of sound from crickets.
Our ecosystem sprang back to life this week with two soaking rains. The animals that were out of sight this summer have come out into the light again. The jeweled beetles and native snakes show their stunning displays of artistry.
There is a new calling from the cosmos to the possibility of a creative consciousness. To see our lives anew and imagine one in harmony with the earth.
“...ultimately our guidance on any significant issue must emerge from this comprehensive source.”
The source is within each of us; we simply need to reconnect with our ecological sense of self. The one we knew in childhood, in every flower, tree, and cloud, is waiting to share the guidance we seek.
This landmark work, first published by Sierra Club Books in 1988, has established itself as a foundational volume in the ecological canon. In it, noted cultural historian Thomas Berry provides nothing less than a new intellectual-ethical framework for the human community by positing planetary well-being as the measure of all human activity.
Drawing on the wisdom of Western philosophy, Asian thought, and Native American traditions, as well as contemporary physics and evolutionary biology, Berry offers a new perspective that recasts our understanding of science, technology, politics, religion, ecology, and education. He shows us why it is important for us to respond to the Earth's need for planetary renewal, and what we must do to break free of the "technological trance" that drives a misguided dream of progress. Only then, he suggests, can we foster mutually enhancing human-Earth relationships that can heal our traumatized global biosystem.
The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology is an international multireligious project contributing to a new academic field and an engaged moral force of religious environmentalism.
Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice. Shortly before his death in August, 1950, when he was the "keeper of the sacred pipe," he said, "It is my prayer that, through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand, and understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God, and that we pray to Him continually."
Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when The Sacred Pipe was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pipe, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the seven rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the reader through the sun dance, the purification rite, the "keeping of the soul," and other rites, showing how the Sioux have come to terms with God and nature and their fellow men through a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination.