Time to consider how to care for our common home

Man taking ownership

We have a wave-function which is the unique, significant form of the coherent organism, a macroscopic quantum object, which has a macroscopic wave-function that is always evolving, always changing as it entangles its environment.

We do know there have been changes or circles in climate changes but what we are facing now does not fit that picture. The change is triggered by our abuse of the system.

Man went away form the Creator and lost connection with Him and with His Creation. You can say

a bond was broken; a shade of mutuality has withered and waned. Now everything becomes merely external and separate from everything else.{Professor l. k. Tong}*

Man has taken nature as something they own and are free to use no matter what it would mean to that other species. Lots of them have just become ‘Takers’ clinging with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man.

They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human specialness justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitler’s mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.” {Ishmael}*

Man taken liberties on his path to consumerism

Carnal and corruptible Man has taken too many liberties, though still many do not mind going on mis-using nature. Lots of people do not want to change their behaviour and continue to over-use natural sources.

They forget that

There is no separation of man and his environment; rather there is a fusion of man and his environment. Ecology represents the study of the ecological entity as a whole. When a given ecological complex appears unfavorable from the standpoint of man, for example, he does not have a prior claim to adjustment on the part of the other elemen (ts of the complex. The others have just as much “right” to demand modification of his behavior as he has on theirs. All are one in Nature. The appreciation of this Oneness and the delicate interrelationships of its diffusions represents the prime academic purpose of the Ecology Series. (The Land of Keikitran and Eleevan) {R.G.H. Siu}*

The denial of climate change of certain economists and big international concerns, mocking at concerned consumers, may be leaders of a millenarian cult as mad as, and more dangerous than, any religious fundamentalism. The consumerism and irresponsible development promoted by those irresponsible people has been under fire the last few months, with good reason.

Environmental issues and Laudato si’

Pope Francis I’s second encyclical letter (2015) addressed to all of humanity on environmental issues, our place in creation and responsibility towards our common home.

Pope Francis I’s second encyclical letter (2015) addressed to all of humanity on environmental issues, our place in creation and responsibility towards our common home.

On June, 18, 2015, the the second encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato si (Medieval Central Italian for “Praise Be to You”), dated 24 May 2015, was officially published and the Vatican released the document in Italian, German, English, Spanish, French, Polish, Portuguese and Arabic.

The title of the encyclical being an Umbrian phrase from Saint Francis of Assisi‘s 13th-century Canticle of the Sun (also called the Canticle of the Creatures), a poem and prayer in which God is praised for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth. {“Avviso di Conferenza Stampa, 10 June 2015”. Vatican Bulletin. 10 June 2015.}

For sure there are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus and it is not up to churches or religious organisations to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But religious people cannot stay untouched by what human creatures are doing with the creation of the Most High. Therefore it is good to notice that the leader of the big Catholic community is concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.

The pope says:

“Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities.” {“Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”. Retrieved 18 June 2015.}

Natural environment gravely damaged by godman

Hard copies of the encyclical have been publis...

Hard copies of the encyclical have been published by Ignatius Press. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Benedict XVI asked previously also to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour. He and this pope reminds us that it is not only the ecological but also the social environment which has also suffered damage.

Both are ultimately due to the same evil: the notion that there are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and hence human freedom is limitless. We have forgotten that “man is not only a freedom which he creates for himself. Man does not create himself. He is spirit and will, but also nature” {“Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”}

Though often man thinks he can create himself and be a god-man, he always shall come to be reminded that he shall always be lower than the Most High Supreme Power. With paternal concern, Benedict had also urged us to realize that God’s creation is harmed

“where we ourselves have the final word, where everything is simply our property and we use it for ourselves alone. The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves” {Address to the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone (6 August 2008): AAS 100 (2008), 634.}

Green declaration for oneness of humanity

It is that selfishness which shall be able to ruin us if we do not take care and take an other crossroad.

The 14th Dalai Lama had also previously often said human beings should be more careful with mother nature and issued a Twitter message, three days before the encyclical, stating:

“Since climate change and the global economy now affect us all, we have to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity.”

Two days before the encyclical was released, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Communion, issued a “green declaration” (also signed by the Methodist Conference as well as representatives of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the British Muslim, Sikh and Jewish communities) urging a transition to a low-carbon economy and fasting and prayer for success at the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. {Wiki +Wall Street Journal + San Martín, Inés (17 June 2015). “‘Laudato Si’ will be an encyclical for the ages” + Rocca, Francis X.; Nakrosis, Stephen (18 June 2015). “5 Things to Know About Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si'”}

The Lausanne Movement of global evangelical Christians was grateful for the encyclical which was also welcomed by the World Council of Churches and the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Waking up for all-encompassing threat

Because the climate change is an all-encompassing threat we do need to wake up the majority of consumers and makers of consumption articles.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change, who advised the Vatican on the drafting of the encyclical, said that

“the science of Laudato Si’ is watertight”

and gave the pontiff an “A” for command of the subject.

We need to change and develop new convictions, attitudes and forms of life, including a new lifestyle. This requires not only individual conversion, but also community networks to solve the complex situation facing our world today. Essential to this is a spirituality that can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. Christian spirituality proposes a growth and fulfilment marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.

Putting aside our greed and taking Care for the poor

We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis that is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.

According to some readers of the document, what is overlooked by the most casual observers is, that Pope Francis makes an essential part of his encyclical the idea that care for the poor and care for creation are inextricably connected. {The genius of Laudato Si’ should make us all uncomfortable}

We may not forget that those who use polluting production have their plants often in cheap regions in the midst of poor people. Often it are the poorer who are victim of the greed of the rich. The poor also often live in areas directly affected by sea level rise and desertification

the majority of our megacities and a quarter of the world’s population live near the coast. If sea level rise puts Bangladesh underwater, as some scientists think is inevitable, 100 million people will be displaced, and the vast majority are poor.  {The genius of Laudato Si’ should make us all uncomfortable}

Those people often do not have enough resources to protect themselves, to get proper water and live in cleaner healthier surroundings.

The pope warns that the destruction of the human environment is extremely serious

not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies” {Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 58: AAS 83 (1991), p. 863; “Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”}

Looking for solutions

We not only have to look for solutions in technology but also in a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms, and that is already what is going wrong in the medical field in the industrialised countries where the chemical industry fight against the alternative medicine and does everything to get people away from homoeopathic and phytotherapeutic medicines. there we can find how many people do not like it to have an other system existing next to their more lucrative system.

File:▶ John Zizioulas presents the encyclical Laudato si' at the press conference in Rome.webm

John Zizioulas, Eastern Orthodox metropolitan of Pergamon, presents the encyclical Laudato si’ at the Press conference in Rome

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with whome the pope and his followers share the hope of full ecclesial communion, has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but in a change of humanity. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which

“entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”. {Lecture at the Monastery of Utstein, Norway (23 June 2003). + Paris meeting 21 July 20015}

Saint Francis of Assisi example par excellence of care for the vulnerable

English: Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels

Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pope Francis I believes that Saint Francis of Assisi is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. For him this Roman Catholic patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, is also much loved by non-Christians because he was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast.

He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace. {words about Saint Francis of Assisi in “Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”}

The pope reminds us of this Italian religious leader who founded the religious order known as the Franciscans, that his response to the world around him was so much more than intellectual appreciation or economic calculus, for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection.

His father, Pietro di Bernardone, was a successful cloth merchant, and Francis grew up with a love of fine clothes and good times. He led the other young men of the town in enjoying good food and drink, singing, and dancing. He was educated in math, poetry, and music and learned to read and write while attending a school that was part of the Church of Saint Giorgio of Assisi. Francis was expected to become a cloth merchant like his father and did not plan to attend college. Francis joined the forces from Assisi in their fight against Perugia, another town in Italy. When he was twenty, he was taken prisoner. A year later, sobered by jail and sickness, he underwent several religious experiences in quick succession.

Francis’s father, furious that his son wasted his money on churches and beggars, took him before the bishop to bring him to his senses. When the hearing began, Francis calmly took off all of his clothes, gave them to his father (the astonished bishop quickly covered Francis with a cloak), and said that he was now recognizing only his Father in heaven, not his father on earth. He lived his life from this time on without money and without family ties, dressing in himself in rags.

He would call creatures, no matter how small, by the name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister’”

Brothers and sisters in one system

In our Christian system we should consider ourselves as brothers and sisters, coming all from the Power of God and being descendants of Adam and Eve, the first man and mannin (woman). According to the Bible we also are living now in a temporary world system, a system of things, in which we do have to find our way back to God, the Divine Creator.

In this System of things we have a world having become dependant on the ones who took adversary to the Divine Creator (in the Bible those adversaries are called in Hebrew ‘Satan‘ often translated in English as ‘devil‘). Because they have taken over the world, lovers of God also have to live patiently in their system which tries to find political and economical ways to survive.

Immanuel Wallerstein.2008.jpg

Immanuel Wallerstein giving a talk at a seminar at the European University at St. Petersburg (May 24, 2008)

Immanuel Wallerstein and others looked at this world and saw some World Systems Theory, noticing that the world as a whole has an economic system dominated by a rich metropolitan centre (as in USA and Europe) that benefits from unequal material exchange with a more extensive and poorer periphery (much of Africa, Asia and Latin America).

Wallerstein’s early criticism of global capitalism and championship of “anti-systemic movements” have recently made him an éminence grise with the anti-globalization movement within and outside of the academic community, along with Noam Chomsky and Pierre Bourdieu. He anticipated the growing importance of the North-South divide at a time when the main world conflict was the Cold War. For him the United States is a ‘hegemon in decline’ in a world where virtually every area has been incorporated into the capitalist world-economy, where natural resources, land, labour, and human relationships are gradually being stripped of their “intrinsic” value and turned into commodities in a market which dictates their exchange value.

Association with extensive body of radical progressive thinking

The pope writes

The theory, along with ideas like ecological debt, is closely associated with an extensive body of radical progressive thinking that has developed synergistically also with liberation theology. This body of thought has been especially vibrant in Latin America. It is extensively and knowledgeably referred to, both explicitly and implicitly, throughout the encyclical, and particularly in the passages leading up to the cited statement. {Laudato Si’: on a glimpse of theory masked in translation}

How do we want to think? How do we want to place ourselves in the thinking community?
Where do we want to put our priorities. How many are convinced that the priorities should not only be about ourselves?

Certainly in the newer generation of young people there are those who believe we need to make ourselves our number one.

Your health, your body, your mind. Those must be first, because if you’re not happy with you, how can you be happy with others? {Priorities}

Such people are right in thinking they have to come at ease with themselves first. But when they are looking at themselves in the mirror and thinking

“God, I really need to change my habits” {Priorities}

We can only hope they do not forget to change their habits and we only can hope by thinking about themselves they also shall think about the others. It is wrong to think they cannot change their habits because they forget to put  their ‘self‘ first. They should know that it is essential also to think about what is better for others. What went wrong in our society is that too many put all their focus on their self and placed themselves before everything else.

Believe in self and in future for the self and others

People do have to place themselves in their own environment, believe in themselves and trust themselves in such a way that they not have to rely all the time on others.

It is just our attitude to others, trying to help them better themselves to make their life easier to make them smile or just make sure they know they are not alone, is what makes us to be ‘humans‘. But by allowing ourselves to be carried away by consumerism and capitalism we have put our humanity and humanism often aside.

Man has to change his perception on the terms that has seen sprawled and depicted in this very sly, capitalist, greedy world, where emotions are pushed away and with involvement are being considered weaknesses. Most people prefer to stay in their comfort-zone and do not want to let others know what they really think or do not want to become involved in matters concerning the way we live. they perhaps do know that when people help in their own little ways they can help to make this world a beautiful place.

As humans, we’re influenced by society and those around us and I sometimes feel that we’re programmed to look for the negative in life. {The powers of positive thinking}

Being influenced by society we also may not forget we ourselves also can influence society. And there is where comes in our responsibility. We do have the moral responsibility to ourselves and to those around us, to protect ourselves but also to protect others.

Helping ourselves and others

Reading Francis in ‘Little things matter‘ sums up how we can help ourselves and others by

to act to fight these multiple challenges:

  • Use less heating (and air)

  • Wear warmer clothes (or cooler)

  • Avoiding the use of paper and plastic

  • Reducing water consumption

  • Separating refuse

  • Cooking only what can reasonably be consumed

  • Showing care for other living beings

  • Using public transport or car-pooling

  • Planting trees

  • Turning off unnecessary lights

  • Keep things clean

  • Ask without demanding

  • Say thank you

  • Don’t be greedy

  • Ask forgiveness

Increasing sensibility

Following a period of irrational confidence in progress and human abilities, some sectors of society are now adopting a more critical approach. We see increasing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet. {“Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”}

then the pope reviews those questions which are troubling us today and which we can no longer sweep under the carpet.

Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. {“Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home (official English-language text of encyclical)”}

***

* Made thankfully use of the quotes gathered by rodgericketts: Quotes, Thoughts, Reflections on Non-dualism, evolution, God, ecology, War and more…

+

Preceding articles:

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #2

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3

Vatican against Opponents of immigration

Mayors from all over the world at the Vatican to talk about climate change

Climate change guilty of doing too little

Postponing once more

Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed

Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation

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Additional reading:

  1. Creation Creator and Creation
  2. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people
  6. Gone astray, away from God
  7. Every creature is a divine word because it proclaims God.
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  10. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  11. Whom can we trust to govern us?
  12. Compromise and accommodation
  13. Greed more common than generosity
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  15. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  16. Profitable disasters
  17. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  18. Self inflicted misery #2 Weakness of human race
  19. Paus waarschuwt dat de mens en milieu met elkaar verbonden zijn

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Furhter interesting reading:

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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13 Responses to Time to consider how to care for our common home

  1. Pingback: Shared inheritance plus integral and integrating vision | Marcus Ampe's Space

  2. I would like to ask you to reread my blog because what you inserted here from mine, you’re not seeming to get my message. I am not saying we need to put ourselves ALL the time, I’m saying we need to focus on our HEALTH, our BODIES, and our MINDS. Not our needs, so I ask that you reread my blog before you go and quote me and pick and choose what you want to use to make your point well and slander my word.

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