Religion, Ecology, and the Self

jim (@jvie) 10 years, 3 months ago

We all read that speed reading article right?

Why not try it out…

This semester at Indiana University I took a course called Religion, Ecology, and the Self, which proved to be probably my favorite course in my two years here. My teacher was a wise, older man who had lived in India, studied religion, and was thoroughly trained in permaculture (he’s actually teaching a 2-week summer course here… *fck tuition).

We learned about deep ecology (arne naess), self-realization, spirituality, religion (as the problem [anthropocentrism] and solution [the earth==body of god]), among many other ideas.

My favorite reading was our intro book to the class: Balance Point by Joseph Jenkins. The book is about a man who is called upon to fulfill a quest of his recently deceiced aunt. It calls upon many different issues that we face today (resources, spirituality, earth as a sick organism, religion vs. spirituality, etc, etc), but the cool part is is that it is written as an enjoyable story instead of your typical textbook. He even visits a shaman in the Amazon and ingests his ‘plant helpers’ and has an awesome experience of oneness with everything.

Heres a link to the free e-book:

Pass it on :)

We also read:
The Deep Ecology Movement
The Body of God
Green Rage
Thinking Like a Mountain
(I may post the papers that I wrote after correcting errors)

Please share your knowledge on the topics, similar books/vids/media, etc!

There’s a ton of awesome quotes that I’d like to compile… here’s a couple:

“Imagine that you’re walking on a tightrope, if you fall off one side, you fall into the pit of self-worship. If you fall off the other, you fall into the pit of selflessness. If you are balanced, you remain on the wire, neither worshipping yourself, nor denying your self-worth. That is spiritual balance, a balance between you and the rest of existence (195).”

“I just did. I wasn’t here anymore,” I tried to explain.
“Well, maybe physically I was here; you probably would
have seen my body sitting here if you looked. I don’t know.
But my sense of self disappeared. I just can’t explain it. I
went to the same place the woman did. A place where
everything is one thing, where there was no separation
between my consciousness and everything surrounding me.
I didn’t just see the trees around me, I was the trees. I didn’t
hear a sound, I was that sound (219).”

“Annie, you must understand that spirituality is not
religion,” replied Eduardo. “Spirituality is everything. It is
our connection to the Totality. I am simply saying that religion
is not necessarily spirituality. A person can be very
religious and not spiritual at all. They can have no awareness
of their connection to the greater being — the Earth
mother. They can engage in all sorts of religious rituals and
practices, and cling to all sorts of religious beliefs, yet have
no ethical connection to the real world. Do you understand (223)?”

“And people will believe almost anything,” Eduardo
continued. “But a spiritual person can participate in a religion
without actually believing the myths. They are aware
that the theological stories are only myths (223).”

May 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm
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