Green Guardianship - A Spiritual Solution
Kate E.A Berridge, who has been vegan for over forty years, explores her idea of 'Green Guardianship'
as the solution to the environmental issues we are all currently faced with in this inspiring article.
This is a completely unique time on Planet Earth.
Never before has one species been able to dominate and destroy all other life forms; altering the balance and fate
of the Earth.
Our materialistic, conventional “cultures” gradually forgot
that all life is interconnected on an unimaginably deep and unfathomably complex scale. We have forgotten that the Earth’s system of balance provides all Earthlings with the necessities of existence and the opportunity for personal development. Still, all over the Earth millions of unconventional people who love the Earth understand that we are a living part of Nature and actively work for the liberation of all life. All over the Earth people act as Guardians of the land they love. From humble local actions in saving a small green-space to the heroic sacrifices made by Rainforest tribes and “Big Game” Wardens. I believe we are forming a new spiritual relationship with ancient wisdom. When we stand up and act in defence of Nature, we reclaim our courage and spiritual honour.
Passionate love for animals and the Earth was the doorway into my own spiritual life. Like many children playing outdoors, I saw and felt wonderful things, treasuring my experiences as spiritual awakenings. A child of Earth and a child of Spirit, I felt fully alive when free outside, as animals do. Animals and children innocently sense a sacred energy emanating from Nature; as an adult, I now choose to link into this mystery and experience being a part of Nature. This is my heart’s bedrock; this is what makes sense. There are powerful emotions to feel when tuning in to other life-forms. There’s pain in genuine empathy for others. Most people avoid the guilt and pain that accompanies deeply empathising with the Earth and animals. Avoidance of pain and the use of scapegoats are unhealthy obsessions. The original scapegoats were abandoned in the desert to die, burdened with human sins. We are not encouraged to cherish empathy; so we pass our pain on to others, those who are not just like us. Our guilt and pain are there for a reason. They’re messages from our hearts and souls and need heeding. Pain and guilt point the way to a different way of being. That’s why we shove them down. If we stay open and really look at the landscape, the suffering animals and the dispirited people, we see something fundamental must change. I am talking about re-embracing the ancient belief that Nature is a sentient divine energy, a massive Mother/Father of us all. I believe the Earth is fully alive, has a conscious soul and must be treasured as a sacred being.
My understanding of spirituality is of compassionate wisdom, springing from the loving Soul or Spirit of each of us.
I understand the Soul as that part of everyone that originates from a spiritually pure and loving creative source.
A spiritually present person doesn’t expect life to be easy, pain-free or to fit around their egotistical desires. We know there is enough space, food and water for everyone alive today. But if we are going to share, we humans will have to stop worshipping fear. We’ll have to grow up. We may even become addicted to love and that’s too unfamiliar to imagine. We can imagine it, though. We can manifest love in our intentions, prayers, visualisations, words and actions and see it grow. I embrace all life as family, recognising animals as my spiritual equals The pure concept of animals as our spiritual equals is revolutionary and could eventually heal the crisis we have made. As herbivores adapted to omnivorous diets, we have the power to choose how we get our nutrition. Veganism is no longer seen as a fad and health experts are clearly advocating a “plant-based diet”.
We in the west have mostly lost our ancestors’ connection
to the Earth, kinship with other life-forms and a belief in the existence of soul in all living things. As an energy worker,
I’m very concerned with the spiritual consequences of our presence on Earth. We forgot all life is sacred and interconnected on an unfathomably complex scale.
We have forgotten the Earth’s system of balance provides all Earthlings with the necessities of existence and opportunities for personal fulfilment. Our power-over the Earth, other humans and animals has caused this global crisis. What we need to reclaim is the concept of power from within. This power comes from our Souls and hearts. We urgently need to reconnect with our noblest aspects and learn to respect and defend all life. Only this shift in consciousness can save the land, animals and ourselves from the suffering we create.
We are in an age of life threatening crisis on a horrific scale, doing our best to ignore the endangered elephant in the room. It is serious madness to create hell on Earth for our own species. But we have gone even further by waging war on all living beings on this living Planet. We’re spoiling the Earth, we’re causing mass extinction of animals, homelessness and death in less privileged peoples and indigenous communities. We bring pain and death to animals of all species; deliberately, or by ruining their homelands.
All the creatures we abuse are sensitive beings with
souls and feel physical, emotional and mental pain. We need to accept we are just one life form in a miraculous abundance of life; all made of the same soul-material, from the same source. Many of the dominant human religious interpretations of the divine are of a vengeful god disconnected from Nature. The Earth and Nature are conventionally seen as NOT divine. This model of a distant creator abhorring Nature as inferior separates us from the Earth, animals and our truly loving selves.
Veneration of the Earth existed for thousands of years by Nature-worshipping cultures in all continents and still endures today. Over the ages the concept of our own loving spiritual potential has been lost to us. This happened gradually when we abandoned the ancient worship of the Earth as a generous divine Mother. The Sun was adored as an honourable divine Father. We regarded all life-forms as family springing from and manifesting these primal divine energies. Soul was in everything and everyone.
These life affirming concepts are now regarded as “Primitive and backward.” Original people still hold on to their spiritual heritages in many homelands and live so much more lightly on the land. Their philosophies hold profound wisdom which we disregard as too spiritual. In western spirituality, respect or empathy for animals’ souls is rare. If we believe in our souls, our spirituality means little when we ignore the spirituality of other life-forms.
Abandoning our ancestral divine Mother energy had cataclysmic consequences for the Earth, animals and
Nature -worshipping peoples. Dominated by brutalised male energy, we’ve forgotten the protective male warrior-sage and Father, once perceived in loving balance with the life-giving Mother. His real beauty has been distorted and lost to us. We deny the feminine divine exists and abuse female energy in all her forms. We only have to consider the way we treat dairy cows to see how Motherhood is regarded.
We’re not behaving as fully conscious, responsible adults. We gorge ourselves on dead bodies, drinking the milk of ill, enslaved mothers, grieving for their babies kidnapped at birth. Eating animals involves consuming the energies of terror, violence and death. Consuming animals stupefies us with poisonous chemicals fed to animals and the pain-chemicals produced in their death-agonies.
Our so-called developed culture does not even recognise that we have souls and yet tells us we are superior to animals and that they and the Earth are ours to abuse. This arrogance leads to a denial of our own spiritual potential as positive beings with full consciousness. To be the equals of animals we will have to learn humility and abandon our assumed superiority. Placing ourselves above the Earth and animals damages our species’ evolution and prevents the spiritual evolution of other beings.
When animals’ survival is threatened, life span cut or when they are denied the teaching of older animals, as with all farmed beings; animals do not have the opportunity to develop as their souls’ desire. You may have witnessed the unfolding development of a rescued animal, once survival anxiety has been lifted. They emanate love.
We are preventing other species’ from fully developing their loving natures because we are not developing our own amazing capacity to love. What we all desperately need is a revolution of love. Let’s realise we are swimming in an ocean of pain from suffering animals and people, pain from the land and the agony of our own negative thought-forms. When we stifle our pain, we lower our sensitivity and the consciousness of all inter-linked beings. We also commit violence on our children when we feed animals to them and lie about the lives and deaths of animals.
The sentient Earth is being suppressed in fulfilment by human thoughts and deeds; accelerating her re-balancing. This change is visibly happening and the scientific information is readily available to us. Mass animal abuse is manifestly affecting the Earth’s ecosystems and the diminishing biodiversity we are witnessing is irreversible.
We are forcing the Earth into a near-death experience where she is losing so many of her creatures; creatures who have an integral part to play in the balance of life far beyond our limited understanding.
We will know what unique part they held in the web of life when they are gone.
We can’t plead ignorance. I am just a working class person, from a farming and military family and this crisis has been discussed all my adult life. A deep connection with Nature can heal the loneliness and meaninglessness of our lives. Seeing Nature as divine takes us out of our human-centred isolation. All we have to do is know our place as part of the whole family of life on Earth. All we have to do is evolve in a harmonious way and allow other animals to evolve.
We can change and be proud to facilitate the evolution of other animals as well as our own. We are very powerful and we can marry the wisdom of our Earth-loving ancestors with modern science and make a massive shift. Remember the magic of seeing a tree, a river, a fox through the eyes of our inner child, before we were taught not to feel, care and love so much. I believe that humans’ natural role is to manifest the creative forces we came from. I believe our natural function is to share love with other animals; as equals with different powers. Animals are our spiritual teachers in many ways. They are a part of Nature, feel deeply, have extra-sensory perception and live in the now (something so many human spiritual traditions seek.) The love that animals share is a lesson in love. Watch a group of cows in a field when one of them is sick. The cows stand by and send their love telepathically; they nurture them and give healing. They can’t determine their fate, as we can and yet they know what love is. Unconditional Love is all that can save the Earthlings now.
The ecologically perfect solution for we spiritually, mentally and emotionally lost humans is to fall in love with the Earth and other beings, tuck in to the web of life. From there we can re-claim our right place as the honourable Green Guardians of the Earth.
May we humans embrace the light of love in our souls.
May we find ways of living rooted in compassion
for all beings.
May all those who think they own animals, each other
and the sacred Earth open their hearts, minds and imaginations and realise we are all one family.
May we be part of the healing energy that flows
May we flower in loving kindness as our own souls’ desire.
May we be the Green Guardians of all life and the precious Earth.
Kate E.A Berridge has been a passionate vegan since 1975.
She is an Earthall® spiritual healer, animal whisperer and teacher of healing and meditation. Kate is a writer with published works featured in the Hectic Vegan, Green Spirit and Kindred Spirit.
Kate also give talks on green spirituality, veganism and healing, including at 'Vegan Events UK'.
For more info see her website: www.celticspiritualhealing.com
* this article has also been published in 'The Hectic Vegan'