Since a couple of decades I notice a growing amount of people around me experiencing and speaking of ‘crisis’. Although the cause of it has been given different names, from terrorism to economic crash to Covid-19, I believe that essentially we can trace it all back to a spiritual crisis. It is a split between Nature and men, that is more prominent then ever before.
In our modern-day Western culture something happened, and is happening, possibly for the very first time in human history: we are throwing over board religion and spirituality entirely. Words like ‘devotion’ or ‘sacredness’ might feel weird to express for some, as they are ridiculed and often proven to be useless by the mainstream scientific community and our very own scientific mind. Rational thinking is dominating the scene and is cutting off the creative, intuitive side within ourselves. This is causing a huge split in the personalities of many. Amazingly intelligent scientists are often found to be completely cut-off from the feeling of love or empathy, and on the other hand we’re finding God-gifted artists on the edge of society struggling to pay their rent. Where rationalism and intuition find each other, that is spirituality. Only then union can be experienced. Only then can we grow out of the spiritual crisis we are currently experiencing in our Western culture.
Everything is already spiritual. All life is full of energy – spirited. This is easily experienced when we find ourself in a piece of untouched nature. The trees, the flowers, the wild animals - they all emit a magical energy we would easily call ‘sacred’. If we truly listen to the song of a bird, the wind in the trees or the silence behind it all, we witness the sacred harmony that connects all of life together. When I once asked my mom as a young kid “What is God?” she answered: “God is in the forest, it is Nature.” I always remembered that, and now notice how easy it is indeed to experience the mystery that is God when we are listening to Nature. Spirituality starts here, from Mother Nature.
A spiritual crisis for that matter means that there is a split between Nature and men (or the human ego). It is not a split in the real sense though, because we are inseparable from Nature. We are born out of it and will return to it. Our body and all of the technologies it may be able to create are without exception made from the components of the Earth, with different proportions and compositions.
It is the human mind that creates an imaginary split. There is a deep rooted common belief that Nature is dangerous and should be dominated by men in order to maintain order, health and safety. Clearly, with this belief the distinction between Nature and men is being made. One separates himself from the other and, although it is only happening in the imaginary mind, with this split the foundation of the spiritual crisis is formed.
The result of this split – the spiritual crisis - is being witnessed on a large scale: the earth is ravaged and devastated. Mother Nature is merely reflecting our collective internal state indeed. The result of this split in the internal landscape is essentially a state of ‘fear’. It is fear that underlies the crisis. It is fear that drives a growing number of people to a burn-out, psychological imbalance or even suicide.
As separation is going hand in hand with fear, connection is going hand in hand with love. In order to transcend any type of crisis we are facing and will be facing in the upcoming time, we need to restore our connection to Nature. We need to restore our connection to the Sacred. Yes, we could go literally out to breath the forest or mountain air, or we could be taking action to protect what is still left from Her. But Nature is also found inside of us. We become aware of it once we stop doing, and simply ‘listen’. She might speak to you in dreams. She might show Herself as God or Goddess. She might shine through you as a presence. She might flow through you as joy, happiness and bliss. She might rage through you as anger, fear or sadness too. She might become He, or He and She united.
She/He might guide you to meet people that feel this connection as well. Nurturing the connection with those people is of great importance these days. The wise Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who passed away last week, stated: “The upcoming Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha will take the form of a community. A community that practices understanding, love and kindness. A community that practices mindful living. That may be the most important thing for the continuation of our planet.”
The medicine for the spiritual crisis we are facing, both on the personal and collective scale, I believe is ‘connection’. It is by connecting that we remember ‘all life is sacred’. Remember: all life is sacred. Let us treat it accordingly.
Written by Surya