By Juan Pablo Miracca (*)
What led us to this crisis? Some have accused, as responsible, the domination of Western culture based on a transcendent God, who is not part of this world (and would therefore despise it), and in an incomplete and biased interpretation of their religious books: " fill the earth and subdue it ”(Genesis 1:28). Others have pointed to the capitalist system as the cause of turning Nature into a commodity that must be taken over, exploited and sold. An economic system that grows by promoting unlimited possession in humans through envy and greed. The scientific-technical paradigm is an accomplice to overstretch and plunder the ecosystems serving the dominant economic interests.
It seems that the "progress" of man with regard to technology, and his advancement in other sciences, would not have served to live better. More than 2,000 million people in the world suffering from misery, depression as an epidemic of the 21st century and the climate crisis are just three points to be pointed out as proof of the insufficiency of our efforts ... Insufficiency or mistake in the chosen path?
The native peoples of America have a vision of unity with the earth. Without land, an aboriginal loses his identity. They are not above Nature, but are part of it. To the point of asking permission from a tree to extract its fruit.
Judaism has a very ancient tradition: Tikun Olam. This Hebrew expression means "to repair the world." Many Jews feel a sacred responsibility to heal and protect the Earth.
Many Muslims rescue the Islamic laws that speak to us about the protection of the earth, water, trees and all creation. Animals have rights. Allah reveals himself to them, converse with them. They are even channels to offer their teachings. Killing them for pleasure is prohibited. They deserve our care.
With respect to Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism, their philosophies have a basis of immanence that makes natural environments sacred. Its practitioners adapt their actions to the rhythms of nature.
Christianity, in general, began to take many verses from the Old and New Testaments reinterpreting them in the light of these times. Such is the case of Catholicism, who with the last papal encyclical "Laudato si´", showed a holistic biblical interpretation and proposed to us the "care of the common home", our planet. Let us remember that the patron of ecology is Saint Francis of Assisi, who considered brothers, not only animals, but also plants.
We could extend ourselves with more spiritual traditions, some very old and some more modern, several of which resurfaced with the movement known as New Age.
It is worth remembering that to be a spiritual person, practicing a religion is not a sine qua non condition. As the theologian Leonardo Boff points out, spirituality is a dimension that humans possess, such as intelligence or will. It is a matter of awakening and developing that dimension; to be sensitive to life and the wonders of existence.
One of the characteristics of man, which differentiates him from other living beings, is his conscience. Man is able to foresee the consequences of his actions, to reason them, to overcome his instinctual impulses. Great sages of humanity gave us different legacies of wisdom, of a particular knowledge to transform us into conscious beings, appreciate how much teaching is hidden in everything that surrounds us and access even deeper levels of reality.
In the aforementioned religions and / or philosophies, in their most spiritual aspects, the same is observed: the idea of conscience and love. An attitude of wonder and contemplation at the magnificence of the universe. There is a reverence for Life. That mystery that man, despite his "advances", has not been able to create from inert matter. A life that evolved from the first self-replicating molecules to the chimpanzee and from this to man. Being, the next step, a being with a greater degree of complexity and awareness. Perhaps our social and environmental problems occur when we stop this process, brutalizing the human being, transforming him into a machine to work and consume or, simply, into something disposable. In short, in a simple merchandise just like we do with Nature. Perhaps we should give more importance to wisdom over technique. To love about "success". To the Understanding on the momentum. In order, in this way, to arrive at something similar to what the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin called the Omega Point, the absolute confluence of evolution. Meeting point of all consciences and all the love of the universe.
If we follow a spiritual path we will not only save the planet and all its creatures, but we will bring fulfillment and happiness to ourselves and to our fellow human beings.
(*)Teacher. Degree in Political Science (UBA). Master-Trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and studies in Ecological Economics.