God created this beautiful planet to be of service to humankind – but to be used wisely. The urgent environmental issues and ecological crisis in the world is an indication of a deeper, spiritual crisis. A polluted world is the result of polluted thinking. Soil erosion is the result of an erosion of character, based on artificial, dead, and disjointed principles.
True religion involves holistic and eco-friendly thinking. Living holistically is doing God’s Will because we can look at everything in nature as our neighbor. Irresponsible actions are the result of not seeing God’s universe as an interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent whole. This diminished cognitive state causes ego-centeredness, artificial thinking, irresponsibility, and estrangement from God, which ultimately pushes the planet and its biotic community into a more decrepit situation.
This situation is not hopeless and every one of you has the power to make real positive changes – with God’s help. In fact, these changes will increase the vitality of an ecosystem that stretches from earth ALLTHE WAY TO HEAVEN!
That is why I wrote an eco-friendly, faith-based book with the quirky title Sermon From The Compost Pile. The reason why I chose a lowly compost pile as a great pulpit to deliver a spiritual message comes from scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. He discovered that everything in nature, including all its processes, had a psycho-spiritual equivalent in heaven.
Swedenborg called this lawful interconnection between spirit and nature the science of correspondences. He maintained that the laws of nature were derived from spiritual laws. For instance, nature’s endeavor to cleanse and purify itself is an analog of spiritual purification.
We should not be surprised by this dual dynamic of using natural things to describe psychological things—the qualities of a person’s heart and mind (which is one’s spirit). We instinctively describe people as having a “sunny” disposition or having a cloud over our their head. When we seek to know “which way the wind is blowing” we want to become cognizant of a change in people’s opinion.
Many gardeners feel close to God when they are working in the garden. They instinctively sense a strong connection between the soil and the soul. Swedenborg’s concept of correspondences adds scientific precision to this insight. For example, healthy soil promotes healthy plants in the same precise way that healthy thoughts emerge from a mental soil consisting of healthy life-values and principles.
The purpose of religion is to provide us with these healthy principles to ensure proper mental fertility in order to receive God’s seeds of faith. So, through correspondence, the steps for creating and maintaining healthy soil and plants on earth can teach us detailed spiritual lessons about how God attempts to prepare and cultivate the human heart and mind. Whereas a physical compost pile creates humus, a spiritual compost pile creates humility (humus and humility come from the same root word). My book Sermon From the Compost Pile goes into great detail concerning this universal topic.
Swedenborg’s notion of correspondences didn’t stop with nature. He went on to discover that the dynamics of correspondences was built into the narratives of the Lord’s Holy Word as well! Not only can nature and gardens offer us the opportunity to think about the physical world from a more loftier, spiritual point of view, this same dual dynamic is incorporated into the very structure of Scripture!
The Garden of Eden was a psyhcoscape.
That is, the Seven-Day Creation story in Genesis is a symbolic portrayal of the steps by which God re-creates a person’s inner landscape. The result of this epigenesis is that the human heart and mind reaches a true state of wisdom.
Religion is God’s sacred strategy to extend the biosphere into a non-physical spiritual realm through the further evolution and “greening” of the human heart and mind.
So why not make Earth Day a day for celebrating God’s complete ecological scheme with heavenly love!