The Original Great Mother Tradition
Mother Worship

MatriTalks 25

SANCTIFYING NATURE

Questions & Answers
with
Han Marie Stiekema Sermes

Climate fears on sharp CO2 rise (BBC October 11, 2004)

An unexplained rise in levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere has raised fears global warming is speeding up, according to reports.
In recent decades CO2 rose on average 1.5 parts per million (ppm) a year but went up by over 2ppm in 2002 and 2003.

'Catastrophic predicament'
Another scientist, Dr Piers Forster of the University of Reading, told the paper any change in the rate of CO2 increase would be "very significant." "It will be of enormous concern, because it will imply that all our global warming predictions for the next 100 years or so will have to be redone. "If the higher rate of increase continues, things will get very much worse. It will make our predicament even more catastrophic."

Q.  The past 30 years or so, there has been a growing concern for the environment. However, this has included almost exclusively actions for "saving the earth". What is the difference with "sanctifying nature?"

A. Environmental concern is limited to taking cosmetic actions only. Only those measures are taken, that do not harm economic interests. An awful lot of money is invested in making people believe, that our situation is improving. The hard facts speak different language though: e.g. the melting ice at the poles, the greenhouse effect, the disappearance of biodiversity and the destruction of the rainforests. Increasingly, scientists are concerned about a major environmental disaster. The reason, that we are putting emphasis on the spiritual aspect thus doesn't mean, that we are not convinced of the necessity of environmental action, on the contrary.

Q. But in the mean time the trees will continue to die....

A. Everybody has a different mission here on earth. Our commitment is to start at the beginning, hoping for fundamental change, rather than adjustment to a situation that is suicidal.

A. First laying the foundation for A New (Wo)Man and subsequently drawing concentric circles, as has been laid down in your Transformation Proclamation, is that what you mean?

A. Well, you see, everything depends on people, who manage to develop a new elan. The current system is burn-out, it cannot provide such a renewal anymore. Hence, you first should go back to the Source. That is the significance of the Return of the Mother. She is the Source of "death and rebirth". First, leaders have to renew themselves as a pre-requisite to encouraging others to do the same. Only then a truly new "fire" can be generated.

Q. Going back to the beginning, what do you mean by that?

A. The crucial issue is the ability to feeling connected to your surroundings. The current indifference is due to the fact, that people are cut off from reality. How can you feel any concern for something, to which you are not related? This being dulled has a very long history. That's why I want to go back to the roots, in order to make clear, where and how our alienation originated.

Q.  Do you really feel, that a historic review will reveal the underlying pattern of our spiritual illness?

A. Let me give the following summary. The pre-Christian era was characterized by nature religion, something Christianity called "paganism". In this ancient religion the interconnectedness of life was sacred, finding its expression in sacredness of trees, springs, groves, mountains, rivers and rocks. Crucial to the continuation of the world was the combination of sanctity of nature, fertility, sexuality and women. Even in the first centuries ACE, fertility goddesses were still widely revered.

Q. You mean, that paganism wasn't backward at all, considering the latest findings of the interdependency of everything alive, something we can still observe in a religion like Shinto?

A. That is correct. In order to fully understand what happened, it is necessary to look at the beginnings of Christianity. This new faith was confronted by the fact, that in order to be successful, it had to replace "paganism". And that is exactly what they did. The former deliberately and purposely destroyed e.g. "adapted" all main features of the old belief. Because this belief was nature-oriented, all ties with nature had to be cut off, in particular sacred objects in nature, trees, wells etc.*, furthermore fertility and everything related to it, sexuality and last but not least women. The destruction of nature and "paganism" was in fact the first crusade, to be followed by many others, as you know.

* Even nowadays signs of this are visible, f.i. the crucifixes on many characteristic nature phenomena, like rocks and mountains.

Q. The Christians must have had some kind of justification for it. Where did that come from?

A. Christianity has been the heir of several elements of dominating culture of those times: ascetic dualism, that came down all the way from India (Advaita/Vedanta) through Persia and the Essenes, Jewish patriarchy and classical Greek philosophy. They all were hostile toward nature. Christianity as the common denominator identified itself with "God, light and men", while condemning "Nature, darkness and women". This new philosophy was re-invented by Paul, who, entirely against the aims of Jesus, started to spread his own (dualistic!) version of Christianity. The underlying fear was the return to the "barbarism" of nature-worship, not realizing that it were themselves, who were committing barbaric crimes against their predecessors. Eventually, belief in Christ was imposed on the entire population, the former as the only one, through whom one could become redeemed. Even in the 13th century Ambrosius of Milan could declare: "if you find a blossom in spring, tread on it in favor of God".   

Q. So, these are the roots of the problem?

A. Christianity is responsible for the de-sacralization of nature, as the first step to the "secularization" of today. Centuries' long oppression and terror finally brought the people on their knees. Because they were cut off from the Source, they didn't have any other choice, but to fall back on the ego, having, greed and accumulation. The end of the Middle Ages - in which a last attempt was made to rescue the old tradition - coincides with the rise of early capitalism.

Q. Centuries have passed by with further deterioration. How for God's sake this damage can ever be repaired?

A. Christianity deprived us from our roots: "Heaven", which means our direct contact with the Divine; "earth", our being rooted in nature and the "community" as a self-governing body. This insight is crucial. At least we have a proper examination, have verified the cause and even have a diagnosis. Knowing the origination, a corresponding therapy is within reach. It consists of "Restoring the unity with Heaven, earth and the (new) community"*, which as you know is one of my main principles.

* See also "Community First!"

Q. Would that be sufficient to overcoming personal alienation from nature as a pre-requisite to further healing of the environment?      

A. We will only be able to heal nature, if we first become a part of it. You may have an intellectual relationship with nature, studying all kinds of natural phenomena, realizing that "interconnectedness" is really where it is all about, that's fine. Even better is to establish emotional contact with it e.g. you really love the trees, the plants, the animals and the rocks, feeling really concerned about the disintegration of nature, while establishing a conscious contact will bring you to ultimate unity. If flowers, the grass, the creek, the trees become part of your expanded awareness, then there will be spontaneous compassion for everything around you. "You then love the trees as parts of yourself". Expanding "your" inner Space to nature is to sanctify it. It is an act of compassion through which sacredness of the earth can be restored.

Q. What exactly is the relationship between Consciousness - the Divine - and nature?

A- One crucial characteristic of God-realization is that the visible world - the universe - proves to be the content of Eternal Space. The latter - as the Light Body of the Mother - is all-inclusive. During one of my Great Experiences I was walking in nature. The intensity of contact with everything around me was indiscribable. Everything was embedded in the Divine. Touching a leaf or a branch was a sacred act. Everything was breathing supernatural beauty. A spontaneous utterence came up: "Body of God". That was (is) indeed how I experienced it: the entire universe as the "Body of God". 

Q. Does this reveal some new light on the centuries' old discussion whether "nature is God" (pantheism) or "nature is in God" (panentheism)?

A. These kind of discussions are unfruitful (and eventually very tiring) if they are not based on authentic Realization. Only in the latter case you KNOW. Everything else is speculation. The universe as content of Eternal Space (the Divine, Light), which in its turn is the content of the Cosmic Womb (Vacuum, Great Mother), puts it all in the right perspective. We, our bodyminds - like everything else in the material world - are "in God", while our spirit - the Divine Spark within us - is part of God Itself, while both ultimately being the content of the Mother's Womb.    

Q. Please, go on.

A. Everything thus exists in absolute security. This is true for rocks, clouds, rivers, flowers, trees, animals and humans. The "center" is unity, while the periphery is diverse. Unity gives birth to diversity, while diversity continuously returns to its Original Source. Unity thus embraces diversity. There appears a cosmic balance between the two.    

Q. Unity also embracing the poor, the deprived and the suppressed?

A. The Divine is the innermost core of creation. It is All-Embracing without exception. Therefore you don't have to be a Christian in order to believe, that the Ultimate is compassionate without measure, uninterruptedly "having mercy" for every creature. Once you recognize this, Divine presence will be revealed to you, making the unbearable light, subsequently changing course of events. Even in those cases in which no outward relief is offered - which sadly enough is often the case -  the inner Presence will be the decisive factor, whether one is going to perish or not. "God (the Mother) is with you" often proves to be the only refuge. That's why the Mother calls us to cooperate with Her. She needs us to bring additional relief. Being (re)connected with the whole of existence, our duty should be to work to the benefit of all, nothing excluded.

Q. Is this a belief or a reality?

A. From the first moment of opening up to the All-Embracing Mother She starts giving you a new foundation of life. Realizing this your aim of life will change drastically: from an ego-centric behavior toward cooperating with Her work of salvation. The latter consisting of bringing an optimal balance between death, preservation and renewal.

Q. What is the relationship to your initiative?

A. "Sanctifying Nature" is a worldwide action of those who want to show, that a totally different attitude toward nature is a must. These are people, who enthusiastically practice my "Heaven & Earth Exercises"*. They do these exercises in all kinds of places: on squares, in the streets, in parks, along river banks, public gardens and lanes etc. The first time we did these exercises was in 2002, whereby a group of people did them in the famous Vondelpark in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for many months, every morning. The difference with similar "exercises" is striking. While doing T'ai Chi, Qigong, Yoga entirely "for yourself", our exercises, on the contrary, serve the aim of "becoming part of the Whole again". To (once again) fitting in into nature, to the benefit of both, is upgrading our discipline to an act of service. The outcome includes inner balance, feeling (bodily) awareness, clarity of mind, optimal energy and above all: re-integration with nature while overflowing with gratitude, joy and compassion.

* Go back to Index, click "The Great Learning", click Step 1, click "The Integral Way", Step 3

Please, contact us for the details.

Be thankful to nature, of which you are a part.

Praise the Origin!

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Last revising: 02/07/10