‘Western societies tend to see nature and humanity as separate.
But are there other ways of relating to the natural world?’
'Heaven is my father and earth is my mother,
and I, a small child, find myself placed intimately between them.
What fills the universe I regard as my body;
what directs the universe I regard as my nature.
All people are my brothers and sisters; all things are my companions.’- Zhang Zai (1020–1077)
‘The Earth is not only pieces of dust from which we were born. The Earth is history. The Earth is Mother. The Earth is Eternal Father. That is why we are all brothers and sisters: the humans, the animals and things. The Earth is dignity. The Earth is the Spirit of our people and our ancestors. The Earth is Life itself from the indigenous point of view. The Earth is history.’-Berito Cobaria: Spiritual Leader of the U’wa tribe Colombia
The above quote, according to Dr. Eleni Dimou* of The Open University, ‘provides the essence of how many indigenous cultures around the world have viewed the relationship of humans with the Earth: as one of coexistence, connection and complementarity. Mother Earth is a living spirit to which humans are only one part of its interconnected whole. That is why for many of these civilisations the Western binary distinction between humans and nature makes no sense, as everything is interconnected. Even though indigenous knowledges have been actively suppressed, silenced, discredited and almost erased in some cases from colonial and neo-colonial power relations over the past centuries’ and the subsequent dominance of Western frameworks of knowledge; in recent years some positive developments of resurfacing indigenous knowledges have been taking place. Bolivia and Ecuador for example have passed into their constitution laws which grant all nature equal rights to humans. Perhaps then a more global paradigm shift that draws in indigenous ‘nature wisdom’ is needed if we are to reverse the destructive consequences of our practices over the past centuries.’
Celebrating Mother Nature. Photo: Via flickr
Is it time to reassess our relationship with nature? | BBC Ideas: Watch the Video HERE
*Dr. Eleni Dimou, The Open University
The Essence of the GCGI: Celebrating, Valuing, Nourishing and Nurturing our Mother Nature
Mother Earth Hear Our Prayers
‘Mother Earth hear your child,
As I sit here on your lap of grass, I listen to the echoes of your voice In my brother, the Wind, As he blows from all corners and directions. The soft and gentle raindrops are the Tears you cry for your children Teach me the Lessons you offer: To nurture my children, as you nurture yours, To learn the Lessons of the Four Kingdoms, that make up this World of Physical Things, and To Learn to Walk the Path chosen so long ago. Mother Earth, hear your child, Be a bond between the Worlds of Earth and Spirit. Let the Winds echo the Knowledge of the Grandfathers. Who await, unseen, yet visible if I only turn my eyes to their World. Let me hear their Voices, in the Winds that Blow to the East.
From the East: I seek the Lessons of Childhood: To see with the trusting innocence of a small one, The Lessons of Spirit, Given in Love by our Creator.
From the South: to Learn the Ways of Questioning: The Fire and Independence of adolescence, The Truths, and how they help us Grow along this Path.
From the West: where the Grandfathers teach us Acceptance of Responsibility That come during the years of Marriage and Family. That my own children grow Strong, and True.
From the North: where the Elders, who by their long lives Have learned and stored Wisdom and Knowledge. And Learned to Walk in Balance and Harmony with our Mother, the Earth.
Mother Earth, hear your child. Hold my hand as I Walk my Path in this World. Guide me to the Lessons I seek, bring me closer to Our Creator, Until I return to the Western Direction, to once again Enter the World of Spirit, Where the Sacred Fire Awaits, and I rejoin the Council of the Elders, In the Presence of the One Who-Created-All.'-Mother Earth Prayer by KiiskeeN'tum,Native American Prayers
‘Earth Is A Mother Who Never Dies’- A saying from the Diné (or Navajo) people
‘In all my academic life, spanning over four decades, I have been dismayed, frustrated and overwhelmed with pain to notice that our education model has not embraced the beauty and the wisdom of our mother nature and our sacred earth, corporating them into the teaching curriculum.
This, to my mind, has seriously deprived the students, our future leaders, or indeed, our current leaders, to get a wholesome, values-led education, and thus, has prevented them, to vision and implement policies to heal our world, to better our lives.’- Kamran Mofid
"You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin.
"Teach your children what we have taught our children -- that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
"This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
"Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself ..."-- Chief Seattle
Honouring My Spirit Helpers by Christi Belcourt, in the Collection of the Seventh Generation Midwives (Toronto)
‘To transform our societies, our ways of living and working, to be in greater harmony with Nature, we need to listen to and learn from those who have maintained this harmony, often despite centuries of prejudice and repression...Our Solutions are in Nature. No one embodies this fact more than Indigenous peoples and local communities, who, through their deep connections with their territories, their world-views and ways of life, show us how to nurture life on Earth.’- Hannibal and The Gaia Team
The Wisdom of Mother Nature belongs to all Life.
Let be guided and inspired by Her and Save the Web of Life
'Be like the sun for grace and mercy.
Be like the night to cover others’ faults.
Be like running water for generosity.
Be like death for rage and anger.
Be like the Earth for modesty.
Appear as you are.
Be as you appear.'- Rumi
A Pick from our GCGI archive
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Tarn Reflection, Mt Taranaki/Egmont, Egmont National Park, NZ.-Dave Young, Creative Commons