Becoming Eco-mystics is an initiative of Green Exodus. The uniqueness of Green Exodus is that it is emerging within the paradigm shift that is the climate emergency. Green Exodus is paying attention to what is being opened, called forth, in us as humans, Christians, members of diverse faiths or no faith.
In the words of Thomas Berry, we need “to move from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.”
Karl Rahner has said that if the Church is going to survive, we need to become mystics — perhaps if humans are going to survive we need to become eco-mystics.
The goal of Green Exodus is to discover how we become eco-mystics, how we become the kind of humans who are present to the Earth in a mutually beneficial way.
This involves attention to:
- The climate emergency
- Theology: how has the Christian tradition contributed to the climate emergency and who are the modern prophets addressing this and offering refreshed/ re-earthed understandings?
- Cosmology: how can modern understandings of cosmology and evolution revitalize our thinking about and experiencing of God and the Earth, and grace us with a new identity?
- Practices: what are the practices that will enable us to become the kind of humans the Earth needs?
- What wisdom and challenges are our Indigenous neighbours offering to us in this transition?
- Community: the exodus of the Israelites was a community event, not private — Who is here? Who is showing up? Where is community being called into existence?
- What difference does all this make to faith institutions?
Three Dimensions of the Great Turning
Joanna Macy describes this paradigm shift as the Great Turning, and says there are three dimensions. The work of Green Exodus is leaving old ways of knowing and being part of the Earth and saying yes to new ways – shifting our perceptions of reality.
- Actions to stop and slow damage to the Earth
- Analysis of structural causes
- Profound shift in our perception of reality
“These structural alternatives cannot take root and survive without deeply ingrained values to sustain them. They must mirror what we want and how we relate to Earth and each other. They require, in other words, a profound shift in our perception of reality—and that shift is happening now, both as cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening. The insights and experiences that enable us to make this shift are accelerating, and they take many forms. They arise as grief for our world, giving the lie to old paradigm notions of rugged individualism, the essential separateness of the self. They arise as glad response to breakthroughs in scientific thought, as reductionism and materialism give way to evidence of a living universe. And they arise in the resurgence of wisdom traditions, reminding us again that our world is a sacred whole, worthy of adoration and service.”Center for Ecoliteracy