The talk outlined the evidence which suggests the ecological problems that will come with global warming. I explained some global examples of:
1. Increases in temperature leading to droughts, floods and an increased frequency of severe weather events.
2. Changing Climate Belts leading to species loss and food shortages.
3. Glaciers and Ice sheets melting and thermal expansion of the oceans leading to rise of sea levels and loss of agricultural lands and cities.
There was an outline of the possible spiritual causes of climate change with quotes and teachings to back them up. These were;
1. Greed and Materialism As A Result of Forgetting Spiritual Teachings
Christian Teachings We Could Follow
“Sell everything and give to the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven.”
“Whosoever loves money is never satisfied with his income.”
“What profiteth a man to gain the world but lose his soul.”
“The Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
Jewish Teachings We Could Follow
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife, house or other possessions.”
“You Shall have no other Gods but me.”
Teachings of Islam We Could Follow
Mohammad gave the example of the “perfect man” one who lived frugally and gave away his wealth to the poor.
Sharia law in the Koran forbids the making of profit out of lending money.
Teachings of Buddhism We Could Follow
The Buddha taught a “middle way” between the extremes of wealth and poverty.
“Not to do any evil,cultivate good, to purify one’s mind this is the teachings of the Buddhas.”
“End greed hatred and delusion.”
Teachings of Hinduism We Could Follow
“Earth belongs to all not to any individual.”
The Hindu ideal is the sannyasin or holy man who lives very frugally and simply.
Teachings of Sikhism We Could Follow
“Riches cannot be gathered without sin and evil means.”
The 10 gurus of the Sikhs lived very simply and emphasised equality.
Teachings of Taoism We Could Follow
“When you know nature is part of yourself you will act in harmony.”
Taoism emphasised the life of the sage who lived a simple and frugal life.
Teachings of Jainism We Could Follow
Jains idealise the Jain monks and nuns who can only own what they can carry with them.
Jainism teaches that you should only own what is really needed and give the excess to the poor.
2. Forgetting The Need for Balance
Teachings of Islam We Could Remember
“He set the balance of everything that ye may not upset the balance.”
Teachings of Hinduism We Could Remember
“God has made the balance of nature perfect.”
“The world is a living whole interconnectedness of cosmic harmony.”
Teachings of Shamanism We Could Remember
Hopi Indians say “the whole universe is enhanced with the same breath.”
Teachings of Taoism We Could Remember
To Taoists the Tao is in perfect balance and the natural order should not be interfered with.
3. Ignoring Karma or Cause and Effect
Christian Teachings We Could Learn From
“Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”
Sikh Teachings We Could Learn From
“As he sows so does he reap.”
Islamic Teachings We Could Learn From
“Act in your life as though you are living forever.”
Buddhist Teachings We Could Learn From
“If one should speak or act with mind defiled suffering will follow just as a wheel follows the hoof of a drawing ox.”
Hindu Teachings We Could Learn From
“There is nothing mightier in the world than karma :Karma tramples down all powers as an elephant tramples down lotuses.”
I then suggested some spiritual solutions to these problems
“Love thy neighbour as thyself.”— Christianity
“Let everyone have boundless love for all beings.”- Buddhism
“A True Believer is one who does not hurt others with his thoughts, words or actions.
“Let the wise man work unselfishly for the good of all the world.” --Hindusim
“Non violence is the highest religious duty.”—Jainism
“Seek simplicity, grasp the essential.”—Taoism
These are the values put forward by members attending the workshop which if adopted would deal with climate change.
HARMONY……..being centred , being positively creative.
INTEGRITY CONSISTENCY….realising the personal is the political
ENLIGHTENED AWARENESS OPTIMISM….”know thyself” looking closely at oneself and ones actions.
HOPE…. Making choices rather than always justifying our position.
CONNECTEDNESS …. Being in our now existence. .open and accepting
EQUALITY…. Embracing communities at a wider level.
UNITY… realising we are one.
INNER WORK…being kind…purifying your own life.
NOWISM LIVE IN THE MOMENT ETERNAL PRESENT … being present
RECIPROCITY BE AWARE OF CYCLES OF NATURE …. Aligning to the cycles in nature through understanding
SELFLESS LOVE… dharma giving and receiving.. agape giving love but not expecting it back.
HUMBLENESS .. not to succumb to arrogance.
GRASP THE ESSENTIAL.. giving up addictions and obsessions .
EXPERIENCING NATURE .. finding spirituality in nature.
NON JUDGEMENTAL … be aware of the ego.
HAVE FIRM INTENTION… be sincere in what you do.
DEVELOP INTER-FAITH UNDERSTANDING.. join and form inter-faith networks
Hope this is useful
Chris Philpott 10.9.06