A new way to see how everything is integrated with the whole
Everything is closely related; thus, current problems demand that we take a global look at all dimensions of creation. Ecology is the science that studies the relationships between living organisms and the environment in which they flourish chronicles our lives. Therefore, there is a need to limit human exploration of nature so that, in the name of the common good, it is not spoiled. If everyone had a sense of this form of community, the world would be a better place for all of us.
As the new cosmology informs us, we are not separate beings each living by itself. We are the community of people, dependent on each other, who seek ways and means to lead a healthy life. This interdependence teaches that we have a single world, a common home. Even though humans have made huge advances in technological advancement, we seem unable to develop some form of international management to solve our serious environmental difficulties.
Failure to understand the fundamental values essential to human survival quite naturally leads to a lack of respect for nature. Unbridled monetary interests seduce the more powerful to act in what they perceive as their own good, at the expense of the common good. Clandestine deforestation and noxious gases that pollute the environment are just two environmental crises ignored by those who exploit natural resources.
Some time ago, the American Museum of Natural History consulted a number of biologists, asking if they believed we are in the midst of a period of mass extinction -- and seventy percent of them said that yes, indeed, we are. The Universe is already doing its part to stop the disasters, but we must do ours. And we will do that by awakening people to a new cosmological consciousness, so that we can adjust our conduct to the logic of the universe.
We must develop a new conscience informed by a new cosmology to assume our collective responsibility to protect our common home, and the safeguard of our civilization. Adjusting our behavior to the logic of the Universe means responding to the demands of what is being called the cosmological principle. This principle is what structures the expansion and self-creation of the universe with all lviing beings and inert things. It manifests itself by these characteristics - Differentiation/Complexification and Interdependence/Communion.
The more the universe expands, the more complex it becomes, and the more it is internalized and subjective. Each being has its own way of relating and creating its history, and the more it gains interiority and subjectivity, the more all beings come into communion with each other and reinforce their interdependence within the framework of belonging to a great whole.
Liberation theologians, through forty years of reflection, have been exploring the economic, social, anthropological and spiritual dimensions of liberation as a response to specific forms of oppression in the context of the generalized ecological crisis -- and they have been incorporating this cosmological vision. In terms of the cosmological principle, personal liberation means liberating oneself from the bonds of a unitary self and to feel in communion with the whole universe. This is the phenomenon that Buddhists call “Enlightenment”; the experience of non-duality that St. Francis lived in the sense of an open fellowship with all beings.
In social terms, liberation in the light of the cosmogenic principle also requires a deepening of interiority.
One is no longer satisfied with the mere consumption of material goods, and instead values creativity, the arts, meditation and communion with mother earth and the universe.
Liberation results from the effort of the relational matrix, especially for those who are marginalized and/or suffer injustice. A relational matrix makes us feel like members of the community of life; sons and daughters of mother earth who, through us, feels love, care and is concerned with our common future.
Finally, from the cosmogenic perspective, liberation demands a new consciousness of our interdependence with it, our universal responsibility. As our knowledge – and our world – expand, we are all called to invent ways to bring about creative sustainability which requires a commitment to use our gifts to bring about a universal transformation of consciousness.
Sister Maria Helena Carvalho, sfp
A review of articles by theologian Leonardo Boff,
and Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo,
Archbishop Emeritus of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
Published: March 6, 2017