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The Perennial Philosophy Series
Treasures of the World's Religions
Spiritual Masters - East & West Series
The Sermon of All Creation: Christians on Nature
William C. Chittick explores "The Sufi Doctrine of Rumi"
Science and the Myth of Progress
Interview with Frithjof Schuon - on Spirituality
Exploring "Timeless in Time" - a biography of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Books on Hinduism
How can we understand Native American traditions?
  Where to look to "see God Everywhere"? Back to the List of Slideshows
slide 12 of 17

Arthur Versluis contends, as does Wendell Berry, that it is not the teachings of Christianity which are to blame for the current environmental crisis.  In the essay “Hierophanic Nature” he maintains that it is scientism that is to blame for the loss of the sense of the sacredness of Nature:
…In reality, the origin of modernity lies not in the Judeo-Christian tradition so much as in the jettisoning of that tradition in favor of scientistic ratiocentrism.  The truth is, Christianity has always contained within it an esoteric understanding of nature as hierophany, and it is upon this understanding that we will focus.…

It is well known that in shamanism all over the world there is said to be a secret language of nature.…This archaic unity between humanity and nature reflects a primordial state that, in Christian terms, cannot be other than paradisal.…

Christian Hermeticism, or theosophy as displayed in the writings of Paracelsus, Böhme, Saint-Martin, Baader and Oetinger, also understands that there is a “secret language” of nature—but for them it is an emblematic language rooted in alchemical imagery and, even more, in the science of correspondences.  This theosophical tradition derives its basis from a concept expressed in the Tabula Smaragdina (the Emerald Tablet):  what is below reflects what is above.  In other words, there is a correspondence between spiritual truth and what we see in the natural world.  One sees this in the many parables of the New Testament, which use natural images to reveal the most transcendent of spiritual truths about the human condition.…

…Environmentalists or ecologists today present arguments about the biosphere, and about the earth as a single living organism, but such arguments still present nature based on materialist premises; they entail no concept that nature might be understood in light of a unified religious understanding.  Some criticize Christianity as having been responsible for the birth of the modern world and its destruction of nature, but in fact it was the progressive erosion or disintegration of a religious center in the Judeo-Christian world that gave birth to modernity.  The absence of Christianity—in any complete sense—is responsible for the divorce between humanity, nature, and God that many now feel, and its reestablishment alone can restore the hieros gamos, or sacred marriage between man, nature, and God in the West.
Lake Thun Landscape
a painting by Ferdinand Hodler
circa 1904
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