Spiritical is my new PaGaian word for expressing a revolution that is simultaneously spiritual, political, personal, planetary and permanent. Following is why and how I conjured the word up.
And so, we can make no separation between “spirituality” and “politics.” We are this world, we cannot leave it. We can only work to transform it as we transform ourselves, in acts of evolution and revolution.
(Barbara Mor 1987)
… wherein we humans no longer primarily engage in more talk and analysis, but we dare to attend sincerely and primarily to the complexity of actual relationship with, and comprehension of, our embodied engagement with our Earth-Universe-Gaian context.
(Glenys Livingstone 2005)
The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
(Karl Marx 1844)
Pondering on these quotes I am much inspired by the authors insight and poetic expression of spiritual and political revolution. From my PaGaian perspective there is only one revolution that I regard as literally permanent, namely that of planet Earth around its Sun. If for no other reason than that I can literally observe and feel the effect of this phenomenal relationship as the Sun appears to rise and set each day and as my place on planet Earth – whenever and wherever that may be, responds seasonally to their movement to and from our PaGaian Winter and Summer solstice celebrations – our Planetary holy moments. For me the Earth Sun relationship is a religious phenomenon that is fundamental to our very existence – as in a binding, connecting, definition and sense of the word religion. This fundamental Earth, Sun relationship enables me to experience a connectedness and belonging to what I occasionally refer to as my Self Place, a place where I can be anywhere and at anytime. As a PaGaian who regularly participates in ritual seasonal celebration, I include the apparent coming and going or waxing and waning, of the Moon – not just for good monthly measure.
With this fundamental Earth, Sun and Moon relationship in mind, how might I interpret Karl Marx saying that “Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself”? Again from my PaGaian perspective this quote provides me with a very convincing source of inspiration for spiritual and political revolutionary change. Karl Marx was evidently very objective and scientific about his understanding of the socio- economic circumstances of his epoch and he clearly wanted society to be under no illusion as to the true nature of these circumstances and the negative impact it was having on the livelihood of working families.
In the context of Marx’s symbolic expression it is worth remembering the illusion that the Sun rotated around the Earth was the result of long-held religious dogma not seriously questioned until Copernicus produced his heliocentric model of the universe late in the 15thcentury. Consequently, thanks to such radical science we humans are no longer captivated by the illusion that the Sun rotates around the Earth, now knowing that it is in fact the Earth that rotates around the Sun. The same can be said about Marx’s “…illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.” It too is the consequence of a religious illusion resulting from long-term fear inducing dogma, principles, laws and teachings used by the ruling classes to maintain their power, wealth and control over the rest of us.
Unfortunately most of us continue to be deluded by an all-pervasive ruling class that uses its religious, political, economic and military dominance to induce fear, divide, conquer and thereby control almost everything we learn about and do. To resist and overcome this perverse control over our lives requires the kind of spiritual and political revolution that first and foremost is capable of Self empowering one’s own mind so that eventually we might come to help radically change our collective consciousness and the socio economic circumstances of most if not all humankind. This level of change requires nothing less than a simultaneously permanent, personal, planetary, spiritual and political revolution.
Such an ongoing revolutionary struggle is a necessary pre-requisite to doing as Mor, Livingstone and Marx suggest, that is learning how to transform ourselves in acts of evolution and revolution, attend to our relationship with other and thereby revolving around our own true Sun – our own true Self. How might we do this? Especially during adverse socio-economic circumstances…
Humans are not objects to be manipulated or enslaved by some external force or influence. We are all unique, individual subjects with a mind of our own. We need to pay careful attention to the stories going on between our ears because it is our primary story has the greatest influence on our personal values and behaviour. We need to think of our mind as the foundation of our most precious attributes, our imagination, our world-view, our faith and our passion. We should be very particular about who and or what we exercise our precious faith in and maybe even become passionate about.
Given the all-pervasive divide and conquer strategies used by the ruling classes of imperialist warfare states, a growing number of us now – more than ever, need to avail ourselves of information that will enable us to protect ourselves from these ruling class induced illusions and fear. More of us may then unite within a growing community of like-minded individuals already participating in and preparing for a broader planetary, spiritual, political and non-violent, revolution, a revolution that could eventually change our planetary habitat and its human community for the better.
Be it religious, political, economic or ecological information, the guiding principle for determining whether or not information is useful to us and our spiritual and political revolution is whether or not it advocates or at least recognizes that we are in relationship with Self, Other – including the other than human, and all-that-is? This is not difficult to determine, most information will speak for itself in this regard.
Thankfully as it happens, we are in the midst of a technological information sharing revolution, swimming in what could be described as an environment of information overload. Consequently it is very useful to know that some sources of information are considerably better than others and that we must be very careful about what information we take in, retain and allow to influence our Self place. There is one primary story and source of information that we are all entitled to learn from, rely on and be influenced by, namely the evolutionary story of the Universe. Particularly as it has been given to us by the late Thomas Berry, a truly Spiritical, revolutionary Passionist priest.
The newly energizing Earth community needs a mystique that will provide the high exaltation appropriate to the existence of such a stupendous universe and such a glorious planet as that on which we live. This can be found in celebrating not simply the seasonal sequence but also the irreversible transformational sequence, as this has taken place in the evolutionary story of the universe.
(Thomas Berry 2006)
As with our spiritual vision, so too with our ecological and social visions, they are planetary by nature and PaGaian by name.
(Livingstone & Seaborne 2014)
Southern Spring 2014.