“Wilderness has answers to questions we don’t even know how to ask yet.”
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home (Papal Encyclical on the Environment)
Laudito, Si': Care for Our Common Home, a Letter from Pope Francis
"To mythical and religious feeling nature becomes one great society, the society of life. Man is not endowed with outstanding rank in this society. He is part of it but he is in no respect higher than any other member. Life possesses the same religious dignity in its humblest and in its highest forms. Man and animals, animals and plants are all on the same level." ~ Ernst Cassirer
A Naturalistic Creed
Life is our religion.
The Universe is our deity.
Science is our theology.
The Earth is our temple.
Nature is our scripture.
Evolution is our creation story.
All truth is our creed.
A life of compassion and service is our offering.
The outcome of a 2014 survey conducted by HumanisticPaganism.com.
Native American & Other Indigenous
Bahá'í Teachings on Environment and Climate Change
Shared Vision, Shared Volition: Choosing Our Global Future Together, A Statement of the Bahá'í International Community to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, 23 November 2015
International Environment Forum, a Bahá'í inspired organization for environment and sustainability
“The original inhabitants of Japan, the Ainu, had a way of speaking of the sacredness and specialness of a whole ecosystem. Their term inoru means “field” with the implications of watershed region, plant and animal communities, and spirit force – the powers behind the masks or armor, hayakpe, of the various beings. The inoru of the Great Brown Bear would be the mountain habitat – and connected lowland valley system – in which the bear is dominant, and it would mean the myth and spirit world of the bear as well. The inoru of salmon would be the lower watersheds with all their tributaries (an the associated plant communities), and on out to sea, extending into oceanic realms only guessed at, where the salmon do their weaving. The bear field, the deer field, the salmon field, the Orca field.
“In the Ainu world a few human houses are in a valley by a little river. The doorways all face east. In the center of each house is the firepit. The sunshine streams through the eastern door each morning to touch the fire, and they say the sun goddess is visiting her sister the fire goddess in the firepit. One should not walk through sunbeams that shine on the fire – that would be breaking their contact. Food is often foraged in the local area, but some of the creatures come down from the inner mountains and up from the deeps of the sea. The animal or fish (or plant) that allows itself to be killed or gathered, and then enters the house to be consumed, is called a “visitor,” marapto.
“The master of the sea is Orca, the Killer Whale; the master of the inner mountains is Bear. Bear sends his friends the deer down to visit humans. Orca sends his friends the salmon up the streams. When they arrive their “armor is broken” – they are killed – enabling them to shake off their fur or scale coats and step out as invisible spirit beings. They are then delighted by witnessing the human entertainments – saké and music. (They love music.) The people sing songs to them and eat their flesh. Having enjoyed their visit they return to the deep sea or to the inner mountains and report: “We had a wonderful time with the human beings.” The others are then prompted themselves to go on visits. Thus if the humans do not neglect proper hospitality – music and manners – when entertaining their deer or salmon or wild plant marapto, the beings will be reborn and return over and over. This is a sort of spiritual game management.”
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild, 1990
Books, Films, Documentaries, Periodicals
Annals of the Former World, John McPhee, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1998
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, Simon Winchester, Harper Perennial, 2010
Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees, Nalini Nadkarni, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2008
Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places, Joseph Bruchac and Thomas Locker (illus.), Voyager Books, Harcourt Brace & Co., San Diego and New York, 1996
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Marc Reisner, 1993
Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality, and the Planetary Future, Bron Taylor, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2010
Earthmind: A Modern Adventure in Ancient Wisdom,Tuning in to Gaia Theory with New Age Methods for Living on Our Planet, Paul Devereux and John Steele, Davd Kubrin, HarperCollins, 1990
The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture, SueEllen Campbell, with Alex Hunt, Richard Kerridge, Tom Lynch, and Ellen Wohl, University of California Press, 2011
Journey of the Universe, Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University Press, 2014
Nature's Web: Rethinking Our Place on Earth, Peter Marshall, Routledge, 1992
Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators and Fading Empires, Simon Winchester, Harper Perennial, 2016
The Practice of the Wild, Gary Snyder, North Point Press, 1990
The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Berry, Columbia University Press, New York, 2009
The Spirit of Place: A Workbook for Sacred Alignment: Ceremonies and Visualizations for Cultivating Your Relationship with the Earth, Loren Cruden, Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 1995
Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings, John Seed, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, Arne Naess, New Society Publishers, 1988
Interfaith Center of the Presidio (ICP)
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity: Every Human Person Is Sacred Across All Borders
Marin Interfaith Council
North American Interfaith Network (NAIN)
Parliament of the World's Religion (PWR)
San Francisco Interfaith Council
Silicon Valley Inter-Religious Council