Personal Psychology, Spirituality and the Climate Emergency

I have been thinking about personal psychology, spirituality and the climate emergency recently, and how we need to fulfil our potential in three dimensions to get us through this crisis:

An anonymous theosophical writer wrote:

“To find yourself is half the way to god
To lose yourself, and all the way is trod”

To find yourself is the focus of psychological work. Once you have a healthy, resilient ego that gives your gift to the world, then the spiritual path becomes possible in a healthy way.

Of course, it isn’t this linear: some people start the spiritual path before realising that they need to sort themselves out. I am a case in point: I couldn’t live the spiritual values I had in my twenties, so I started a long path of psychotherapy to heal myself. Some people find they can walk both paths at the same time: healing the self and going beyond themselves.

Spirituality is about identifying with something bigger than ourselves so that the ups and downs of our life take place in a much larger context. The ups and downs of daily life are like the weather: sun, rain, wind, hot and cold, passing during the days, months and seasons.

Consciousness, or God, is like the sky, which is always constant. Do you identify with the sky that is always constant? Or do you identify with the weather that changes all the time?

We have peace when we identify with the sky, rather than identifying with the ups and downs of our life.

But a new dimension has been emerging for 50 years and is now coming into the public consciousness.

If we, as a species, don’t identify with something larger than ourselves, the biosphere, our mother earth; we may become extinct or we may be reduced to living in a post-apocalyptic world.

Professor Jem Bendell summarises the range of possible scenarios as having the following likelihood: “inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe and possible extinction”.

I don’t want to engage in rational discussion about this, but instead to invite you to explore the soulful idea that if we, as a species, identified with the entire biosphere rather than our individual lives, we could heal.

And how is our species going to do this? Who starts?

And if not me, who? And if not now, when?

This is too big for me or you to work out. Your ego or mine are not big enough to handle this.

Don’t get too rational about it. Instead, just pray to God, or the Goddess, or Buddha-nature, or “the space of being” or however you phrase it.

Pray that the great mystery of the universe, and her daughter, mother earth (changing the pronouns as you see fit) guide us, through the infinite wisdom of systemicness, so that life may live well on this earth.

Pray to be guided to play your part, however small or large.

So, at an individual level we need to give our gift to the world as clearly as we can, we need to transcend ourselves and identify with an existence that is bigger than ourselves, and we need to apply our love and develop a sense of responsibility for our mother, which is this earth.