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Ecospirituality as a Gaian Methodology


Ecospirituality is the spiritual component of sustainability. It is the place that spirit occupies in the sustainability paradigm. Gaia is not only a scientific theory with a mythic name, She represents a spiritual understanding of earth, the universe, human consciousness, and embodiment. Gaia is the meeting place of science, spirituality, and art. Ecospirituality is the place where Ken Wilber’s deep religion meets good science (Theory of Everything: an integral vision for business, politics, science and spirituality, 2000, pp. 160). Ecospirituality holds and chronicles the diverse manifestations of humanity’s ongoing ethnospiritual conversation with Earth.

Ecospirituality is fundamental to Gaian methodology because the ability to grasp an understanding of Gaia hypothesis and the sustainability paradigm requires some familiarity or intuitive ease with nonduality. One must be comfortable with mystery, with a relationship of respect based on interconnectedness; and one must have a way of holding and interpreting paradox. The diversity of ecospirituality offers this understanding, offering constructive paths through paradox and ways of dealing with mystery with strength and fearlessness. Sustainability is as much a spiritual construct as a scientific or ecological one. Learning spiritual interpretations of our relationship with Gaia as well as scientific ones is necessary, especially if interested in an integral approach to sustainability, methodologies, and solutions.

Ecospirituality as a Gaian Methodology:


Roots of Ecospirituality as Method

The roots of ecospirituality are in the bowels of Gaia and the soul and spirit of humans. The roots of ecospirituality started forming when earth and life first began coexisting. The fact that we are composed of soil and minerals and water, given some sort of indefinable breathe and become alive and function and interact is astounding and mysterious, still. Ecospirituality has its roots in the need for humans to explain their interactions with the Mystery that is Gaia.

Stem and Leaf of Ecospirituality as Method

The stems of ecospirituality are various spiritual practices, the repeatable ways in which spiritual traditions teach, reinforce beliefs, allow for transformative space, maintain order, and create and celebrate community. Religion is an aspect of ecospirituality, but not the fullness of it, as religion can be narrow, and lose actual spirit along the way. Religion and dogma can limit minds and hearts, act as a toxic pesticide, and can be employed for catastrophically destructive, as well as healing, ends. The breadth of mystical traditions that are experiential in practice is closer to the reality of ecospirituality within Gaian methodologies than either philosophy or narrow religion. While there are stems that develop from religion and philosophy, they may very well produce different flowers and seeds than stems growing from the roots of mystical traditions.

Flowering of Ecospirituality as Method

Mystical traditions that urge a unity of mind, body, and spirit have practices that provide opportunities for revelatory experiences of nonduality. The state of nonduality, the state of oneness, of complete integrity, free-will and unity combined, is the perpetually dynamic state of Gaia. These experiences of nonduality are the flowers of ecospirituality, aesthetically pleasing, gorgeous, creative, vibrant flowers. Flowers that bloom from the soil and nutrients of conscious and embracing sustainability. There are other flowers, blooming from other stems, their life force kinked perhaps by dogma or an inharmonious or fragmented relationship with Gaia, but blooming nevertheless. Gaia is resilient and finds creative uses for imperfection, ultimately transforming improbabilities and imperfections into viable parts of the sustainable cycle of life.

Seeds of Ecospirituality as Method

The seeds of ecospirituality are the scattered holonic truths (Wilber, 2000, p. 40) that are disseminated throughout the planet and begin to form roots in the soil they land in. The seeds are the truths and methods and wisdom we use in our relationship with Gaia now and in the future. The seeds are the trees we plant, and the international space stations, and the sustainable water, waste, and energy systems we develop out of an understanding of mutuality with Gaia and all her inhabitants. The seeds are born from the flowers of our experiences, the seeds contain within the fullness of action, the fullness of healing, the fullness of resilience, in a continual cycle.

Gaian Methodologies - A Convergence of Sensuous Earth

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Gaian Methodologies Team

The main resources on this site include how the flower petals of sources and methods grow together to compose the flowering of Gaian methods and methodologies. We include essays and bibliographies to nurture... More…

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Prescott College PhD in Sustainability Education

Prescott College offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education with a concentration in Sustainability Education. This low-residency, doctoral program combines expansive interdisciplinary inquiry with intense individual research and practice, and follows a cohort-based learning model...More…

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