What Is the Order of the Sacred Earth?
At this critical time in human and planetary history, the world does not need a new religion or even a reshuffling of our old religions. It does not need a new church either.
What it needs is a new Order: a community and movement of people of varied belief systems (or non-belief systems) who share one sacred vow: to preserve Mother Earth and to become the best lovers (mystics) and defenders (warriors) they can be on behalf of Mother Earth. A post-denominational Order and a post-religious Order. Therefore, a Spiritual Order.
Our times call for not just a renewal in the Christian tradition; all the world's spiritual traditions need to wake up and rise up. Young people, who are inheriting a planet whose climate is changing, whose systems are failing, and whose species are going extinct - young people who now constitute over 50 percent of the world’s population - deserve nothing less. Indeed, many among them feel called to lead and to live generous lives in birthing a new spiritual vision.
Many young people are being called today—they are not just seeking a job or profession but responding to a call. This call may be coming from future generations, from ancestors, from Gaia herself, or from all of these sources. But it is deep and it will not be compromised.
Our modern anthropocentrism is twisting all elements of society - religion, education, politics, economics, and media - in a form of species narcissism. Modern history, in its abuse and exploitation of the rest of nature, is laying an onerous burden on the current and coming generations. At this dire time, all hands are needed on deck to stem the onslaught and relieve that burden.
The Order of the Sacred Earth cuts through the Gordian knot of historic entanglements and burdens and thousands of years of religious accretions to get at the heart of spiritual practice and take the genuine treasures of wisdom from the collapsing churches.
How does OSE cut through the knots? How does OSE take treasures from the burning building? It does so by borrowing
theancient practice, found in the East as well as in the West, of taking a vow and creating a community based on this shared vow. A vow is a sacred promise that allows one to focus one’s work and lifestyle around a value and commitment to that value that one holds dear.
The value that OSE is holding up as dear and that many today can identify with is simply this: To defend Mother Earth, to work and live as generously and wisely as we can on behalf of Mother Earth and her Creatures so that future generations might live and thrive and take in her beauty and her health. To be the best mystics (lovers) and prophets (warriors) we can be on behalf of Mother Earth. Such a pledge is not in conflict with the prospering of our own species but a requisite for it.
Such a vow is what will form the basis of the order or community of the Sacred Earth here called OSE. A particular lifestyle is not required—members of the order may be married (gay or straight); single; celibate; parents or not; it may engage community literally speaking or more virtually speaking: The key is that whatever one’s lifestyle, eco values permeate one’s decision-making. “How is what we are doing going to serve generations from today?”
A particular profession is not required—rather the beauty and glory of OSE will be a variety of workers and professionals who share a common value and a common vow. We may be artists of all kinds: musicians, potters, craftspeople, dancers, writers, filmmakers, painters, and more. We may be farmers or mechanics, carpenters or electricians, teachers or professors, nurses or doctors, clergy or businesspeople, engineers or scientists, managers or bankers, politicians or journalists, accountants or salespeople, monks or nuns. We are parents and grandparents, young and old.
What binds us all together in community is a common vow to bring values of eco-justice into their work world and their citizenship and communities through their work, whether that be in the greater world of politics, economics, religion, media, education, and business.