One comprehensive definition of the concept of peace was identified by Fischer, Nolte & Oeberg in their book “Winning Peace”:
“(…) all that aims to develop security and secure development of the whole human being, and all human beings, in a permanent process, taking its point of departure in a model of human and social needs based on an ethics of global care and allowing for unity in diversity.”
The phrase “an ethics of global care” is an important reminder that peace is measured not only by human-human relations, but by the quality of human-nature relationships too, namely humanity’s interactions with the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Humankind’s desire to dominate the environment with scant regard for the consequences has led to a growing scarcity of natural resources, pollution of the Earth’s waterways, sickness in animals necessitating mass killings, worrying changes in climatic conditions and devastating natural catastrophes, etc. To counteract this negative trend, human beings – at the macro and micro level – have the choice to assume their role as conscious and dedicated guardians of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms; rather than to continue using violence and domination to master the Earth, jeopardising the world heritage of future generations.
Extract from my MA thesis entitled:
A Shared Human Identity – the Foundation of a Peace Culture
Sometimes, there might be particular personal/spiritual attributes we’re trying to develop, or life is persuading us to fine-tune. On those occasions, we can choose to work with the goddess that represents that quality. For example, in Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards, Bast is the Egyptian goddess of independence. Because independence is a skill that my life circumstances seem to be giving me time and space to learn, I sometimes meditate with the Bast card in my hand, so that I can pick up on the vibration of that particular goddess and the insights this can bring. By working with Bast energy, I’ve come to understand that my task is to learn how to be a whole person, able to function physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually as an autonomous being. This isn’t meant to be understood as an incitement to egoic separatism; quite the opposite. It’s my belief that all sentient beings and non-sentient forms are part of one Whole; the same Earth and universal energies flow through all of us. Independence, therefore, implies self-awareness, balance, inclusion, personal responsibility and unconditional love.
Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”
“Bastet shows us the eternal sacred quality of the feminine, along with the beauty of a feral protectress. She reminds us that solitude and independence shows strength, but also that unity in relations binds our souls.” Quote taken from: Gems of the Goddess on paganpages.org
Both Tantra and Taoism point to the power of Mother Nature as a spiritual doorway, a healer and a part of our intrinsic identity. The globally renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado captured the suffering of humankind and the Earth in his various photo collections. He used photography as a medium to document starvation in the Sahel region of Africa, genocide in Rwanda, the plight of internally displaced persons in various countries, and the burning oil fields of Kuwait – to name just a few of the hugely distressing subject matters he covered. Following years of photographic documentation of these kinds of human and environmental tragedies, Salgado was at the point of giving up his work. As a result of all the horrific situations he had witnessed and experienced, he felt worn out, deluded, depressed, without hope. Fortunately, he eventually regained a sense of inspiration. His salvation came from Mother Nature. He decided to photograph the outstanding beauty of the Earth – wildlife, landscapes and seascapes – as well as the joyful and meaningful existence of indigenous peoples. He remained true to his calling, namely, the raison d’être of his photographic documentary work was to raise public awareness about critically important global issues, in this case the environment and climate change; however, he chose to do this through the lens of the blessing that nature provides to humanity, rather than to focus on the destruction of the Earth through human ignorance, greed, etc. Continue reading →