Synopses & Reviews
Throughout the centuries and across many religious traditions, we have sought the presence of the Real in wilderness landscapes. Whether this Reality was referred to as God, Brahman, Allah, Wakan Tanka, Shunyamurti, Tao, or by some other name, every branch of human society has, without doubt, seen traces of the One in the many wonders of nature. Deserts, forests, mountains, and oceans are all places where the eye of the heart has opened and we have caught a glimpse of the beauty and majesty of the Divine.
This collection of essays on the relationship between nature and the sacred reflects the thought of some of the most important religious authorities and scholars from Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and Native American traditions. It covers subjects as diverse as flower viewing in Japan and the spiritual dimension of the environmental crisis. In style, it ranges from simple and poetic meditations to richly layered metaphysical studies concerning the divine root of creation. Following each essay is a short poem echoing the underlying theme of the book, drawn from various traditions of spiritual poetry.
The most important and urgent message of this anthology is that our current environmental crisis results from a loss of our spiritual center and that the physical world cannot be separated from the metaphysical without suffering potentially disastrous consequences. Its fundamental thesis is that our continuing physical and spiritual well-being is ultimately linked with our ability to "see God everywhere" and to "remember Him in all things." Whether this view is theistic, according to Western and Native American traditions, or non-theistic, according to the Buddhist perspective,it demands that we recognize and embrace the interdependence of all things in the unity of the Real and extend our definition of the spiritual into the ecological. This vision of the immanence of God in nature is the most radical of all ecological perspectives because it points to the Origin of all that is.
This anthology, combining articles by Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and Native American scholar, looks at the environmental crisis through a spiritual lens.