“Irenaeus (130-202) intuited … that to neutralize matter, to teach that creation does not come from holy substance, would lead to the abuse of creation. [creation ex nihilo, creation out of nothing] was a convenient “truth” . . . [meaning] … Matter was not holy. … It was essentially devoid of sacred energy. So, every imperial mind could ravage the earth’s resources with impunity. … Religion had become the accomplice of the state’s subordination of the earth. It had sanctioned the separation of spirit and matter.” John Philip Newel, “Irenaeus of Lyons: The Early Church Fathers”, pg 150
Separation allows accusation
When there is tension in the air and as the situation destabilizes, human beings tend to separate into camps of belonging, accusing the other of all wrongs. We see it all around us today. Separation allows us to ignore the marginalized, the ostracized, the abandoned. Blame easily focuses on the other when we feel superior. This notion of separation has allowed us to wage war for millennia.
Everything is one
On the other hand, should we embrace the notion that everything created is from the very being of God, everything fashioned from love with love, there can be no separation. We are all of one substance. Our beingness becomes one with the Creator and the only way life works is within the parameters of its foundation: Love.
Enter into nature
Leaving the plastic behind we need to fall in love with a blade of grass, a pebble, a puddle. The following is a suggestion taken from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations for yesterday.
I encourage each of you: Go to a place in nature where you can walk freely and alone. …Begin your wandering by finding a threshold (perhaps an arched branch overhead or a narrow passage between rocks). Here offer a voiced prayer of your intention and desire for this time. Step across the threshold quite deliberately and, on this side of your sacred boundary, speak no words, but watch and listen for God’s presence.
Let the land, plants, and creatures lead your feet and eyes. Let yourself be drawn, rather than walking with a destination or purpose in mind. If you are called to a particular place or thing, stop and be still, letting yourself be known and know, through silent communion with the Other. Before you leave, offer some gesture or token of gratitude for the gift nature has given you.
When it is time to return to the human world, find your threshold again and cross over—and now you have learned to watch for God in all things.
Time for harmony
With a little openness we might re-establish the long lost symmetry between matter and spirit. Separation is a lie, a convenient fiction enabling greed, exploitation and scapegoating. It is time to become one in harmony and balance. Life is good.