I try to pay attention to synchronicities because I believe they are a definite sign of God speaking to us.
Recently while going to Quaker Earthcare Witness national gathering I first while listening to a Wayne Dyer tape in the car heard him quote Nevil, a guy from the early last century, who talked about prayer in a different way. Then someone at the conference also handed me a flyer about prayer with a quote from Nevil. Dyer talks about a concept that Neale Donald Walsch also talks about as well: the idea that we are also divine, that we were created by the divine as part of the divine, not separate from, and that when we are connected to our Spiritual Source we have the power to create and experience everything. All three postulate that we (the collective we) co-create the universe with God.
This carries with it some implications for prayer, that Walsch talks about in his book Happier than God. The implication being that if we pray “I need money” that we are simply creating more need. If we pray “stop the war” we are simply focusing on war and thus bring more of that energy- that the Divine matches what we bring. So a better prayer would be ….well not to pray for peace to come because that still carries the idea that peace is “not yet”. But rather to place ourselves in the frame of mind of really sensing and feeling in our body the world at Peace, getting totally in touch with what it would really feel like. Interesting the Kabbalah which was practiced by Jewish mystics also directs people to imagine as if it were now that which the person prays for.
So all of this has lead me to really think about the idea of what if we really focused ourselves on the end of Climate change. (There is almost not right words for this – like how do you describe the absence of oxygen that does not still really convey oxygen?) The trick of this is not to just sort of imagine going back to some idealized notion of the 1970’s as if climate change was not then beginning. It means having to fully embrace all the science of climate change – to acknowledge that the burning of fossil fuels, as a reality of physics, warms up the atmosphere. So it means having to go to a state of living that does not include burning fossil fuels. That also does not mean going to a time before the industrial revolution. It means actually seeing a new future that we live into now. Does anything sound familiar about this? Early Friends believed that the Society of Friends were trying to live the Kingdom of God NOW, not later. That we were going to live it into existence. That Kingdom was also believed to be a world of social justice.
You may be familiar with the Naomi Klein’s idea that we will not be able to solve climate change without addressing the deep flaws of capitalism (and I would add colonialism) which has created climate change. In other words, a paradigm that allows us to see the earth as something we have dominion over and to take from, a paradigm that can see people and places as sacrifice zones is a paradigm we must abandon. It is literally not possible to solve climate change from that paradigm.
So my invitation to pray into a picture of the world whole, with climate balance is an invitation as well to see a world of environmental care, of humans living in a new paradigm of being part of the earth and all living things. Climate change involves how we build buildings, grow food, transport ourselves, heat and light our homes, manufacture objects, and interact with trees to name a few things. So this prayer is for a radically different and reorganized world. It is to vision a world of social justice and peace. Nor does it mean being released from the need to do anything for in fact it means being drawn passionately by that vision of a world made whole to live into it. It is what I believe early Friends envisioned the Kingdom of God to be. Can you feel your body relax as you imagine it? Breath into that image. Hold it in your heart every day. Believe in it and start to live into its reality. Hurry we have no time to waste. We have lived too long in the kingdom of destruction, hubris and greed.