Resolution One – Make Friends with Nature

Six Resolutions for a better human society in 2016

Resolution One  – Make Friends with Nature

Having endured the great storms of December it is easy to think of nature as our enemy as we all band together to defend ourselves against wind and flood. Yet the deeper truth is that we need a new attitude to the natural world. It is no longer the untamed, wild, limitless expanse conceived by earlier generations. Nor is the natural world simply a ‘resource’ for human beings. Animals are not there to be hunted for a game. There is no bravado in shooting a lion and there is a terrible short-sightedness in killing a rhino for the supposed aphrodisiacal properties of its tusk.

We need to make friends with nature. Only an attitude of friendship and co-dependence can liberate us from our path of mutual destruction. So, for 2016, I recommend that we take steps to draw alongside the natural world in all its complexity and learn to appreciate it deeply. I am personally hoping to organise people to conduct a natural history survey of our local area. I think it might help us all feel rooted in nature and come to care for it.

I was also fascinated to hear of Peter and Liz Cowdrey’s work recording birdsong, slowing it down and turning it into music. Peter tells how this exercise blurred all the boundaries for him between science, music and community and how good this felt.

What will you do?


Encountering the Fire Within

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As there is a great fire within the earth, and a great fire in the sky, so there is a fire within every human being.

You can sense it when you are talking with someone, and the conversation suddenly goes to a new level. You might sense an energy or intensity arising. You are talking to this person about something that really matters to them. You have encountered the sacred. One of the most important things in any human life is to pay attention to this fire within us.

It is found in religious people and non-religious people. It is present in all ethnic groups and across every socio-demographic section of society. It is a common property of humanity. We know this space intuitively but do not often name it. It is a place that we treat with reverence. We approach it with great care.


Its dimensions include

  • our beliefs, defined as our theories about the way the world is and our place in it,
  • our values, being the things we care about beyond ourselves,
  • and our commitments, which make up the practical faith that we use to respond to the world on a day to day basis.

We need to search for harmony between the beliefs, values and commitments that we hold. It is a sad truth that, for many, this sacred space remains unexamined in our lives and is a place of inner conflict. We may hold beliefs we do not act on. We may aspire to a range of values, but fail to translate them into commitments.

The promise is that if we can truly find harmony within ourselves, whereby our beliefs, values and commitments are in tune with one another and with the divine, then we will experience a resonance within and abounding energy.

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