By Lee Van Ham
Too many brands of religion have forgotten those stories of their tradition that subvert patriarchal culture and heal the people, animals, and ecology that have been poisoned by it. Caught unconsciously in the patriarchal grasp, brands of patriarchal religion lend selected sacred texts to the cause. So today patriarchal systems and powers, determined to hold onto dominance, are insufficiently challenged by strong powers of the Spirit. There are plenty of brands of religion willing to side with patriarchy’s release of poisons. These brands of patriarchal religion add to the poison instead of providing the antidote for healing.
There are spiritual paths that resist patriarchy and counter its poisons with healing. Primary ingredients of the strong, healing medicine of Creation Spirituality include:
1. Creation (Nature) is foremost as the embodied Presence as creating and regeneration continue non-stop. Creation is not an action in the past but is ongoing and is an evolutionary, regenerative giver of Life.
2. Creation is the standard by which all actions are measured. It is not sidelined into a committee nor a discretionary, secondary part of budgets designed to protect and foster life.
3. Creation is the teacher of how we are to participate in all of creation, not to rule it, dominate it, or exploit it. When we listen to the instruction of the heavens, plants, animals, and waters, we learn our important place in this amazing creational process.
4. Creation’s telescopic billions of galaxies and microscopic species bring us to revere her incalculable Mystery. Mystery lives beyond what we comprehend empirically, rationally, or cognitively, and when aspects of Mystery are understood by our minds, she opens the doors to even more of what lies unknown. Mystery evokes our capacities of awe, wonder, marvel, and love. She can never be fully reduced to human knowing. Her capacities lead us into a different kind of knowing entirely—a world where paradoxes are held in tension and then transcended to the oneness, the wholeness (holiness) of all that is.
5. Creation has her ways of bringing us to truth. She confronts us and undercuts our efforts to build worlds on lies, deception, and misinformation. Creation embodies a kind of justice that can be flexible in love, but tough in insisting on truth.
6. Creation is radically Interdependent with all of her parts somehow relating and even depending on other parts. She evolves in the Truth of interdependence and gradually overtakes all who wish to make independence an absolute right. When we learn from her interdependence we evolve societies where cooperation, social bonding, and love are primary guides.
7. Creation shows us through the energies and powers identified above that the Sacred is ever-present. The Sacred is not outside of Creation (Nature), but inherent in her processes. Ignoring this we fail to understand a primary reality of our world.
8. Creation requires OneEarth ways for all. MultiEarth philosophies, economies, and egos cannot transcend the basic, generous standards of Creation.
These eight ingredients of Creation spirituality all resist the patriarchal religion that so dominates in our nation and world. To know and live Creation spirituality brings healing medicine to us and all life. Creation is the primary sacred text and guide for all humanity.