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Spiritual Ecology - a way to Save our Forests

Updated on April 10, 2017
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis knows that upon Mother Earth we must walk softly in Peace and Harmony and strive to heal our planet.

Protect our Trees

Think global to save our trees and forests.
Think global to save our trees and forests. | Source

Spiritual Awareness

Spiritual Ecology is a way to save our trees and forests, our world. It is an ever growing movement to promote spiritual awareness in the field of ecological study and conservation. It is still emerging and growing fast with individuals who desire to care for and help heal Earth.

Those who have joined this movement believe the root of environmental issues are spiritual dynamics. This harks back to the indigenous people of times past who saw the importance of spirituality in all of Creation and walked softly upon Mother Earth. If they took anything from Nature it was only what they needed, made certain to give back and say prayers of gratitude. They held Creation as sacred and honored that sacredness.

So many organizations and groups are working to keep Earth safe and restore what has been lost. Individuals also do what they can to help by volunteering. One example is the Order of the Arrow Boy Scout troops and leaders who volunteer once a year after spring floods to clean up and restore the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States to get it ready for the summer season.

From Sacredness to Utilitarian

So, how did the respect for sacredness of Earth change to overuse of nature for utilitarian purposes? In the early 16th century Scientific Revolution changed the way humans see nature.

From "Physical Sciences" in the Encyclopedia Britannica 25 (15th edition) 1993 p.830:

"A new view of nature emerged, replacing the Greek view that had dominated science for almost 2,000 years. Science became an autonomous discipline, distinct from both philosophy and technology and came to be regarded as having utilitarian goals."

Then along came the Industrial Revolution when the old ways of agriculture, faith and tradition were replaced by "reason", which brought on destruction of Earth and pushed wisdom and sacredness of nature to a less important way of life. Spiritual Ecology endeavors to bring back a sense of balance and harmony to Mother Earth in a way where spiritual and environmental experience will come together with a common goal - to protect what is left on Earth.

Those who work with Spiritual Ecology have a deep spiritual vision of balance, or collective consciousness, between human progress and the needs of Earth. To have a vision of harmony/balance and act upon it is what will save our planet from ecological disaster.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger a woman with vision ~


When one can see the need to conserve nature and do what they can to make it happen, that person is a visionary. People like Benton MacKaye, who saw the need to preserve the beauty of flora and fauna in the Appalachian Mountains, have made a huge difference in conservation of wilderness.

To help prevent destruction of natural habitats and beauty of the wild, MacKaye surveyed, designed and had the 2200 mile Appalachian Trail constructed. It has designated individual campsites and a trail to keep people from trampling down habitats in the forests. MacKaye was a man of vision - his idea has saved thousands of acres of nature.

For we need this thing wilderness far more than it needs us. Civilizations (like glaciers) come and go, but the mountain and its forest continue the course of creation's destiny. And in this we mere humans can take part-by fitting our civilization to the mountain

— Benton MacKaye

Side Trail on the Appalachian Trail

An example of a side-trail blue blaze, from Mount Greylock in Massachusetts
An example of a side-trail blue blaze, from Mount Greylock in Massachusetts | Source

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is an English broadcaster and naturalist. His highly acclaimed “The Life Collection” series established him as the foremost television naturalist.

Documentaries in his association with BBC Natural History Unit produced a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life. Attenborough's "The Life Collection" began with the "Life on Earth" TV series in January 1979, where his global travel traced the story of life on the planet. His presentations brought viewers a clear understanding of nature, animal/bird life and gives people more respect for nature's animal life and their habitats.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

— Albert Einstein

Look Deep to Understand

Understand Nature
Understand Nature | Source


Trees are beautiful, provide us with nuts, fruits, shade in the summers and stark beauty in the winters. Trees are more important than we realize for the success of preserving planet Earth. Trees purify the air and create soil. A forest regulates ocean currents and wind, provides habitats for plant/animal life, keep the planet cooler, and manage nutrients.

So many forests have disappeared over generations. Ancient and precious trees, like the Bristlecone Pine, have been thoughtlessly cut down for study or vandalized for fun. Prometheus, a Bristlecone Pine tree over 5,000 years old was cut down for research purposes by a graduate student, ending the life of an ancient beauty that withstood all types of weather changes for centuries. Forests are precious to our ecological environment and make Earth more habitable for us - to ignore that is a sad thing, indeed.

There was a time when forests were abundant on our planet. Over three-fourths of our great forests are gone. According to Greenpeace 80% have been "destroyed or irreparably degraded" and the rest are dangerously threatened.

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.

— Karle Wilson Baker

A Walk With Trees

Forest path
Forest path | Source

Do you live near a forest?

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Mother Earth

Mother Earth has given us so much - it is our responsibility to give back, our privilege to enjoy and protect her. To respect nature and enjoy it we must do what we can to make it better and preserve it.

Protect Mother Earth
Protect Mother Earth | Source

Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

— Kahlil Gibran

Go Ahead, Take off Your Shoes and Enjoy

Let your feet feel Earth
Let your feet feel Earth | Source

More About our Life-Saving Trees

Below are two more interesting articles about trees. .

© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Blond Logic. Yes, it is a very complex and widespread problem. That is why there are more and more people spending time and energy on saving what is left of our forests. Even spreading the word through writing is helpful to bring attention to the issue at hand, because, believe it or not, there are far too many people who are unaware or just don't care. Hopefully, there is time to restore what has been lost and protect what is still growing. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 years ago from Brazil

      I live in Northern Brazil and I don't need to tell you the destruction which has been done here. Short term gain is all it is for.

      England used to be forested but Henry VIII was responsible for cutting down huge swathes for his ships.

      Deforestation, is nothing new.

      Places like Haiti, who have cut and cut, and now any remain top soil has been washed away. This was done to make charcoal for cooking and selling and now they are unable to grow anything. It is a very complex problem.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you, Alicia. It is great that the Spiritual Ecology movement is growing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love this hub, Phyllis. The Earth certainly needs something like you describe. Our mistreatment of other life forms on the planet is very worrying, not only for their sakes but also for ours.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Such a forgetful boy! - yet ever thoughtful in time. Thanks Alastar for your support.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Appreciate the article and your reply. Back to share this on twitter and G+. You know I can be a forgetful boy on occasion. But always remember, even if a tad later lol.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Alastar. I have a friend who is a Order of the Arrow troop leader. They work hard on the AT.

      I am very impressed with Diana and her work. She has a blog I aim to follow. Visionaries are a special breed of people for sure. Thank you, my friend, for the visit and your very nice comment.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      The Order of the Arrow. Got that as a boy scout, Phyllis. We couldn't talk for a day, had a piece of bread and a hard-boiled egg and had to sleep in the woods all alone. Very pleased to see what the scouts are doing now with the App Trail.

      Thank goodness for people like Diana. Visionaries are are needed now more than ever. Your paragraph on Mother Earth says it all my friend. Another great and important write from you talented lady.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi MizB. It is good to see more and more people become aware of the importance of conservation. Thanks so much for commenting/

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Such a good article, Phyllis. The spiritual people that I "pal around with" meditate to bring down the energies to protect the Earth and her resources. We love and respect our planet. I'm so glad to see that many who don't share our spiritual beliefs are coming to realize that resources are limited and to practice conservation measures.

      The practice of replacing a tree when you cut one down is drawing fire in our state because it became evident that our hardwood forests were rapidly being replaced with fast growing pines, a soft wood.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Ruby Jean. Thank you so much for the visit and comment. Yes, our ancestors knew the right way to live in harmony and balance. Spiritual Ecology is sure the way of life for me. Thanks again - I appreciate your support.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting article indeed. I am amazed at how people think nothing about tossing bottles and plastic into our waterways and raping the forest for gain. I am thankful for our past ancestors who knew the importance of putting back anything taken. ( Like planting a tree each time they cut one down. Spiritual Ecology is a must if we're going to enjoy life on earth. Thank you. Enjoyable read.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Jodah, I so appreciate your support. Spiritual ecology is something I came across just recently and it fits in with my own beliefs. Native Americans also adopted animals for their clan totem. Totem poles of the Pacific Northwest tribes have their animals carved on them at the top. And each member had their own totem. Yes, David Attenborough is a living legend - I have watched many of his documentaries and learned so much. The bower birds fascinate me.

      You are most welcome for the link. I meant to tell you that some Native American tribes also have a "Rainbow Serpent" legend. There is so much commonality there with the aboriginals. Thanks, Jodah, for the visit and comment.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Phyllis, I love the concept of spiritual ecology. Our native people had centuries to understand and learn how to work with nature and we need to relearn how to do that. The aboriginals for instance adopted a totem animal for each member of a tribe. It was a way of preserving animal species and not hunting them to extinction because a person was not allowed to hunt or eat their own totem animal. Very good information and images here. David Attenborough is a living legend.

      Thank you for the link to my hub "Death in Paradise".

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, Jackie, for being the first to vote, read and comment. I appreciate you.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from the beautiful south

      I was first to vote in your poll! Boils down to loving earth as we do our children doesn't it? It really take a self centered person to not care and do all they can to make our earthly home the best that it can be.

      Great article, Phyllis that all should appreciate.


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