To be human

Not much has hap­pened on this blog recent­ly, because I have been tired a lot. Last week it turned out that I have a vit­a­min B12 defi­cien­cy, which may explain the tired­ness. I had this defi­cien­cy before and have been tak­ing vit­a­min B12 sup­ple­ments since then, but appar­ent­ly I did­n’t take enough. My ener­gy lev­els are hope­ful­ly on the rise now that I have start­ed tak­ing extra vit­a­mins.

Dur­ing these weeks I start­ed with my own ver­sion of mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion. Every morn­ing I take 10 min­utes to start the day in peace. I usu­al­ly sit it in the back­yard with my feet in the grass, and if I’m lucky with my face in the sun.

Spiritual EcologyI’m also read­ing the book Spir­i­tu­al Ecol­o­gy, edit­ed by Llewellyn Vaugh­an-Lee. For me it is an end­less source of wis­dom.

One piece of wis­dom that I think about a lot, is what it means to be human. In an inter­view that I lis­tened to, Llewellyn said we should go back to our essence. On a spir­i­tu­al lev­el, we are first and fore­most chil­dren of God, or how­ev­er you want to express that: cre­at­ed in God’s image, small par­ti­cles of God’s soul, filled with God’s Spir­it. This is also true (per­haps in a dif­fer­ent way) for the rest of cre­ation.

When we see nature as a com­mod­i­ty, we lose all respect for the intrin­sic val­ue of cre­ation. And if we define our­selves only as con­sumers or pro­fes­sion­als, we are sell­ing our­selves short. Accord­ing to Thich Nhat Hanh that is exact­ly what hap­pened in the indus­tri­al West:

We have con­struct­ed a sys­tem we can’t con­trol. It impos­es itself on us, and we become its slaves and vic­tims. For most of us who want to have a house, a car, a refrig­er­a­tor, a tele­vi­sion, and so on, we must sac­ri­fice our time and our lives in exchange.

(Essay in the book & on The Ecol­o­gist)

As I sit in my gar­den chair and watch the pear blos­som and the clouds, I real­ize that I am part of life on the plan­et. That feel­ing is the basis for the choic­es we make for our future. My life does not need to be defined by the tread­mill of work­ing to pay the rent.

Cowspiracy

I recent­ly watched the movie Cowspira­cy, high­ly rec­om­mend­ed. At the end, the film deals with the spir­i­tu­al ele­ment of a veg­an lifestyle. Veg­an­ism offers peo­ple an oppor­tu­ni­ty to give more space to val­ues like com­pas­sion and kind­ness: “Val­ues that are nat­ur­al to human beings, you put that in. You build that back into the sto­ry of our food.”

Just being human, it’s not that com­pli­cat­ed.

A fish can­not drown in water,
A bird does not fall in air.
In the fire of cre­ation,
God does­n’t van­ish:
The fire bright­ens.
Each crea­ture God made
must live in its own true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for one­ness with God?

Mechthild von Magde­burg, 13th cen­tu­ry