It is not normal for a species not to rebel against its own extinction—or against the extinction of other beings with whom we share this unique, beautiful, varied but endangered planet. It is not normal to cheer on politicians who encourage denial. It is healthy to stand up and be counted.
The Order of the Sacred Earth (OSE) was born of two dreams. I had a dream that woke me up at four in the morning with the words “DO IT!!!!!” (caps and exclamation points included). Do what? Start an order that would unite people of all spiritual traditions and none to commit to one common task: Save the Earth as we know it.
Skylar Wilson, 31 years old at the time and director of our Cosmic Mass, also had a dream the same week I did of a group of people at a beach sitting in a circle and then levitating over the city of San Francisco. We felt our dreams complimented one another and, together with his friend (now wife) Jen Listug, launched OSE. We will discuss OSE further in subsequent DM’s.
The three founders co-authored a book by the same name.
The front half of that book contains essays by each of the three of us and a Forward by David Korten, philosopher of economics. In the second half of the book we invited many people—some well known such as Mirabai Star, cosmologist Brian Swimme, David Korten and others—and some lesser known because they are young–to offer their brief visions of what OSE might become and how it might best serve.
On winter solstice, 2018, about eighty people gathered at a Buddhist Center in Berkeley, California to take our first vows in OSE. There were people of the Jewish faith and Christians, Buddhists, indigenous, pagan and at least one atheist, a 28 year old woman who told me she was interested in community and read about our values and wanted to come on board.
There are currently about sixty-five “pods” or OSE communities in North and South America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia that have committed to a common vision. What binds all members is the common vow we take: To be the best lovers of Earth and defenders of Earth that we can be. We try to meet every month by zoom to discuss our efforts in our various pods. Go to www.orderofthesacredearth.com to learn more.
We will share in subsequent DM’s some writings from the book for it is of primary importance that we recover a sense of the sacred if we are to stand up to evil and this is one movement in our time to make that resistance easier. “Fight the worst with the best” says farmer, poet and prophet Wendell Berry.
See Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jen Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth.
Queries for Contemplation
Consider how an Order of the Sacred Earth is useful both because it brings diverse peoples together with a common and important goal in mind but also because in meditating on Earth as sacred we are empowering ourselves as warriors to defend the Earth.
Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug
In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.” ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.