"We believe that the future of Unitarian Universalism depends upon becoming a transformative spiritual force committed to leading people out of the wilderness of individual prosperity and into the joy of communal intimacy and solidarity. This movement begins by reimagining our faith communities as sites of spiritual transformation committed to healing the world rather than as sanctuaries tucked away from it. Only by committing ourselves to a process of deep spiritual conversion will we be capable of resolving the environmental and social collapses occurring all around us...
The first step towards a solution is to admit that we are beyond the point of avoiding calamitous climate change... The second step is admitting that we need help. Specifically... humanity needs help from the divine and creative life force that is greater than the selfish interests of our individual egos. Anything shy of this confession will leave us with the illusion that we will somehow, through our own power and ingenuity, solve the problem. But we cannot solve a spiritual problem with intellectual solutions...
We feel called to help people experience God - the creative life force - and to restore a sacred relationship to our planet. We are saying, "Wake up, wake up! Put down your ego. Submit to transformation." We believe that our survival as a species, and the survival of many other species, relies on more religion, not less. And it is contingent upon a religion that asks us to practice, praise, and worship not for our own benefit but for the benefit of others. It is a style of worship that asks us to surrender our drive to fulfil our own spiritual needs and, instead, to seek out worship that aims to fulfil the spiritual needs of others."
Ian White MaherI've already said we're going to need each other. I also think we're going to need God. In this climate crisis, where we're going to have to respond, react, and live through great change, we're going to need God.
I'm not talking about an external saviour in the clouds who is going to sort us all out. I'm talking about the God within. That divine indwelling that is nevertheless not the same thing as our egos.
The spiritual, psychological, and economic basis of the crisis is, at least partly, about the ego pursuing its growth and protection. It's about a sense of self that wants to keep acquiring and having power-over, which, in people who are already privileged, creates the system that we have.
This system breaks when we have the ability to say, "I need help." When we become capable of saying the sentence "I need help" we dethrone the ego, and admit the limits of our individualistic self. Twelve Step spirituality is based on the idea that we need to get to the point to admit we need help. Until we reach that point, we're going to resist the spiritual transformation that we need.
In the climate crisis we're going to need to be able to say "I need help". We are going to need help from each other, we're going to need help to share resources in a way we have previously horded resources. We are going to need help to live in a more sustainable, and local way. Living in such a way as to admit we need help will both mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis and live in a resilient way through the crisis.
So, if we take up the spiritual practice of daily saying, "I need help" it will begin to flex those mental muscles that we need. It reminds us that we cannot solve this problem through our own ingenuity and ego power. That is what has caused the problem in the first place. Rather we need the shift from the ego to the divine within that connects to the rest of the universe. We need the shift from individualism to divine interdependence.
We need to be able to say to the Universe, say to God (I believe that this is the same thing) "I need your help. I am dependent on you for food, for air, for existence, I am dependent on you for everything. And I need help in this crisis. I cannot do it on my own. I do not have the power to do it on my own. I need you."
This daily practice of prayer, this daily practice of giving the self over to the grace of God we begin to create the transformation we need in ourselves, and by extension the transformation we need in the world.
Personally if I think of all the problems of the world and think "this depends on me to solve" I'm likely to start to feel hopeless. There's just too much work to do. I can't do it. I can't even think of doing it if I think of you and and a few other people as well. I can't even conceive of it being hopeful if I think of a movement (whether religious or political) doing it. I need to submit my needs to the Greater, to the Totality. I need help, and I cannot do it without the divine help that is close by to me but also encompasses the totality of the universe. I need help from God. I'm going to need it. We're going to need it.