The most important publication issued since the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has gone largely unnoticed in the conservation world.
The Laudato Si is a 200 page position paper issued by the Catholic Church on the impact humans are having on Planet Earth. Published in May 2015 the document is a call-to-action to redress the damage we’ve caused to Mother Nature.
Sometimes an insight knocks you off your feet so hard that it takes a while to articulate it. Making the connections intuitively doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to share it with the outside world. Sometimes a revelation needs to be nurtured in the dark womb of your own imagination before you’re ready to introduce it to the glare of public scrutiny.
And like a small child this truth has been gently offered to one, then two, then a few more people, until now, when I’m confident enough to share it publicly. So here goes.
It was Heritage Day and full moon. And then someone reminded me that it was also the spring equinox, the time of cosmic equilibrium. Well that did it. A magical veil drew down as I stepped into the past, and the Land of Molten Metal – Mapungubwe.
This is written for those people for whom neither blind faith nor cold science are enough.
“The world will be saved by the Western woman,” is a quote widely attributed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.There have been mixed reactions to his pronouncement, some of them quite funny. For those who may be bemused by it I’ll attempt to give my personal interpretation of it.
There are times in life when a seemingly insignificant experience lives with you long after the event. This ‘thing’ takes on a life of its own and sits on your shoulder tapping away asking for recognition. It happened to me not so long ago.
A visit to an unique rock art site, called Driekopseiland, revealed a level of spirituality in the First People of Africa that I don’t believe has been appreciated before. What follows is a testimony.
It’s hard not to feel the power of the place when you first step on the smooth bed of the Riet River. And when you start to discover the etchings – 3500 of them concentrated over a hundred square metres – you realise that this was one very important location to the people who scratched at the rock 1300 years ago.
As one discovery leads you onto another and another you get drawn into its mystery as surely as if you were in the curve of its vortex.
Many Westerners regard African tribal lore as simplistic, even naïve. This is far from true. On the contrary, African beliefs reveal a sophisticated, experiential understanding of the natural environment – one that most Westerners have lost touch with.
Born out of millenia of living at the mercy of the Earth’s vagaries, rural Africans have an innate understanding of nature. With the current environmental problems facing the planet, traditional Africa is a good place to search for the wisdom that points the way to ensuring our continued place here.
With this in mind I went looking for the Keepers of the Knowledge, the Sangomas and the Healers in rural South Africa recently.