I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of on-line resouces that might help me - I've been asked to write an article on the above topic - particularly how the focus on co-creation informs Quakers around sustainability issues in the world.
Hi Beth: might I suggest QEWnet's discussion forum? There is a list of resources that various Friends have suggested http://qewnet.ning.com/forum/topics/resources-list-for-earthcare
and a number of other threads. You could even start one of your own. I'd be interested in hearing what happens on this thread in QuakerQuaker...
While good suggestions have been made to contact QEW, I don't know that it has anything yet specific to your question on how the focus on co-creation informs sustainability issues.
There is a new committee within QEW that just started meeting monthly since June. It is looking at spiritual implications from many directions. One of its focuses comes from looking at things from the new cosmology or "new story" unfolding since the big bang, has everything connected even to the sub atomic level. Continuing revelation is connected to continuing evolution and how we act and how we think is connected to this.
Ultimately, all that stands between matter and energy is a dance at the sub atomic level. Which is to say that all things are energy, in one state or another. There are at least three different examples about the energy - matter connection that I find very intriguing.
Bell's Theorem on non-locality: Both theory and tests prove a connection of matter over distance.
Dr. Masaru Emoto"s research on the effect of emotion on the physical properties of water: Expose water to negative energies of anger or fear and it's frozen crystalline structure is muddled. Expose water to positive energies of love and hope and it's frozen crystalline structure is beautiful and clear.
Lynne McTaggart's writings ("The Field" , "The Intention Experiment") about the affects of intention (focussed prayer, meditation, etc.) on physical outcomes
These three examples show to me that there is a direct connection between all things (we are one) and that that connection may be that we all exist in the same field of energy and our abilities to advance to the next level of evolution may be in our ability to tap into that field on a conscious level. Quakers already do this in part as a form of worship in which we expectantly wait in silence to tap into the "light". Can this "light" be the same as the "field"?
I have been part of a sustainability group in my quaker meeting for the last 18 months. We had difficulty finding anything specifically quaker in relation to sustainability. There are various projects in BYM but they all focus on the external activities such as how to reduce carbon foot print. These are important, but as a spiritual movement, I expect we should also look at internal drivers and values and find a quaker response. Our Sustainability group has developed some activities and workshops that try to encourage quakers to examine how they live with the testimonies, how there quaker values and principles are expressed or struggled with on a daily basis and seek ways to support each other to change. We have tried to avoid the subject of "recycling" and re-using" and encourage people to find their uniquely quaker response to the challenges of our times. For example, there has been a great concern among our members about feeling guilt tripped, guilty or afraid that they will have to give up their consumerist ways, holidays and excessive car use. So we have created space for people to examine their guilt and fear, if thats where they're coming from, thats their starting point. Is fear and guilt a spur or an immobiliser? etc. What role does dogma play in their response to climate change? How sustainable are their Quaker ways? and so on and so forth. Britain YM next yearly meeting is on this very subject. It is in July/august 2011 at canterbury. You can find information and documents on BYM website at : http://www.quaker.org.uk/home
I need to respond to your observation that you are having difficulty finding anything specifically Quaker in relation to sustainability.
The five major testimonies all speak to sustainability.
Personally I start from the perspective of equality. If we are all equal, we need to be observant not to take more than our share. and not to leave our waste in another's backyard.
Simplicity is also self explanatory. If each of of lived a more simple life there would be less of a problem. This is not about feeling guilty. It is about examining the choices we make and finding those places where extravagance has crept in with desire. Does this material good add to the quality of my life as a Quaker? Guilt can be a reminder that we are not being true to ourselves.
Peace will be tested hard in the absence of sustainability. While I am concerned about the affects of warming it is the climate change that I fear. Russia burning up in the summer heat, ruining their grain harvest. Pakistan being flooded out this past spring with the monsoons leaving 25,000,000 people displaced and ruining their crops. Quick, do the math, of 25,000,000 people on the move, hungry and homeless, and wait for the disease to set in like in Haiti, How many of these are males between the age of 15 & 25? (talk about a guy thing) The answer is about 2,000,000 give or take. They are hungry, out of work, too much time on their hands, and they are angry. What do you think the fallout of this is going to be? This is one of the many problems caused by climate change that are not being addressed. This is a Peace issue. This is a spiritual crisis.
Community. It is only through community that I think we are going to be able to solve the issues that are coming down on us. While localization movements are picking up around the world (transition towns, etc.) it will be our faith communities that we will be able to draw strength from in tough times.
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