"We have to de-anthropocentrize this thing about falling in love, which our culture reduces to soap operas and finding a mate. We have to realize that we fall in love with CREATION."
While people these days talk about the important issues of what kind of sex or gender each of us identifies with or is attracted to in another human being, I find my interests lie in a broader question: what does an erotic relationship with THE EARTH mean? Here I'm not talking so much about what we do with our genitals, but how the wider, more expansive energy of EROS is experienced primarily within the heart but also in the body, mind, emotions, soul and spirit that are rooted first and foremost in a ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EARTH. While people used to act as though it is "strange and kinky" to discuss such things, I've discovered that there is now an entire movement devoted to what Terry Tempest Williams calls "an erotics of place." It goes by the name of "Ecosexuality," and here is a whole Wikipedia article I recently discovered on the topic:
The bridal mysticism tradition of Contemplative Christianity has for centuries oriented this love affair vertically toward Transcendence, or toward what we often refer to as '"God." I believe that maintaining an erotic relationship with this Great Beyond - present both in the sky-like vastness of awareness and in the bottomless interior canyon of love - is still and always will be of vast importance.
After all, "God" continues to serve as the vast and endlessly deep backdrop - accessed through various meditative practices - upon which or out of which all beings are able to manifest themselves in all of their beauty and grandeur. Mystical traditions are skilled at helping us realize that if we want to experience the sacredness of the world around us, we need to do so primarily by watching all things emerge like fresh, spontaneous echoes out of the love of God; that is, out of the Backdrop of spacious awareness and the bottomless interior canyon or abyss of love.
But in our time we are realizing that we also need to have a love affair horizontally with the immanent presence indwelling the Earth, traditionally called the "World Soul," (the Anima Mundi) or perhaps "the Goddess." This sacred presence can be experienced as a seamless flow, an infinite, horizontal web of life that includes all things. For only by falling in love with this web will we have the energy to care for our Earth, who is - we are now finding - actually the Ultimate Beloved. For even GOD is emptied out in bliss and love into the World Soul's multi-faceted goodness and beauty. Doomsday scenarios alone prove ineffective in motivating us to care for our amazing planet. It is FALLING IN LOVE with the sacredness of the Earth that is, I would maintain, the primary factor . . .
Photo: Lory State Park, CO, May 9, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.