Natural Religions

If we take a look at the relationship between the different human cultures and the environment surrounding us, it is fairly obvious how this relationship in the western culture is hugely different from the relationship we can see in other cultures. Many are those who have speculated on the reasons for this difference, which are normally considered to be first and foremost of the utilitarian kind.

 

Personally I believe that the deepest root of this difference is essentially a spiritual reason, that makes the very way westerners perceive nature substantially different.

The great monotheist religions of the judaico-christian tradition (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) share a common foundation myth, where the only god creates man and give to him the earth as a gift so that he can be its lord and master. In this way you have from the ver beginning an incurable dicotomy between man and the rest of Nature, where this as a value only as a gift made by god to his creature so that he can enjoy it. It is not by chance, and it's worth remembering it, that none of these religions recognizes a soul or a spirituality to any being outside man itself.

When we consider that these religions are those who have prevailed, and we will not discuss how, in the western culture, it is hardly surprising that the preferred method of approach to nature in our society is a greedy stripping of anything that surrounds us, without any respect for what are today called biodiversities. This lack of respect gets as far as having no fear of genetically manipulating other organisms, seen only as components which might have an economic utility.

Obviously the situation has not always been such: monotheist religions arrived in relatively recent times, even though they managed to oust the natural religions nearly totally, destroying the existing balance with results that are now starting to be distinguishable also by the less attentive.

What this balance was is something we can recognize by watching the other natural religions, those practiced by populations that have been for longer times spared by the expansionism of the monotheistic religions, but whose traits we can find also in the religions practiced in Europe before their violent eradication.
Even if all these religions have numerous apparent differences, nonetheless they share some common traits, especially as far as the relationship between man and nature is concerned, showing that these spiritualities arise from a direct relationship with the universe and not from artificial superstructures.

In every natural religion, man is not something different from nature, but nature is a whole that differentiates itself into many equivalent parts, of which man is but one. Nature is the divine, not a divine manifestation. The intuition of quantum physics according to which everything is made of energy fluxes aggregating in different ways, giving our senses the illusion of things and creatures separate is in fact already present in this kind of spirituality where the Divine is everywhere and everything is part of the Divine.

This creates a radically different relationship with nature, a relationship based on acknowledging the need for a costant balance, a balance which is needed for everything to progress. Nature is acknowledged in its costant mutation, in the spiral dance of deaths and rebirths, each one of them necessary to the other, because you cannot have rebirth without death.

In the western culture we can find the remains of this knowledge inside many parts of christianity, which inherited from previous religions many uses and traditions to facilitate the transition for the first converts; after all many of the rural traditions, survived to centuries of persecutions, still tell us of this old wisdom... John Barleycorn must die,  this year's ear of corn must die so that next year's harvest can be made possible.