The Original Great Mother Tradition
Mother Worship

MatriTalks 62


Questions & Answers
Han Marie Stiekema Sermes

"I urge governments, development and environmental organizations to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen."

Desmond Tutu

Q. My impression is, that you have a "soft spot" for the environment. Would you tell us more about that?

A. Everybody should have that. In my case, from very early on, I considered nature as my "second home". My parents used to have a small piece of forest, in which I always played. I had great interest in the vegetation. Later, I became an enthusiastic bird watcher.

Q. Ever since, the situation has changed dramatically. The "environment" being the dominant issue, with regard to our survival. What could you contribute to saving the earth?

A. Understandably, most concern goes to the environment itself: climate change, poverty etc. However, this our concern may overshadow the underlying causes. With "the environment" after all, is nothing wrong. It is human behavior, that causes the trouble.

Q. Looking at ourselves in the first place?

A. From my experience as a (holistic) medical doctor I know, that illness can only be cured, once you know the underlying causes. Without that, treatment will be symptomatic, only.

Q. So, what would you consider the NR. 1 factor in human behavior, that is responsible for the current crisis?

A. It is no secret, that human greed is most responsible. We may talk about "greenhouse effect" and "CO2-levels". Obviously, these issues have to be brought to the governments, international organizations and the public. The real cause behind it though, is greed, together with its consequences: over-production and over-consumption.

Q.  Putting the emphasis elsewhere.

A. It would be very fruitful for everybody, involved in environmental action, to realize, that "the environment" has deep spiritual roots. The essence can be phrased as "to have is the inability to Be". Because we have lost contact with the Source, we looked for compensatory satisfaction in "having". However, "having" doesn't satisfy our longing for "Being", hence "having" becoming an obsession. It is our collective self-addiction, that is destroying the earth. Hence, the spiritual approach is essential.

Q. Which is hardly recognized by the "official" organizations, right now.

A. Of course, environmental organizations are aware of the pattern of behavior, that contributes to the destruction of the environment. What they usually don't realize, though, is that these roots are spiritual.

Q. Maybe they do, but consider this as a secondary factor.

A. Considering the seriousness of the situation, no any approach should be left out. Neither should it be overlooked, that the number of people interested in spirituality, is rapidly growing.

Q. What would you tell these and other people?

A.  Like the environmental organizations do, I first of all would lay emphasis on the seriousness of the situation. This can be illustrated by the "big six": climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity, melting ice caps, desertification and destruction of the rainforests. The alarming thing is, that these problems are all interlinked. Which means, that changes in one system, may (dramatically) trigger changes in the other.

Q.  Please, go on.

A. Secondly, I would emphasize the advantages of an "ideology". Look, as it is now, all emphasis is laid on environmental action, which obviously is indispensable. The dangers of limiting yourself to them only, are a too symptomatic approach, lack of cohesion and being incorporated by the "market economy" (the same economy, which destroys the environment...), alienating yourself from the people. In order to cope with an increasing fragmentation, an underlying philosophy could be of great support.

Q.  Which inevitably has to go to the depth of things.

A. Seeing the interconnectedness of things is a major incentive for building insight, motivation and empowerment. It is the essence of ecology, after all. The ideas about "Mother Earth"* are based on it. It is here, that we may contribute. It consists of our effort toward Transformation of Self and Society. The underlying principles, as you know, include A New Spirituality, A New World View and A New Community.

* "Mother Earth" is a "Daughter" of the Great Cosmic Mother. She is part of the latter's Material Body: the universe.

Q.  That is rather a mouthful. What would be your strategy of winning people over to your plan?

A. First of all, people should get an idea about the "true" nature of the crisis, seen from a spiritual point of view. The fact, that our society is based on a collective self-addiction; that accumulations on all levels of society, have exceeded critical limits; that the Cosmic Vacuum is not tolerating these transgressions anymore; which is the (spiritual) explanation of the worldwide disintegration of our current system. It is a movement from the periphery to the Center. "Going with the flow" means, that you return to the Source, in order to "die to the old", while becoming reborn as a New Self.

Q.  Aren't you afraid, that quite some environmentalists would consider this as a too "esoteric" approach?

A. If they are truly dedicated to their cause, then they should realize, that every approach, that could contribute to saving the earth is indispensable, even those approaches, that seem strange to them.

Q. Cooperation rather than turning away from each other.

A. That this is inevitable, may be illustrated by our second step. Once people have accepted the necessity of "dying to the old" - letting go of self-centeredness, e.g. attachments to "having" - then the logic of A New World View, as the vehicle for Regeneration, will be all too self-evident. Patriarchal strategies, like profit, competition, exploitation and injustice have to be replaced by "feminine" values, a.o. wholeness, interconnectedness, inclusiveness, mutuality, cooperation and justice.... 

Q. Which indeed sounds fair enough.

A. Contrary to Western rational approach, countless groups in the so-called Third World cherish, in some way or another, similar approaches to life. Establishing relationships with them, is one of our priorities.

Q. Considering the complaints of environmental organizations about the slothfulness of both governments, international organizations and the public, with regard to taking up decisive action, I think the spiritual approach could fill in the gap. It could work on the motivation of people.

A. We need "enlightened action". This obviously, can only come "from within". What I hope is, that my approach may ignite the inner fire in people. Once some forerunners stand up, inspiring bigger groups of people, a breakthrough could be brought about. Our third step could be of great value, in this regard. It is completing the first two. It consists of actually terminating your individualistic and materialistic behavior, while fitting in into "Heaven, earth and the (new) community, once again*. To support initiatives I offer "Spiritual training for environmental leaders".

* See Index, click "The Great Learning", click Step 1-7.

Q. Your varied abilities also include health care. Could this also play a role with protecting the environment?

A. Absolutely. Already many years ago, I launched the idea of supporting Third World groups - women, eco-agriculture, communities - in their effort to improve the health of their members through our "Flow System Therapy". In 1998 in Brazil, we had our first very successful try-out. To our amazement, especially people from the favela's (the poorest of all), received it with great enthusiasm. The advantage is, that if poor people start applying principles of holistic health to their own communities, they will more easily understand the necessity of protecting the wholeness of nature.

Q. Where could readers find some more information about above mentioned?

A. Look into: step 7; MatriTalks 67 also contains some information. Spiritual training for environmental leaders, see "The Integral Way"

Furthermore: BBC "Planet under pressure"

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Last revising: 02/07/10