Beautiful and Abundant

Publisher Bryan Welch on philosophy, farming and building the world we want.

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We Need a New Vision

8/27/2008 4:17:28 PM

Tags: Conservation, climate change, spirituality, positive visualization, monotheism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, human habitat

 BA church 

About 2,000 to 3,000 years ago monotheism emerged as humanity’s answer to the tribal conflicts that were consuming human lives and destroying natural resources. Over the course of a few centuries most of humanity converted to brand new systems of belief – either Judeo-Christian, Islamic or Buddhist. Among other benefits, monotheism allowed us to cooperate more successfully in larger groups. When every village had its own deities, the gods were always telling us to go kill the people over the hill so we could take their stuff. Monotheism helped us get past that. 

I believe that we are at another turning point and that the vision we need today is, at its root, a spiritual vision. Since we’re the only species that perceives its impact on the habitat, we have a sacred responsibility to protect it for our own sake as well as the sake of the biological system as a whole. The gospels of monotheism – Christian, Jewish and Moslem – place this “responsibility” on us, sometimes translated as “dominion.” Gradually, we are accepting this responsibility. If we are to fulfill our duty, we’re going to need a new vision of the future.

And we’re going to need it soon.

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10/15/2008 10:15:21 AM
What great comments! I'm not advocating anything in particular, here, only observing that today's Big Religions are probably not capable of answering tomorrow's spiritual questions. - Bryan

Tom Bolin
10/15/2008 4:03:27 AM
This article is very lofty and is based on many misconceptions. The first is the theory of monotheism. If there were monotheism you could ask every one on earth who or what God is and get the exact answer, however in reality if you ask a few strangers who or what God is. You will get as many answers as people you ask. With each person believing his or her answer is correct. I do agree that a change is needed but to achieve the change the author is seeking one would have to change the 2 most basic human traits, which are fear and greed. I wish hen or her the best of luck but I don’t expect it in my lifetime.

10/14/2008 8:09:54 PM
How about accepting the reality that "most of humanity" has never been monotheistic? And that Buddhism is not theistic? "When every village had its own deities, the gods were always telling us to go kill the people over the hill so we could take their stuff. Monotheism helped us get past that. " If you consider monotheism as a tool to unite groups of villages then getting "past that" must mean forming a cohesive empire that would still use it's particular faith as an excuse to invade other lands and perpetrate atrocities on a larger scale than was possible before these monotheistic religions violently took over. Also, most indigenous non-momotheistic religions also include ecosystem protection. Of course they rarely mention anything as pretentious as "dominion," instead going the more reasonable course of seeing humans as one small part of the whole—and viewing every part of their local ecosystem as sacred. I'm not saying ancient religions were without problems; I merely find the picture of monotheistic religions Mr. Welch has painted to be at least a little too rosy, if not downright intelectually insulting. We do need a new vision, however. We need an intellectual vision, without the dead weight of religios dogma holding us back from implementing the obvious, logical solutions we already have to most of our problems. I believe that this would constitute a spiritual progression, in that spirituality should not belong to any religion.

Hal Hardy
9/7/2008 2:46:24 PM
How about reviewing the vision of the Maya, Inca, Aztec and for that matter all societies, religions, and organizations. With the year 2012 significance of "leaving the underworld" and human consciousness "awakening" or expanding that is a from which we can revisit the teachings of all the great societies. In lak'esh is the Mayan way of saying Namaste. It means "I am another you" Great info at, ; a summary can be found by searching "2012" at Take the comments with a grain of salt as I'm sure most do. Also a good beginning is to just check out the "Tzolkin" at Hal Hardy Ix 11 Jaguar ;)

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