The world is a beautiful and mysterious place, full of possibilities and abundance. It is an intricate, balanced network of life. Counter to this natural balance are systems of domination and waste that produce lives filled with hopelessness, brutality, and hunger. These darker influences are interwoven into cultures all over the planet, making it difficult to imagine a world without them.
Systems of domination and waste are a consequence of desires shaped by faulty perceptions of the world and our place in it. Perceptions can be changed. Our perceptions are formed by stories that give meaning and direction to life. Humans are storied creatures. We think in the form of narratives. Even our most scientific understandings are communicated as a story. Our foundational stories present us with a vision of the world and shape our desires and actions.
Some stories form a perspective of our place on Earth as being part of creation, with us striving to live in harmony and balance. Other stories form an image of the Earth as a resource, meant to be exploited for our own purposes. The stories that we allow to form our minds and the minds of our children have the power to change our world.
Instead, imagine a story of interconnectedness and enoughness that leaves us at harmony with the Earth. The stories of us versus them need to be replaced with the story of we. The stories of peace through violence needs to be replaced with the story of peace through reconciliation.
Humanity no longer has the luxury to simply separate from those who differ in thinking. We must engage in the demanding work of resolving differences. The impact of human activity in this world has become so massive that some stories being told threaten the health and security of everyone on the planet. Therefore, the stories we tell, and the way of life they produce, should be everyone’s concern.
Religions have powerful stories that influence their followers, but religion can also create dividing walls and hostility between people of different faiths. Some have tried to overcome religious division by claiming that all religions essentially teach the same thing. This is not true and is disrespectful to the unique teachings that each faith offers. The Sacred Revolution seeks to find common ground in areas that most faiths and non-religious people can agree on, while celebrating our unique differences as vital to the richness of life.
The story of the Sacred Revolution has been largely shaped by the life and teachings of Jesus; however, we do not fall neatly into a “Christian” package. We are excited to find areas of commonality with others rather than focusing on division.
Reflecting on the mysteries of life fills us with a sense of awe as we consider the ultimate Source of life and being. This feeling of awe is the experience of approaching the sacredness of the Source. The Source has been given many different names by religion or science, and people have developed unique practices of respecting it. The origin of the word sacred means “to be separate,” and we use sacred to describe people, time, places, and things which are connected to the Source. That is, they are set apart from what is commonplace and are more closely related to the Source.
The origin of the word revolution mean “to turn around,” as in revolve, and applies to turning around systems of human organization. Most of our experience of revolutions involve the violent overturning of governments. By referring to our movement as a Sacred Revolution, we mean to show that our revolution is not one of violence, but of peace.
Massive inequality of wealth, justice, and resources are typical in systems of domination. These systems use violence and propaganda to legitimize inequality. Oppression, brutality, and hopelessness are the experiences of those at the bottom of the system. It is no better at the top, as they experience a lack of satisfaction and sensitivity for those below them. When a few benefit at the expense of the many, you have a domination system.
Waste is foreign to the natural systems of creation. Within the Earth’s ecosystem there is no waste, as everything cycles back as food or a resource to another part of the system. Everything has value. This is how it must be to sustain life in a limited system. Waste systems create byproducts that are toxic, unusable, and destroy the environment. Waste systems typically depend on continual growth and therefore promote chronic overconsumption.
When Jesus called his followers to love their enemies, he was not expecting them to feel a strong emotional attachment to them, but that they would not dehumanize their enemies. Loving an enemy means that we remember we are all connected; therefore, we must struggle to find alternative ways of addressing wrongs rather than defaulting to the use of violence or retribution. Compassion means to feel for one another and to empathize with what someone else is experiencing.
We recognize and respect the sacred in everything. All of life and creation are a gift from the ultimate Source and everything in our world is interconnected and interdependent in countless ways. This is the fundamental shift in the stories we tell and all that follows is a consequence of seeing the sacred in everything. This would seem to be in contradiction to the definition of sacred, “to be separate.” The separateness of the sacred comes from a human desire to keep the purity of the Source clean from the dirtiness we experience in life; however, the dirtiness of life is the result of a failure to recognize the sacred in everything. When we view a person, place, or thing as common, it is easier to misuse it than if we recognize it as sacred.
Recognizing the sacred in everything has a profound effect on our perception of the world and our interactions with it and each other. Caring for creation is vital to our existence, as is having respect for all people including those who have wronged us. We must learn to see the sacred in ourselves, as we are also a part of the whole.
We honor the diversity of religious and philosophical perspectives to the degree that they affirm life and reject violence as a means to an end. We listen to others’ experiences of the sacred, allowing it to expand our understanding in beautiful ways.
We acknowledge that our well-being is directly dependent on the well-being of all others.
We are led to alleviate the suffering of people and end the destruction of creation brought about by systems of domination and waste. This is because we recognize and respect the sacred in all things.
We commit to nonviolent action in working to alleviate suffering and destruction. A commitment to nonviolence is essential if we are to avoid replacing one system of domination with another.
We seek the redemption and reconciliation of our oppressors, or enemies, rather than their destruction. We see those caught up in running systems of domination and waste as in need of rescue as much as those who are victims of the systems.
We choose to utilize love and compassion as tools in dismantling systems of domination and waste.