Ecology of the Planet and Soul
The perfect balance of nature which has maintained life on our planet for millions of years is being threatened by the technology that has transformed the modern world. Every day the media reports new threats to the environment. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the land from which we derive our food are all progressively polluted. Concern for ecology has become one of the main preoccupations of the world.
We may divide this study into four areas: understanding the cycles of the nature, becoming aware of the effects of pollution, learning how to restore nature to its pristine beauty, and putting into practice methods to preserve the purity of nature.
I would like to examine the ‘ecology of the soul.’ There are fundamental laws and cycles that apply to the spirit just as to nature. We can gain awareness of how pollution affects us within as well as how it affects the world around us. The same four areas of study apply to inner and outer ecology. There is a perfect design in nature. The ecological system which got created on our Earth is so unique that ours is the only habitable planet.
Like natural cycles such as the water cycle, the plant cycle, and the fossil fuel cycle- there is also a cycle of the soul. The soul’s journey began within the creation of universe, and it has been in motion ever since. The soul is a spark of Divine, the enlivening soul within us. Like a diamond buried deep within the earth, or the layers of rich oil lying far below the earth’s surface, our most precious riches, the soul, lies buried beneath layers of mind, matter, and illusion.
As long as the soul inhabits the body, the body is alive. When the soul departs a body, the body dies. When God created the universes, He separated souls from Himself to inhabit the worlds. Thus began the cycle of the soul. God, while separating the souls from Himself, has also provided a way for the souls to return to Him. This way back is through the Naam or Word.
The next aspect of inner and outer ecology is Pollution. Like air and water, the soul has an innate beauty of its own. For millions of years, our Earth has had clean air and fresh flowing water. Exploitation of the planet has sullied these natural resources. Similarly, our insatiable appetite for gratifying our senses has also polluted the natural purity of the soul. The soul has been lead by the mind and has been caught in the sensory impressions of the world. Worldly desires and sensuous pleasures settle like dust on the pure soul.
The third aspect of inner and outer ecology is restoring the beauty of the soul. Ecologists who clean our polluted air and water and free animals trapped are the environmental heroes of our times. There are also ecologists of the soul. These beings have realized the pristine beauty of the spirit and are aware of the pollutants that cover it with layers of dirt and filth. These divine ecologists are better known as saints, mystics, and spiritual masters who have become pure and free of all that pollutes the soul.
A spiritual master shows us our true nature. He teaches us how to analyze ourselves so that we can separate our souls from the layers of the mind, matter, and illusion.
The fourth aspect of inner and outer ecology is preserving the natural beauty of the soul. Dedicated ecologists feel the sense of duty to preserve the purity of the environment. Ecologists are sensitive and avoid altering anything that would upset the balance of nature. Similarly, when we advance spiritually, we move through life with sensitivity, imperfections and pollutants covering us fall away and we are restored to our original purity.