Tag Archives: ecology

Chinook Blessing Litany

The following traditional Chinook payer is quoted by Edward Goldsmith in the introduction to his book The Way: An Ecological World-View in order to illustrate the unique and profound relationship which exists between the individual, the earth and all the living beings:

We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together we ask her to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the mountains, the Cascades and the Olympics, the high green valleys and meadows filled with wild flowers, the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the land which grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and we ask that they

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the forests, the great trees reaching strongly to the sky with earth in their roots and the heavens in their branches, the fir and the pine and the cedar, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and forests and the seas, our brothers and sisters the wolves and deer, the eagle and dove, the great whales and the dolphin, the beautiful Orca and salmon who share our Northwest home, and we ask them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

We call upon all those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dreamed the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are build, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

And lastly, we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of the Great Spirit of love and truth which flows through all the Universe … to be with us to

Teach us, and show us the Way.

First published in 1992, The Way is Edward Goldsmith’s magnum opus. In it, he proposes that the stability and integrity of humans depend on the preservation of the balance of natural systems surrounding the individual–family, community, society, ecosystem, and the ecosphere itself. Portraying life processes and ecological thinking as holistic, Goldsmith calls for a paradigm shift away from the reductionist approach of modern science.

The basic belief in the whole was at the heart of the worldview of primal, earth-oriented societies, as manifested by the Tao of the ancient Chinese, the R’ta of Vedic India, the Asha of the Avestas, and the Sedaq of the tribal Hebrews. The Way was the path taken to maintain the critical order of the cosmos. Echoing the way of traditional cultures, Goldsmith presents an all-embracing, coherent worldview that promotes more harmonious and sustainable practices capable of satisfying real biological, social, ecological, and spiritual needs. (From Amazon book description)

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