Band of Sisters | Universe Story | Ecotheology

A few weeks ago, I decided to do an impromptu viewing of a documentary film, presented as part of a colloquium course at a local college. I attended the screening of the Band of Sisters made by Mary Fishman, who was there in person to answer questions from the audience following the film.

Catholic Nuns, USA, Band of Sisters

Remarkable Journey of Catholic Nuns in the USA Band of Sisters

I wasn’t persuaded to go for religious reasons, but for educational ones. I learned that some Catholic nuns in the United States have been doing actions that have been really bucking the system. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and dealt directly with some populations that some find unsavory. This has caused some self-proclaimed religious people to shudder. The nuns have literally had to go through a lot of obstacles – including the Church itself – to accomplish what they’ve been doing. They’ve been welcomed with opened arms by the populations on the fringes of society whom they’ve been helping and healing; including gays, lesbians, the impoverished and the imprisoned.

What caused me to almost fall out of my chair and/or jump for joy in my amazement and applause, was one of the subjects brought up in the film, the Universe Story. A completely divergent way of viewing ‘creation’, the Universe Story extends beyond the dogmas that have been consecrated for thousands of years about how the Earth and Man were created. All the doctrines dictated by the Vatican and most churches in general, have held to the same track. This rather disparate point of view percolating among some of the nuns and other theological figures, was explored in the film. It is so off the beaten track. It’s not embracing the image of heaven and hell, with earth in between…but extending out to the entire cosmos – basically stating that from the earth, to man and woman to the ladybug, we are all part of the same atomic structure and ALL PART OF THE SAME FABRIC.

Mind, Psyche, Spirit, The Universe Story, Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry

“The Universe Story” by Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry unites science and the humanities in a dramatic exploration of the unfolding of the universe, humanity’s evolving place in the cosmos and the boundless possibilities for our future.

The Universe Story or The Cosmic story are interchangeable titles describing the same concept of The New Story. This video link is narrated by Brian Swimme, the co author of The Universe Story. Swim states that “We have discovered such a tremendous amount of knowledge about the universe in the last 100 years; more than we have known during the entire history of human development. Our way forward, is to begin to formulate a new story, so that we can live in a way that is coherent with our universe as we have come to know it.”

Thomas Berry was a Catholic priest, cultural historian and ecotheologian, who called himself an ‘Earth Scholar’. In terms of ecospirituality, he proposed that a deep understanding of the history and functioning of the evolving universe is a necessary inspiration and guide for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species.

The life and work of Thomas Berry was predicated on the conviction that human spiritual development is moved by the same universal laws as material development. The author Michael Colebrook describes two key elements in Thomas Berry’s thinking: “Firstly, the primary status of the universe. Secondly, the significance of the Universe Story’. The universe story is the quintessence of reality. We perceive the story. We put it in our language, the birds put it in theirs, we can read the story of the universe in the trees. Everything tells the story of the universe. The winds tell the story, literally, not just imaginatively. The story has its imprint everywhere, and that is why it is so important to know the story. If you do not know the story, in a sense you do not know yourself; you do not know anything.

Ecological Buddhism, Buddhist, Global Warming

Ecological Buddhism, Buddhist, Global Warming

Berry is considered a leader in the tradition of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who abandoned literal interpretations of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of allegorical and theological interpretations.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest and paleontologist who worked to understand evolution and faith. He was born May 1, 1881, and died on April 10, 1955. Teilhard fully participated in a life that included priesthood, living and working in the front lines of war, field work exploring the early origins of the human race and adventurous travels of discovery in the backlands of China. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin also participated fully in an intellectual life through the development of his imaginative, mystical writings on the evolutionary nature of the world and the cosmos.

His writings were rejected by ecclesiastical authorities. In his thinking and writing, Teilhard studied the intimate relationship between the evolutionary development of the material and the spiritual world, leading him to celebrate the sacredness of matter infused with the Divine presence.

I had written about some of Chardin’s quotes in a former blog https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/eureka-p-i-e-r-r-e-t-e-i-l-h-a-r-d-de-c-h-a-r-d-i-n-spiritual-beings-having-a-human-experience/

Spiritual Beings ,Human experience, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As a tree-hugger and environmental activist who believes in the rights to life (not talking anti-abortion) of all of the inhabitants of creation and their habitats, this struck a chord with my own devotion to nature and spiritual ecology. It was such a eureka moment, that…I had to blog about it.

When I learned of this movement rumbling among some of the Sisters that is completely askew from the top-down creation story I wondered if this is being met with resistance from within the Vatican walls. I can’t imagine that it would not be turning the church with its entrenched belief systems, on their head.

Though introduced to Christianity and raised attending Lutheran church services during my upbringing, I can solidly say that I’m not a religious person. I am however very spiritual. huh? How can that be? Well, I feel the Buddhist mentality and hear the Native American beliefs; that the intelligence of the universe can be seen and felt EVERYWHERE. As Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey are illuminating to the public currently through their online meditation workshop – the divine is within. It is reachable if you only shut up and listen. uh, Sorry, what I mean to say more politely is: if you tune out the fear, the ‘what if’s’ and tune in to the recognition that life is this incredible miracle that is all around us and within us and realize that there is an intelligence in our cells which keep our bodies functioning, and that you can find ‘divine guidance’ through seeing and recognizing this and trusting that this intelligence can and does also pour through you! You can find it in all sorts of synchronicities that guide you, if you simply listen. The incredible intelligence that is happening within our bodies, in the cooperation of trillions of cells, in the patterns of weather, in the movements of the planets, the formation of the earth, of life, of the cosmos and the coordination of everything happening at the cellular and sub-atomic levels IS PERFECTION. It is HEAVEN on EARTH and well, HELL is what mankind stirs up through somehow missing the point and disregarding the fact that Nature, in all that it manifests, IS the Supreme INTELLIGENCE that is inside your fingernail, in the clump of soil that you pick up with your fingers from the dirt. It’s about re cognizing and ap prehending that there’s a reason that science and technology has mimicked nature, it is because it’s already the perfect, inspirational and fabulous design.

Where has humanity gone wrong? Perhaps it’s somehow inseparable from those nasty 5 letter words that drive wedges between people and create antipathy and competition instead of empathy and cooperation

 

p   o   w   e   r   |   m   o   n   e   y   |   g   r   e   e   d

MTR, Museum of Television and Radio, five-letter, Lenny Bruce

(MTR) Museum of Television and Radio nYc poster : Two five-letter words: Lenny Bruce

 

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. Lenny Bruce

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. Lenny Bruce

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Brian Swimme says in the conclusion of his video introducing the concept of the New Story “we need to ‘provide a pathway to a future of vibrant life” …. and my words ….. because if we naively follow the paths carved out by politicians who are tied in with bankers and corporations who are only looking towards carving out their short-term goals for making a profit through toxic industries that are destroying the earth and the habitat of humans and all other creatures, then we will surely continue blindly towards our own path of peril and destruction.

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About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

3 Responses to Band of Sisters | Universe Story | Ecotheology

  1. Pingback: My Proposition “Humanity Without Borders” | digesthis

  2. Pingback: Propose a “Humanity Without Borders” Commission made of Collaborative countries to Create Jobs & Place Refugees Worldwide into 1. Renewable Energy Production (Wind, Solar, Wave, Geothermal) 2. Affordable Elderly Care Positions | Carolkeiter's

  3. Pingback: The Great Awakening | EcoSpirituality | Now Is The Time | The Giver | Carolkeiter's Blog

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