The Loss of the Sacred and a Prayer for the Earth

By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Working with Oneness


When an individual loses contact with the light of their soul, when its embers are covered, almost extinguished, that person loses the opportunity for spiritual evolution. They remain imprisoned in their patterns of behavior, in their own ego or instinctual self. Life continues, but an essential ingredient that gives meaning is lost. And what happens to an individual could also happen to the whole planet, if we lose touch with what is sacred, if we no longer care for the planet with the love and prayers it needs, with the rituals known to our ancestors. Traditionally the individual is the microcosm of the whole, the lesser Adam to the greater Adam of the whole Earth. And just as we are called to look after our own soul, our own sacred self, so life calls us to be guardians of the sacred within creation. But for centuries we have been ignoring this calling, until our present time when we can hardly hear the cry of the Earth in its time of need.

And so the world is dying, dying both from our industrial exploitation, the toxins of our culture, the loss of species, and also dying from the loss of the sacred. This inner and outer devastation walk hand in hand into the abyss we are facing, even as we continue to forget. And while we can see the signs of our environmental plundering, the inner ravages of the soul and the world soul, the anima mundi, go unnoticed. We have forgotten how to read the signs—we have forgotten the language of the soul.

So I am left with the question that keeps haunting me: what will it take for us to awaken, and more important, what will it take for the world to awaken, for the song of creation to be heard once again? In that song all of life becomes alive in a new way, joy and meaning can return to the ravaged landscapes of the soul.

My own journey has taken me across many seas, to shores of light, landscapes of love. There mystery, beauty, and the sacred are part of what is natural, what is fully alive. Yet always I return to the physical world, to the ground under my feet. And I find myself with the simple question: how can we reclaim its wonder, this sense of the sacred? What pathways do we need to walk, what sacrifices do we need to make, to find again what is so essential? What is the prayer that is a real response to the cry of the Earth? If we can hear the cry of the Earth, feel this grief in our soul, then something in our heart opens. We are not separate from the Earth, her loss is our loss, her cry our cry. Our heart becomes the Earth’s prayer that calls, and love the response to that call. We are drawn back to the simple human values of love and care—love and care for the Earth and its myriad inhabitants. More and more I believe that small things with love are what are needed—acts rooted in loving kindness—because it is in these qualities that the soul is present, and only when the soul is present can miracles happen, can magic come alive, and prayers be answered.[2] And love is the greatest force in creation.

Only our love for the Earth can heal what we have devastated, redeem the inner and outer wasteland we have made through our greed and forgetfulness. It may seem too simple and idealistic, an inadequate response to the realities of ecological devastation. But love and prayer can reawaken the sacred within creation, make the ground under our feet both whole and holy. We cannot heal what we have ravaged only through science and technology, though they can help.[3] But first we need to remember and return to what is sacred, to the hidden music of creation—the heartbeat of the world. Only then will our actions be in harmony with all of life, its interconnected web, and so help both humanity and the planet return into balance. Then the Earth can reawaken as the living, spiritual being it really is, and begin the work of healing itself. It can share with us its deep wisdom. We will learn to work together with the forces within nature and life’s deepest purpose.

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Working with Oneness



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