About Sacred Earth
Network - Founder's Message
Welcome to the Sacred Earth Network (SEN) Website!
2008 Founders Message
I remember 20 years ago when several of us decided we would hang on to our new name: "Sacred Earth Network" (SEN). Back then people did not know what to make of us. Were we a religious cult? Had we mistakenly put "Earth" in place of the more commonly used "Heart"? Some of the mail was even addressed to "Scared Earth Network" and "Sacred Birth Network."
Fortunately, no one seems to be confused anymore. Our network of friends and supporters -- some of whom have been with us since the beginning -- are proud to be part of a spiritual- ecological organization. Whenever we gather together they comment on how many other groups seem to need to define themselves as either "spiritual " or "ecological, " and that it is such a relief not to do so. And, of course, there is the "Network" in our name. This network is a community and is international in scope. Supporters gather not around the business structure of SEN, a small nonprofit organization, but for the values we uphold. Let's name a few of these:
1. The Earth is sacred. She is an alive and miraculous being, not a collection of dead resources to be exploited and discarded.
2. People are not separate from Nature. We are embedded in Her.
3. Indigenous people doing their best to live a traditional lifestyle are directly linked to a working example of sustainability.
4. Everything is connected. There is no "out there" so all our thoughts and actions have real consequences, either positive or negative.
During our programs -- all intended to be mutually supportive -- these values come into the conversations, whether with Natives or non-Natives. In fact, usually, we don't just talk about them but feel them as part of our essential humanness. In so doing, we invoke a deep and powerful memory of life in balance. This core perception becomes our compass and prime motivator for it lies in the human genome. Each of us is indigenous to some part of Mother Earth, if we go back far enough, and knows sustainable culture. We just need to remember and act.
So judging by what the world's great scientists and indigenous elders are saying, humanity is at a crossroads. Now is truly the time to come together and evolve as two-leggeds. Huge destructive forces, rooted in fear, have unleashed the greatest extinction spasm since the time of the dinosaur. I believe that when we come together in love we wake up into the greater planetary intelligence and really listen to our evolutionary imperative. It is from this place that we can be most effective.
Thomas Berry, a SEN advisor, "geologian," and one of the most eloquent spokespersons for this world-view puts it this way:
This vision of a planet integral with itself [an ecological age] ... is of primary importance if we are to have the psychic power to undergo the psychic and social transformations being demanded of us. These transformations require the assistance of the entire planet, not merely the forces available to the human. Otherwise we mistake the order of magnitude in this challenge. It is not simply adaptation to a reduced supply of fuels or to some modification in our social and economic controls. Nor is it some slight change in our educational system. What is happening is something of far greater magnitude. It is a radical change in our mode of consciousness. Our challenge is to create a new language, even a new sense of what it means to be human. It is to transcend not only national limitations, but even our species isolation, to enter into the larger community of living species. This brings about a completely new sense of reality and of value.
SEN's work continues to grow in powerful and surprising ways. We extend an invitation to all those who resonate with our mission to come join us in this work of joy and beauty.
- Bill Pfeiffer click for bio
2005 Founders Message
For the first time since we began sixteen years ago as a spiritually oriented group doing primarily environmental work, we have now fully dedicated our actions to our deepest vision, the "Mending of the Hoop of All Nations." Our related purpose is to help bring about a resurgence of indigenous wisdom and deep ecological consciousness as a key element in creating a sustainable, Earth-honoring culture in the 21st century
Since first coming in contact with John Seed and Joanna Macy in 1989, we have understood that "inner" and "outer" approaches are necessary if humans and complex life (pythons, redwoods, whales, tarantulas, tigers, etc) are to pass through the ever narrowing tunnel of survival. When we say "inner approaches" we mean those that directly effect human consciousness in ways that can lead us to perceive the world in a new way - a way that is in harmony with and realizes our complete dependence on the Earth. To this end, we have convened dozens of workshops and expeditions to bring forth this perception as much in ourselves as in the participants. What has emerged for many is a profound, if fleeting, feeling for what is truly "indigenous" - a deep connection to land and community and a new willingness to express gratitude.
This has led to another major area of activity for us: an ongoing Native Siberian/Native American wisdom exchange focused on bringing forth new ideas on how to create balance for the sake of future generations. It is this balance that traditional peoples have understood for millennia which we seek to promote more vigorously. What is particularly interesting is that, on an energetic level, what transpired in 1989, when we first started hooking Russian environmental activists up to e-mail - that sense by all involved of "Oh! This is terribly important and needed" - is the same synergy that occurred when SEN invited five indigenous leaders from Siberia to meet dozens of their counterparts in North America in the autumn of 2001.
SEN strives to do all of this with whole-hearted cooperation. It is becoming more apparent that, in both cyberspace and the natural world, cooperation leads to success. To paraphrase renowned cell biologist Lynn Margulis, "The newest findings in biology alter our view of evolution as a chronic, bloody competition among individuals and species. Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking."
- Bill Pfeiffer click for bio