Now that the thunder-chariots of the Great Sky Gods
are rusting through,
will the dispersing troops see the smile that beckons
in the morning wind?
This issue is about a great realignment – like the slow turning of a planetary system. For millennia humankind, and especially its elites, have been obsessed with power struggles. Our images of the divine have matched this obsession. God has been seen as a great king, a law giver, a judge and a war-lord. The object of the spiritual life has been either to stay on the right side of this all powerful One or to escape to some other realm, free of the stress of this conflict-ridden world.
Now this adolescent drama is drawing to a close. Events in Eastern Europe and elsewhere around the world are simply the most recent visible symptoms of this great realignment. The growing worldwide realization that we must care for the Earth is another powerful sign.
More quietly, but no less importantly, this great realignment is reshaping our inner lives – how we think about the realms of spirit and about the divine. What would spirituality be like in a world as devoid of war as today’s world is devoid of slavery? A world where nature is viewed as a partner rather than an adversary?
We are headed into an unknown territory, where the maps of the past are at best a preparation. This issue is an invitation to explore that territory. We hope you’ll find it, as we have, both challenging and refreshing.
A special note of thanks to our guest editors, Fritz and Vivienne Hull of Chinook Learning Center. Chinook is a study and retreat center on Whidbey Island, Washington, with a focus on ecology and ecumenical spirituality, and in the Fall of 1990 will be sponsoring a major conference on "Earth and Spirit," for which this issue is intended to serve as an informal briefing packet. Many of the contributors to this issue will be appearing at the conference.