Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, REPAM
Oslo Tropical Forest Forum. Oslo, Norway. June, 28. 2018.
I´d like to draw some general elements which might not be only for the Amazon, but for a general reflection on the need for Spirituality for a radical change that we need today. Radical, meaning going to the root. I´d like to quote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to start this conversation; he said: “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”. That changes everything, the connection with our belonging to the soil needs to be there, and I know this is a peripheral parallel event; the discussions are going in another direction, so we need to bring the Spiritual reflection into the core of the matter. Otherwise I think our future is going to be seriously at risk.
So I´d like to offer you a TRIPLE TRIPOD. In a tripod if you take away one of the legs, everything falls down, so for the first one I´d like to offer you some of the VALUES needed to change as a society today
VALUES NEEDED TO CHANGE AS A SOCIETY TODAY
- First one being GRATUITY and RECIPROCITY. We´ve lost the capacity to give free what we have received freely. And we have merchandised our whole conception on nature, and even our relation with one another. And the Spiritual tools need to help us change that. Perhaps, not immediately or drastically, but little by little.
- The second one is SINODALITY. We are going through a process for a Synod in the Amazon. And I think Sinodality is also a key element for all spiritual traditions to come together, to converge as drops of water. Small drops of water which come together and converge in the big river. Otherwise, if we continue doing things by ourselves, we´ll fail. We´ll definitely fail.
- The third element of the first tripod is We need to seriously pay attention and listen to what´s happening down there (at a territorial level). We need to listen to the voices of those who are there, not only to offer some recognition, but to embrace what they´re all about, and they´re true being.
The second tripod that I want to offer is the urgent appeals, and they´re not negotiable.
URGENT APPEALS (not negotiable)
- The first one is We have failed as societies when we see a world where we have 1% of the population holding 99% of the riches (of this world). In front of this, we have failed as a society. There is nothing we can do to protect forests if we don´t really tackle that situation of inequality. 8 persons in this planet hold the same amount of riches as half of the population in this world. The poorest half of the population of this world. The spiritual approach needs to come in there and try to change that, because any initiative we promote, and of course we need to applaud all of those, will not be able to change anything, and also the rainforests have no future if we don´t face and change the inequalities in this world.
- The second one, the VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. Us, working directly with the territories see (those violations) happening every day, day in day out. People from the faith traditions, but especially indigenous communities being murdered every day, and we remain silent. Of course, some do try to speak, but we seem to be focused more on other elements and I think we need to respond to that (violation of human rights). I feel the Ethical approach that some of you have been talking about really comes down to what we do and what we say when people are being murdered every day, being kicked out of their territories, and taken away from their own identities.
- And the third one is to overcome this FUNCIONTAL APPROACH. A face-washing related to protection of forests. We need to be coherent and recognize the mystery of life kept in those places (by the indigenous communities). And of course we need to offer some economic alternatives, but they need to come from that recognition of the beauty of those places (of everything created).
And the third tripod, three strange words that I want to offer to you (which call for a personal, communal and institutional transformation).
PERSONAL, COMMUNAL AND INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFORMATION
- METANOIA. A radical conversion of the heart. If we don´t change our inner being first, nothing of what we do: forums, conferences, etc. will be enough. And I think Indigenous peoples can help us change our hearts.
- The second one is ALTERITY / the OTHERNESS. We need to recognize that our future, our lives, go along with how we care for one another.
- And the third one is PARRESIA. A courageous going out (to respond to the cries and hopes of our world today), not just speaking, but really going out there and responding to the cries of the people and embracing the mystery of LOVE, LIFE and SPIRITUALITY which lies within there.