Celebrating the Environment
God called to Moses out of the burning bush. “Moses, Moses!” And he said,
“Here I am.” Then He said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from
your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.”
—Hebrew Bible, Book of Exodus, The Torah (3: 4–5)
The intention is to introduce you to reality, not to imitate nature.
It is to show you not what you see, but what is real….
Everything in Creation—including humanity—was created pure but not
perfect, and the purpose of being born is to reach your true potential.
—Brother Aidan, icon painter
Religion, like every other human organization, fails. It fails to achieve most of its own self-proclaimed goals, and it fails to prevent abuse and exploitation of its structures, powers, and beliefs. In this it is no different from every other human organization.
Yet religion, as we have observed before, survives and has survived longer than any empire, monarchy, nation, or company. Somewhere along the line the main faiths have discovered a few basic truths about how the world and humanity behave and why—and this has been the core of their success. And they succeed often enough to be worth perpetuating.
What are the secrets of this ability to survive, indeed even to grow? One of them is that religions tend to provide what people tend to need. At their best, they can give meaning as much to the ordinary as to the extraordinary; can provide comfort as well as challenges; can stimulate as well as create places for rest; can offer entire cosmologies to explain the