What Is Spirituality For?

Starhawk, American writer and spiritual activist, gave an inspiring and thought-provoking public talk at the Universal Hall last Saturday night.

In Scotland to engage with the G8 Summit of world leaders at Gleneagles in early July, Starhawk is passionately aware that we need to provide a positive vision of what we want in the world, not just concentrate on what we’re against. I was inspired by her personal commitment to the ongoing life force of the planet, personal and spiritual growth and to the development of healthy communities.

Starhawk pointed out that for her spirituality encompasses all things: the comfortable, the nurturing, the healing and also the uncomfortable, the fearful and the political. She sees no split between body and soul or spirit and matter and is clear that what makes spirituality so rich and transformative is that it embraces all. For Starhawk, frontline spirituality, or the coming together of spirit and activism, is the place of most tension and of most creativity. For her, it is what spirituality is for.

After nearly five years at Findhorn I could empathise with her view that to stay only with the comforting parts of spirituality is too saccharine and stultifying, yet to always go with push, risk and challenge leads to a destructive burn out.

It was provocative to hear Starhawk’s view that working on personal growth in a vacuum is not enough, and that getting involved with changing the world more actively can also bring the personal transformation we seek. It was also inspiring to see slides of the hands-on work she is spearheading all over the world, creating neighbourhood spaces and permaculture gardens, providing information on alternative technology and generally bringing connection and love and beauty to places of need.

Addressing the G8 more specifically, Starhawk said, “We are all diminished by the squalor and poverty in which billions of people live. We are at a crucial time and the health of the planet and social justice need desperately to be on the G8 agenda. Who would have missed being alive now and to have this chance to stand for the world we want. If ever there was a moment to stand up and say ‘yes’ to the restoration of the earth and ‘no’ to climate change and global warming, it is now.”

The evening ended on a powerful note with a huge spiral of people chanting a collective vision of changing the pattern we live by –
“It’s the rising of the moon
and the shifting of the ground
It’s the seed that takes root
when we bring the fortress down.” (Yvonne Cuneo reporting)

To read more about Starhawk and her vision visit www.starhawk.org.
Starhawk invites you to join her email list and be updated on activist activities.

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