The following conversation was part of the Resilience and Possibility series. To access the recording, please scroll to the bottom of this post.
This is Part 2 of a 3-part offering on the topic of “spirit in action.” These conversations on spirit in action explore how we can all access a more powerful and consistent connection to spirit while being in action to bring forth a thriving and just future for all.
Click here for a summary of Part 1. Click here for a recording of Part 3, which featured group discussions where participants reflected on spirit in freedom movements and insights from Reverend angel Kyodo Williams.
On December 7, the global Pachamama Alliance community came together for a conversation on spirit and justice with activist, writer, speaker, founding minister of Inner Light Ministries, and Pachamama Alliance Board member Reverend Deborah Johnson (Rev. D).
Rev. D offered a useful reframing of Pachamama Alliance’s mission that further highlighted the inextricable link between environmental sustainability, spiritual fulfillment, and social justice. She carried this theme of interconnectedness throughout the call, inviting reflections on the ways in which relationships are at the center of spirit and of justice.
Towards the end of the call, Rev. D made a powerful assertion that starting with spiritual fulfillment provides a pathway to justice for the planet and justice for people—which, to Rev. D, are one in the same.
How Relationships are at the Center of Spirit and Justice
Rev. D began the conversation with a useful reframing of Pachamama Alliance’s 3-part mission around environmental sustainability, spiritual fulfillment, and social justice.
She reflected on how people often relate to the three parts of the mission as three “pillars,” but this actually reinforces a sense of separation between sustainability, spirit, and justice. As Rev. D put it, “pillars” by definition are separate and do not intersect. But she sees sustainability, spirit, and justice as innately interdependent, inseparable parts that can’t exist outside of their connection to the whole.
Rev. D went on to explain how the consciousness that is the root cause of injustice for the planet is the same consciousness that is the root cause of injustice for people. And this consciousness is connected to the ways in which humanity has claimed supremacy over the planet and all life while placing everything—including each other—in a hierarchy.
Rev. D made it clear that relationships are at the center of spirit and at the center of justice, and that injustice for the planet and social injustice are the result of “poor relationships” rooted in these constructs of supremacy and hierarchy.
The Importance of Starting with Spiritual Fulfillment
As Rev. D shared her insights around spirit and justice, she touched on the reason why many people may feel a lack of spiritual fulfillment in today’s world.
She explained how many people relate to spiritual fulfillment as a “byproduct” that comes as a result of achieving justice and environmental sustainability. But, Rev. D is encouraging everyone to think the inverse, that starting with spiritual fulfillment is what leads to justice for people and for the environment.
She went on to explain why many people today feel a lack of spiritual fulfillment. As Rev. D put it, people see widespread environmental degradation and social injustice, and wonder how they could have “any kind of spiritual fulfillment in a world like this.” She described this experience as people making their connection to spirit conditioned upon “what humanity is doing in its amnesia, in its lack of recognition of relationship.”
Rev. D warned that obtaining spiritual fulfillment won’t be possible if it’s dependent on human behavior in this way. Instead, Rev. D asserted that starting with spiritual fulfillment and the belief in the inherent interconnectedness of all life—and putting that into action—is the pathway to achieving justice for people and the planet.