By Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women
For more than ten years the Global Peace Initiative of Women (www.gpiw.org) has been fostering peacebuilding activities in many troubled regions of the world. Through these efforts we have come to realize that the most dangerous war humankind is engaged in is the war against nature, the often unrecognized or unacknowledged violence we are perpetrating against the natural world. Human violence and violence against nature are directly linked. Until we can learn to live peacefully and respectfully with Earth’s community of life, we will not live peacefully with each other. In other words, for us to create a more peaceful world, we must change the way we relate to the whole of the natural world.
Among the most serious of these acts of violence against nature is the destruction of the sacred seed. Thus we decided to gather spiritual voices to show that the destruction of natural seeds is a spiritual matter, not merely an economic, political, or agricultural issue. There are profound spiritual implications to what we are doing to our seeds, which are, after all, the very source of our survival.
The seed is among the most sacred gifts of nature, and yet in modern times we have come to take this gift very much for granted. Nature has provided a tremendous variety of crops to give us all the nutrients we need for a healthy life. As humankind developed the technology to manipulate the seed, so too did this diversity begin to diminish to our own detriment.
The book, Sacred Seed, containing moving and often mystical essays on the sacred nature of seeds, came about through the inspiration of Dr. Vandana Shiva and took its form and shape with the support of the publishers, The Golden Sufi Center, who also created Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth (www.spiritualecology.org )
We share here the essay by Sobonfu Somé, an African indigenous leader, author and teacher. We believe strongly that women have a great role to play at this time in the healing of the Earth and that feminine wisdom is needed to help awaken within humanity the deep love for Gaia so needed at this time.