"The New Creation Story" by Andrew Beath a powerful read on ecological consciousness

Photo by G. Couch
Photo by G. Couch via Flickr Creative Commons

A dense, information-rich book, Andrew Beath's The New Creation Story is well worth reading for people who are interested in the large scale shift that civilization is undergoing today as a result of the climate crisis, which has become increasingly impossible to ignore.

In The New Creation Theory,  Beath weaves together science, ancient history, religion and personal narrative to explore the idea of a new 'Ecological Epoch' during which human beings must learn to rediscover balance with their natural surroundings. 

Beathsays that human civilization is  shifting away from a patriarchal, consumer-oriented 'scientific epoch'  and learning new ways to understand how to find right relationship in the earth's "natural harmony".

To take part in the Ecological Epoch today, he says, is to live in harmony with the earth's ecosystem -- something that people refused to consider during the previous era. 

"We have recently emerged from the Scientific Epoch and entered into the Ecological Epoch in which feminine values have regained primary influence. New solutions are being revealed and implemented; thereby originating what will once again become a gender-balanced society," Beath writes.

"Creating a new relationship between humans and the living Earth is the current generation’s challenge—so that the Earth will be allowed to heal, human population will stabilize at a sustainable level, and resources will be equitably distributed. If in the near term we are able to incorporate a gender-balanced social structure that incorporates feminine values, perhaps we can avoid social chaos; however, if we fail, our children may face the greatest tragedy to ever befall the human species."

As the book progresses, one of the questions that hangs in the air is why human beings have managed to stray so far from the natural world. Why, among all the species on earth, are human beings the only ones who are out of balance with the rest of the planet? 

Beath explains this in one of the most profound moments in the book: he recounts a time when he was traveling in Fiji, in a small village where people led a sustainable lifestyle. Set in a gorgeous natural setting, Beath recalls that there were no cars or heavy pollution in the village, where tropical plants grew in abundance.

Sitting with local villagers, he wondered during a quiet moment: Wasn’t the entire Earth like this before all the cities; isn’t this village situation better than the life we have now? What happened?

He argues that our current predicament is heavily rooted in culture, and that this culture can be changed. As a recent example, he points to Japan. After being defeated in the Second World War, Japan underwent a 180 degree shift in culture, changing its aggressive military culture and re-directing its technological innovations toward creating unique and high-quality products for consumption, instead of weapons of war. Once steeped in violence, Japanese society became one of the safest countries in the world and renounced war, while the U.S. meanwhile continued to fight in wars around the world, and was troubled domestically due to the availability of firearms, Beath writes. 

Although the book is filled with large-scale historical and scientific discussions, Beath writes also of his personal journey, going from the corporate world toward more spiritually fulfilling work. A life-threatening illness also changed his perspective, shuffling his most important priorities like a deck of cards. 

"My illness strengthened me. I’ve decided to change my life priorities: I have more than enough material possessions; remembering that death can be just around the corner causes one to reexamine priorities," he writes.

"For me that means no more accumulating; it also means that life’s meaning is found by going deeper and appreciating relationships and experiences above possessions."

In his book, Beath gives us a new way to think about the world, our era, and, amidst the perils, all the possibilities the future now holds.

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