a) The voices getting my attention for the last two or three years are the voices of the billions of creatures in the sea, in the air and on the land, dying individually and becoming extinct collectively in a context of callous indifference on the part of their killers. They are not voices, they are screams and cries and gasps and whispers of all kinds. If these creatures had a brain working like mine, they would probably utter: “God, why have you forsaken me?”
b) I have been seeking and listening to the voices of mystics like Meister Eckhart and of prophets like Thomas Berry. The former teaches me to recognize signatures of the Godhead in all creatures and helps me to admire the wisdom of the old Sanskrit aphorism “God sleeps in minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals, and is conscious in humans”; the latter clarifies in his writings the tragic impact of the industrial and materialistic trance that has engulfed mankind and convinces me that “the universe is not a collection of objects, but a communion of subjects.”
And since these questions emanate from Apple Farm, how not to mention the masterly voice of Helen Luke in her essay titled “Suffering” that concludes “Old Age: Journey Into Simplicity” (1987, Parabola Books). Oh my! I just fetched that book on a shelf to find a suitable quote from that essay on suffering, and I am flabbergasted to read its very last paragraph which I must now quote in its entirety: “When suffering breaks through the small personal context and exposes a man to the pain and darkness of life itself, the way is opened to that ultimate state of passion beyond all the passions of desire. There, being completely empty, as Christ was empty when he cried, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me,’ he may finally come to be filled with the wholeness of God Himself.” I am truly astonished to find again in that paragraph the voices I quoted above in section a)! Thank you, Helen Luke, for that wink of synchronicity!
c) The response that is wanted of me is to spread that awareness by all means at my disposal, spreading the word is only one of them, adjusting my daily life to minimize my complicity and enmeshment with the forces of destruction of our unique and extraordinary planet is a much more demanding response and yet so essential.