joseph epes brown

Even elements of the environmental movement approach the earth as an object to be preserved, rather than as a spiritual reality to be respected. This misconception may prove to be fateful, for, as Tony Gonnela Frichner of the Onondoga Nation has pointed out, “How can you "save the Earth” if you have no spiritual relationship with the Earth? There is an intellectual abstraction about the environment but no visceral participation with the Earth. Non-Indians can’t change the current course of destruction without this connection.“

—Joseph Epes Brown, Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions (Oxford University Press)

Photo of Black Elk, his wife and daughter circa 1890-1910

Even elements of the environmental movement approach the earth as an object to be preserved, rather than as a spiritual reality to be respected. This misconception may prove to be fateful, for, as Tony Gonnela Frichner of the Onondoga Nation has pointed out, ‘How can you “save the Earth” if you have no spiritual relationship with the Earth? There is an intellectual abstraction about the environment but no visceral participation with the Earth. Non-Indians can’t change the current course of destruction without this connection.’
— 

Joseph Epes Brown, Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions.