Oversoul World Ministries
Faith is experiencing a modern resurrection. Oversoul, never a dogmatically defined philosophy, has evolved into a meaningful path for modern life. Its tenets are simple and its doctrines are easy to follow. Oversoul encourages faith in the Creator by direct interaction with Nature.
In the modern world, the destruction of the biosphere and the need for an ecologically valid ethical system places Oversoul in a new world position. Oversoul is certainly not the only solution toward revising human attitudes and behavior toward the natural world, however, the institution of the world view is one way of ensuring the survival and well being of all life on Planet Earth. The term Oversoul is an awareness of the wholeness and holiness, the Spirit of Life.
Reverent behavior in Nature necessitates a personal commitment toward living in greater harmony with the biosphere. Mankind must use materials in the environment, just as any species, but blatant destruction is self-defeating. A devotion for the welfare of both mankind and the natural environment requires recognition of modern need for new life styles of creative simplicity, in which we are producers as well as consumers.
The Oversoul lifestyle emphasizes personal growth, natural living, creativity, and an attitude of nurture of living things, as opposed to the spiritual decay of materialism, high energy consumption and consumptive forms of work and entertainment Of course, in an ideal sense this might require planting a small garden, implementing water conservation methods, using solar collectors as energy sources, and eventually refusing to use internal combustion vehicles. Although few are able to fully live up to such ideals, many of the Oversoul strive for a transformation of society where such things can be common place.
The Oversoul ethics focuses on how to live and on the individual's relationship to the natural order - an order of which others are a part. One's own well being and that of others depends on it. Since Nature is taken as intrinsically valuable, and because seeking the transcendent in Nature presupposes its preservation and protection, Nature in general and environmental issues in particular, are important to those of the Oversoul.
For the Oversoul member, our biosphere is a part of the Universe and understanding Nature is the first step in understanding one's place in the World. We know that the fulfillment of a meaningful life depends upon a good relationship with our ultimate circumstances. Man and his inventions are also part of the universe, but they should not be allowed to become out of balance. Imbalance is unhealthy for the biosphere and the individual as well. The promotion of harmony among people and protection of the environment is the ultimate religious pursuit, both for our personal life and as a societal objective.
Those of the Oversoul have forms of devotion which are significant approaches to religious experience. Communion with Nature may involve artistic expression, nature observsation, or various forms of outdoor activity. Wonder, reverence, and awe are promoted by the simple practive of sensory awareness, and a sense of the miraculous is a vital aspect of the Oversoul personal devotion. The member recognizes that becoming connected in a real way with the genuine and awesome power within ourselves, is an authentic form of meditation, transcending the illusionary.
We can all find ways to cultivate our inner selves and help expand our human potential. For example, among the aids to personal evolution is periodic self-analysis. Taking a personal inventory of one's individual assets and liabilities can promote a healthy psychology, and implement a lifestyle of fulfillment. [see Emerson's Self-Reliance]
We are living in exciting times. Mankind has engineered fantastic changes in technology and science that offer expanded possibilities and challenge traditional understandings about the nature of the Universe. The Hubble telescope has expanded our views of the boundaries of the Universe. Geneticists present new possibilities in cloning, and computer science offers a vision of a new world shaped by the products of cybernetics, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Every thoughtful person on Planet Earth is deeply concerned with these transitions. These changes present new challenges for traditional ethics and represent paradigm shifts in thinking. The turning of the century for many is a metaphor for these changes and challenges to traditional thinking.
In the context of these changes, the need for Mankind's integration with Nature remains a fertile subject for dialog. Those who recognize the value of scientific progress, yet the essential need to integrate those developments with the fundamental laws of Nature and the needs of the individual will find value in the philosophical viewpoints and dialog among the members of the Oversoul. The Oversoul is of interest to those who are concerned with many of the traditional questions that natural theologians have always asked, and that religious traditions necessarily address, especially as they begin to address the practical and ethical implications of new technologies and scientific discoveries.
When we were young we believed as children and thought as children thought. Now we are adults, it is time to put away childish things. It is time to adopt a religiosity that satisfies our needs, that embraces the new age, that fully supports our love of Nature and our efforts to preserve the Earth.