Here’s a sermon I recorded recently and wanted to share with you all.
Our nervous systems have been through so much over the last year-and-a-half. We are just now beginning to understand the impact that the pandemic has had on our psyches; and even before that, the speed of capitalism and the frantic sense of urgency of white supremacy culture had already led to very stressed-out nervous systems and people feeling burnt-out. We also live in a culture that doesn’t teach emotional intelligence. Not only don’t we talk about our emotions, but some of us are even ashamed of feeling certain emotions, because they are seen as weaknesses in our personality, instead of a damage that modern society and systems of oppression inflict on our psyches. As social mammals, we are also literally wired for connection; our nervous systems are designed to be regulated by other nervous systems, therefore healthy social interactions help us to regulate our physiology. We are wired for love and connection because this increases our chances of staying healthy and living longer. Throughout the centuries, spiritual traditions have provided people with practices, rituals, and ways of life that have helped calm our nervous system, but we’ve disconnected from many of these practices in modern life. This sermon makes a case for connection, for love, for “intimacy with all things” as a way of repairing the damage caused by a culture of disconnection (the damage to our nervous systems as well as our ecosystems.)