The Green Rule: Ecological Wisdom from Faith Traditions

greenruleOur Green Rule poster is derived from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions, paraphrasing it by saying:

“Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.”

Click the image to the right to see a larger version (150 Kb).

Selected from many of the world’s great religious texts and spiritual teachings, the Green Rules were chosen to demonstrate that each religion and spiritual philosophy has a long-standing tradition of ecological stewardship. Most are familiar with the Christian Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” In Hinduism it is expressed; “Do not do to others what would cause pain to you.” In Islam, “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself,” and so it goes in the various faith traditions. Our Green Rule paraphrased this Golden Rule as “Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.” We have looked to the same sacred teachings to reveal similar expressions of care and concern, only in choosing our quotes we have extended the plea for compassion to include all of our neighbours: human beings, animals, birds, trees… Each Green Rule was also chosen to acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it.

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More about the Green Rule

The natural world is an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine. We have used a tree as our central image, to representat creation as a whole and symbolic of the entire Earth, its various peoples, cultures, creatures and ecosystems. You will notice that there is only one tree but many different species of leaves. This is intended to express the old adage ‘unity in diversity.’ Each leaf represents a different faith tradition, and each species is significant to the faith it represents. To Hindus, for example, the banyan tree represents fertility, love, and life, and it is believed to be home to holy trinity of Hindu gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). Buddha found enlightenment while meditating under the bodhi tree, and bodhi trees are found next to Buddhist temples throughout Asia. Mohammad was said to have compared a good Muslim to a palm tree, and stated that planting such a tree was a satisfactory substitute for alms. In addition to their many practical gifts, trees have long been sacred to people. Forests served as humanity’s first places of worship, and still evoke a sense of the divine. From the massive cathedral groves of redwoods, to the knarled olive trees of the middle east, to the signature fat-trunked baobab of Africa, trees evoke something in us that reminds us of our connection to the natural world, as well as the divine.

Green Rule: Ecological Wisdom from Faith Traditions

greenrule Faith & the Common Good derived the Green Rule poster from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions.
The Green Rule paraphrases the Golden Rule by saying: “Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.”
Each Green Rule was chosen from the great texts of the world’s major religions and spiritual philosophies. The texts all acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it.

Click the poster at left to view a larger image.
Order the Green Rule poster ($15 folded; $20 rolled ON/QC; $25 Canada).
For bulk sales and international orders, email resources@faithcommongood.org to ask for a quote *before* placing order.

 

Green Rule Poster Study Guide

greenrulehandbook(1) The Green Rule Study Guide offers suggestions for how you can use the poster as an imaginative and practical tool to teach youth and adult members of your faith community and school system about the sacredness of creation in their own faith, while taking into consideration the similar beliefs of other faith traditions.

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