BOOK Sacred Seed: A Collection of Essays

The book of essays, Sacred Seed: A Collection of Essays with an introduction by Vandana Shiva, is a meditation. Each essay draws on wisdom both ancient and modern to remind us that all life, and its renewal, begins and ends in the seed.  “Tenderly composed of original writings and vibrant photos, this book bears witness that the Earth is alive, and establishes that only by working together with the Earth—with its wonder and mystery—can we help in its healing and  regeneration and once again bring meaning back into the world.” The book can be ordered here.

Here are some excerpts and photos from Sacred Seed: A Collection of Essays.

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Photo by Ana Castilho

“Every seed contains a light. Through greed and disconnection from the sacredness of life, this light is threatened. Genetically modified seeds become sterile. If the fertility is removed from a seed, its light is taken away; it withdraws. The divine light that is present in every seed is manifested through its fertility, through the potential to grow and to be a source for new life. When this light withdraws from a seed, it withdraws from the whole of creation, and our souls begin to starve.”

Essay: Listening to the Hidden Heart of Seeds

The mystic Julian of Norwich, holding an acorn in her hand in the fourteenth century said of it, “In this is all that is.” The Earth shakes at the thought of the simple truth of it.

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Photo by Ana Castilho

In every seed is the gift of life to those seeking life, wanting life, denied the kind of life that is full of energy, full of hope. But the hope is a tenuous one, a sacred one, one to be treated with awe for fear of our own failure to protect it.

Seeds are the one thing that are the only genuine promise we have of the future. “Even if I knew the world would end tomorrow,” Martin Luther wrote, “I would plant an apple tree today.” It is an insight that defies despair, that promises new life in the midst of the old. It is a beacon that cries out for commitment in an age such as ours when the seeds of destruction among us—greed, power, and control—are in mortal struggle with the seeds of life.

And now, so accustomed have we become to destruction in the name of progress, we are on the brink of commercializing seed, of politicizing seed, of monopolizing seed, of genetically modifying seeds for the sake of someone’s control of creation, of making seed the new military weapon of the twenty-first century.

It is all a matter of valuing the money we can make today more than we value the life that is meant to come.

But the problem is that we ourselves are all seeds, too. We are either seeds of universal love or seeds of exploitative racism. We are seeds of eternal hope or we are seeds of starving despair. We are seeds of a new humanity or we are the harbingers of humanity’s decay.

It is a choice. A conscious choice that depends on what we see in seeds and how we treat them and whose we think they are and what we will do to keep them free and available. Or not.

We are the seed of our own life to come and the life of the planet as well. Indeed, “In the seed is everything that is.”

Essay: Seeds of a New Humanity
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Photo by Ana Castilho

“Plant seeds contain the story of creation, the spiritual law for the continuance of life, the natural law for relationship with the sun, winds, air, water, rains, microorganisms, minerals of the soil, and other companion plants. To alter them is to disobey the laws of the Creator. Their integrity is the inherited legacy for the generations of the unborn. It is our duty to return the seeds to the coming generations in the same state as the seeds were gifted to us.”

Essay: Seeds of the Spirit: A Call to Spiritual Action for Mother Earth
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Photo by Ana Castilho

 “Seeds are connection, fertility. To destroy them is not only to damage ourselves, but to diminish the planet’s storehouse. It is to harm those who crawl, who fly, who swim, who run, whose roots are still. What is needed instead is to recognize our wild relations, to respect all our relations.”

Essay: Seeds and the Sacred