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"I hope you now understand what I mean by different types of spirituality. Imperialism, Christianism, nationalism, and economism define four epochs of Western European civilization. From a Christian perspective they are all idolatrous. The idolatry that called for emperor worship was the most blatant. Making Christianity itself an idol was theologically the most distressing. Nationalism was the most violent in its destructiveness. Economism is the most violent existentially. It removes all meaning from life, and it is the most destructive of the natural world which is reduced to nothing more than its usefulness in production and consumption.

I hope you see also that change of spirituality at this level does take place. You may notice that when one form of spirituality decays and creates enormous problems, a different form, responsive to those problems can arise. I draw hope from the fact that the failures of economism are apparent to most people. Its treatment of people leads to nihilism. Its treatment of nature imperils the survival of life. How much worse does it have to get before the change comes?

Against this background the anticipatory hints of Earthism are a great relief. Strictly speaking, it is also idolatrous, but it is an idolatry that for now is not harmful. Idolatry is giving devotion to a part at the expense of other parts. Nations are clearly limited parts of the whole, and devotion to one nation leads to wars with devotees of other nations. The economic aspect of the world limits itself to one aspect of human activity omitting a very great deal. Subordinating everything to the pursuit of wealth has impoverished many people and raped the natural world. The Earth is a very limited part of the universe, but as of now limiting ourselves to devotion to its well-being omits very little of significance. If we should encounter creatures from other planets, it would be important to broaden our devotion."