A Truce for the Planet: Let’s Give the Earth Another Sabbatical!

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation. (Genesis 2, 2–3)

During the pandemic, those who wanted stopped and reflected. We don’t know how deep the meditations went because once ‘normality’ returned, people launched themselves at full speed again to look for more… More what? Simply more! They plunged back into the vicious cycle of ‘Wanting more for the sake of wanting more’. Like the Kardashian family logic of ‘Being famous for being famous’.

6 days + 1 day: Work and Rest

This human insomnia of always wanting more is called greed or avidity and has very serious consequences for mental, social and physical health: it decreases the general performance of affective capacities, produces slow response, disorders such as depression and hallucinations, increased risk of heart disease and even a cruel and lonely death.

That appetite of human beings kept the planet awake once again and the manifestations of the planetary outdated nights are unpredictable. Catastrophes, calamities and disasters are nothing more than a tragic expression, a consequence of human mistreatment of it, the Earth.

Gaia (I talked about it in ‘Aliens Cause Global Warming’ (Part I & Part II) need to rest, just as people need a weekly break so that the body, mind, and spirit rest and reflect, give thanks and collect new strength to continue. If the very immortal God rested, how can we not, mortal and finite creatures? The planet Earth as a creation, a creature, likewise needs to rest.

6 years + 1 year: Work and Rest

For six years you may sow your land and gather in its produce. But the seventh year you shall let the land lie untilled and unharvested, that the poor among you may eat of it and the beasts of the field may eat what the poor leave. So also shall you do in regard to your vineyard and your olive grove.

For six days you may do your work, but on the seventh day you must rest, that your ox and your ass may also have rest, and that the son of your maidservant and the alien may be refreshed. (Exodus 23, 10–12)

Charles Prestwich Scott expressed the maxim of journalism in 1921 in the Manchester Guardian: ‘Facts are sacred and comments are free’. I freely comment that if there is an existential first aid kit, it is the Bible. And that is a fact. So, if the Earth does not rest, and with it the hearts of human beings, it is foreseeable that the fatal, destructive and unfortunate events will continue. The Earth needs its sabbatical, the jubilee that we human beings have stolen from it out of greed and desire to have more, guided by an uncontrollable frenzy.

Some of the reasons for this continued loss could be the loss of common sense, the lack of contact with nature and the forgetfulness of childhood. This as a result of the dichotomy between an exaggerated capitalism of invasive postmodernity with a useless and unjust communism of curtailed freedoms. We can also include the totalitarianisms of the 20th century and the populisms of the 21st century. Any extremism is morally, physically and intellectually wrong. And currently all living beings are elements of one more extremism.

In it coexist individuals who have forgotten themselves because of modernity, exhausted workers as a result of capitalism and a shattered planet as a result of old and new totalitarian and populist systems.

The earth needed a break, and the pandemic gave it. We needed a break, and God gave it to us.

Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, let the land, too, keep a sabbath for the Lord. For six years you may sow your field, and for six years prune your vineyard, gathering in their produce.

But during the seventh year the land shall have a complete rest, a sabbath for the Lord, when you may neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.

The after-growth of your harvest you shall not reap, nor shall you pick the grapes of your untrimmed vines in this year of sabbath rest for the land.

While the land has its sabbath, all its produce will be food equally for you yourself and for your male and female slaves, for your hired help and the tenants who live with you, and likewise for your livestock and for the wild animals on your land. (Leviticus 25, 2–7)



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