Reverence means deep respect, awe, love, and high esteem. It means to see the innate or natural perfection in something and to humbly acknowledge this great presence in all that is.
This image depicts a childlike view of all creation, filled with myriad creatures, flora and fauna in rich profusion, as well as the elements of earth, air, water, and the sun’s fire. All these components are filled with divine energy and are deserving of the highest reverence. Also, the natural patterns that exist in the relationships between each entity in the universe are complex and important; we don’t have the ability to know how everything is connected so we must show respect for the natural balances that are beyond our control.
Holding the universe in reverence puts us in harmony with all others and creates a balance of health and beauty. The great thinker, Pascal, argued in the mid-17th century about “the disproportion of man,” how our humble place in the universe, lodged between the infinitely grand scale of the cosmos and the infinitely minute scale of life and living things, means that we can never know anything with complete certitude, nor control nature. Thinking well is what Pascal believes to be our moral fortitude which involves having the humility to know our place in the scheme of things. To me, this is reverence.
In our former paradigm which we see crumbling around us, men believed they could know everything and thereby control everything. But we see daily the destruction and harm that this attitude has for our planet. By changing our paradigm to one of reverence for the wisdom and perfection that exists in nature and in all living things, and the earth, we can humbly be stewards of creation rather than destroyers of it. We can change our attitude of privilege, the patriarchal one that asserts that man is above other creatures and life and is therefore entitled to pillage and wrack the natural world and weaker life forms for his own ends. Instead, we can humbly revere life and be willing to participate in harmonious relations with all of creation.