"As the planet faces an unprecedented future we need to be especially attentive and aware. We cannot afford to slip into forgetfulness, to be lulled asleep by the dreams of our dying culture. There is also an increased need for individuals to protect their light from the darkness. Without this light within the world to guide and protect us, it is more and more important to follow one's conscience, and engage in correct ethical behavior and attitude (in Sufism this is called adab), to make sure that one's individual light is not influenced or diminished by darkness.

"For the same reason there is also an increased significance of the sangha or spiritual community that can provide a spiritual container to help to protect the light of the individual. We all need to work consciously to protect our own light through our spiritual practice and attitude, and to share this light with acts of loving kindness. In this simple way we can nourish and help each other during this very challenging time.

"We must also remember that while the light of our era has been extinguished, this does not mean that the light of the Divine, the spiritual light within creation, has gone out. This divine light is present in every cell of creation. Without this light there could be no life, no existence. The whole of creation is like a single light from the Source that goes through a prism and becomes the many colors of existence.

"Collectively, we have failed to honor creation's light, we have forgotten humanity's sacred role as guardians of the planet. But individually we cannot allow ourselves to turn from it. In our own ways it is important that we honor this light, this sacred role, despite a greater collective forgetting. It is especially important that we remember our responsibility towards the Earth, both outwardly and inwardly: that we live with ecological and spiritual awareness.

"Lastly, there is a very important tradition of "witnessing." Many spiritual teachings talk about the importance of witnessing or watching without judgment or expectations. There is great power in consciously being aware of events without being caught in trying to fix or resolve them. At this time, it is important that we engage this capacity for witnessing. When the veils of perception are not clouded over through reaction and "problem solving," we see and allow things to be as they are. Only then can we take responsibility for what has taken place.

"There is a pressing need for real awareness — to wake up to the reality of what we have done. We need to become aware of our present predicament in the inner and outer worlds. We cannot take responsibility for our present ecological imbalance, or know how to act, without recognizing the global devastation we have created. Nor can we take responsibility for what we have done to the inner worlds without becoming aware of the darkness and forgetfulness of the sacred that is covering us. Maybe this first step towards responsibility and accountability will help to redeem what we have desecrated. It is a step towards maturity and real awareness."