Water and Spirit
© 2007 Corinne McLaughlin
Droughts, floods, hurricanes and melting ice caps are increasing
everywhere as global warming shakes up our planet. Can we affect the
weather by prayer or meditation? The Prime Minister of Australia, John
Howard, thinks so, as his country is experiencing a six year record
drought. When asked what should be done, he asked the whole country to
“pray for rain” and told reporters he made the request without a hint of
irony. And guess what? It actually started to rain—but not enough yet.
Perhaps they need to pray more.
Is this surprising? It reminded me of the Hopi Indian creation story,
where their tribe wandered over the continent until the Great Spirit
guided them to the arid desert of Arizona. Living there, they’d have to
remember their connection to Spirit and do their prayers and sacred
ceremonies regularly if they didn’t want to perish from drought.
Although global warming is being caused by human pollution, is Spirit
allowing these crises to wake us up and remind us of our connection to
Spirit and to all living beings?
In many spiritual traditions, water symbolizes Spirit and purification.
Our planet is a water planet, and our own bodies are more than 60% water.
Lately I’ve been noticing how many spiritual messages are coming to us
through our connection to water. Japanese researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto has
found that human thoughts and prayer affect water. When water is frozen
and photographed under a microscope, beautiful or ugly crystals result,
depending on the quality of the thoughts projected onto it.
As I went through airport security on a recent international trip,
everyone’s water bottles were taken from them. We were told this was to
stop explosives, and that we could buy more water on the other side of
security before we boarded the plane. However, I noticed that the only
bottled water available at any stores after the security point was
ordinary filtered tap water bottled by the same big corporation. I
couldn’t help wondering if there was something else behind this latest
security fear. It also reminded me that many developing nations are being
pressured to privatize their free public water supplies—so citizens would
have to pay for drinking water.
As I flew into Greece on my trip, I noticed that plastic water bottles are
ruining the crystal clear beaches, as plastics are carried by wind
currents and pile up on the shores. I saw this as a message that each
individual citizen can do something to help protect their national
environmental treasure--simply by recycling plastics and picking up litter
in natural places. A beautiful, pure environment begins with each of us.
As consumers and investors, it’s essential we support businesses with
environmentally sustainable practices.
But we also need to lobby local and national governments for stronger
environmental protections, guaranteeing the right of people everywhere to
clean water—one of the key Millennium Development Goals of the United
Nations. This is essential if we want to avoid further wars over
increasingly scarce resources like water. Exercising political will for
the good of humanity is a spiritual act.
Corinne McLaughlin is co-founder of The Center for
Visionary Leadership and
Sirius Community, and she is co-author of Spiritual
Politics and Builders of the Dawn. She consults with
various organizations, and offers visionary leadership training and
personal coaching for leaders and can be reached at