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Mao Shan Declaration | Speech by Martin Palmer, Jurong: 29 October 2008 | Speech by Martin Palmer, Jurong: 27 October 2008 | Speech by Olav Kjorven, Jurong: October 2008

Speech by Martin Palmer, Jurong: 27 October 2008

ARC has launched a programme for the creation of seven or eight year plans which will lead to generational changes.

The great Chinese novel The Three Kingdoms opens - as you all know – with the observation that Dynasties come and Dynasties go, but what survives in China is the Dao.

And when people say to me why do you work with the religions, I answer them with a challenge. I say: “Show me any other organizations in the world that have lasted this long. In Daoism you have seen Dynasties come and Dynasties go, but you are still on your sacred mountains.”

When we were invited by the United Nations to help work on the issue of climate change and the natural environment we said we would be delighted… but we will work on a very long timeframe. The great skill of religions like Daoism or like my religion, Christianity, is that we are able to make changes happen but we will make them happen at a pace that ordinary people can manage. But – as the United Nations has pointed out - the world is facing a major crisis, and so even we, the great religions of the world, now need to begin to be very much more active if we are really to fulfil our own teachings and help to protect the planet.

This is why, together with the United Nations, ARC has launched the programme for the creation of seven or eight year plans which will lead to generational changes. As the great religions, we do take time to get going, but we have also been asked to take on a great responsibility now.

And this is what this event is about; it is about drawing on your wisdom of the past two to three thousand years and asking whether, within the next seven to eight years, we can begin to make a real difference. A difference that will last for the next two to three thousand years. No other group but you can do this.

Already, together with Master Ren and Professor Feng and Master Wang we have begun many developments such as the Tai Bai Shan ecological temple, such as the Qinling declarations, and I have been working with the Daoists since 1995 as Master Ren mentioned, when you first made a statement on the environment. Many good and exciting things are happening, but now we need to do much more.

But you do not walk alone. Every major religion of the world is doing what you are doing here. Last week in Mongolia the Buddhists of Mongolia met to plan their new developments. Tomorrow in Kuwait Muslim leaders meet to discuss their movements forward. You are not alone. You are not alone because you have the United Nations walking beside you, you have ARC and EMF walking beside you, and you have all the other great religions of the world walking beside you.

This is a unique and important moment in religious history.

I have had the great privilege of translating several of the great Daoist texts – Lao Zi, Chuang Zi – and I want to finish with something from Chapter 8 of the Dao De Jing by Lao Zi – Lao Zi who is now the god protecting all of nature.

The greatest good is like water, flowing to nourish everything. Quietly it feeds and sustains in ways great people despise of neglect. But in doing so, it flows with the true nature of nature.

Thank you.

**** Links

*** Link here for news of the Third Daoist Ecology Forum which opened on 27 October 2008 in Jurong, near Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.

*** Link here to read the Mao Shan Declaration in Chinese and English.

*** Link here for details of Martin Palmer's response at the Third Daoist Ecology Forum in Jurong.

*** Link here for details of UN's representative, Olav Kjorven's speech at the Third Daoist Ecology Forum in Jurong.

*** And link here to read an article on Daoism and climate change written by Olav Kjorven.

*** Link here for details of Chinese Daoists' Ecology Protection Eight Year Plan.

*** Link here to download the Daoist Eight Year Plan in pdf (209KB).

*** Link here to download the Mao Shan Declaration in pdf (116KB).

*** Link here for more Daoist eco-news.


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