Warding off Despair


“The Power That Preserves”  Book Three of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by

Stephen R. Donaldson                                                                         October, 1978


“Further, I tell you that there is no blame for us in the wisdom or folly, victory or defeat, of the way we have elected to defend the Land. We are not the Creators of the Earth.  Its final end is not on our heads. We are creations, like the Land itself. We are accountable for nothing but the purity of our service. When we have given our best wisdom and our utterest strength to the defence of the Land, then no voice can raise accusation against us. Life or death, good or ill – victory or destruction – we are not required to solve these riddles. Let the Creator answer for the doom of his creation.”

Pg. 48

The feeling of helplessness, reinforced by almost daily reports of another ecological disaster, can easily result in despair.  Despair can also be the result of suppressed rage against those who cruelly and wantonly destroy our Earthly life support systems.  A lot of us suppress rage over the knowledge and helplessness as we encounter more and more exploitation, especially economic.  All too often, this suppressed rage descends into a deep despair and we find ourselves just adding power to the very dark spirits that we rage against.  These dark forces, Vadim Zeland calls them “pendulums”, suck up our anguish and feed on it making the pendulum even stronger.

I think the quote above can assist us in realizing that we do not need to take on the blame and responsibility for saving the Earth.  The burden is too heavy and will sink us into oblivion or what Christians call hell. Earth, as a living, loving and intelligent being needs our support and loving energy but does not and cannot expect us to carry the weight of guilt in not “fixing” the damaging attitudes arrayed against her.  We cannot and need not take on the responsibility of a planet being.