1. The land has a right to be free of human activity that accelerates erosion.
2. Native plants and animals on the land have a right to life with a minimum of human disturbance.
3. The land has a right to evolve its own character from its own elements without scarring from construction or the importation of foreign objects dominating the scene.
4. The land has a pre-eminent right to the preservation of its unique and rare constituents and features.
5. The land, its water, rocks and minerals, its plants and animals, and their fruits and harvest have a right never to be rented, sold, extracted, or exported as mere commodities.
The book Sanctuary for All Life (Howling Dog Press, Box 853 Berthoud CO 80513-0853) by S-J philosopher-hermit Jim Corbett is a long meditation on the ancient Hebrews as a cimarron people -- those who live in the wild, rejecting slavery. In his view, theirs was a sabbatical way of life -- one lived in harmony with nature, interfering only minimally in the natural order, honoring the sacredness of all life. Fusing dry desert humour and Quaker queries with Jewish mitzvot, he raises fundamental questions of ecology.
In our time, he says, "It is as difficult to imagine a civilized humanity that is no longer exiled from Nature, as it is to imagine a civilization that ceases to enslave life on earth." Torah -- "law, guidance, instruction, way-of-life wisdom" -- must be lived through "participation in a base community that seeks to learn and walk the hallowing way." In this he echoes native spirituality:
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty. (excerpt from the Navaho Blessing Way)