page 4 - Ten Sufi thoughts on climate change by Firos Holterman ten Hove

10. There is one path, the annihilation in the Unlimited, which raises the mortal to immortality, and in which resides all perfection.


The pursuit of individual well-being brought us to the verge of the destruction of our planet.


Sufism invites us to drop the concept of our individual self. It stands in the way of real happiness.


After the break of the Anthropocene, man is challenged to give up the idea of subject (our individual self) and object (the world around us). The truth is that sometimes the subject is world and the object is self. Just if we dare to get lost into the rhythms, meanings and needs of our earth with all her inhabitants will we have the change to discover a self which is able to embrace all these others.


„I lost myself and I found you at last“. (Hazrat Inayat Khan)


The tenth response of our Inayati Order to climate change is to practice zikr and to teach zikr.


The 10 Sufi thoughts are part of the core teachings of the Inayati Order. They were given by Hazrat Inayat Khan in the beginning of the 20th century.


The comments in italics are mine. They try to describe the application of these principles to a climatological crisis, whose extent could barely be foreseen one century ago.



The 10 Sufi thoughts can be found on

In the preparation of this essay two publications played a major role: From the French philosopher Bruno Latour: Down to Earth, Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Polity Press 2018.

From the Australian philosopher Clive Hamilton: Defiant Earth, Polity Press 2017.


Note (1):

Will Steffen, Jacques Grinvald, Paul Crutzen & John McNeil, the Anthropocene: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 369 (2011)



'The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?'

Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions A Published: November 11, 2010, UK: Theme Issue 'The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?' compiled and edited by Mark Williams, Jan Zalasiewicz, Alan Haywood and Mike Ellis.


The human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of Nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system. Although global-scale human influence on the environment has been recognized since the 1800s, the term Anthropocene, introduced about a decade ago, has only recently become widely, but informally, used in the global change research community.

However, the term has yet to be accepted formally as a new geological epoch or era in Earth history.

In this paper, we put forward the case for formally recognizing the Anthropocene as a new epoch in Earth history, arguing that the advent of the Industrial Revolution around 1800 provides a logical start date for the new epoch. We then explore recent trends in the evolution of the Anthropocene as humanity proceeds into the twenty-first century, focusing on the profound changes to our relationship with the rest of the living world and on early attempts and proposals for managing our relationship with the large geophysical cycles that drive the Earth’s climate system.


Firos Holterman ten Hove, January 2019 -