Summer Conference 1999: Science, Ethics & Human Destiny

The Sacred Earth

COURTNEY MILNE,
Photographer and Author
SHERILL MILLER,
Researcher and Writer, Earth Vision Productions

[NOTE: No recording was made of this presentation. To bring readers a sense of the experience of seeing The Sacred Earth Concert presented by Mr. Milne, the editor has borrowed from his book, The Sacred Earth, and from material provided by him.]

In his forward to the book, The Sacred Earth, The Dalai Lama observed, in part:

"This book contains photographs of sacred places in many different parts of the world. Some, like the River Ganges, are natural phenomena, some contain impressive buildings, and others are only ruins now.

"Taken together they represent the common need in the human quest for happiness to preserve certain places as sanctuaries, reflecting perhaps each individual’s wish for inner peace.

"Enjoying these pictures, whether readers are reminded of their own visits to some of these sites or are inspired to seek them out, they will be able to appreciate an age-old yearning shared by all mankind."

Courtney Milne’s curiosity was aroused on a cold evening in 1984, as he sat curled up on a couch with a book, Wild New Zealand that had just arrived in the mail.

He was left spellbound by an image of Red Crater, a volcanic steam vent high on the slopes of Mount Tongariro.

"I could not leave it alone. Something was beckoning me, indeed urging me, to climb the mountain and photograph the crater," he writes.

He did just that. And on his way back to Canada he stopped in Hawaii, where a friend told him about a crater near the highest elevation on the island of Maui.

Again, "an inner voice" urged him to photograph it. And

once more he was compelled to follow his instinct.

Then, in 1986 a friend in Toronto handed him a sheaf of esoteric manuscripts she had brought back from a visit to Cuba. As he flipped through a document entitled, Revelations from the Melchisadek Priesthood, a heading caught his attention. The heading said: The Twelve Sacred Places of the Earth.

Two of the places it mentioned were the craters he had already photographed.

The other places it listed were Mount Shasta, California; Islands of the Sun and Moon, Bolivia; Palenque, Mexico; The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt; the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem; Mount Kailas, Tibet; the Four Sacred Mountains of Bali; Mount Fuji, Japan; Table Mountain, South Africa; Ayers Rock, Australia, and Glastonsbury, England.

The "inner voice" that had launched his journey to New Zealand would not be stilled. He decided he "must" photograph all of them.

A couple of weeks later while packing his bags to leave for Mount Shasta what he describes as "a bizarre set circumstances" unfolded that led to his meeting Sherrill Miller, who was to become his wife.

Together, they began an odyssey that took them beyond the dozen sacred places on Courtney’s list; a list that increased to 140 as they discovered new, intriguing sacred places.Courtney Milne’s multi-media Sacred Earth Concert captures the mystery and awesome beauty of the many sacred places that abound on Earth; this Earth which, as Ismail Serageldin reminded us, we did not inherit from our parents, but that we borrowed from our children.

The Sacred Earth Concert is a spiritual experience that reminds us of the critical need to protect and preserve for our children that which we have "borrowed" from them.

Couchiching Online History Table of Contents 1999 Summer Conference