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It’s not about old age or blowing up asteroids
My concept of God, Source, Creator has changed a lot over the course of my life. I was raised with a pretty unpleasant version of the “Big Guy in the Sky” concept and it never sat well with me. As a rough little farm kid, I spent countless hours out in nature with only the company of horses, the bird dogs, and the wild creatures we came across – deer, coyotes, great blue heron, black bear. I always sensed some sort of a wholeness, a divine intelligence. The whole notion that God had given humanity the right and even the command to dominate and use all the other species was one of the many things that prompted me to turn away from the fear and original-sin based teachings and dogma of my childhood.
At this point I’ve come to think of God more as the creative force behind all life, Divine Mind that is the source of all Creation. The Star Wars “Force” seems more spiritual truth than science fiction. I also believe planet Earth is a living being, with its own type of sentience and intelligence, far beyond our human capacity to truly understand.
This personal philosophy and direct spiritual experiences have instilled me with a deep reverence for all life on this amazing blue green planet. In truth, I am far more ecocentric than anthropocentric, just as concerned about the fate of non-human species as that of humanity. That’s why I am so often frustrated and even angry with my own species. However, despite my frustration with us, I am in awe of the astoundingly miraculous creation that is a human being and I am moved beyond words by the precious, challenging and beautiful human experience.
Recently, I was studying A Course in Miracles (one of my main spiritual squeezes) and was reminded of the teaching that the purpose of any soul is to extend Creation, to express the creative flow that “God” is ever-emanating. I reached a bit of a troubled point with this because the Course, like virtually all western spiritual approaches, is highly anthropocentric. I was fumbling with the paradox of how to jive the concept that all human beings are sparks of Divinity with the fact that there are currently too many of us on this planet extracting and consuming way too much. In fact, rather than extending Creation we are wiping it out at a rapid clip. And then it was as if I dropped into that wholeness and Divine intelligence I mentioned earlier when I realized, remembered really, that humanity isn’t the only aspect of Creation with the innate urge to create; all species are animated by the urge to extend and expand life. This gives me hope because this beloved superorganism called Earth is itself always moving toward health, balance, and increased life. Eventually, nature will regain balance.
Recently there was quite a bit of buzz around the NASA Dart mission, in which they crashed a small spacecraft into asteroid for the first time. This is part of an effort to be prepared to the save ourselves from the destruction of Earth being struck by a large asteroid. One of the scientists interviewed noted, “Of all the asteroids we’re tracking there are no known threats.”
Meanwhile back on Earth ….
Right this moment Hurricane Ian is wreaking havoc for humans in Florida and beyond. It is one of the largest and most powerful storms ever to hit the United States. To pull in a bit of smack talk I used to use on my little brother, “this ain’t no threat kid; it’s a promise.” Watching some of the news coverage it’s notable that every news channel – local, public, cable – commented on how climate change was contributing to extreme weather events. Even just a few years ago climate change was rarely acknowledged in mainstream media. Awareness is a critical first step in addressing a problem.
There is still willful blindness on the part of world leaders to the actual depth and scale of changes, the massive disruption of status quo systems and values, that will be required to avert the full catastrophic force of unchecked climate change and ecological collapse, but nature will keep pounding us until the blinders are knocked off.
Scads of information now reveals that much of humanity is in a sort of collective depression. We’re seeing the real-time breakdown of social and ecological systems and norms. This is compounded by the fact that we have most of what we need to turn things around -- the knowledge, technology and financial resources are already here. It’s the political will and our personal willingness to change that’s missing. A colleague of mine, MIT professor, Otto Scharmer, calls this the knowing-doing gap and notes that it has been imbedded in our collective behavior for over fifty years.
All of this leads to a sense of powerlessness that drives the collective depression so heavily coloring this current moment. It appears that more and more people are unhappy with the way the world is going. This is very unpleasant and even dangerous for many, and yet, it is also hopeful because we only change the status quo when the status quo becomes too uncomfortable.
I believe many of us are experiencing some of the collective depression because we are heartbroken about the natural splendor and the magnificent creatures we are losing. We are heartbroken by the diminishment of life and diversity of life in our world. Our souls long to be in a place of reverence, respect and awe and we want to see life extending, rather than contracting, in our world. If this describes you, I encourage you to keep the faith. When the comfort of the known and familiar butts heads with the yearnings of the soul change happens. Life wants to extend. Get out into nature, enjoy, revere, extend love. And keep on keepin’ on questioning and challenging the status quo. Advocating and taking action to build a world that works better for all beings – there are still myriad ways to get ‘er done.
In honor and appreciation of these precious and precarious times.
Inspiration and Resources
“Living Building” goes live in Oregon
The first “living building” in Oregon just opened in Portland. This is one of the only office buildings in the world to be powered entirely by the sun and get all of its water from the rain that falls on the roof. It is also privately funded and expected to provide a financial return for its investors. See more here.
Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
The ReThink has endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This only makes sense just now given the severity of the climate crisis and feet dragging by electeds. You can endorse the concept as an organization or individual at this link.
Earlier this week I was on a conference organized by Greenfaith in with faith leaders from across the globe rallied and demonstrated their support for this non-proliferation treaty.
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