sky

Sky McCain is an American citizen living in the south-west of England. He likes walking, photography, played the trombone in his local brass band, and visiting his favourite parts of southern Europe. He has also been involved in ‘green’ activism in the local community and was the co-founder of the Wholesome Food Association, an organization that champions local food. Sky graduated with a BA in History from Boston College in the US and has an MA in Values in the Environment from Lancaster University, UK. He has had a lifetime interest in religion and spirituality, starting with Christianity and continuing with Vajrayana Buddhism of the Aro gTer lineage and Advaita Vedanta. He has recently focused his attention on Gaia Theory, climate change, and the relationship between science and spirituality.

Homepage: http://www.earthenspirituality.com


Posts by sky

Is God doing it?

Is God doing it?

 

“- Any action we take today will not significantly affect the climate in our lifetimes (true for just about anybody in their mid 30s — look at the above charts)

 

Not sure where you hail from, but in the States there are a not insignificant number of individuals who would tell you that God – and only God – can change the climate.  This worldview is deeply ingrained in many folks, and virtually impossible to dislodge.  Efforts to dislodge it will be met with ever more fervor.”

 

Photon Wrangler at 09:54 AM on 14 February, 2013

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-best-to-worst-case-scenarios.html

 

 

Although I am not a church member, surely it is not unreasonable that I should think that religious beliefs should make some kind of sense, some kind of appeal to our innate sense of rightness.  Moreover, is it too much to expect that religious beliefs reflect the immense, beyond our imagining, love of All There Is for creation? The concept that “God made me do it” is not good enough.  If “only God can make a tree” then it is only we who can stop destroying them.  For God so loved the world-

 

“John 3:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

Belief in God does not make us unaccountable for our actions.

 

Introduction to Pagan Ethics

 

This Category, *Pagan Ethics, contains a series of posts that are a commentary on a book – Living with Honour – written by Emma Restall Orr.  My interest in Pagan ethics emerges out of a need to capture in words the attitudes and behaviour that might manifest out of a person’s love of Gaia and dedication to an Earthen Spirituality.  Emma’s beautiful book, which I at first eagerly skimmed, then read slowly and carefully and now enjoy re-reading has stimulated my thinking and inspired the comments in these posts. I obviously highly recommend the book and hope that my commentary serves the spirit of *Pagan Ethics and challenges the reader to examine their attitudes and world view toward a greater reverence for our place within and among the life of Gaia.  As my one-time friend Wolf says, may Gaia bless.

 

Introduction to Pagan Ethics

 

One word sums it up – Honour.  Pagan ethics are based on reverence for Nature.  The practice involves all our interactions with nature.  Pagans have no belief in a supernatural Deity nor a God or Gods that exist outside of Nature.  Emma does not wish to speak for all Pagans, thus in her book “Living with Honour” she refers to *Paganism – the Paganism she is describing as she sees it.

Starting with an umbrella concept: The word Honour has been chosen as the best representation of the foundation cornerstone.  Honour can then be explicated with three supporting stones forming a balanced triangle: a strong, stable and self-supporting structure consisting of Courage, Generosity and Loyalty.

 

 

 

                      Loyalty
                     Courage                         Generosity
                                                                   Honour

Ancient

 

All remaining aspects and details of *Pagan ethics rest on this platform.

 

 

Emma translates the three upper layer words into alternatives that hold the essence of our 21st Century culture.  They are:  Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

 

 

 

 

                  Responsibility
                        Honesty                           Respect
                                                                    Honour

21st Century

 

Evil

 

Thoughts of evil spirits, evil acts, the devil’s work do not exist in *Pagan ethics.  There is no force of Nature that is evil.  There is no fear in *Paganism of satanic or supernatural beings for “nothing exists beyond the natural.”

I am in full agreement with the *Pagan attitude toward evil.  Without a God up there to judge us, we have to hold ourselves responsible for our actions.  We do what is right because it feels right and feels good to do what’s right; we do what is right because of respect for ourselves and others, not to keep ourselves out of Hell down below somewhere.  We do have the ability to sense the rightness and wrongness of alternatives.  Of course, right and wrong are culturally derived and this must be kept in mind.  However, I would like to speak to the belief that nothing exists beyond the natural in a later post.

Free Will 

 

Emma explains that we are free to make our choices and reminds us that we are all connected.

I like to think that we are connected through the body of the Earth – we and every being are all Earthlings.

 

Attitude towards Death

 

“Death then, to the *Pagan, is a gateway of release, exquisitely transformative, yet also simply just another step or two along a much longer road.  I offer the question:  Who dies?  More on this subject in the next post.