Posts tagged living universe
“Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.”
“Q: If I am free, why am I in a body?
M: You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They are there because you find them interesting. Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus and awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil or ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not know how much miss by not knowing your own true self. You are neither the body nor the mind, neither the fuel nor the fire. They appear and disappear according to their own laws.
That which you are, your true self, you love it and know it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love yourself absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not. Don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of the love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.”
I Am That
Nisargadata Page 212
third edition revised and re-edited
There can be no peace nor cessation of planetary destruction until this is understood.
What’s with Ozymandias?
Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for [the sonnet] “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972 View Shelley’s sonnet here.
This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth
The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.
What’s So New about the “New Conservation”?
Curt Meine, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist, historian, and writer.
Let us schedule that Funeral
In this essay Meine begins with a story, somewhat of a parody concerning the new Conservationists. As I’ve posted, I choose to refer to them as Human Centred Conservationists as opposed to the established and sensible effort to protect the biodiversity and integrity of all life on Earth. Life on Earth is NOT all about people. We emerged only yesterday in the chronology of Earth’s development and our frontal lobe growth may at the end of the day cause us to be a failed experiment or failed evolutionary development.
Meine continues on the theme of disagreeing that the “old” conservationists agreed and promoted the idea that wilderness must be “pristine” and excluded humans. There is valid evidence that this is absolutely false. This falseness is exposed here and in several essays to follow. “Old” conservationists did acknowledge the rights of humans to co-exist with other-than-human beings. “Old” conservationists did not blindly adhere to the mythical “balance of a static Nature. “Old” conservationists disagree that modern science has pronounced that the Earth is actually tough and resilient. Looking at Earth as a living being must remind us that humans, for instance, can look resilient yet suffer and sustain life threatening illness. Destroying diversity is dangerous to the maintenance of Earth’s Health. A healthy human population requires a healthy Earth. “Old” conservationists failed according to HCCs. One look at the Wildlands Network: http://www.wildlandsnetwork.org/our-network reflects the unfairness of this statement. Anyway, whatever the limitations to conservationists goal achievement such would not justify giving up the attempt. Children still smoke, but who would use this as an excuse to give up trying to prevent the exploitation of the young by selling them tobacco?
Meine concludes with this quote from Aldo Leopold, the honoured prophet and mentor of the conservation movement:
“I have no illusions about the speed or accuracy with which an ecological conscience can become functional. It has required 19 centuries to define decent man-to-man conduct and the process is only half done; it may take as long to evolve a code of decency for man-to-land conduct.
[Sky: Sorry, but we just don’t have that long to wait. Aldo couldn’t have known this. Who knows what he would have said could he have had access to the climate change scientific evidence we have now?]
In such matters we should not worry too much about anything except the direction in which we travel.
[Sky: We know now that speed is important]
The direction is clear, and the first step is to throw your weight around on matters of right and wrong in land-use. Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits,
[Sky: Avoiding air travel whenever possible falls into this category. It is just not true that “the plane will fly anyway even if you don’t”. Every 50 or so people that quit flying along a particular connection means too many empty seats and the cancellation of that flight. When these individual actions add up to significant drops in passenger miles, new aircraft builds will be cancelled and flight frequencies lowered. The law of supply and demand still rules.]
or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.
[Sky: This is the pragmatist outlook which I despise now and the moment I first read about it in 1958]
That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.”
[Sky: well, it has been resurrected by the HCCs – Human Centred Conservationists]
Yes, it is long overdue and Conservation Biologists worldwide and lay-people like myself can work tirelessly to schedule that funeral.
Keeping the Wild
This book might be a great help in understanding why humans are destroying Nature. The quote below makes a connection that has gone over my head until a few days ago.
“From time immemorial, just as today, the underclass and the powerless have been forcibly limited from accessing resources for their own material advantage. It is thus injustice toward the more-than-human world – stripping it into being-for and value-for people (“resources”) that constitutes the foundation of social injustice and inequality.” Eileen Crist in “Keeping the Wild”
This book might be a great help in understanding why humans are destroying Nature. Is it not rather bizarre and crazy-making that whilst we, as just one species of many, have given ourselves the right to slash and burn, poison and desecrate as we choose whilst energetic and physical essence that we depend on for our very existence has no rights whatsoever?
Excerpt from Greenspirit Chair’s Report 2014
In the midst of so much activity it is useful to remind ourselves of what we are which gives us our special identity. As Ian’s report points out our primary attraction is our spirituality. We come from many traditions and none but what unites us is that we find spiritual nourishment in our connection with creation, which is as Berry says ‘our primary revelation’. He word ‘God’ has been too often hijacked by narrow religion which has restricted and diminished the divine presence that surrounds us and gives everything life. In Greenspirit our vision encompasses all that is, from the tiniest particle to the greatest galaxy and we glimpse the truth that even the least blade of grass is a presence of inexpressible love. And these glimpses are enough to make us fall in love with creation.
This beautifully expressed in an extract from the book, ‘Epiphany in the Beans’ in our last magazine. As she felt the happiness that made her ‘ ‘laugh out loud’ working in her garden, Robin Kimmerer writes, ‘I knew with a certainty as warm and clear as the September sunshine, the land loves us back’.
In Greenspirit, we have moved on from trying to save the Earth just by campaigning and action, though of course these matter. Our greatest strength is in our spiritual journey, finding the awareness that ‘the land loves us back’. Every time we make this loving connection with creation, we bless it, healing begins and what is more we raise this connection with everyone, [on the hundredth monkey principle]. As long as our green convictions remain ideas in our heads they alone will not change the world. But when enough of us reclaim our identity with and immersion in creation, it becomes our sacred community. Then it is impossible to harm it and profound healing happens.
Are we Guardians of the Planet?
1. one who looks after, protects, or defends: the guardian of public morals.
Darkening of the Light
Witnessing the End of an Era
by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
In the Introduction to Darkening of the Light by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, we find:
“But this gift of light was also a test for humanity…and has forgotten our ancient purpose as guardians of the planet.”
Not only do I have no idea who or what religion, spirituality or movement decided that we have this ancient purpose. It certainly was not Jewish or Christian. According to Genesis, God has given us the planet to have dominion over. I am aware of my ignorance and will try to find out.
We just cannot have it both ways. Either we see the oneness, the non-dual in our beingness as the Earth, or we see the duality as we, creatures of the Earth protecting the other that we choose to call Earth. The bark is the tree, there is not the bark and the tree as a duality. Yes, our language allows us to split and divide, carve up things so that we can speak of the tree roots, the tree bark, tree limbs, tree leaves, but still without these what we call parts, what we observe wouldn’t be a tree. It is our thinking function that gets hung up on dichotomys. Our science rips living things apart and then pronounces on what “it is.”
Guardianship may have ancient beginnings, but our science supports a non-dual understanding of how we are in the world. Even to see ourselves as IN a world out there is to err.
There is no duality, no “out there” and “in here.” As Vadim Zeland has said, the world is a mirror of your attitude towards it. The Gnostic text The Gospel of St. Thomas that didn’t make the cut by the early “holy” fathers of the church, remarks something like: When the inner becomes as the outer, there is the Kingdom of God. Another biblical source says that the Kingdom of God is within you. [Luke 17:21] So, we may see that actually, the world is also within you, not “out there.” So, if there is no “out there” and “out there” is really within us and we are “within” the planet both physically and spirituality, then what we have is oneness, true oneness. From the perspective of planets, stars and galaxies, they are not “out there” either, so they are a oneness. From here it is not too far out for those who speak of oneness with the Universe.
Now this is my thinking function rattling on. How do I feel? Can I sense oneness in my everyday interaction with what I think of as out there? Well, since I cannot and do not want to part with my mate and buddy, the thinking function, I’ll just call it a both/and and leave it for now as I set forth for my daily bread walking among the birds, insects, grass, trees, bushes, clouds and feeling joyful knowing that I know and I am known.
The mind desires this,
And grieves for that.
It embraces one thing,
And spurns another.
Now it feels anger,
In this way you are bound.
But when the mind desires nothing
And grieves for nothing,
When it is without joy or anger
And, grasping nothing,
Turns nothing away. . .
Then you are free.
When the mind is attracted
To anything it senses,
You are bound.
When there is no attraction,
You are free.
Where there is no I,
You are free.
Where there is I,
You are bound.
It is easy.
Turn nothing away.
~ Ashtavakra Gita (8.1-4)
This is really the essence of Advaita. Another beautiful expression is within the Hsin Hsin Ming. You can find a copy on the WWW. I understand that this sounds like a plea to be joyless; however, perhaps joy and pleasure are not the same. Also, perhaps the word “mind” may not accurately capture the non-duality message. It is the thinking function that discriminates and fuels the judgement that in the end results in pain and suffering. The message is based on the fact that there are NO dualities, just the Dao, just the moment.
All this is clearly expressed in the wonderful treasure which is the Hsin Hsin Ming. It may take you years of pondering, re-reading, looking at again, asking the universe for understanding – all that before you begin to “get it.” Then perhaps you’ll lose it again and at one and the same time know and despair that you don’t know, don’t understand. What might help or maybe put you over the edge of being able to relate is that you cannot “know” yourself, the Dao simply because it does not exist as an object. You cannot separate it – you- out in an effort to “know” it because you are it. You are a person looking for eyes to see. I must put in a word for the late Jean Klein. If you can obtain any of his books of dialogues, you may find that his clarity may tip you over the edge with the “oh, now I get it” moment. Oh there is so much that lies around the fringe of Advaita. Some say that you “get it” when you quit looking. Others, like The Maharshi tell us that our impediment is thinking that we can’t find “it” when actually we are what we seek.
Lastly, you will never know why you either care about these ideas or just can’t be bothered. “It” either calls you relentlessly until you don’t feel the need to “be bothered” or will always sound just too weird and you will never “be bothered.” Either way, you may rest assured, in my not so humble opinion, that there is no separate “you” inside your head looking out onto a separate world.
Antarctica warmth ‘unusual, but not unique’
By Jonathan Ball
“In his Nature paper, Dr Mulvaney did not conclude that the recent changes observed in the peninsula were down to human activity.
However, when asked about this, he said: ‘If I am pressed to say whether I think it’s human-induced, then I would say what we are seeing is human-induced.’”
Antarctic warmth not unique
Interesting that Dr Mulvaney did not publish his personal conclusions. Thankfully, Dr. James Hansen does so.
We didn’t really need to be told that Antarctic ice melting is not unprecedented. Most people are aware that we have had glacial and interglacial periods before. Further, it is well accepted that “Changes in the Earth’s orbit and tilt produce natural fluctuations in climate.” Unfortunately, the key “natural fluctuations” favour cooling rather than the increasing warming we are recording now.
Few climate scientists, except the handful who are paid as detractors, argue about the causes of global warming. To offer “natural fluctuations” as a significant point in the argument as to the effect of human activity on global warming is spurious at the least and downright misleading. Looking at the last interglacial period, for instance, average temperatures in northern latitudes was higher and sea levels significantly higher – this quite in keeping with the expected effect of the natural fluctuations of the time. The next to the last interglacial period had natural fluctuations much more similar than the last one.
The huge significant fact is that in both of these the level of CO2 was much, much lower.
I have made my case for the evidence of anthropogenic causes of global warming below:
In summary, the press focuses on controversy. Alarmingly, the global warming detractors are just a handful but are given press coverage as if they were a significant number. Sadly, many, as I mentioned above, are paid to amplify ambiguities. If you think about it, most of the scientific data on the behaviour of living beings is ambiguous. We readily [we don’t have a choice, actually] accept ambiguity and uncertainty, for example, from the establishment medical profession. We are often told to try this drug and come back if it doesn’t work. We pay the bill whether the medicine “works” or not.
Climate change science would be so much easier to understand and appreciate if we examined the evidence and came to the conclusion that earth scientists are studying a living being and not a mechanical object. We should not expect certainty in the same way as we do with a machine. We have a whole set of scientific evidence around Gaia theory.
Sadly, some “theories” are favoured by establishment science over others whilst the public has been conditioned to believe in an unbiased scientific community. Sorry, that is just not true. Some scientific “truths” are more popular than others whilst other “truths,” such as that fact that the earth revolves around the sun and that the world is not flat, took centuries to become “popular.”
Sadly for Earthly living beings, we do not have centuries to avoid the consequences of excessive burning of fossil fuel and the continued chopping of forests to build structures for a human population growth that is completely out of control.
I rest my case in my book “Planet as Self” where I suggest an Earthen Spirituality, a spirituality built around the principle that earthly beings “are” the planet and not just “on” a planet. We will not risk the consequences of the sacrifices needed to turn our situation around unless we come to respect and admire Gaia as our, for want of a more developed vocabulary, higher self.
Romney Energy Plan Includes Drilling ‘Virtually Every Part’ of U.S., No Protections for National Parks
By Jessica Goad
Nation of Change
This has been my fear all along and much more than really sad. Our National, State, County and city parks are the heart and soul of our country. They stand in testimony of what we respect and hold dear, hold as our treasure. They are that part of ourselves that we admire and hold dear. They must be protected. That’s why they are “public” lands.
“This morning’s Washington Post sheds more light on Romney’s energy plan, including the fact that he would open up “virtually every part ofU.S.lands and waters” to drilling regardless of whether they are national parks, national monuments, or protected in some other way. As the Post reports:
Asked whether any place would be off limits for oil drilling, campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said, “Governor Romney will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”
Current law sets some public lands and waters off limits to drilling, including national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas. These places are protected for other uses like hunting, fishing, sightseeing, and recreation.”
“Saul’s caveat that Romney would promote drilling if it could be done safely makes little sense considering that safe drilling has thus far eluded oil and gas companies. Most oil drilling involves the use of “drilling muds” that can include toxic chemicals. Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas involves pumping thousands of gallons of chemicals underground to stimulate wells. And all drilling produces contaminated water as a byproduct that must be disposed of. Additionally, oil spill are not uncommon—for example, a report from USA Today found an average of 22 large spills offshore every year between 2005 and 2009.”
“The growth of emissions can be slowed, relative to the growth rate of the economy. However, emissions cannot conceivably be stalled or reversed while the economy continues to expand, however great the carbon-saving technologies of the coming years.
If our political processes cannot conceive of a non-growth future, and yet a fundamental rethink of growth is the only honest starting point for the fight against climate change, then those political processes are clearly not fit for purpose.”
Oliver De Schutter at the Guardian. Tuesday 24 April 2012
There are two points that I would like to make about the quote above.
Fighting against climate change is ridiculous. Just a slight glance at a graphic of temperature variations over a few hundred thousand years reveal that it is always changing. There is no or practically no long period of stability. Over the last million years, at least, we have been going from quick zips of warming squeezed into long periods of increased glaciation and decreased glaciation. Talk about fighting climate change just understandably fuels the skeptics and “deniers.”
I read a lot about the climbing anthropogenic CO2 and steadily rising temperature. The level of CO2 in the air is unquestionably higher than any of the last 4 interglacial periods. Since we as humans had no modern recording and measurement devices, we just don’t know how the CO2 will affect climate. The best we can do is run computer models and simulations. These help us to see into the future but just don’t impress a large segment of our population. Ironically, to make a side step, these same people don’t seem to mind listening to the results of simulations so long as they reveal a story that they agree with.
I’ve said before and continue to claim that we are barking up the wrong tree. Our scientists, driven of course by what governments and multinationals want to hear, focus on why we are still experiencing increasing temperatures, when after around 12,000 years of interglacial warming, compared to the last 4 periods, we should be into a downward dip.
I suggest that we should be concerned and be trying to discover what brought the temperature (and CO2) down in the past. We need to do this as precisely as possible and then when we understand which of the factors discovered are now missing, for instance, millions of trees and immense grasslands and savannah, and then how we can either get around the situation or if not, how we had best prepare for the unknown. Scientists do agree that there are triggers, tipping points, that appear to spearhead the change up and down. I suggest that we have a lot of adequate information about the causes of the upward climb of temperature and emergence into an interglacial period. Whether CO2 climbed first or temperature climbed first is a side issue – important but a mystery that we can live with – while we deal with the known. As I have just said, we spend little time and effort revealing and I argue, explaining to the public that we will most likely skip a whole glacial- interglacial cycle. [An Exceptionally Long Interglacial Ahead?
A. Berger and M. F. Loutre in 23 AUGUST 2002 VOL 297 SCIENCE www.sciencemag.org]
Another issue that bothers me is that of our worldview or how we look at our planet. As I’ve tried to suggest and support in my book, Planet as Self, we don’t understand how our planet “works” primarily because we see it as a large and intricate machine. We use the limited views within a pragmatic, physicalist, mindset, with instruments designed to measure machines, to understand a living being. We are IN a planet not on it. We have studied and know that a star, our sun, has a birth and death cycle of increasing heat output on its way to becoming a red giant then a white dwarf and finally a black dwarf. Gaia Theory explains how living beings on the outer skin, so to speak of Gaia, actually work together to counteract this heat increase and maintain Earth’s temperature to the benefit of said life-forms. That’s why we need to work with nature and honour the wisdom inherent in the life of Gaia. After all, we are all first and foremost Earthlings.
 Looking again at the quote above, I am extremely pleased to read a critique of the idea of unlimited growth. Out of control growth is known as cancer. Surely it is common sense to agree that a planet with finite resources cannot support unlimited growth. As the author points out, we need to adapt a political (economic) process that is fit for purpose. That purpose being, as a famous American document proposed, the purpose of maintaining a government of the people, by the people and for the people and not just the 1%.
Growing Up, Falling in Love
“We must fall in love with the Earth — the living, sacred planet, this “dynamic system,” in the words of the Bolivian legislation acknowledging its rights, ‘made up of the undivided community of all living beings, who are all interconnected, interdependent and complementary, sharing a common destiny.’”
This is the future — the only future we have.
Examining just why we do not love the Earth is a major theme of my book.