Posts tagged Spirituality
An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 11
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.
Conservation in No-Man’s-Land
Claudio Campagna and Daniel Guevara provide a well prepared rebuttal of the claims of the HCCs. [Human Centred Conservationists]
Claudio Campagna is a Senior Research Zoologist affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Daniel Guevara is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
They pose that the “deepest issue – the real crisis – is that we do not have the concepts or language for expressing, or explicitly understanding, the intrinsic value of Nature; nor, therefore, for articulating its violation.”
I fully agree and add that the reason for this is primarily that we do not realise that we are the Earth. We are Nature. We use tools designed to measure “things”, mechanical objects and use the results to pronounce about the hows and whys of a living being. Further, Earth is an immense and intelligent living being. We treat Earth the way we do because we do not love the Earth, our higher self. Unfortunately for Earth, including all life therein, we speak of the planet as “it” and consider “it” as out there.
Our religious traditions were formed by people utterly devoid of scientific knowledge, steeped in hubris, and dedicated totally toward establishing principles approved by their personal God. Next they set up a hierarchy of special men who were imbued with the authority to speak “for” God. Following was a kicker message devised to frighten the masses into submission by pronouncing that their God would punish them for disobeying the opinions of their God’s spokespersons on Earth. Even into modern times, we have millions who live in fear of damnation and disapproval of their God.
Sadly, when so many people believe that humans are especially fabricated in God’s image and then thrust upon the Earth to, as written in Genesis 1:28 “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Actually, the domestication of the Earth underpins the religious foundation of both Christianity and Judaism.
How could we ever expect a population from Christian and Jewish religious Sunday schools to love and cherish the Earth when they have been taught that their God has given the Earth to humans to subdue?
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.
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.
This was my solstice gift whilst I was in Salobrena Spain. I took the photo about 8:25am
I’ve just posted an update to my start page, What is Earthen Spirituality? Please have a look at the new content at the bottom.
Some parts of this are stunningly beautiful and others will stop your heart in painful grief.
This is a non-commercial attempt from http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/ to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/).
“For millions of years the earth has drifted thought space. Through that time she has taken many forms. Many different forms of life evolved and some still exist and more than could be counted are no more. The time of the human race is but a mere tick in the time of the earth. If by our actions we destroy the fragile conditions needed for our survival. The earth is not the one that will be no more.”
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
– Cree Indian Prophecy –
Cree are one of the largest group of indigenous peoples of North America, located mainly across Canada, and historically in the United States from Minnesota westward but are found today in Montana.
Thought for any day
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those
who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein
An Interview with Jorie Graham Issue 2 (August 2012)
“People were clearly not meant to live as they
wished to live on the planet, as I could see it. The mismatch
between this species – with its needs and desires – and this
place was evident everywhere … Native Americans, in their
early history, knew how to live on land. But we took care
of that. Oh it made me and makes me half-crazed at times
with grief, then with rage, then with just total bafflement.
Most of my poetry has spent its time trying to figure out what
‘being’ is – human ‘being’ and non-human ‘being’. How do
they go together. Can they. What on earth is human desire. I
knew even then desire was our illness, as well as our stunning
spark. It has turned out to be more our illness. Our terminal
illness. What can I say. That is what I write from and about.”
An Interview with Jorie Graham Issue 2 (August 2012)
“I feel that the en plein air descriptions of Never, a book written to
deeply make myself see, and thereby to bring into others’
vision, the natural world – from its microscopic life to its far
reaches of ‘evolution’ ( a word I still used in that book – a
number of poems are titled by that term) – are still, in spite
of their ‘understanding’ of the eco issues, innocent. I mean by
this that I had not fully downloaded it into my soul – and
also that I had not yet really gone deeply into the science. Sea
Change registers that shock. Place tries to recover a necessary
innocence from which to live and act. A ‘higher innocence’,
to avail myself of Blake’s terms. One that follows ‘experience’.
It is from there that we must act. Or can act. This has nothing
to do with explicability or inexplicability. Nature is not in
the realm of explication. So I do not engage with it on those
terms. I do bring language and mind up against it, into it, I
suffuse us with each other –but that is a matter of awakened
sensation, and its attendant awakened consciousness. From
there too one can, perhaps, act. But surely it is a prerequisite.
Nature cannot become an abstraction. That has been the
whole deficit in our souls which has brought us to this.”
The passage above reminds me of the situation where, to my mind,
we have not developed a language of spirit. Now I don’t mean the
spirituality of sky gods, the spirit of churches. I am trying to bring
to awareness an Earthen Spirituality but am humbled by my inability
to find a satisfying expression. Earthen Spirituality can be explicated,
but not in the accepted ways of knowing or expressing. Almost five
centuries of materialism has dominated the accepted worldview and
imprinted a template of what “is” and what “is not.” Again, I will not
accept that spirit cannot be explicated. As of the moment, it appears
to me that art holds the key. I have said that music is the language of
the soul. the Hsin Hsin Ming says: “Stop thinking and there is nothing
that you will not be able to understand.” One of my limitations is
that I keep thinking about how to stop thinking. I keep thinking about
what it is to not think. So, I am in a cage of my own construction, with
doors and windows yet stuck inside pushing at the door instead of
turning the door knob.