New Beginnings

Of poets, scientists, and stars.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Not Nothing

The fear based religions are certainly not doing the planet any good anymore (if ever they did.) The problem is they lock generations in with fear. Searching and questioning are really not allowed. They say THIS is the book - Koran, Bible, Old Testament, and THESE are the laws, because people so much smarter than you have determined them. If you want the very most painful, awful, torturous fate imaginable for all eternity, then just go ahead and question. Oh, and by the way, we'll make this life miserable for you as well.   
 In South Carolina where I live, it's social suicide to admit you aren't Christian. (I'm socially dead, by the way.) I complained about meetings at my state job being opened with a prayer - always a Christian prayer. I was openly Pantheist. I asked, then told people to stop trying to save my soul. I was told by my boss in a meeting not to question what would become of my job because "Jesus, my Lord and savior is where I put my trust and I don't worry." I objected to that. I paid a big price for all of it. Of course, you can't be fired for that, but they can make it so miserable that you run screaming from the building. 

Many people will agree with me that they revere Nature, but they continue to feed and be fed by fear based religion. They say they just go for the ritual, for the comfort, for the community. They don't recycle or capture rain water. They continue to eat a meat-based diet and use toxic chemicals in their homes and farms that poison ground water. They water their unnatural lawns with drinkable water and mow them with fume and noise-belching machines. They fight with leaves in Autumn with noisy machines and then burn them in great piles until the other animals and I can't breathe. They fill their minds with junk and their bodies with junk carried home in plastic bags that they toss in the garbage.

And with smiling faces they tell me that I can't change the world. That my little amount of recycling, and my personal ban of toxins and my little garden watered with rainwater are nothing. They are embarrassed when I sift through their or public garbage sorting out what can be recycled. They are embarrassed by my second hand clothes and my reuse of things. They are embarrassed by my tears when I lose a tree or see an animal mistreated.
Well, I am NOT embarrassed.  I am proud to be Pantheist.  But I need encouragement from other Pantheists and open-minded thinkers.  I need to know I'm not alone and that the little ways I love Earth are not nothing.
Maybe when we all are a little more visible we will be a little more accepted.  Maybe people will follow our lead and do little things to love the Earth, too. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


May you have enough. 

It is a good blessing.  A good wish for all of us.  I wish for my children that they always have enough and that they realize it and appreciate it.  I do not wish for them to have too much.  I wish the same for me.

When the first immigrants came to America, perhaps they were welcomed by Native Americans, perhaps not.  Probably some of each.  The immigrants (the land was already inhabited and settled so no need to call them settlers or discoverers) who came here to this vast, rugged country to find religious freedom, believed that the Native Americans were less than they and that there religion was definitely less than theirs.  So they set about killing them and taking the land.

Note there was a lot of land.  America, though inhabited by Native Americans with complex cultures, was not overcrowded.  There was enough for everyone.  But that's just not the way we do it, is it?  We, as a species are not big on sharing outside of our immediate families.

When later immigrants came - the Irish micks and the Italian wops, the Chinese slanteyes - you know, the people who did all the hard labor, the people who were already here didn't welcome them.  Those who were already here didn't want to share.  Oh, there was still a lot of wide open spaces, still enough for everyone, but no one wanted to share.  And the latest immigrants wanted to be here badly enough that they often did the hard labor to build the country up.  They were treated poorly.  The people who were already here had forgotten that they were immigrants too. And it still goes on.  I needn't go into it.  The Mexican wetbacks are abused for their labor and not welcomed for it. 

But the people who were treated the worst are the Native American, injuns, red skinned devils.  Without going into the painful humiliations these people endured and endure, the killing of them by White immigrants was one of the most complete genocides ever.

And every wave of immigrants, every wave of "progress" has brought with it a raping of the Earth.  First the forest in the East go.  They were cut down and lumber sent back to England who had gone through her own trees.  They were cut down to make space in a land more spacious than could be imagined.  The Earth was ripped open for her coal which was overused causing Her air to become toxic.  She was ripped open for Her gold and Her iron and raped for Her oil, all of which provided too much for a bunch of greedy people.  Her animals were slaughtered to the point of extinction.  All of this causing insane imbalance.  But nobody noticed.  We wanted more than enough.

Well, I have had ENOUGH.  I do not want more.  I want balance.  I want peace and respect for all of Earth, including her people. 

We are a greedy lot.  Having too much has made us greedy, not having too little. 

There is something about having too much that makes us greedy.  It's not having too little. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Holy Water

Our bodies are about 70% water.  Planet Earth is about 70% water.  It’s what makes us very special, if not unique in the Universe. 

We people can go without food for lots more days than most of us readers will ever know, but we can’t get by without water.  Yet we behave as if clean water is always going to be there for us, and that our bodies are going to work right, regardless of what we do.  

How much of the water we drink is intentionally polluted by us with sugar and chemical flavorings?  Guess what our bodies have to do when we do that?  Our bodies have to flush them out with. . . . . duh duh da daaaaaa – water. 

Those big four minerals our bodies use to balance our ticking and our tocking, our sleeping and our rocking,  and our incredibly complex electrical system - calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium - are carried around our bodies in water. The nutrients we ingest from the bounty Earth provides us are carried though our bodies with water and eventually are filtered by our livers and kidneys, lungs and skin. 

But just as we have kidneys and livers to filter the poisons out of our bodies, Earth has ways of filtering.  She has swamps and wetlands.  She has shellfish and silt, catfish and trees, but we tend to want to drain swamps and wetlands, overfish and cut down too many trees.  And the chemicals we create in plastics, such as dioxins – the most carcinogenic group of boogers in the world - are carried around Earth’s body through water.  We humans are not the only beings, by the way, who use Earth’s water, but we are the only ones who poison it to such a degree. And we are the only ones who intentionally destroy Earth’s organs. 

When our Western bodies get out of balance through what we give or don’t give them, we tend to put chemicals in the form of medicine into them to get back in synch.  I am probably guiltier of this than most.  But then our bodies have to figure out and incorporate and filter those chemicals. 

What I’m trying to say in this possibly convoluted fashion is that the Earth and we aren’t so different.  In fact we are the same.  Let’s make a promise to stop polluting us.  Let’s drink more water that doesn’t come from plastic bottles.  Let’s give our bodies what they/we crave. And let’s remember that we are the Earth and we are water.  And we are Holy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Flabbergasting Flagella and Evolution

Have you given much thought to flagella?  Amazing little things they are, transporting little bacteria where they need to go.  I saw a video about the suspected motor that drives them.  Amazing!  And we think humans are evolved!  Actually bacteria spank us when it comes to evolution.  They can evolve on a dime when it takes us. . . . well, a gazillion years. 

And what have humans come up with?  Brains that allow us to create technology that can extinguish life on this planet in more than a couple of ways.  And yet, we can’t seem to get any permanent foothold over the teensy little no-brained bacteria with their funky flagella.  We can wipe them out for a while with ever stronger antibiotics, but then those little goobers outsmart us and evolve to resist our attempts to slaughter them.  And when we do attempt a bacteria massacre, we end up killing our friendly bacteria as well as the ones that make us sick.  We aren’t very efficient in our bactericide.

Those little germies are something!  They are models of efficiency.  When a bit of them no longer works, they lose it. Here we are still trying still trying to figure out what to do with tonsils and appendixes besides getting them infected and then removed. 

Humans didn’t get flagella.  We got legs.  But we don’t like to use them.  So with the big brains we also got we invented vehicles to transport us that run on fossil fuel, which by definition will run out.  And those vehicles get us around, but they poison all life as well.

We think, so we think we’re pretty special. It seems quite likely that if we were really smart, we’d evolve our big ol’ brains away and lose our technology and live more like . . . well the animals we keep destroying.

But I can’t say I really believe in flat out straight Darwin evolution.  It just doesn’t seem very realistic to me.  I think the Universe has some plan, a Grand Intelligent Design.  Something truly smart.  Something able to see the big picture that humans work so hard at covering with clutter. 

The Divine Universe that knows better than I, and better than you, why we didn’t evolve with flagella and smaller brains.  And my Pantheist soul trusts in that.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Losing my Ego or Saving my Religion?

Today, in a meeting of co-workers, I was told that something I thought I had been doing very well (cooking for clients) was not appreciated.  I also heard specific examples at which everyone (save me) laughed.  I was told  I need to "balance healthy with unhealthy food."  I was also told that a statement I made in the meeting "Was not the truth."  It was pointed out that because I have made a fuss over clients cleaning with and overabundance of chemical cleaning fluids and far more than necessary chlorine bleach, that the clinic was going to great trouble to try to find something less allergenic to me. 
I allowed these things to hurt me. 

And then I was told that I need to serve the very restricted lunch menu on "disposable," plastic plates.  That's when  I cried.

I work for the state of South Carolina, where we have been instructed by the Governor to answer the phone saying, "It's a Great Day in South Carolina."  I did not see this as a particularly good day.  In fact, I've been instructed to do something contrary to my religion.  I said that I didn't like the idea because it was not green.

Immediately after the meeting I didn't like me.  Why wasn't I able to just state, with no ugly ego involvement, that I think it's important to teach the same thing in nutrition classes as we do in the dining room.  Why wasn't I able to say, with no ugly ego involvement, "Yes, that is the truth."   Why didn't I say, with no fear and no ugly ego involvement, "Using disposable plastic plates to save some time is an abomination in the face of Nature, and teaching clients that is at least as important as saying a Christian prayer before each lunch."   Why couldn't I just calmly state that it's not just a question of me being "allergic" to chemical cleaning solutions being used improperly - it's the fact that they are toxic, not just to me but to everyone there, that causes me to implore they are not used.

Well, basically I couldn't state those things without ugly ego involvement because my ego is ugly.  It isn't about me and I was crying as if it were.  I know me enough to know that anything I would have said then wouldn't have been good.  And I know enough about communication to know that until I get control of my enormous, ugly ego, I'm not going to be able to make a difference in the way people think.

Or, perhaps the thing for me to do is to get ugly.  Maybe nothing will change until people are brave enough to lose their jobs for their religion, even if it isn't the religion of the masses.  It seems like I remember something about Freedom of Religion.  I truly believe that I've already lost one job that I loved due to Pantheism and I'm sure that this will be the end of this job, too, even if they give me a gazillion other reasons.  Maybe it's time to stop.

Let me get something clear.  I really care about the people with whom I work - staff and clients alike.  I don't think anyone can dispute that with a straight face.  If I didn't care about their opinions (far too much) it wouldn't have gotten to me the way it does. 

So I put it to Brothers and Sisters, what to do?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What does it take to bring out your best?

A lot of people on the news are talking about how the recent tornadoes have brought the best out in people.  People in small towns are helping strangers in other small towns clean up after twisters destroyed homes.  "Tough times have a way of bringing out the best in people." And people whose homes and lives were spared say things such as "There but for the grace of God. . . ." and "The only thing that saved us was Jesus."

Well, I have a couple of problems with all that.

First of all, why do we wait for disasters such as tornadoes to reach out to our neighbors?  What about all those individual, private disasters that we may never know about unless we are close enough to ask?  Secondly, how dare anyone say, "There but for the grace of God. . . " as if their neighbors who lost everything were not recipients of divine grace.  I reckon either we all are, or no one is.  Which do you think?

Does God like people whose houses remained intact more than he likes those whose homes were destroyed?  Do people who survive do so because they prayed to Jesus louder, more sincerely, or more correctly than those who didn't? 

God, who is the whole Universe, doesn't pick favorites in my humble opinion.  And that does not make it ok for us to abdicate our care of the planet, nor does it make it ok for us to forget our responsibility to each other, who are after all, part of the planet.

Of course, we need to reach out to each other in times of natural disasters.  And we need to reach out to each other daily - blue skies or black.   And if having everything we need to exist right now, right here is divine grace, then by my figuring we all have it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Roots of Compassion

We've gotten ourselves very far from Nature and we work very hard at not knowing.

Our food comes from boxes or wrapped in plastic.  We never see that steak cut from a carcass of a steer.  We don't see chicken or pig factories in which animals are treated exactly like a piece of ceramic that goes from birth to death on a crowded assembly line.  We don't have to wash dirt off our carrots, and we have no thought to what chemicals are in them.

Electricity comes from an outlet on our wall.  We don't look at belching power plants or consider the inefficiency and ugliness of the grid of vulnerable wire that brings it to us. We don't think about blowing up mountains to scrape out coal or the men who kill themselves doing the scraping.
Clean water comes from the tap.  It's cheap.  We treat it as if it comes from a magical endless supply. And stuff that goes down the drain?  Well, that just disappears.

Every now and then we see people on television who have none of those things - food, clean water, electricity - and we think "Tsk, tsk.  There but for the grace of God go I," which means that God graces us most.  God wants us to have these things.  It is our right to waste and destroy as we want. We are special.

And I lie here on my comfortable bed, computer on my lap and look around at all my stuff.  I didn't think when I bought that lamp or those curtains that I might have *bought chickens for an impoverished family so they could have sustainable income and food.  I didn't think.

It can be painful to look at these things, but without looking - without knowing - we have no hope.  We are no more than inflamed boils on the face of Earth.  I know I can't solve all the problems, but maybe I can do one thing today. Maybe it all starts with looking, seeing, knowing.  Surely compassion will follow.

* for information about how you can give chickens to a family who needs them - and much more.