One way to view the inexorable march of biological evolution is as the development of the neurological capacity necessary to recognize this universal inner presence more and more fully. And not just in humans.
Selections by Philip Terman
Swimming in the Rain
Swaddled and sleeved in water,
I dive to the rocky bottom and rise
as the first drops of sky
find the ocean. The waters above
meet the waters below,
the sweet and the salt,
and I’m swimming back to the beginning. The forecasts were wrong. Half the sky is dark
but it keeps changing. Half the stories
I used to believe are false.
The myth of Sisyphus may imply that the best that we humans can expect is that, when tired from endlessly rolling the rock back up the hill, we may gather together at the River Jordan and weep. I wish Peter were right, but I still doubt that it is possible to overcome the otherness of the Other, except briefly, randomly, undependably.
Heaven’s not for bodies, at least not my perfect one,
and mirrors in heaven still lie as on earth, and still disgust.
Heaven’s not for past or present or future. It’s not everything that should have happened but didn’t.
Dead faces there don’t bristle with hope, there’s no whiskery
feeling of some pointful life to which you never got around.
God’s so dark in heaven, like that car in the rear-view last night
with no headlights on.
We, the young, pretty ones, could easily find or fake the generosity to jolly those luckless oldsters along. We could cheerfully shake their hands (only a little appalled by their soft grips, papery skin, delicate bones, faintly mildewed smell). We could chat with them, ask how they were getting on., and we found ways to look interested in their answers. We listened, even if the answers bored us. Silently, however, we relegated the oldsters’ thinking and experience to the Irrelevant pile.
We can be hopeful without expecting victory. We can ask what the Earth requires of us in this very moment and just take the next step.
Today the Gregorian calendar, including the seven-day week, is so intrinsic and essential to the global economy that few ever reflect on how it is a human created contrivance that imposes these cycles on the natural world (note, for instance, weekly patterns of human work and associated pollution).
To create a present and a future which is Earth-honoring and just to all marginalized and outcast beings, those of us who identify as Hindus must act as wise and determined servants in re-discovering the ecologically-sound wisdom embedded in our collective human history and experience.
As Sikhs, we are called upon to treat all of humankind as brothers and sisters … and to take action against the gross injustices suffered by our brethren. This means that we must ensure that they do not bear the burden of climate change alone.
In 1975, I covered the trial of heiress Patty Hearst for the Berkeley Barb. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and was forced at gunpoint by her abductors to participate in their robbing a bank.
Unconscious evolution of God-ideas is inevitable, but conscious evolution of God-ideas has been harshly discouraged. This must change, or else we’ll never be able to bring our best knowledge into the process of rethinking God for our time.
In exposing unsafe working conditions to the public, the refinery workers are raising not just contract demands, but a deeper challenge about the immorality of a profit-driven production system that simply monetizes the loss of human life on corporate spreadsheets.
The great question that lurks at the heart of all Holocaust study, it seems to me, is the question of the self: What would I have done if I had been there? Arendt is unique in making that question present for us, and while Strangneth professes to be in dialogue with Arendt’s book, she does not wrestle with its argument in more than a superficial way.
In order to alleviate mass suffering, there is a spiritual urgency for the interfaith community in the United States to bring attention and public awareness to this global issue of debt crisis and jubilee.
In the face of economic instability, we need to consider creative solutions—like jubilee, public banking policies, and currency reform—that take into account the complexity of the environment, the nature of money itself, and the possibility for social innovation.