If we think of our souls as sensitive sponges which absorb the external environment through our senses then is it not important to think about and observe the current state of our external environment?
If I observe our current external environment one dominant image comes to mind through the senses — humans; human beings, human structures, human roads, human transport vehicles, humans on TV, humans and more humans and human stuff — everywhere. We absorb the majority of our senses. Our sponges are simply filling up on ourselves.
Our massive presence, all seven billion of us, are also desolating the environment such that the water and air is less pure and our eyes and ears have less and less natural beauty to take in. We have less variety to take in through our senses. And is not variety of experience and variety of sensing essential to developing more colorful and bountiful souls? And if the majority of our senses are filled with ourselves, decomposing souls, then does the process naturally head towards further decomposition?
I am not trying to make an argument with statistics and figures to prove we are destroying the environment. I am not trying to prove human beings are causing global warming, ozone depletion, water pollution, species extinction, over-fished seas, top soil erosion, polluted air, or any other potential negative environmental impact through a scientific method. I am merely using my senses. I am merely listening to my soul. I am merely making the argument that the majority of our souls have significantly less potential to fill up our sponges with variety and purity.
I have a hypothesis which would be very difficult to prove, but my hypothesis is that our souls are beginning to decompose and therefore bringing the spirit and culture of the human species down past prior heights. Just as we saw the decline in the quality of art, thought, music, culture (many souls make a culture) during the dark ages before finally coming back out into the light during the Renaissance, so I believe we are now in a dark age. Although we think we are making progress through technology and advancements in knowledge of all fields, as a culture, as a group of souls, we are in fact decaying and have slipped into a cultural and spiritual abyss. Our sponges are dry and when we look for the moisture we only find decaying dry human bones. We should pay attention and learn from what gave birth to the Renaissance. Those noble souls that gave birth to the Renaissance figured out a secret as to how to get out of the dark ages. We need to learn from their example and look back before we can go forward.
And let me add this slight addition. Not only should we look back to the cultures and wisdom of the past, but also look up and out past humanity to regain perspective and get our bearings.
A final thought, inspired by reading one of my brother’s works and from another blogger…I think this quote sums up one of our problems which we need to revisit!
“And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Genesis, Chapter 1-26)…over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis, Chapter 1-28).”
Interesting and very true. I hope to whatever god I don’t believe in that we aren’t going into another Dark Age, my liberal/left views would have me burned at the stake, or rather, imprisoned on the grounds of “un-Americanism” or something equally absurd
This is exactly why I harp on you to make art. Art is not only a reflection of the time it is made, it is or can be an elixir of inspiration. When I feel as though I can not open my eyes to our world, I paint or write and it is that energy, that meditation that can change the world around me. If just one persons heart opens to my vulnerability, than I am happy. The soul decomposes but it also regenerates. Faith plays an important role. Not politics. Then again, I find a lot of today’s art soulless – it is reflecting a generation intent on a popularity contest not the souls expression. But I keep doing what I do because it is my job, my love, my passion and my breath. I will never give up or give in.
Tincup, you may find this of some interest. I came across this after making some inquiries about the so-called “mystery woman” in the Situation Room photo during the Bin Laden Operation.
That article lists all my fears…I didn’t know that crude oil is the key ingredient to pestisides though! Now I might lose some sleep tonight 😀
Thanks for sharing that and I am following that blog now.
I love this post. Rings very true. It is tragic to think of what we’ve done with what God has given us, all in the name of technology and advancement. Great insight.
I am glad you found some bells of truth in this little piece 😉
I see you enjoy single malts…you clearly have good tast 🙂
The Arrow Within The Circle
I invite you to perform a small experiment with me. Take a moment to become as aware as you can of yourself, your body, the words in front of you, your immediate surroundings. Now imagine that, instead of perceiving in the normal way a number of discrete objects – hands, display device screen or paper and so forth, you are seeing at the subatomic level. All around “you” is a field of tiny points of light, particles of matter/energy moving around, colliding, transforming, winking in and out of existence. As you remain still, a small point of observation, notice that here is one continuous interplay of energies; there are no boundaries between different objects, no “empty space” or “solid matter”. Stay in this place for a few minutes and allow this view of the way things are to come as close to a personal experience as possible. Then gently allow yourself to return to the everyday mode of perceiving. It may help to reach out and touch a few objects, or to get up and walk around a little to reorient yourself.
If successful, this experiment should have allowed you to taste two very different things. Firstly, the interrelatedness of everything (including your own body), and secondly your own essential aloneness and separateness as the observer of this interrelatedness.
The human being possesses a dual nature, being in one aspect a part of the material world and in another aspect a spirit, capable of detached observation and the exercise of will. This basic truth is expressed by one of the levels of symbolism of the Christian cross: the vertical axis representing spirit, the horizontal our (and Christ’s) sharing in the flesh and the world. The two worlds we inhabit – the physical and the spiritual – each have a “game rule” which, once identified and acknowledged, can give purpose and direction to our struggle to live and understand correctly. Should we ignore, or confuse them then we do so at our peril, as our history and present situation bear witness.
The game rule for the physical universe can be found in the book of nature, as interpreted through the commentaries of ecology. From an evolutional viewpoint it did appear that nature was indeed “red in tooth and claw”, that its law was that “of the jungle”, of “dog eat dog”. The perspective of ecology, however, has illuminated systems within systems of balance and overall harmony, a planetary organism whose motif is the circle. The end products of any natural cycle become the material for another cycle. There are no loose ends.
The game rule for the spiritual life of a human being is admirably explained, among many other places, in Aldous Huxley’s “The Perennial Philosophy”, an especially useful source since it does not belong within any specific “religious tradition”, but draws inspiration from all the major religions to illustrate that which is common to, and lies behind and within them all. It consists in a striving away from separateness and an ascent to a (re)union with the ground of being, the lived experience of which our experiment a few minutes ago is but a pale imitation. The arrow can serve as a fine motif for this aspiration and process.
It seems to me that if we review our behaviour as a race, what becomes clear is that there has been a radical confusion between circling and striving when deciding on an appropriate way to conduct ourselves in each of the two realms we inhabit. It is within the spiritual arena that we tend to circle round and round the same tiny enclosure of our separate selfhood, saving our unswerving linear striving for the outer material world, with the goal of “As Much As Possible”. Unfortunately “As Much As Possible” is both a logical absurdity and a planetary tragedy perhaps approaching its final act.
If “green spirituality” has any meaning, then I believe it relates directly to everything I am suggesting here. In just the same way that a human being cannot be a human being without both the physical and the spiritual aspects of their nature so, I believe, there can be no real greenness without spirituality, and no true spirituality without greenness. The need to manage our physical existence on this planet in a manner which the planet can sustain – by ensuring that the outputs from all our cycles can be incorporated as materials for other natural ones – must follow from our developing a sense of relatedness to all that is. The need, I might even say the hunger, which exists in each person and which arises from our essential isolation from the source of our being, must be assuaged through striving within the spiritual, not the material realm, where it cannot be satisfied. In the physical realm this hunger only leads to insatiability or exhaustion, and we can see plenty of evidence of both around us.
Thus we need to remain aware of our dual nature. We need to remember the game rule for each realm: the circle of physical nature; the arrow of spiritual ascent out of selfishness and separation into reunion with a greater system of consciousness. As above, so below. At the present time, as a race, we are isolated and in conflict on both levels. We are damaging ourselves, each other, our surroundings, both physically and spiritually. We have the potential to reverse this tendency, and the responsibility to begin with ourselves.
Meanwhile, I invite you to perform a small experiment with me …
Thanks for the reply Ben. I like what you wrote or described — basically enlightenment. I agree with you that true spirituality is missing today. We don’t seem to have a method of spirituality that is legitimate or meaningful. Perhaps a collage of religions and science and art and music and philosophy are the means, but the ends seem to be out of reach. It seems culture is amiss today…and a country or society without culture is soulless. Indeed an individual has the power to transform him/herself and perhaps others…Jesus,
Socrates, others have tried…but now we have 7 billion to deal with and an addiction to money and economics. Only when we free ourselves from the economic myth can we begin to break the cycle.
There is plenty of opportunity even in the US if you poke around. Please don’t be offended if I say I am surprised your e-log, and the ideas it contains, are so exclusively focused on Europe and Christianity.
Your quote here from Genesis Chapter 1 for me shows us getting off on the wrong feet from the very beginning, by suggesting we view ourselves as separated from, and superior to, other creatures. While the Bible is not without good bits, give me the Tao Te Ching any day. 🙂
No offense taken. My education and travels have been limited to Europe and North America. I don’t mean to discount the non apex animate creatures nor the inanimate, but I look at apex life as unique and loaded with potential for something great. There aren’t too many brains in the known universe as large as ours…we just don’t develop them or use them to the capacity we are might be capable of….myself included. Thanks for the link.
If you *do* decide to download and study the Tao Te Ching I’d go for the translation with the illustrations, as I think that’s the better translation. I am sure you would gain an enormous amount. I am still learning more from it after 40 years. On the other hand, Chuang Tzu is probably for me The Man!