Spiritual but not Religious

It’s a description on the dating sites. I am the member of a church, though. It’s a community of people who are a little more spiritually diverse, within a Christian setting.

Here’s my letter to the pastor, this morning:

“Waves of Pain”

The title is a takeoff from ‘waves of grain,’ from the song “America the Beautiful.” And yes, it is beautiful, but sometimes songs tend to led to exclusivity and nationalism.

I’ve come across two things lately that I thought it would be worthwhile sharing with you.

First, this is an article that I read in Reuters this morning.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-election-violence-idUKKBN26U162

Something that has been on my mind for some time. Full blame can’t be directed to any particular system or personality type. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, social media is a propagation device for good things, and especially bad things.

Why would I highlight the bad? It’s the main reason I logged off my social account. People who I know are good have gone out of control with anger and what I perceive as possibly hate. And I know it’s happening on the other side of the aisle, because of conservative friends that I’ve essentially abandoned because of absurd statements on their part.

So do we have to worry about anarchy? Have you ever seen Terry Gilliam’s movie “Brazil?”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_(1985_film)

If not, it’s worth the watch, in my opinion. It shows a low tech human future of a society made up of middle management and workers. It’s dirty and messy. Elite classes treat themselves regardless of the domestic terrorism and constant threats, seeming more like unpleasant interruptions to their days having a lunch out or at the spa. It is a world that runs on paperwork and legalities almost impossible for the average person to navigate.

Next, I want to comment on a film I saw last night called “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet“ where the story shadows the life of Attenborough and the extreme changes going on in our natural world.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11989890/

I’ve always been a fan of his work, which is exactly why I hesitate watching this one, for weeks. Another of his recent series, he took the viewer to amazing and beautiful biomes all over our world. To conclude each segment, he would say something like, “But all is not well…” referring to the destruction of those environments by human activities. It was heartbreaking. I felt he was definitely preaching to the choir. Still…

What finally got me to click and watch this movie “…A Life on Our Planet “ was seeing the trailer. Attenborough, in his nineties, could easily retire and explore the world on his terms, spending time with his family and appreciate what’s left of the natural world. But at the end of the trailer, he made the statement that he has the solution. He has it?

With full confidence, I watched. Yes. As it turns out, he does know. The imagery of his utopia is probably more expansive than it would end up to be in reality. But, yes, I believe this is the only way. What he details in the results of human and natural development make sense.

Thoughts of his message started meshing immediately to some I’ve been developing in recent years. Now comes the spiritual part.

I’m getting more and more evidence that we all have access to the Creator’s thoughts. Part of it is just in the network of experiences that we have in the world, learning from people, places, energies. In this case, energies are probably more in line with the holy spirit. And no, I’m not going all new age on you. We are physical and spiritual. The spirit aspects are the more obvious connection with the Creator. But in the end, even the physical world is spiritual. There has never been or ever will be a moment when we are not in direct contact with the Creator.

How do I know there is this network of information? Ideas. I’ve been coming up with thoughts all my life that I’ve considered important, if not ground breaking only to find out that others have already thought of it. Famous minds. Seriously, these are the thoughts I’ve had, and those are the ones who are well known. But we also have an intuitive sense how evil happens, too. Bad thoughts and ideas.

A lot of it is based on observation. It’s brought out by processing. The thinking part is where people seek familiar patterns based on personal and cultural memory that began with the first human society, maybe further back to the first organisms. Each one of us has a different perspective that adds to the picture of our complete humanity. Every bit of our perspectives is important to our existence in this realm.

So what was it that finally energized me with Attenborough’s presentation? Nothing less than the message of Jesus [and others like him]. It’s something that has been in my mind for a number of years, on poverty and violence in our world and why it can never be a fair place to live until we achieve unity.

He said that the answer lies in equalizing the standard of living. Love is the commandment. Yes! Make it fair. Give everyone opportunities and we will need less and procreate less. Feed the five thousand. It goes back to “Rat Park,” which I’m sure I shared with you before. Given a balanced community, we will choose reality over drugs. In this case, drugs refers to exploitation of the world and our bodies in order to satisfy commerce and consumption and undefined desires.

It is exactly Jesus’s [and other’s] message that we take care of each other. Some people are clouded by worshiping the man over the message. Now, more than ever (which is what has been said since the beginning of society) we need to start following the message. Bolster the poor, lower ourselves a little. Because we are good people, so are the poor, so are the rich. There are so many good people. But it’s the imbalance that distracts us from being truly healthy.

Attenborough suggests that the key to our survival is the natural diversity of the planet. It makes sense. He also suggests that without that balance happening within humanity, the world that supports us, will cease to be hospitable [for us].

The article I read this morning on anxious responses to potential violence made me think of [or church], right away. I think of us every time I imagine anarchy. Is it something we need to plan for? Should it be in the background as a contingency?

How can a message of balance and unity happen with good people still so entrenched within an unfair system? (Money based) Years ago, [our church] had groups that would meet periodically on “simplicity.” I joined sessions as we discussed ways of letting go of some of our stuff and extraneous habits and processes. Years later, commerce has made us double down with our work in order to earn the kind of living that we always assumed would happen easily if we followed the American format of school, job, family, home, travel and retirement.

Time does cycle, but more like a wheel rolling on the earth. We hit the ground again, but in a new place. If we aren’t careful, we only see that we hit the ground over and over again. If we don’t take notice of the new place, we may miss the opportunity to make adjustments needed to sustain our very existence and that of the planet as we know it.

The planet will recover and likely try something else without us, as a response [to our negligence]. Let’s take advantage of our privilege, the privilege of all life on this planet.

We look at things in a simple way. But the news shows things quite differently. And though we’ve always had predictions of gloom, we’ve never been bombarded by the big picture reality of our society before. We are face to face with who we really are. People are panicking.

[We don’t want to see it.]

It does feel like a swim or sink moment in the psyche of the world organisms of which we seem to be dominating.

A saying I heard last year on a WORT [a local and fully listener sponsored radio station] racial rights program is the simplest statement to the beginning of health for our world and states: “No one is free until we all are.” And it’s a simple fact that, in my mind, is that the message has to be framed for more than the oppressed. Because, we are all oppressed.

One final word. ‘Trump’ is a concept a caricature of a reality that will keep coming back, worse and worse each time until it takes over. But it’s fixable at this point. ‘Trump’ is less of a problem than its following. The challenge is how to get through all of us to turn away from what we’ve developed as a society and touch the ground in a new place, as time is a rolling wheel.

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