Bare Bones Biology 287 – Almost 100 Weeks

Some people say that God is a vision of the human mind; others say that humans are a vision of the mind of God. Either way, we can read in “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong (another leader in the compassion movement that is now growing strongly) a history of human efforts to understand God and we can use this understanding to help reduce suffering in our living world.

 

CycleHuman social evolution over the past 4000 years is inspiring; but also discouraging. When you read Ms. Armstrong’s well researched history of God(s) and humans during the past 4000 years or so, you can recognize an upward spiral of increased human understanding of compassion, as we reach toward the truths of Life that are represented by God. Unfortunately, you can also recognize an increasing tendency of humans toward organized war during the same time period.

 

One of our human truths is the cycle of war and peace that is an integral part of our history. I wonder, can we have compassion without war? Or does compassion lead to war? Or are they only connected somehow in our minds? When I wrote Bare Bones Biology 194, almost 100 weeks ago, I closed with the comment: “all that remains is to do it right this time.” By right, I mean to disconnect this ongoing cycle that leads from war to peace and then from peace to war again.

 

Clearly we did not “do it right” as we ended World War II. Though there were some beautiful and successful examples of compassion at high political levels, the result was, once again, a semblence of a compassionate society that gave rise now to World War III. I could not be more horrified that my country initiated WWIII. I do not want to see or imagine one more turn of that wheel.

 

So my year-end question is: Why is this new compassion movement ignoring the facts that are available to help us avoid spinning the war wheel one more time? We have the facts; the historic facts and examplars, and the scientific facts: and we have the technologies that were not previously available, and we have more power than we know how to use well.   It could be done, if peace and compassion are what we really want, if we are willing to take the next big step toward compassion for all and do what will work within the reality of Life on earth.

 

151127-Brazos Cliffs-asc_0077RLSsWhat do we really want? Personal satisfaction within the corposystem war system (or the antiwar movement, which is a co-dependant part of the war system). Or do we genuinely want to grow a sustainably compassionate future for human kind on this living earth. If we really want to change the war cycle of misery, we will take the de-growth actions that are necessary to sustain both life and compassion. If we are not willing to do that, then we will just spin the wheel another time, pretending we are succeeding, toward WWIV.

 

I feel sure that our leaders will follow the corposystem ethic: growth for fame, fun and profit. They were raised in this corposystem competition ethic and they can’t see anything else. Therefore it is (as usual) up to the people to take charge, and do it in a way that will grow a sustainable, compassionate, new and different social system with a future.

 

In Bare Bones Biology 194 (link below) I talked about the four blessings received at the Upaya workshop. Now let me tell you a fifth. The realization that we cannot change our history (what really did happen) and we cannot change the laws of nature (such as gravity and fire, and there are more), but we can use both – we could be using ALL the facts – to nourish the compassion movement in a way that at least conceivably COULD work to cut the war/compassion connection and grow a sustainable, compassionate home on this living earth for human kind.

If that’s what we really do want. If it’s not all word-candy.

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 194 – Active Non-Violence  https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/6548/

 

 

A copy of this audio-cast and of the one below can be downloaded, respectively, at:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_287_-_Almost_200_Weeks.mp3

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_193_-_Positive_Non-Violence.mp3

Flute excerpt from Nawang Khechog with R Carlos Nakai, Music as Medicine, piece entitled: A Call of Compassion to Humanity. “This composition is a calling out to all of humanity to stop destroying our planet and to stop using each other out of blind greed.” Sounds True.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bare Bones Biology 284 – No More War

It may have been best expressed by someone who years ago told me that humans are trapped in a cycle that he claimed cannot be broken. I believe the cycle could be broken, but not so long as we won’t talk about it. So long as we ignore the basic cause of this cycle, we will simply rotate that wheel one more time.

From horror to recoil to compassion to (what, maybe ego or pride or ignorance or all three) that leads us back to horror again.

 

My fathers’ generation, in their deep commitment to “no more war,” made some mistakes. As a result, I have watched the full cycle in my life, from WWII to WWIII. The greatest horror for me is that we are responsible for WWIII.

I want to talk about those mistakes because we are still making them, and because they are the focus of my activism.

 

My premise is: if God created the world (and the universe, but my interest is the living world) then the ways in which it functions – that is the Laws of Nature that geCyclenerate and sustain Life – are what they are because God meant them to function that way, or because that is the only way they could function to give rise to what we think of as Life. And finally, my premise is that we are collectively ignoring some of these laws of nature that we DO understand but that we don’t like. What I call the down side. In other words, that we are accepting the part of God’s works that we like and shunning/denying the part we don’t like. The relevance here — we humans do know that Life (including us) operates in the present time as nested and interacting systems governed by natural laws, and not like an either-or pendulum as some earlier humans believed; but we ignore the implications of that fact. If you don’t like God, it changes nothing I have said.

Our western culture teaches us to think in a dualistic, linear manner, like a pendulum or a balance scale, with either-or choices. That world view is useful for making simple machines, but it represents only a small subset of real-world functions of a Life system.

 

In a dualistic pendulum, the way to prevent wrong is to push back with right and whoever pushes the hardest (or most effectively) wins. This is not how the universe really functions. Our universe consists of nested, interacting systems and their emergent properties. In a system, and we have done a great deal of this in medicine, this is not an abstraction, the way to prevent the illness is NOT to push back at its manifestations, but to cut the cause of the cycle at its roots. The Dalai Lama has said this also.

 

More realistically, to save ourselves, we must do both. We must push back at the hatred and violence, but that is not enough. If we really want to fix the problem we must also cut the problem at its root cause (rather like cutting the life cycle of a parasite to break the long chain of causes, effects, feedback loops and emergent properties) while at the same time we treat the right/wrong, good/bad symptoms. In our present biological environment, either approach without the other will fail.

 

If we only cut the root cause without helping the victims who exist today, then millions of people now afflicted will suffer. On the other hand, if we only deal with those currently afflicted, and do not at the same time cut the root cause, then we will have more and more suffering over time. Forever.

What do I propose that we do? How to do it? The first step is simply to stop denying factual realities that t120806-Nukes-ASC_9760hreaten our welfare. Simply discuss the reality, and so replace the denial from which so many people today are profiting on both sides of the love-hate pendulum. Replace it with knowledge about how the system of Life really does function – knowledge and discussion that would of itself expose the profiteers and lead toward solutions.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS FM 89.1 in Bryan, Texas.

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_284_-_No_More_War.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 166 – Personal Power

Two weeks ago (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/
bare-bones-bio…what-can-we-do?) I claimed that human life-or-death issues must be discussed, or our solutions won’t work. Then I wrote a long explanation of this that I will post on 8/29/13 at http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

Last week (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/
bare-bones-biology-165-power/) I talked about some differences between “powers of the strong” and “powers of the weak.” Usually the strong try to “win” their way using the full range of aggression methods from passive-aggressive through debates and physical battle (war). Powers of the weak are not overtly aggressive and are described in the classic book of that name by Elizabeth Janeway

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5613RLS*s copySo what can we do who are losing the battle to grow a viable and ethical human future on this earth? We should stop thinking about aggressive fights that we can’t win, and focus on: 1) pursuing our personal mission in life, using our personal expertise or skills; and 2) working collaboratively to grow the welfare our human and biological communities. Both. Daily.

Because we do need to feel individually competent and maintain our own human values, and we cannot do this without a reasonably healthy communal environment (including welfare of the Biosystem) to live in https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/ bare-bones-biology 102 – Religion-and-science/)

As it happens, the “Greatest Generation” gave us a reasonably comfortable communal way of life. The problem is that most of us then went on to pursue our own personal values without ALSO taking responsibility for the difficult tasks that would have maintained those communities. For example, we knew then that overpopulation must be dealt with if our species is to survive; but we didn’t do enough to ensure that happened. Sooooooo complicated, I can’t cover that in 600 words, but the bottom line is that we need to work at both tasks – everyone – every day if we want to sustain human life on earth (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/) and the second task is more important in today’s culture because it is not on the agenda of our current corposystem – so then you say – again — but what can we DO?

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5598RLSs copyIn terms of our current human problem, what we can do and must do on a daily basis, in addition to promoting our own value system, is to RESIST participating in the toxic beliefs and practices of our failed and failing corposystem, and PERSIST in demanding rational planning for the future generations. I can think of three examples. The first, per Oren Lyons, is discussed in http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com/ bare-bones-biology 102 – Religion-and-science/

The second example is from the Hitler era, when “powerless” children responded by pouring sugar into gas tanks of the very powerful invaders. Their parents let them do this – not because they wanted to be heroes — but because it was the right thing to do for the community.

If enough people do it – it can happen. I would rather we do it BEFORE instead of AFTER we are conquered by the powerful special interests that now control our Corposystem. So how do we resist? The goal is to destroy the destructive power of the Corposystem, and to do it without using or promoting the Corposystem ethic.

The corposystem methods of controlling us include: (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/ Bare Bones Biology 072 – More Corposystem Games)( https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/play-to-win/
a) defining what we may or may not discuss among ourselves (can’t discuss any core issue — growth or overpopulation or climate change); b) illegally causing harm to the land, the sea, the river systems, and the air, and even the gene pool of the whole Biosystem; c) withholding facts of various kinds; d) constantly tightening its hold over the education of the young through television, story telling, the internet, the school system (think Texas textbooks) and the legal system; e) the war ethic, promoting and rewarding and teaching competition of all kinds, rather than competence and cooperation, as the criteria for success.

What can we do? We can (figuratively) pour sugar onto the power of that system.

For example: a) most important, discuss or at least mention the core issues that are destroying our place in the Biosystem. Daily; (b) teach, learn and practice critical thinking skills, BOTH scientific thinking AND philosophical thinking; b) don’t compete; rather collaborate in fact-based discussion of solutions; c) honor and protect our rule of law, an example of an activity where you CAN be aggressive but don’t follow the corposystem rules; d) do not promote or participate in opinion-based propaganda or malicious gossip.

That’s what we can do; anyone can do it; and that’s enough if we would do it.

We cannot fight and win over a superior power, but the superior-power aggression methods don’t work anyhow. They never have. All they do is recycle the toxic sorts of human power trips. And there is no human power trip that can defeat the superior power of the Biosystem. The Biosystem response will be to quietly and passively CHANGE until it reaches a new kind of balance that does not include humans. That’s what WE can do that will work to change the future rather than to just repeat the victim/perp cycle over and over again. The time has come that we can grow a new kind of human social system that is based in achieving a human-friendly balance of power among ourselves and between ourselves and the Bosystem.
But we cannot do this without reducing the human population because there is no longer enough food to just wait around until we get it right; it would be better if we reduce the population in human-friendly ways, rather than wait for Armageddon. The only way to do THAT is to discuss the issue among ourselves. Frankly, I think that is the lesson that God is waiting for us to learn.

Bare Bones Biology is a production of http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS FM radio, 89.1, Bryan, Texas. A podcast of this episode can be downloaded here:

or at http://BareBonesBiology.com

“Much of what passes as Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount,” Gandhi said in a famous lecture to the YMCA in Ceylon in 1927. Though that still rings true, he helped Christians around the world reclaim the nonviolence of Jesus, and reminded us of the central importance of the Sermon on the Mount.
http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/gandhis-daily-scripture-readings-peace

Bare Bones Biology 143 – Education

Last week I introduced Stepháne Luchini, whose expertise is in communication techniques as they relate to community and justice. This week and next, I want to air a bit more from his commentary. Unfortunately I had to edit out some car noise, but I think the message is his, and I want to present his message because so many people ask me “what can we do?” or sometimes they tell me there is nothing we can do. My answer, for about the past three years, has been that we must discuss the issues together.

TarSandsHoustonASC_1752sIn fact, we now have factual data available to discuss, relative to our basic communal issues, and of course the purpose of discussion is to bring our opinions to the facts and to each other. If we only discuss with people who agree, that’s almost the same as not discussing, and it generally ends in a big session of “blame-placing” or “aint-it-awful,” or both, which can relieve our own sense of responsibility but does not result in improving the mental health of our communities. That’s one reason I was so interested in Stepháne’s comments about debate, dialog and community. Here’s Stepháne:

“You were interested in exploring the difference between debate and dialog. I think dialog is a conversation between two or more people. It’s one that facilitates people taking into consderation others. Debate’s a contest to see who can win over the other. I don’t think that really helps to facilitate consideration. I think it develops division, competition.”

“Dialog helps take into consideration all beings. I think to consider all beings, we have to consider who is going to be part of the dialog. I think dialog suggests that we have to think of who else will be part of the dialog and invite those others into the dialog. A specific example is if we say at a public meeting about what’s going to happen with water issues in the town of Silver City, who should be at that meeting? Who should we invite? Maybe it’s not that we should decide in a quiet back room of the corporation, Ok who do we want to talk with about water issues because we have a bias toward wanting to make some money. Or as it was in Bolivia, where people needed a new water system, and a US based corporation comes along and says we’ll put in a nice new water system. The people were really happy until they started to get these horrendous bills to charge them for water that was always free, and they revolted. That didn’t work out for that company apparently, because nobody paid.

”We have a system that perpetuates harm and hurts, I believe, with our criminal justice system right now, and I think a lot of people go into it with a feeling that they really want to fulfill the needs of justice. They feel tired, or discouraged, or know that it’s actually causing more harm, and are really seeking what better we can do. People who are district attorneys, people who are judges. So I think there’s room. I think people in criminal justice, professionals, many or most of them, if they saw a new way that could promote healing and true accountability, they would embrace it. My experience with restorative justice suggests that people in our community, if given an opportunity, would embrace an alternative way. I think people can take up dialog. I think we can take up dialog in our politics than our debate. I think we can do more with our efforts to promote community. I think people are ready for it.”

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will playnext week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas.
Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at:

Recommended References:
http://www.restorativejustice.org/
http://www.luchinimediationservices.com/restorative-justice1.html

Questions for discussion.
(1) What is the most important need in my community and who should be involved in a dialog about that issue.
(2) How does this need differ from the needs of the ecosystem? How do you know what the ecosystem needs? Which is more important and why?
For a free copy of the Bare Bones Biology Ecology energy handbook, go to the right side of my blog https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com, under chapters. Be sure to let me know if it doesn’t work, or if you find something in the book with which you disagree.

Bare Bones Biology 142 – Community/Mediation

An excellent study of different sorts of communities was recently published by Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, Viking Press. Diamond discussed different types of social organizations under various headings, including “peace and war.”

130106-TarSands-asc_1675LSs copyAdministering disputes, justice and peace is, of course, an essential community function. The power of community is based on the efforts of people acting together to accomplish the common goal. To do that, we must not prey upon each other, and we must find the most effective ways to administer justice and, if necessary, control individual behaviors that harm the community.

Our American rule of law seems to be based in a sort of dichotomous debate model, right or wrong, win or lose, power and weakness, and — let’s face it – it’s not working very well. There are several weaknesses in this model. Most obvious is that the basic power is administered via fear, rather than compassion, justice or fairness. Winning, that is beating up on other people, or fighting over anything, does not increase trust among the members of the community, and then the community tends to use compassion unwisely.

We delight in rescuing victims, but to rescue victims it’s necessary to generate victims in the first place. In our culture and in our media and our education system, we do not hear glory tales about preventing victimization. Lately there has been a move to prevent bullying, but of course we aren’t really serious about that. Our whole corposystem model is based in rewarding the biggest bully. Schoolchildren aren’t going to believe that it is not; and I don’t see anyone changing the model. Nor do I see anyone out there shouting the praises of the people who do prevent victims. For example, the gory evening TV programs, last time I looked, all were based in the glory of the gore. But there are people in our culture who are working hard to do just that – prevent victims – and they are using various methods that relate to various sorts of problems.

122212-Solstice-_2s copyProbably you have heard of the restorative justice model of conflict resolution. There are links on my blog. Last summer, when I was in Silver City, I had the good fortune to discuss the restorative justice model of conflict resolution with a leading practicioner, Stepháne Luchini:

“I’ve always been interested in peacemaking and social justice, and even now I’ve moved into criminal justice, as a mediator in the field of restorative justice. But my larger interest is in community and the work with restorative justice is based on dialogue. How can we bring people together who might be in pain where there’s been harm, where there’s anger, and how can we bring people together where they can feel safe where there’s hope of something changing, a transformation, and how can I as a facilitator help guide people through a dialogue process in rocky territory where it’s difficult and we want to avoid conflict and harm, and transform somehow our experience in the past that has been hurtful or where we have hurt someone, to a new experience – transform the relationships we have had between us and them, the good person and the bad person, into something where we recognize the real essence of who we are as human beings, that we all have a need for being safe, we all have a need for being cared for and recognized. That’s what I’ve enjoyed doing for the last decade now, the restorative justice work, because I see, after a couple hour meeting between victims and offenders how something can so dramatically change where there is healing where people who have hurt each other can now hug each other.”

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play
next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely
nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at:


Recommended References:

Diamond, Jared. The World Until Yesterday, what can we learn from traditional societies? Viking Press, 2012
http://www.restorativejustice.org/
http://www.luchinimediationservices.com/restorative-justice1.html

Bare Bones Biology 121 – Hollie

Podcast of this program can be downloaded here
Or later at http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_121Final_-_Hollie.mp3

Last week Father John Dear described the Peace march at Los Alamos on Hiroshima day, the third day of the Vision without Fission Conference. On the first day, in Santa Fe, I met Hollie Ambrose at the art exhibit and tried to photograph her with her art piece.

“(LL) At the Vision without Fission Art Exhibit. We were taking your picture, and I was interested in a more sad looking picture, and you were preferring to look a little more joyful.”

“Well, it’s hard for me not to laugh, I’ve gotten in a lot of trouble, but I really feel that even when subjects are very serious it’s important to experience joy in the moment, even if it’s maybe not the best thing to do. That’s part of who I am as a person. I’m sad about things that have happened; I wish some of them didn’t happen; I wish a lot of things didn’t happen. But at the same time, you’re photographing me, we’re trying to get me and my piece in the picture, and it’s kind of funny in a way. It has some irony to it.”

“(LL) You’re piece is pretty dark.”

“I do a lot of pieces that are macabre, and that’s because I experience those things in life, just like everyone does. Life isn’t just Disneyland. It has the ups and downs, it has suffering, and it has joy, and I think that these are things you never want to forget. Even if you know there are people in the world who are suffering, and there’s violence, and there’s bombing, at the same time it’s important for us to experience our lives with joy every single day, and not to let these things rob us of that joy.

“It’s just like when 9-1-1 happened, it really brought to life for a while the things that are important and brought people together in a different way. I wish that would have lasted forever. Americans are always really good when things are at their worst, but we have a short memory. I feel like if we let them take away our joy. I think it’s important to focus on the things that are happening, but I think the best way to have peace is to live a life in which you are experiencing joy every day and be creative in doing the things you want to do, because if you’re joyful, doing what’s important to you, you have the ability to respond to the things of the world that are –

“(LL) more effectively.”

“Yes, much more effectively if you’re a happy person. There has been psychological research that people who are happy are more generous, and more likely to help someone across the street –“

“(LL) and be thinking more clearly about the problems –“

“Right,”

“(LL) and discussing them, rather than bemoaning them.”

“Right, because if you just sit around and get depressed about them, you can’t do anything about them. You’re not able to respond to situations that need your help if you’re depressed. If you’re sad all the time about them. You can’t help people if you’re in that state, and think you don’t have the ability to call attention to the atrocities of war if you’re not celebrating life. The real difference is at the individual level. Peace starts with us, and every day that we’re having interactions with other human beings we have the opportunity to propagate peace instead of war, in terms of how we respond to people and how we think of them as individual human beings who have the same feelings that we do, and it’s just important to be conscious of that, moment to moment, as much as we can, and I think if you’re having a good life and not letting your life be stolen by these things, that you can respond to them a lot better.”

Hollie’s art is posted on my blog, but I decided not to post my picture of her, because my art was not up to the task of representing her art.

Recommended References:
Hollie has a beautiful blog, full of joy and life in Santa Fe:
http://chasingsantafe.blogspot.com/2011/11/hollie-ambrose-art-home.html

Bare Bones Biology 120-Father John

Below is the transcript of the podcast available here
or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

“LL-In Bare Bones Biology 117 a couple of weeks ago, I introduced the Vision without Fission conference.

This panel discussion and several others are posted on Youtube by CoreLight Films. Father John Dear is on this panel, and today he reports to Bare Bones Biology from the final day of the conference.

Father John has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. His struggle for peace is described in his book “A Persistent Peace.” I will post more references, my opinions, and a transcript at my blog.”

I’m so sorry about the quality, but I thought they were through with those loudspeakers, and they weren’t, so I had to do some noise reduction digital modifications.

“So we’re here at Los Alamos, outside the nuclear weapons laboratory commemorating Hiroshima anniversary 67 years ago when the atomic bomb built here at Los Alamos, New Mexico, was dropped on the people of Hiroshima, Japan, and vaporized 120,000 in a flash. We’ve been coming here for years to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and war.

“Today at the rally I gave this quote from Mahatma Ghandi, which he said a couple of days after Hiroshima. Ghandi said: ‘I hold that those who invented the atomic bomb have committed the gravest sin. The atomic bomb brought an empty victory to the allied arms, but it resulted for the time being in destroying Japan. What has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early to see. Unless the world adopts nonviolence, this will spell certain suicide.’

“The police tell me there are 300 people here. We’ve been saying that nuclear weapons are bad for the economy. And Occupy is saying that our economy is collapsing and it’s no good, etc., but here we’re making the connection between Occupy and Los Alamos, that nuclear weapons are bad for the children, the earth, for animals, the economy, everything, but I was also saying it’s bad for our souls, and that’s what Ghandi said, so we’re here to talk about this, to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the closure of Los Alamos, the reclaiming of our soul as a people. Ghandi said the only way to do that is to become people of non-violence, to get rid of these nukes and turn that money, trillions of dollars for war, to feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, getting jobs, teaching everybody about non-violent conflict resolution.

Father John-“So what we did here is we broadcast live here at Ashley park, where the bomb was actually built, the ceremony – live from Hiroshima on August 5, we heard by phone from the memorial ceremony in Hiroshima, right at the time of day when the bomb was dropped – here in Los Alamos we heard the ringing of the peace bell. It was very moving for everyone. And then hundreds of us processed along the main street through Los Alamos, and then all of us sat down in sack cloth and ashes for 30 minutes of silence, which is from the Bible, in the book of Jonah, when the people of Ninevah repented in sack cloth and ashes for their sins of injustice and violence, and they never were violent again. We’re reclaiming that ancient Biblical symbol in resistance and protest. And the ashes especially remind us of Hiroshima. It was a time of prayer, reflection, and trying model for ourselves the nonviolence we want for Los Alamos and Texas and the United States.

“So my hope and prayer is that we can all become people of non-violence. Non-violent to ourselves, non-violent to one another, and that we can all work or a new world of non-violence. Abolish war, nuclear weapons, execution, corporate greed, sexism, racism, and environmental destruction. Really work creatively –

LL interrupts – “Find our souls.”

Father John – “Yeah, and if we do that, we will reclaim our souls. That’s the way to spiritual healing, and everybody has to be part of that because we must change this culture of violence that is not working.”

LL – “It’s very clear that it’s not working.”

End of transcript here, beginning of my commentary:

That’s the bare bones version of the annual Hiroshima day action at Los Alamos. If you want to read more about Father John’s view of the day, go to his blog. And then browse around on that site. For example, under Press you can find an Amy Goodman interview. I couldn’t figure out how to post it on this blog, but I did download a copy if you want one.

Personally, I knew very little about the peace movement. There is a reason for that. I believe the Peace movement is incredibly important in our effort to save what we have built – but it will be irrelevant of we kill off the earth itself. A lot of good, heroic people are working for Peace. If we humans make it through this disaster we have created, then we will be able to grow the peace based on the heroic work of the peacebuilders who exemplify it in the face of all odds.

However, very few people are working to explain what the ecosystem REQUIRES to stay balanced and healthy so we can avoid killing it. It is possible to kill the ecosystem. It’s happened before, and climate change is suggests it is happening now.

It is the earth ecosystem that gives us enough food so that we can imagine a peaceful lifestyle and work to make a peaceful earth ecosystem. Furthermore there are so many people working for peace, and most of them do not realize the relationship between peace and a healthy earth. Therefore some of their efforts do accidental harm to the ecosystem that we require if we are to grow the peace. And very few people are working to explain that relationship. So that’s what I am trying to do. Make available this information that the corposystem is trying to hide under piles of money and suffering. (For example, download the Chapter of Bare Bones Ecology that is available on this web site.)

Meantime Father John has lived an incredible life, working for Peace, and of course we do need the vision of peace, as we strive to accomplish the goal of survival. I read his autobiography “A Persistent Peace” all the way through, and I couldn’t help thinking that among us we are ALMOST “getting it.”

A Persistent Peace, is the a necessary vision (I have been saying “compassion” rather than “peace,” but really what’s the dif? You could read the Dalai Lama’s book “Beyond Religion, Ethics for a Whole World,” and get essentially the same message.) Then I would suggest reading “A Great Aridness,” by William deBuys, to provide a historic and sociological context of how we created this mess by mis-using the Creation we were given. Then, if we are to make any changes, we need to understand what exactly we are doing that causes failure of peace, and for that I would suggest Michael Klare.

I have been trying to explain this emergency in “soft” language so as not to create either panic or denial, but I feel like the response is an indulgent smile. (Although it’s hard for me to see, war, genocide, starvation, annihilation caused by overpopulation as soft. But that is our reality.) This is not a matter for indulgence. Michael Klare is a professional prognosticator. To deny his evaluation of reality out of hand — because it is uncomfortable — would be scandalous. And to engage in displacement activities that do not also impact the causative problem – overpopulation — is akin to evil. Maybe we have lost our soul.

Honorable people of this age have one choice left. We do not sit around bemoaning whatever. We spend each day living this day – including our obligation to the future which must include some little action every day that is addressed to making family planning available to everyone on earth who wants it. Whether we make these technologies directly available or work through the political system or simply take the time to study the issue and discuss it. That is our obligation to our mother earth, and after that our obligation to our own mental health and/or our efforts to help treat any one of the symptoms of this emergency – all the various kinds of individual suffering of all sentient beings — needs to come second. If we do not every one of us focus on our common survival goal of bringing the population to the level the earth can feed — but only work on “fixing” the symptoms (war, genocide, starvation, etc) then we will not survive, and neither will we achieve any of our long-term goals.

If God created the earth, then God created that biological entity, the whole earth ecosystem, and He meant it to function exactly the way it does function. I mean in terms of the earth, air, water and fire (energy) and how it stays BALANCED, so that the whole thing can survive. The same laws of nature that permit our own bodies to survive within the body of the ecosystem. That is: “Life.”

As Father John says, or rather one of his students said: “The Kingdom of God is Life.” I couldn’t agree more. But right now we are at war with life – and we are choosing our own desires over the biological needs of Life – and we can’t win that battle.

As Rabi Malka Drucker explained last week. What is good for the ecosystem is good for humans. But it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around.

The bottom line is that the Kingdom of God is not only about what humans want or think they should have. Human cultures have understood this fact in the past. This fact seems to me the very core of all our wisdom traditions (including those that were presented aat the Vision Without Fission Conference) that honor all parts of life in their balance.

If there is time, we can learn to understand it again.

The new book looks interesting. Lazarus Come Forth, by Father John Dear.

Bare Bones Biology 120 – Brother John
KEOS Radio 89.1, Bryan, Texas

Recommended References:
The Conference.
Father John speaks at http://youtu.be/yArg0UHRxjk. Then watch the series of other YouTube videos reporting on nearly the entire conference.
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/ – Biology 117 – Los Alamos

Bare Bones Biology References:
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/- Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker.

Father John
http://www.johndear.org/
http://www.johndear.org/articles/bells-of-hiroshima.html
“A Persistent Peace”
“Lazarus Come Forth”

William deBuys – A Great Aridness
Michael Klare –
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wwiii-great-commodities-war-to-end-all-wars-2012-08-07
“The Race for What’s Left”
http://us.macmillan.com/browsebyauthor.aspx