Diary – 140804

Sackcloth and Ashes
©2014 Lynn Lamoreux, Photos by Lynn

140802-canyon-asc_0672RLSsOh my, it is difficult to know just who I am now, so many changes; when I look in the mirror I don’t recognize my essence anymore. I think it got lost somewhere around the year 2000 when I retired, and before we Americans started asking God to bless our bombs (ref. Fr. John Dear, “The Narrow Path”; “James Nachtway WarPhotographer”) and before we took on the Biosystem as one of our many enemies.
I remember once when visiting a foreign land how proud I was (this was long ago) that I could go anywhere on my American passport and be welcome and safe. Now there are very few places left for me to live safely. Well, you remember that’s what I predicted on this blog when we reacted like a passel of cowards to a few petty crooks who managed 911. It was obvious. What comes around goes around. We could have stopped the cycle. Now it reaches even to our lying mirrors, though it’s usually pretty peaceful up here in the boonies.

Last Tuesday morning Bitsy and I awoke early as usual in the crisp breathable mountain air, grabbed the can of bear spray, and headed for our morning walk, this day opting for the meadow. Down by the waterless creek, we found a bedding spot where some large animal had spent the night. This immediately activated Bitsy, me trying to keep up, puffing up the hill to the elk trail, where we found fresh scat – extremely fresh — and she took off. I wandered more slowly back toward our trailer when, of a sudden, the most awful uproarious sounds split the morning air – elk in rut sounds plus I didn’t know what. Dog? Two elk duking it out? Just one elk proclaiming his dominance?.

140802-SackclothAshes-asc_0643RLSsOK with me, he can have his dominance, and I guess Bitsy felt the same as she came timidly back and we jumped in our truck and zipped down to Santa Fe. In two hours we were enveloped in smog, cars, honking horns and nice people. Odd, that. Nice people, but the communal dream they inhabit is not at all nice, and it’s just — not real. Or is it? Was I once part of that dream? Am I me here, back in the trees? Or am I me there, sick with smog? Is there a me anymore?

140802-SackclothAshes-asc_0652RSLsThree nights in a motel with the back door wide open (to a balcony) and the fan on full, trying to eliminate the toxic fumes they now use in motel rooms to make you believe there are no toxic fumes in the motel room. My guess is they have finally discovered a chemical that kills your sense of smell – it also kills quite a few other parts of my body. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night, nauseous, and so I tried sleeping on the floor with my head out the back door; it wasn’t much help. Give me a mad elk any day, but the car must be fixed. Leaky gas tank. And the local guy upstate – well, his fix lasted less than a year. Talk about toxic fumes.

140802-SackclothAshes-asc_0656RLSsWe got it fixed, but gas fumes and toxic chemicals are not the only problems we citizens of the dominant nation must deal with if we take our responsibilities seriously, and this trip was timed so we could also attend Pax Christi Sackcloth and Ashes, with Fr. John Dear that commemorates the USA dropping atom bombs on Japan. (http://paceebene.org/event/sackcloth-and-ashes-peace-vigil-hiroshima-commemoration/)

A big conference and non-violent demonstration are planned for September 2015, but just for now, we made what peace we could, and you can read the recent announcement of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu, with David Kreiger, on Truthout http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23803-we-must-end-the-madness-of-nuclear-weapons

References
James Nachtwey, warphotographer, a Film by Christian Frei Filmproductions & SwissTV
The Narrow Path, a film by Gerard Thomas Straub, http://www.sandamianfoundation.org
http://paceebene.org/event/sackcloth-and-ashes-peace-vigil-hiroshima-commemoration/
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23803-we-must-end-the-madness-of-nuclear-weapons

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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