Bare Bones Biology 121 – Hollie

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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 057-Levels and Population II

Last week I told you about my little informal research project that involved talking to protestors and supporters of our local Planned Parenthood organization. What I learned from that was that the basic goals of both groups are — both right. At levels of organization one (that’s individual people), and two (our human communities), respectively. Today I’ll talk about level four (which is the ecosystem), and level three (the corposystem).

First I will remind us that the ecosystem is a living entity of which we all are a part. We cannot survive without the ecosystem. The ecosystem provides the food energy that we eat to stay alive. There is no other source for our food.

Second, I affirm that humans need compassion for their welfare but the ecosystem does not require compassion. It requires balance. When it becomes unbalanced, the ecosystem responds by trying to reset its balance points, so the carbon cycle and the water cycle and all the cycles that make food all try to stabilize in a new balance. We are adapted to the old balance. Any new balance will end up producing less food for one reason or another; when there is not enough food there is always more violence, war and genocide, and we are also growing epidemics of new diseases that cannot be controlled by the corposystem.

The question is, then, which life is more important – my life or the life of the ecosystem? It’s time for us to begin discussing that question, because the productivity of the earth is already maxed out. So – what is stopping us from getting together and resolving this problem? Primarily the corposystem is stopping us from getting together and stopping the growth, because the corposystem – to continue without changing itself – requires growth. The corposystem (in a “free” country) controls our thinking and our behaviors mostly in two ways. First is by taking control of the media and our school systems – dumbing down the people so they don’t have the knowledge to recognize the lies. Second, it spreads the lies and uses them to organize groups of us to fight with each other over relatively unimportant problems that the corposystem doesn’t care about. (That’s the old divide and conquer, we’ve all heard about that – here’s the modern version.)

This example first came to my attention when one of the protestors in my study referred me to a movie about population growth. The movie was pretty disgusting, with lies and false hate talk and fake statistics. It was made for conservatives and tried to convince us that dreadful things will happen if we don’t grow more. Actually, dreadful things are already happening that are CAUSED BY growth over the past couple hundred years. The movie claims these are caused by lack of growth. Now we can not change what happened before, and the you-know-what is hitting the fan. So it is all the more critical that we have good information. So I turned to another movie which was made for PBS and presumably for political progressives, and that’s when the light dawned. The only difference between the movie made for conservatives, and the movie made for progressives, is the style of presentation. Conservatives got a movie based in hate and fear; and progressives got a movie designed to appeal to those who believe technology will save us. As an aside, technology could help to save us if we were to use it to reduce growth, but of course that was not the message, and also that’s not what we’re doing.

So if you look at both movies, one right after the other, you end up pretty discouraged. The PRIMARY goal of both these movies is to get their respective audiences to continue fighting with each other so that nobody is talking or doing anything about the overwhelming need to stop both population growth and economic growth within this living earth ecosystem.

Folks, we humans all want and need the same basic things. We need food energy to stay alive and we need the compassion of supportive communities. We won’t get these things unless we are willing to define them as our goals and work together to get them. Instead of fighting with each other over something else. And the later we get started the worse it will be for everyone.

Bare Bones Biology 057 – Levels and Population II
KEOS Radio 89.1, Bryan TX
Audio available at http://www.barebonesbiology.com