This Zircon crystal formed in the first 100 million years of the earth’s existence and suggests that, even at this early date 4.4 billion years ago, a relatively cool earth could have conceivably sustained oceans and perhaps even life: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/gem-found-on-australian-sheep-ranch-is-the-oldest-known-piece-of-earth-scientists-find-20140224-hvdkd.html
There is something I want to say about many in the environmental movement. I hear a lot of people predicting “The End” and the collapse of everything. In fact, I understand their point of view, and I have some sympathy with it. We as a species certainly can destroy the earth through pollution, nuclear catastrophe, destruction of eco-systems, and other means.
However, I don’t really see the value in this. What good does such pessimism and hopelessness do? If everything is going to be destroyed anyway in the near future, then please shut up and live your life. We don’t need to hear prophecies of doom any more than we need to have it rammed in to us that we are going to die some day. Yes, I know, but I don’t need someone screaming at me about it every minute of the day.
I guess I place these environmental prophets of doom in the same category as I place fundamentalist Christian evangelists who speak of the coming apocalypse. Doom-saying, apocalyptic Christians can go to Jerusalem or Texas or Salt Lake or wherever else they have a vision to await the return of Christ; ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch Hasidim can await the return of Rabbi Schneerson to Brooklyn and Jerusalem; Shiite Muslims (like the current President of Iran and many others) can go to Damascus to await the descent of the twelfth imam (the Mahdi); and perhaps secular environmental prophets should go to Greenland or the Antarctic or Alaska or Polynesia to await the final collapse of civilization and planetary life.
Yes, we have problems, and they’re serious, life-threatening, even cataclysmic. We’ve been around for a little while now, and empires comes and go, as do societies and peoples. But the earth has continued, so has life, in spite of what human beings have done to the planet (and they’ve done a lot even before now). And the earth is certainly not the only planet with life, nor is this the only universe, and there are other life forms we on the planet have yet to encounter (or perhaps don’t recall).
While there is reason for an apocalyptic voice now and throughout history, sometimes it enters into pointlessness, even silliness. Often it reflects a kind of species narcissism, as if our problems, however difficult, portend the end of all that is. There’s much we don’t know or remember about our our own lives, the history of our species, and the origins and characteristics of our solar system, galaxy, and universe. Yet we presume to predict future outcomes and events based on our own limited knowledge and life-experience.
Just because our efforts do not seem to have much affect, if any, does not mean that nothing is changing. When we assume we are failing or having no impact (and I’ve done that too), we are in fact acting selfishly, assuming the world depends on us, that we have some inherent right to see change, and that our individual lifetimes have a greater value than thousands upon thousands of generations that came before us and that will come after us–not to mention the millions upon millions of generations of every cell and life-form. Maybe we need to lighten up and enjoy the music. I know I need to do that.
It’s occasionally possible for the facts to change the minds of climate change deniers. The politicization of this issue in the U.S.. as well as the anti-intellectual and anti-scientific basis of American evangelical Protestants and the power of corporate interests, has made the U.S. one of the only places in the world to have such a substantial number of people who deny the clear conclusions of science. In the U.S., this follows the pattern of denying other scientific assessments, including evolution, damage to the ozone layer, the use of marijuana, the age of the earth, the dangers of nuclear power. and much more.
http://www.slate.com/id/2293607/pagenum/all/ (via Dianne Bazell)
Wherever earth and heaven meet, that’s the horizon.
Underneath the noise are the hums, buzzes, and whistles of the earth’s vibrating voice waiting for us to listen and understand.
We humans are stones, apparently hard and unchangeable, but in reality slowly transforming, able to be molded and shaped, gradually breaking up into soil as we nourish the earth, the water, and the air.
Jacob used a stone as a pillow during sleep and set it up afterwards as a standing pillar to remind us that we are creatures of the earth, nourished by our mother, linked to heaven, going up and down a stone staircase, as we integrate female and male, above and below, inside and outside, earth and heaven.
Just as Jacob, we are here to immerse ourselves in life’s ups and downs: stones breaking up and reshaping themselves as we point our inner selves heavenward and earthward to remind us of our home straight ahead, with our authentic being, now expanded to include the ever shifting kaleidoscope of life made whole.
A fascinating discussion of attempting to mine rare earths in an environmentally responsible way: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/business/energy-environment/09rare.html?hp=&pagewanted=all
Time never stops. It is inexorable. In moments of joy and tragedy, the earth continues to rotate and the seasons continue to alternate. Shabbat and meditation offer a glimpse of existence outside of time. There we reside in the presence of the Source: no limits, no boundaries, only the vibrations of no/thing.
This is fun (via Nelson French). Where and how did life originate on earth?.
Who is Adam? An androgynous being created from the earth’s soil. We are all Adam, part of the earth.
Eating in a sukkah (hut), we realize we are all Adam, beloved creatures of the earth.
We all need to rest, and so does the earth. That’s why we have shabbat and why the earth has a sabbatical year.
There is always a humming sound even in the quietest places: this is the breath of the earth.
The horizon: where heaven and earth meet.
Humans are earth beings (Gen 2.7), created from millennia of terrestrial DNA. To connect with our bodies is to connect with our primal origins.
We are Adam’s kin, born out of earth’s womb, ready to return to her loving warmth.
A beating heart, light breathing, oxygen, carbon, the earth, a puff of wind, the hum of life, gravity, quantum waves, dark matter: that which inconspicuously allows existence to exist.
Gulf disaster: When we wreak havoc on the earth, she vomits back.
A tree rooted in the earth feeling the sun’s rays. The ground’s juices. Heaven’s breath. Two realms linked in an ancient creature.
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