20200111PreparedService

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Contents

Preparation

You will need:

For services during the season of Genesis you will need the following:

  • One seed for each participant
  • A dish of soil
  • A small cup of water for each participant
  • a candle
  • matches
  • a bell or signing bowl
  • a candle snuff

Check-in

Leader: Who would like to share?

The participants briefly update each other on how they're doing and what's going on in their lives.

Opening Ritual

The season of Genesis is the first Liturgical Season in the SolSeed Movement's Liturgical Calendar. It symbolises the deep past from the Big Bang to the invention of photosynthesis. During this season the Weekly Service Calls use the following Opening ceremony:

We gather to mark the passing of a week
To align our hearts as one.

Service Altar for Genesis

Nothing ... Still ... Nothing

And then ... <gasp> Something!!!!

Time, Space, Matter, Energy, Gravity.

Galaxies coalesce ... in the celestial nursery, stars are born. And for every star, there is a story.

Our story began with Sol, the sun, the fire that sparks life into being.

(Light the candles)

Next came the Earth, our first home, both the shaper of life and the clay from which life makes itself.

("Plant" a seed in the soil)

Then came the water, the sea where the first life swam, the sea that swims inside each of us.

(Drink some of the water and use the rest to "water" the seed)

Finally life made the air, turning sunlight into fuel, freely available to all breathing creatures.

(Take three deep breaths)

Fire, Earth, Water, Air.

From Nothing ... Something

The Reading

Millennial Gaia Statue

Let us imagine

As you sit before your Gaia statue, to your surprise, she blinks. Her smile intensifies and she looks around, seemingly at your home. She stretches her arms and back. She is stiff from having stayed in the same lotus position for so long. She stands up and takes a few paces back and forth to stretch her legs. Seeing her do this you are struck by an optical enigma, for you can see that she carries the world as her belly, yet she is just over a foot tall. You know that even though she is standing on your table, your table is also standing on her. There is a paradox of multiple frames of reference at work here. Your rider says, "Part of the paradox is related to my own suspension of disbelief." But your Elephant trumpets impatiently and silences this analytical response to the miracle.

Having satisfied her need to stretch, she resumes her lotus position and you find that you too are in a lotus position and that both of you are sitting on a forest floor. She now towers above you and you are like a child sitting on the ground before her mother. Still clouds are swirling on her belly and you wonder, "Have I been made small, is she still just a foot tall and I am yet smaller, or is she a giant and I am my normal size." You look around at the trees but you don't know their species and can't be certain if they are towering giants or stunted dwarves. Nothing around you gives you any sense of scale.

"Size is relative, little one." Gaia says, apparently amused by your confusion, "Don't worry about it here. You're relationships to me are numerous and each is like a metaphorical frame of reference in which our relative sizes will be different. You didn't come here to think about this place. You came here because you have questions and this place will give you the right relationship to the answers."

"I do have questions," you say, "I listen to the news and read about the world's problems and it seems to me that, in these stories, I always play the role of the villain. Not just me but my whole species. Are we an evil species?"

Gaia looks at you with love in her eyes for a few moments and you wonder if that is going to be her whole answer. For a moment it seems to be enough. And then some movement of cloud, branch and or Earth causes a ray of Sun to strike her in the face. She welcomes it without hesitation and turns her face into the Sun, eyes closed to bask a moment in its warmth and light. "Do you know the process by which Sol will die, little one?"

"Yes," you reply, for you have sought truth by studying the world around you, "to make the warmth and light which feed us, Sol is burning Hydrogen into Helium. Over time the Helium will build up and pollute his core. Eventually, his core will be too polluted with Helium to continue to maintain the Hydrogen fusion fire and it will cool. Without its intense heat it will no longer be able to resist gravity and the core will collapse and so become more distant from the outer shell. The outer shell will not have had time to cool significantly and, no longer held onto the core by the more distant gravity, it will expand to engulf the Earth."

"Correct, little one," Gaia replies approval of your wisdom in her eyes, "But tell me, little one, who is the villain in that story."

You think about the story for a little while and then say, "Helium is the villain. Helium pollutes the core and kills Sol."

"Very good, little one," Gaia smiles and you feel she has played a trick on you, "And Helium is a villain, is she not, for she is useless to me also. I cannot build living things from her. She is aloof and antisocial. She refuses to bond with other atoms, to build molecules. She plays no part in Life. Tell me, little one, who are the heroes when it comes to elements that make up Life?"

"Well, let me see, " you don't really need to ponder the answer, you are just trying to put it in the best words, "Hydrogen is one, for she is the most numerous atom in our bodies, she is involved in virtually every molecule, she is two out of three of the atoms in every molecule of water. Then there is Carbon, she too is heroic, for her ability to form four bonds is what allows our bodies to build the complex molecules required to fulfill all the multitude of functions required for Life. And then Oxygen is important. Her hunger for electrons is what allows us to change our molecules from one form to another so quickly. And then there is Nitrogen, Sodium, Chlorine, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium and many more."

"Very good answer, little one," Gaia laughs and you know she is still holding a surprise for you, "Where did all these heroes of organic chemistry come from, little one?"

"We learned, quite recently, that they came from earlier generations of stars who died to spread their wealth of those elements into the Galactic Cloud." You reply automatically and from rote.

"And so if stars did not die, where would those elements be today?" Gaia replies with a serious look and you know the trap is sprung.

"Still in the cores where it is too hot for Life to live." you say and feel that understanding is beginning to dawn.

"So, little one," Gaia says and she has shown you the error in your myth, "Helium is the ultimate hero of the story, is she not. She kills stars so that Life can have their little local heroes, Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and all of the others. She has provided me with the diversity of elements that I need so that I can create and evolve Life into every growing possibilities. If all I had was Hydrogen, I would have but one molecule to work with. I would be impossible.

"You are Helium, little one. You play her part. All of the world's problems that you cause are as nothing, if only you can play your ultimate role and spread my Life to a million other worlds. Just as Helium is the mid-wife of the elements, so too are you my midwife. Strive to play your part. You are not broken or misdirected. You have an ambiguous part to play. Play your part, little one." She smiles and her smile becomes very still. You realize that the forest is gone and you are back in your home and she is once again a statue of a women sitting in lotus position before you on a table. You have your part to play, your thing to do.

Silent contemplation

Leader: Please join me for seven minutes of silence while we contemplate ...

(Service Leader rings the bell)

(silence)

(Service Leader rings the bell again at the end of the seven minutes)

Discussion

Leader: Who would like to share?

The participants take turns talking about what they were thinking about during the contemplation.

Reading of the SolSeed Creed

Please respond to the portions of the Creed highlighted in bold in unison:

Life is precious.
It has always been precious,
it will always be precious.
Life exuberant
bursting through boundaries
to flower and spread
creates the conditions for more Life,
in an Upward Spiral
of ever-growing possibilities.
As you are alive, and I am alive,
and in kinship with all other beings
who call Terra home,
we are Gaia --
the body of all Life.
The Destiny of Gaia
is to take root and flower amongst the stars --
to give birth to a family of living worlds.
As intelligent sparks of Gaia,
we are called to express her excellent nature,
we are called to attend the Great Birthing.
We who answer this call
dedicate ourselves to Gaia,
We join together
in a community of practice
to align our words and actions
with our highest aspirations.
Through awesome experiences
of cosmic, biological, and cultural creativity,
we awaken within ourselves and others
the Cosmic Religious Feeling
that ignites wonder,
fosters compassion, and
inspires invention.
Our three sacred duties are to
embrace Passion,
cultivate Empathy, and
pursue Wisdom,
So that our being honors Gaia
and our striving hastens the Great Birthing.
Passion drives us.
Without Passion
Empathy and Wisdom are lethargic.
I pledge to stoke the fire in my belly,
to compassionately care for my inner elephant ---
to really be me, Happy in the Sun!
Empathy is transcendent.
Without Empathy,
Passion and Wisdom are evil.
I pledge to love others as I love myself,
to consider their needs as if they were my own --
to Grow Ours, not just Get Mine!
Wisdom is effective.
Without Wisdom,
Passion and Empathy are reckless.
I pledge to train my elephant through regular practice,
to stand ready to transform my worldview in the face of new evidence --
to cultivate sound instincts.
Through Passion, Empathy, and Wisdom
we have come to know that:
We are Gaia's People --
children of the Earth and Sun,
awakened by starlight,
growing,
nurturing,
discovering --
We Bring Life!

Closing Words

Leader: We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community or the fires of commitment ... these we carry in our hearts until we are together again.

Leader extinguishes the candle with the Candle Snuff

Leader: May your week be blessed with life and love. Blessed be.

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