You will need:
- A Pitcher of Water
- A Cup for Each Person attending
- A Single Cut Flower for each Person attending
- a candle
- a bell or signing bowl
- a candle snuff
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.
The fourth Liturgical Season, Diversitas, runs from mid-spring to the summer solstice and covers the diversification of Life on land. The four advances that we celebrate are legs, air breathing eggs, wings, and flowering things, but the celebration is about diversity of forms and so these are just four exciting examples that are meant to inspire us to think about the wondrous diversity that the upward spiral of evolution has led to.
- We gather to mark the passing of a week
- To align our hearts as one.
(Light the Sol candle; Each person takes a cup of water and places it next to the flame)
- A quiet forest... still ... a quiet forest...
- And then ... <gasp> ... Noisy animals!
- Chirping Crickets, Roaring Dinosaurs, Calling Birds, Buzzing Bees.
(Make animal noises)
- Forests grow.
(Arms up; fingers spread)
- In the lush green forests, diverse species are born.
(Cradle baby motion)
- And for every species ... there is a story!
(Open book motion)
- This story begins with legs.
(Stand and walk around the chalice)
- Limbs to cross dry land, climb trees and explore the ever spreading forests
- Powerful legs to support the weight of the mighty dinosaurs!
(Roar like a dinosaur)
- Insects, and then reptiles, began laying eggs on land
- Air Breathing eggs
(Pause reading; three deep breath)
- Allowing Birth far from water
- Opening the heartland of continents to exploring animals!
(Walk away from the chalice (and the cups of water surrounding it) exploring as you go)
- Then came wings!
- Lifting insects, pterosaurs, birds and bats into the air,
- To escape predators, and strike prey from above
- To soar high, one step from space!
(Fly back to the chalice)
- Next came the flowers, sharers of food.
- Both the nectar of bees,
- And the fruit from which
- early primates got their energy.
(Place a cut flower in your cup of water)
- Legs, Land Eggs, Wings and Flowering Things
- From quiet forests... a glorious cacophony of life!
(Arms up like crossing a finish line)
You sit atop your Elephant, who is standing on a bright green spring meadow. But across the meadow stands arrayed a massive army, banners flying in the wind, shields shining in sharp contrasts of black and yellow. They raise huge silver horns, some of which emit booming acoustic beats and others with spray forth blasts of little hard balls which bounce on the grass before them. You see that many of the shields have emblems of yellow dice on a black background.
The blasts of their horns are answered by powerful elephant trumpeting behind you. You look back and see that a green/blue cavalry is arrayed behind you. On each beast sits a copy of Gaia. The beasts behind you are elephants but as you look to the side you see that they gradually shift from elephants to mammoths to mastodons as you look further and further away. Far off you can see that she is riding giant elephants perhaps 50 meters tall at the shoulder in one direction and Elephants with eight trunks in another and skinny winged elephants in another. You notice that the continents on the bellies of the Gaia`s near you are all similar to each other but not the same as those on Earth. And there are subtle differences between the continents on the bellies of the Gaia`s around you on this one Africa is a little nearer to Australia than on that one. On this one the mountain range linking Japan to Greenland is a little wider than on that one. On the one next to you Alaska is completely fused to Brazil. 'Gaia, you ask her, why are your continents all so strangely arranged?'
'Little one, if you think they are strangely arranged,' she replies, 'then I must not be the Gaia of the quantum history to which you belong.'
As you are looking at the belly of the Gaia nearest you the acoustic beat of the other army`s horns sounds again. You look back at that army again. It is made up of people in white lab coats carrying all manner of devices, microscopes, stethoscopes, telescopes, satellite dishes, MRI machines. They too are riding elephants but their elephants are all more or less the same, regular elephants as you know them.
You hear someone clear their throat below you. You look down and see a woman in a referee's uniform starring at you.
"Are you an observer or a world?" she asks you.
"An observer, I guess." you reply, feeling pretty certain that you are not a world.
"Then you are offside. Go join the correct side." the referee points to the army with the black and yellow shields. You glance down at your shield and see that it is black and emblazoned with a pair of yellow dice.
Your elephant is embarrassed at being singled out like this and hurries over to join the correct side. You glance back at the Gaia's and long to be with them but it is too late. You are now arrayed with the lab coat uniformed army, the Observers. You wonder what your weapon will be and looking down at your hands, see that you have been holding it all along. It is an apparatus with two white screens, a prism, a mirror and a subjective lens. One of the two screens has two slits in it. It is all arranged so that you can look through the subjective lens and see the far side of the solid screen in the mirror while pointing the prism at a target so that light from the target passes through the prism and then one or the other slit and onto the screen which you are observing.
Someone among you yells, "Charge!", the horn sounds again and you and your elephant are swept along as the two armies begin advancing toward each other. They gain speed and soon the air is filled with the thunder of the two largest elephant stampedes in histories.
A woman to your right yells, "Observe!" and looks through her telescope at a Gaia mounted on an African bull elephant, charging directly at you. To your surprise that particular Gaia is unaffected but the ones around her and their mastodon and mammoth mounts suddenly vanish.
A woman to your left yells, "Observe!" and points a directional microphone at the spot where one of the Gaia's who disappeared was. As she listens to her earphones, that Gaia reappears along with her mastodon and several others including the one charging at you on the African Bull Elephant disappear. This is even more surprising to you.
You raise your double slit apparatus and look at the spot where the African Bull elephant was. You can see a ghost of him and his Gaia still charging at you, projected onto the screen. They rapidly get closer until only the open mouth and barred teeth of the elephant fill the screen and then the image dissolves into an interference pattern.
You look to the woman to your right who is about to point her telescope again and yell, "What is happening? Are the Gaia's disappearing when we observe their neighbours or not!"
"We don't know. Just keep observing." the woman yells back and you realize that the woman is you but different.
"But I don't want to make Gaia's disappear!" you yell back.
"Only through observing can we achieve the decoherence necessary to make sense of the world. Observe!" the woman who is also you, yells and observes another Gaia, this one riding a crocodile. Beside her a Gaia riding a 50 foot tall elephant disappears.
"But is that morally acceptable? Destroying entire worlds just for your convenience and comfort." You yell back as your elephants turn to the side to avoid the crocodile.
"We don't know if the worlds are destroyed or only made invisible to us. In fact, the universe makes more sense if they are only made invisible to us, don't you think? I mean object permanence and all that. Observe!" She points her telescope at a Gaia riding a horse and a squad of Gaia's on donkeys disappears.
You are pondering this point when a man with the black and yellow shield and a miniature gravitational wave detector appears from behind a Gaia on a T. rex. He is trying to point it at her but points it at you instead. The woman with the telescope and the one with the directional microphone both disappear and you find yourself isolated on the battle field. There are Gaia's around you, including the one on the T. rex but no other Observers.
You try to ride around the T. rex and join up with the guy with the gravitational wave detector but he is lost in the chaos. The T. rex is closing on you but it too disappears and you have no idea which observer got him. You turn to look around and get an idea of what is going on around you and realize that the battle field is pretty much empty. There is just you and a single Gaia with her Indian Elephant grazing peacefully beside her as she sits on the grass counting clover leaves. She holds up a three leaf clover and smiles a little but returns to looking.
You dismount and walk toward her, your elephant following fearfully. You see that the continents on her belly are the ones you are familiar with. You feel a sense of relief at the familiarity and yet a sense of loss. All those possibilities that never will be. "Gaia, what happened?" you ask.
She looks up and says, "Quantum decoherence has been achieved apparently." She holds up another three leaf clover and looks disappointed.
"All those worlds lost forever!" you bemoan.
Gaia laughs, "Little one, you are a funny ape. You observe one world and deduce the existence of many but then fancy that your observing of the first one destroyed the others. You might be right. The universe may actually work that way. I don't know. That is for little fast minds like yours to fathom. I just think it is funny." She holds up another three leaf clover.
"Life creates possibilities by opening up the adjacent possible but then destroys them by choosing one possibility and following it. It seems like a paradox. Is life creative or destructive?" you ponder.
"Perhaps, Little One, 'creative' and 'destructive' are not opposites but part of the same thing, like space and time or thunder and lightening." Gaia holds up a five leaf clover with a big smile.
Leader: Please join me for seven minutes of silence while we contemplate ...
(Service Leader rings the bell)
(Service Leader rings the bell again at the end of the seven minutes)
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.
- Gaia's bursting through boundaries is a painful and joyful process.
- It is the pain of Earth giving rebirth to herself.
- It is the joy of a myriad new possibilities emerging.
- 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 Rebirthing and 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,
- discovering --
- We Bring Life!
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.