Gaia sits with Jesus
This is one page of the Metaphoriuminomicon
August 14th : Gaia sits with Jesus
Quotes of the Day
- You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44
- "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45
- so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.…
- Matthew 5:44
- “Once you learn to discern the voice of Mother Culture humming in the background,
- telling her story over and over again to the people of your culture,
- you’ll never stop being conscious of it.
- Wherever you go for the rest of your life,
- you’ll be tempted to say to the people around you,
- “how can you listen to this stuff and not recognize it for what it is?”
― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael
Thoughts for the Day
There is a new story brewing. The old story taught us that humanity was the culmination of creation. The agrarian religions taught this but so does much modern interpretation of the scientific world view. People will tell the story of evolution as if only one line mattered; fish -> amphibians -> reptiles -> mammals -> monkeys ... And then they will end the story with "and finally humanity evolved." How many of us can give even half that detail about the evolution of the oak tree. Yet you could just as easily end that story with "and finally the oak tree evolved." as if the oak tree was the ultimate culmination of evolution. The old story also teaches that humanity is destined to control the Earth. Again many of the mainstream agrarian religions teach that some deity said to humanity something along the lines of, "go forth and have dominion over all the beasts and fish and flowers and trees." But the scientific worldview combined with the industrial economic worldview goes even further teaching that the entire universe is just a giant clockwork mechanism without a soul. We live as if the world belongs to us and is a giant resource for us to exploit to humanity's benefit.
The new story takes much from the story that came before, the story that was told by societies that never took up agriculture. This prehistoric story was one of humanity being a single species among all other species. It was a story in which humanity belonged to the world. But the new story goes further. The new story adds a deep understanding of humanity's place in the universe. It sees us not as a dominating force but as a tiny population on a pale blue dot hidden in the glare of a middling star. It tells us that the star is one of billions orbiting within an average galaxy. It tells us that our galactic home is one of billions of galaxies in a universe that extends farther than we will ever be able to see.
But the new story also tells us about how the matter that makes up our bodies was mostly forged in supernova explosions. It tells us that we are children of the Universe. It tells us that the matter that makes up our bodies was almost all here when the Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago. It tells us that we are children of the Earth. It tells us that the matter that makes up our bodies is held together with chemical bonds forged from the energy of the Sun. It tells us that we are children of the Sun. It tells us that the patterns of the molecules and cells, tissues and organs that make up our bodies emerged in the Grand 4.6 billion year story of the evolution of Life on Earth. It tells us that we are brothers and sister to each other and cousins and to all living inhabitants of the Earth. We are cousins to oak trees and poison ivy, we are cousins to lions and hag fish, we are cousins to butterflies and blow flies. The whole body of Life is our family.
So what do we make of all this? What are the words and chapters and morals of the new story? Together we must write it. It will include great sweeping epic passages about our prehistory, the birth of stars and galaxies, elements and planets, atmospheres and oceans, phyla and species. But it will also talk about the present. It will show us the path to return to sanity. To accept with humility our place within the body of Life. It will teach us Gaia's laws. And it will also talk about the future. It will give us ideas about how we can contribute to the body of All Life. What is to be our legacy as a species? It will ask this question and it will answer it.
Let us pray in the way that Dedicants of SolSeed do. Let us suspend disbelief and build personal relationships with a select god or two in order to cultivate sound instincts.
Contemplation for the Day
Slowly You become aware of the forest around you. It is a noisy forest full of chirps and buzzing, tweets and whistles. You are aware of the odd distant roar, howl and bark. It is richly alive with animals so many of whom feed on the food provided by the angiosperms, the flowers. The sweet nectar of blossoming fruit trees fills the air. The forest is so full of nuts and fruit that the ground is littered with broken shells and pits. Gaia sits before you deep in mediation.
Suddenly she stirs, smiles at you and as she stands beckons for you to follow her. She walks along a winding path through the forest. As you walk you see many animals. Snakes, and mice, falcons and chic-a-dees, crows and squirrels. You see a herd of deer and then notice that there are at least three wolves stalking it. But surely you are safe in the presence of Gaia. You cross a stream and notice there are many strong salmon swimming up it. You glance up stream and see a grizzly bear standing in the water watching you. You hurry to stay close to Gaia. You look ahead and see a moose blocking the path. Its antlers are big enough to sweep you away. You get closer to Gaia. She continues walking toward it and it bows its head to her and steps off the path. From behind an old stump a cougar pounces and sinks its teeth into the mooses neck. It falls and disappears behind foliage. The sounds you hear from behind those leave disturb and frighten you. The moose was close to Gaia and yet was not safe, are you?
"Gaia, why did you not nurture and protect that part of you, that moose?" you ask. You are shaking as you ask it and you aren't certain if the fear is from seeing the fate of that moose or from questioning your goddess.
Gaia laughs, "To protect one part of me from another would be to starve the predator. I do not take sides in these disputes. The cougar and the moose were both obeying my laws and so they must deal with their differences themselves. But perhaps you need another answer. There is one here, up ahead on the path, who might be able to give you a wise answer."
You look ahead and see no one. But you notice that there is a spider climbing a tree up ahead. It is a very large spider. It is difficult to gauge the size from this distance but perhaps its leg span is more than two feet. This does nothing to calm your fears, for Gaia is taking you along a path that passes directly under the spider. But you follow her and pass safely under the spider which is now climbing amongst the high branches of a walnut tree.
Now up ahead you see a clearing with a small primitive hut. In front of the hut a bearded man in white robes is sitting and working with tools on something. As you get closer you see that he is working on another giant spider. It quickly becomes clear that the spider is robotic and that he is making adjustments to it. Gaia sits beside the man and beckons you to sit also. As you watch the man work you see that he has terrible scars on the backs of both of his hands. You begin to suspect that you know who this man is but you find it hard to believe that he would appear in a SolSeed prayer or that he would be tweaking a robot.
Gaia sees the look of shock on your face and laughs again, "Little one, you are shocked that I would bring you to Jesus. Jesus, you think, is part of the old story and has nothing to say to me. But this is, of course, a personification of Jesus not the real man, if ever there was one. The historic Jesus is lost in time and all we can talk to is an image formed in his name by countless generations."
Jesus looks you in the eye and you are surprised to see no judgement of your self there. He seems to be waiting for you to speak.
As you sit before these two gods you ask, "Forgive me, my lord, if I seem impertinent but why would you, the personification of a man from an ancient agrarian society, be tinkering with a robot?" You are shaking less now. Perhaps it is human nature to acclimatize to anything, even challenging gods face to face.
Jesus smiles, "I am a personification of the son of an all knowing god. Give me enough credit to expect me to have learned something in two thousand years." His voice is kind and you do not feel rebuked.
There are a few minutes of silence. Jesus has returned to adjusting the spider robot. He has attached some kind of miniature catapult to its back and is tightening the bolts. Gaia seems to have returned to her meditative trance.
Finally you build the courage to ask another question, "Forgive me again, my lord, for interrupting, but Gaia said that you might have an answer to another question that I asked."
Jesus smiles at you again then looks back down at his work. He puts aside his socket wrench and pours out a basket of permaculture seed bombs into a compartment in the robot's body. "You asked her why she did not protect the moose from the cougar." He locks the compartment and flips a switch and the spider scurries to the base of a nearby tree and begins climbing.
"Yes." you say trailing off to hint that what you want is the answer, not the question back again.
Jesus watches his spider climb the tree. "In the last two thousand years, I have learned that I was living a wrong story in my youth. It was a story that contravened Gaia's laws. It was a story of hierarchy and control rather than a story of participation, contribution and nurturing of talents. My life on Earth was one of questioning the accepted story and I questioned it in some important ways but I missed some that were very important. I failed to question the thread in the story where divinity gave humanity dominion over the Earth." The spider climbs out onto a branch of ancient beech tree that it has climbed and finds itself surrounded by monkeys.
"But one remark that I made and one thread of my story may work together to help you understand why Gaia failed to protect the moose from the cougar. More importantly it may help you to understand how you should relate to the cougar should it ever defeat your defences." The robot fires its catapult launching a permaculture seed bomb at the nearest monkey. The seed bomb bounces down from branch to branch and lands on the forest floor several meters away. Several monkeys race down after it. One grabs it and begins gnawing seeds out of the clay.
Jesus continues, "Do you remember that I said, love thy enemy?" As a monkey closes in, the spider robot pivots its catapult around but it is too late, the monkey grabs two legs and flips the spider over. It falls from the tree and there is a terrible cracking sound as it hits the ground.
You think back to what you know of the followers of Christ, "Yes, it is a very challenging requirement of Christianity from what I understand."
Jesus nods, "Do you remember also that I died on the cross for humanity?" He watches placidly as the monkeys close in on the stricken robot.
You don't have to think very hard about this one, "This is the crux of your story, if you will forgive the pun." The monkeys have surrounded the robot. Its legs are feebly waving at them as if to shoo them away.
Jesus laughs, "Humanity has reached a level where it can no longer live like other species. The moose can afford to hate the cougar which kills it. It can hate the cougar as an enemy because it is incapable of breaking Gaia's laws in acting out that hate. But humanity is capable of breaking the laws of Gaia. Gaia's first law is that you shall not exterminate your predators. You are capable of that and only by loving your enemy shall you return to accord with her law. It will mean that some of you must give up your lives for the good of humanity. You must accept that your fate is to die as all creatures die and that some of you, a very few because you are so clever at defending yourselves, will die at the hands of predators, parasites and pathogens." The monkeys had by this point opened the compartment and stolen all of the seed bombs and each had taken as many as he could and was voraciously gnawing at them.
You watch as the robot ceases to move, "So that is part of the new story that we must learn to live: we belong to the world, and if the world chooses to eat us, and we are unable to stop it, we must be eaten. We must not let our grief over the loss of a human cause us to go crazy and become criminals in Gaia's world. We must not live a story of vengeance, in which we kill whole species in repayment for the loss of an individual."
Gaia speaks up, "Very good little one, and now you know that there is wisdom in every tradition even if the people of the tradition have lost contact with it. So study the world, seek truth, cultivate sound instincts. Now Jesus and I have work to do and so do you. Go back to your real world and do your work."
You return from your trance and see that Gaia is a statue not a person. But you bring with you greater understanding and the beginnings of a bridge between two stories.