October 27th, 2014
We find ourselves surrounded by, surfeited by loud, shrieking (philosophically capitalist and theologically fundamentalist) voices proclaiming that the supreme value leading to a good life is competition--which means that there must be winners and losers. This leads, inevitably, to greed, hatred, and ultimately violence and destruction. In the midst of all that noise, it is hard to believe that there is any other way leading to a more abundant human life. And then we may well come to believe that the only possible realistic attitude is one of despair.
But there are other (human and non-human) voices, speaking more quietly (not surprisingly, given what they proclaim) telling us that a good human life is one of compassion, respect, and non-violent action. But to hear these voices, we must sit still and listen to Silence. When we see (not just look) at a sunrise or a sunset, when we listen (not just hear) while walking in the woods, or climbing a mountain or swimming in the water, we may come to know these other voices. Once we quiet ourselves enough to recognize these voices, we discover another attitude is possible: one of hope. Then Julian of Norwich's claim that "All will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well" sounds right on.
Last night, sitting, watching the sunset (actually facing the other direction from it) I caught glimpses of the evidence supporting this other view. Here are two studies of what I saw:
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