The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change
The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change
By David Goldstein / huffingtonpost.com
Oct 3, 2015

We are in the process of burning ourselves and many of the beings on Earth right out of existence. Overwhelming. Unbelievable. Wildly inconvenient. Weirdly difficult to take in. But true. We are.

The fire, too slowly for our senses to note, warms and warms and warms some more. We could lower the flame, but we don't. And a part of each one of us must wonder why we don't. Perhaps the answers are elusive because we are asking the wrong question. So, here's one that I haven't seen asked before...

"How is the relationship with your Holy Fire going?"

A couple things before you answer:

1) "Holy Fire" doesn't necessarily have to do with anything religious or spiritual. It is automatically generated by your care and longing. I use the word "automatically" in the literal sense; something that happens with or without your consent. It is just there, inside of you - this deep, deep caring that generates deeply felt aliveness - and you can't expunge it even if you try.

2) I am making a declaration that may or may not be true: "Every human being possesses Holy Fire. Every human being burns with the brightness of the Big Bang from which we ultimately descend."

Now. Okay. You may say that you agree or that you disagree with my declarations, but that, in any case, this "burning caring" is, at best, elusive. It may arise at special moments in special circumstances, but then it cools right back down or, perhaps, seems to disappear altogether. In any case it is more the exception than the rule.

To this I say...well, let's keep this family friendly...I say, "bull-hockey". It never cools. It's there burning phosphorescently at this very moment. Your "phosphorescence" may possess a calm/glowing quality or, alternatively, an exuberant/raucous expression. It likely varies in time and place. It is never absent

So...what happened? This is an old story. Almost every one of us learned from an early age to "cool that fire down", to modulate it, to temper it. From our families, from our schools, from the whole wide world. There were just way too many pitfalls awaiting if we did not. Anywhere that humans knowingly or unknowingly conspire to limit or control each other's inherent aliveness, naked expressions of Holy Fire tend to be seen as threatening.

For Holy Fire not only passionately expresses, "I love "this, that and the other", but also moves us to declare, "Wait a second! This does not work. This is not okay. This shall not stand!"

So...that's what happened. To almost all of us. To the "perpetrators" and "victims" alike. We learned, under conditions ranging from fairly benign to horrifically un-benign, to, at best, find selected times and places to feel and express our soul's deep longing.

The results of this comprehensive fire suppression policy are legion, but here are two of the most significant:

1) We feel much, much less alive. Juiced. Joyful. This is a great pity. As it is, the precious gift of our time on this planet is vanishingly short; an eye-blink of an eye-blink. To walk around damping down our deepest aliveness is the definition of tragic.

2) This fire, that can not be made "not to exist", will express itself come hell or high water; if not through passionate aliveness, it will seek other channels. And, collectively speaking, climate change is one of the channels it is finding.

"Ha!" you say, "That's just ridiculous!"

No.

When you boil it all down, what we're talking about here is simply...energy. And we humans, perhaps unique to all beings on Earth, possess a continually unfolding choice: We can employ our God-given and/or biologically given (as you prefer) fire in either generative or degenerative manners.

Our souls (beings, selves...as you prefer) long for the "generative" path; to care for others as we would care for ourselves; to steward and protect those that are at the mercy of our choices - children and animals come to mind; to build and create that which sustains and nourishes well-being. Simply put - To love.

Only one particular type of human being is able to sustain such generative choice-making over the long haul. This type of human being is called an "adult".

I am not speaking chronologically. Attaining adulthood has very little to do with being 18 or 21 or 75 for that matter. Being an adult means, simply, maturing beyond adolescence.

An adolescent famously wields power for the sake of wielding power. That is how it should be. An adolescent is not very interested in limits or restraint. He or she is in discovery mode. Freedom and unbridled expression rule the day - A lot of Holy Fire there!

Most adolescents eventually travel one of two paths: 1) They tame their fire by tamping it down and learn to bring it out only for those specially marked occasions. 2) They burn up: Addiction, injury, death, brutality toward self or others.

There is a third way; one which our world, deeply mired in its own collective adolescence, has largely forgotten. The third path is to become that noble and precious creature; an adult human being.

Such a creature has been blessed to emerge from the fundamental isolation of the adolescent mind. She understands that she is part of a world woven together (or not) by relationships. He sees that his life can nourish other beings, human and non-human alike. He knows, in turn, that their lives nourish his own, both body and soul. She feels the greater pulse of life and understands both the restraints and responsibilities of taking part.

The Holy Fire of the adult human being tends toward this sense of interconnectedness and his choices are informed by it. It is not always a "walk in the park". Courage and wisdom and compassion are required in deep measure. This is part and parcel of maturity.

So. Here we are. The continued existence of even a semblance of our world-as-we-know-it hinges on our collective ability to grow up. In many traditional societies, the initiation rituals that ushered young adolescents toward adulthood involved elements of ordeal. It seems that the immature, more self-centered mind does not give way without a fight! Successful passage births a "new seeing" of all beings - yes including the animals, including the rivers and trees and stones - as alive...as valued relationships.

Perhaps our self-induced climate crisis can yet act as such an initiatory ordeal. Perhaps the just-getting-started droughts, storms and climate-exacerbated geo-political disasters can penetrate our adolescent minds, fascinated with acquisition and accumulation as they are.

To be honest, I am not overly hopeful. Human beings in positions of great power throw snowballs in Congress and regurgitate tired, vacuous talking points. Most of the rest of us hypnotically march in business-as-usual lockstep, procreating and purchasing as we go.

I would love to be surprised, to participate in a collective turning toward that which truly nourishes.

Meanwhile we burn.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 18,533 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Before He Was Assassinated, MLK Jr. Was Advocating For An End To Income Inequality
10 min · 13,979 views today · We can honor MLK Jr. by pursuing the causes he was advocating for before he was killed.  ​​ Part 2: The Basic Income, A New Human Right (3 minutes) MLK's idea of a basic...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 6,519 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 4,478 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 3,894 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
#ReclaimMLK Seeks to Combat the Sanitizing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Danielle C. Belton · 2,598 views today · Martin Luther King Jr. had more than “a dream,” but you might not notice that on Monday during observances for his birthday. Somewhere between his assassination and today...
What Martin Luther King Jr. Can Teach Us about Nonviolence
John Dear · 2,477 views today · I've been reflecting on the principles of nonviolence that Martin Luther King Jr. learned during the historic yearlong bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. After Rosa Parks refused...
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 2,027 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 1,255 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,067 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,018 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 370 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 365 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 360 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 345 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 336 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 335 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 316 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 296 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 261 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change