The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change
The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change
By David Goldstein / huffingtonpost.com

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
What's Next
Trending Today
Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Nika Knight · 12,052 views today · 'For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.'
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · 6,056 views today · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 5,438 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 3,579 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 2,748 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 2,499 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...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 1,951 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
114 min · 1,664 views today · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,600 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...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species (2013)
103 min · 1,457 views today · United Natures explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity. Directed and...
Post-Brexit Visions of The Possible: It's Time to Imagine a New European Community
Martin Winiecki · 1,437 views today · We live in the beginning phase of a global revolution which will turn societal conditions upside down. We cannot stop this transformation, but we can influence where it will...
After Historic Protests, Army Corps of Engineers Blocks Current Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
3 min · 1,401 views today · The $4 billion dollar project could still be approved by President-elect Donald Trump who is heavily invested in the pipeline. Help support The Real News by making a donation...
The Fight for Clean Water (#NoDAPL)
2 min · 1,024 views today · Clean water or Corporate profits? What’s more important? #NoDAPL Energy Transfer Partners: (214) 981-0700 U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: (202) 761-0010; (202)...
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry · 985 views today · Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 979 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Projext X: Using Leaked Documents to Reveal the NSA's New York Spy Hub, Hidden in Plain Sight
10 min · 908 views today · A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 769 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
Where Do You Draw the Line? (2016)
60 min · 765 views today · Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?...
Twelve Things To Remember After The US Election, From Front Line Organizers
Bill Quigley · 667 views today · When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get...
Bikini Was Just the Beginning, Bombs Still Threaten the Islanders
John Pilger · 654 views today · I was recently in the Marshall Islands, which lie in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia and south of Hawaii. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Precious Opportunity of Climate Change