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Sat Feb 7, 2015, 02:51 PM

Water Cycle Weekend

Last edited Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:28 PM - Edit history (1)

Some of the more interesting discussions on DU:GD involve the connections between the worlds of politics, social dynamics, science, and religion. An example of this would be the conversations on ISIS, which is, to various extents, more about the politics of war, and economics, than about religion per se. Obviously, aspects of people’s interpretation of the religion of Islam come into play; yet these discussions belong on DU:GD, rather than the DU religious forums, because they are focused on current events in the Middle East, as well as the US involvement in Syria and Iraq.

In the years that I have participated on this forum, I’ve occasionally expressed my belief in the tactics of Gandhi. He was, of course, a lawyer, who believed that the legal system could be used to bring about social justice. Although not formally trained in science, he identified his social-political campaigns as “experiments.” To be fair, Gandhi did express concerns about some advances in technology ; to be accurate, those concerns were focused on three things: the threats posed by atomic bombs; the use of technology to exploit other groups of people; and the potential de-humanizing effects of some technologies.

Gandhi’s campaigns were experiments with what he believed to be Truth. We know that he frequently said, “Truth is God” -- which is distinct from “God is Truth” -- which defined the pathways he believed could bring humanity to higher ground. In many ways, Gandhi lived in the context of his Hindu belief system, yet he often went beyond what was the accepted traditions of his day. The example that illustrated his greatest insight was Gandhi’s recognizing that “God” was most commonly found within the outcasts who were marginalized by society. These two concepts, united with active non-violence, united Gandhi’s social, political, economic, and spiritual beliefs.

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No two historical eras are exactly the same, yet one can learn from history. An interesting example of this might be when we consider the nation of “Iraq.” It was not a nation per say; rather, it was a western concept created after WW!. Indeed, it was a League of Nations mandate, known as the State of Iraq, created to allow the British Empire to exploit its people and natural resources.

In that sense, it isn’t a distinct era from Gandhi’s last experiment in Truth. This resulted from when the British Empire was forced to recognize India’s independence. In the British attempt to maintain as much control as possible, they sought to divide that ancient land into two (or more) different nations -- India and what would become Pakistan -- based upon religious tensions. This is not to suggest that England alone was responsible for all tensions between Hindu and Muslim peoples there. But it was absolutely an effort to exploit those tensions.

Gandhi, as we know, went on his most dangerous and physically damaging fast in an attempt to convince the people to cease killing one another. He would also journey to Delhi and surrounding areas, to commune with the poor as well as the rich, in his effort to create the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood of man. In a relatively short time, his campaign was proving highly successful. Hence, those who sought to capitalize on the hatreds and violence -- a group that included politicians, police, and others in the ruling class -- allowed the right-wing of the Hindu political powers to murder the Mahatma.

Around the time that I joined this forum (2003), my friend Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter called me from the Middle East. Some of you may recall my writing about this previously. Rubin was there with Nelson Mandela, attempting to communicate a message of Truth to leaders in that area, to help them resist the violence brought by Bush and Cheney, which had unleashed more hatred and violence between populations in Iraq and beyond. Such efforts at peace-making remain at most a footnote today -- few Americans are aware of them -- because those seeking to capitalize on the resources of that region are invested in on-going violence.

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Yesterday, as I sat where I am sitting today, typing a letter to my closest associate/ lady friend, I watched the winter precipitation outside my window. I have a huge pile of water covering my property now, which will continue to get deeper through Monday afternoon. It’s cold enough now that the molecules of water are moving so slowly, that I have to shovel them to make use of my driveway.

I told her about one of my favorite sayings from Gandhi: how a drop in the ocean partakes in the greatness of its parent; yet it risks drying up if it seeks an existence on its own. I thought back to when I was in the second grade, and first learned the science of the water cycle. At risk of exposing myself as the simpleton I am, I still marvel at that miraculous water cycle.

I told her about Rubin’s “discovery” that the Earth was a living entity -- something my culture has always known and respected -- and that all organic life on Earth, including humanity, exists for the purpose of the Earth. Our blood stream flows much as the Earth’s waters, without our conscious mind having to think to make our heart beat. Our lungs breath with the atmosphere, again without our thinking about it. We are expressions of the Earth, and of the Universe that scientists study and explore, using the conscious parts of their brains. Many of us also study various sciences, perhaps for work, often for the pleasure of learning from great minds. The sum-total of knowledge gained by scientists who study the Earth, the Universe, humans, our hearts, brains, lungs, etc., has provided huge benefits to everyone, no matter what level of understanding they may have.

The great people in human history -- from distant eras and locations -- known as the Enlightened Ones, have all laid out general guidelines for growth in understanding, and hence, the potential for behaving in a rational, ethical manner. They often use devices such as fables, myths, and parables to teach those of lesser understanding -- just as scientists have to explain complex principles in more easily grasped terms to people like me.

Thomas Merton noted (in his book on Gandhi) that if the higher ethical standards of the Enlightened Ones is combined with the technological genius of scientists, human progress is made. When an opposite happens, and for example people of low moral standards misuse technology, you have George Bush and Dick Cheney invading Iraq, or the brutal acts of ISIS. Or you have people hating and assaulting those of different ethnic backgrounds, skin-colors, sexual identities, gender, or religious belief systems. You could even end up with 1% of a diverse population in control of the entire economic system, and even identifying themselves as leaders of a Christian nation.

One option that we all have is embracing anger, bitterness, hatred, and violence, and aiming our wrath at those who are different than ourselves. Perhaps they think differently. What Gandhi attempted to teach the Muslim and Hindu people in Delhi was to see each other as expressions of the Universe, part of that large and mysterious life-force. Even if their thinking suggests that they are not fully conscious, but are instead behaving as organic machines, to recognize that spark within them.

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A light snow continues to fall. I like to go for walks with my dogs, out in the fields, and in the woods. It is so quiet in the woods when it snows. I love that silence. However, I do look forward to the warm weather returning. I love to sit in the sun light, on one of the huge rocks next to the water falls, listening to that part of the water cycle, while I either meditate or talk with my lady friend.

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Water Cycle Weekend (Original post)
H2O Man Feb 2015 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2015 #1
H2O Man Feb 2015 #3
panader0 Feb 2015 #2
H2O Man Feb 2015 #4
H2O Man Feb 2015 #5

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:00 PM

1. What a wonderful essay, my dear H20 Man!

I am a bit distracted today, and so cannot really give your writing my best attention, but still your wisdom shines through.

I especially loved the last paragraph. It speaks to my poetic soul.

I am preparing to go to a one day poetry workshop on love poetry, with an edge. Perhaps some of your inspirational writing will go with me, to help me there...

Thank you.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:33 PM

3. Very good!

Have fun with poetry! Attend workshops! Then start running (or c-facilitating) them.

Lately, upon the request of a few musicians, I've been trying my hand at writing some lyrics. And getting out poems that I wrote over the past 40+ years. (Quite a few are on -- what else? -- nature and spiritual connections.)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:13 PM

2. Another home run.. Great read and wise words. Recommended.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:34 PM

4. Many thanks!

Including for you e-mail! (grin)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 12:47 PM

5. Regarding Ann Coulter .....

This response to my own OP might be viewed as a weak attempt to provide mouth-to-mouth ....but here goes:

Flipping through channels, I recently saw an MSNBC filler about citizens throwing eggs at politicians, or pasting them with a pie in the face. I will admit that I enjoyed a few of the clips.

I cannot say that I think it would, by definition, be wrong for a person -- let's say, for example, a college student -- to throw an egg or pie at Ann Coulter if she was speaking on their campus.

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