Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life in the Milky Way

A Broader Perspective

Pinwheel Galaxy

Today there was an article in the on line version of the local paper, about the condition of the forests after the wildfires that have been burning for a month. The article stated that for the most part, these fires were good for the forest. This set off a series of comments from on line readers that left me wondering about the perspectives of the writers. One poster in particular got my attention when he referred to the forest as, "OUR", forest. There were a lot of suggestions about how we should manage, our, forests.

First of all, they are not our forests, and secondly, they have been doing just fine with or without our management. How presumptuous to claim Gods creations as our own. This attitude that somehow we are separate from the rest of life, is delusional. We are no more important in the order of life on this planet than a bug or a blade of grass. We don't own anything. We just made up that concept. In the big picture, our conceit is laughable. The universe goes on with or without us.

We hear a lot of talk about Global Warming, Nuclear Disaster, Destruction of Rain Forests, and other earth threatening calamities caused by human activity, but those things are not going to end the earth. They will probably be the end of us, but not the planet. If earth were to run into a giant space rock, that just might put an end to the planet.

Illustration of Asteroid Tracker Satellite
Canada, plans to orbit a satellite in 2010 that will locate and track space rocks, to warn us of doomsday collisions.
Our flagrant disregard of history, and the customs of those who have gone before us, only causes us problems. The Vikings started a colony on Greenland. Did they adopt the ways of the people who had been living there for hundreds of years? Of course not. They built houses, planted crops and wore the clothes they wore in Europe. They were freezing their asses off, so they ended up chopping down all the trees to stay warm. Without the protection of the trees, the crops failed, the animals died and they went back home cursing that, "God forsaken place."

People lived in northern California for thousands of years before we came here and took over. I don't recall any of the original inhabitants building permanent structures in the forest. No, it took great thinkers like us to build on flood plains, beaches, and on the sides of volcanoes. How many of our attempts to alter nature, to suit our purposes, have ultimately failed?

Our way of life is artificial and extremely vulnerable to collapse. I am happy to have the comforts of our civilization, but I also know that all this stuff is no more than a fly speck on the great scheme of things.
We, are all part of all creation.

We are made of the same stuff that comprises the known universe. When I feel that I am part of all things, I am comforted, empowered, and spiritually aware.
I feel that connection and I am happy.
I am cosmic dust with comprehension.
I am blessed.

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