We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Daily archives for June 2nd, 2017

Three Mystical Moments

Beltane                                                                    Moon of the Summer Solstice

Here are three instances of amazement, still resonant, still filling my inner world.

ipperwash sunset

ipperwash sunset

When I was 12 (1959) my family went to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare Festival. We camped at Ipperwash Provincial Park a few miles outside of Stratford. One evening I wandered down to the rocky beach of Lake Huron and sat watching the sun go down. As it fell behind the turning earth, the colors lit up the Great Lake, making me feel as if I were surrounded by the lake, the sky, the coming night. It didn’t make me feel insignificant, rather it made me feel part of a great mysterious colorful whole.



I studied philosophy as an undergraduate. In the fall of my sophomore year, 1966, I took metaphysics. After a class about the process metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, I wandered out of the humanities building onto the quad. The maples and oaks on campus had turned, making the grounds glow with red and gold leaves. Just as I stepped out of the building and onto the quad, my interior life lit up with red and gold. Then my connection to that time and place dissolved. A feeling of calm fell over me and threads linking me to the rest of the universe, red and gold threads going out and coming back in vibrant motion, filled me. The sense of calm transformed into wonder as I knew, just knew, that I was part of all this, all this amazing universe. This was not intellectual knowledge, not a feeling, but a direct knowing. The universe and I were one. I’ve known this to be true ever since.

Photo by Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen, Nordnorsk Reiseliv

Photo by Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen, Nordnorsk Reiseliv

In September of 1974 I moved to the farm that Judy and I bought near Nevis, Minnesota. One evening soon after I took my fishing rod and tackle down to a small lake set in a bowl of earth with reasonably high sides. As was my usual experience, I caught no fish, but the air was warm, so I stayed as night fell. The Aurora Borealis lit up the night sky. Great flashes of green shimmered up from the base of the sky to its domed center. The same display hit the lake and suddenly I was adrift in space. The Aurora vibrated all round me, carrying me higher and higher and higher, then further and further out of time. I don’t know how long it lasted, but I stayed until the Aurora played itself out.


Whadya think?

Beltane                                                                   Moon of the Summer Solstice


Base Instincts

Beltane                                                                          Moon of the Summer Solstice

2000_Year_Temperature_ComparisonI wish I thought it was cynicism, the gratuitous act of a calculating politician, this latest, perhaps species’ ending decision. “I’m deciding for the citizens of Pittsburgh, not the citizens of Paris.” I wish I didn’t think it was a faulty mind at work, but I do. By faulty in this case I mean stupid. Trump may not be I.Q. stupid, though I don’t imagine he’s top of the class, but he’s unlearned, uninquisitive and lacks critical thinking skills. This is the functional equivalent of stupidity.

He seems to have base instincts (a political pun, intended) which he marries to advice from people who have ideological blinders he doesn’t understand. He clearly loves being the decider so he takes in certain streams of information, then chooses what he believes will Make America Great. What will put America First. In this case, as in so many others, he doesn’t seem to understand that the U.S.A. is no longer, if it ever was, separate from the world as a whole.

GOP-Oil-Above-AllClimate change does not care about boundaries. It does not care if you’re a resident of Paris, Pittsburgh, Timbuktu or Katmandu. The rain, as the proverb goes, falls on the just and the unjust. So with a ratcheting up of the earth’s temperature. Trump thinks he’s putting Pittsburgh ahead of Paris when what he’s really doing is pitting this generation against the next, saying that this one deserves more attention than the next. There is no hint, none at all, of seven generations thinking in his choices. Today is all that matters. Right here in the U.S.A. is all that matters. Right here in the U.S.A. all that matters is the effect on my base. (which he badly misreads, by the way)

He sees the fate of the white working class and the fate of America’s energy corporations tied together, a grim marriage and one doomed to fail and in its failure to scour humanity from the planet. So much for a sustainable future.

June 2017
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