Alas, as we approach April Fool’s Day – we must not be fools to our frailty. Our human-planetary frailty is writ IN GREAT CAPS TODAY! The gist without the mist is this: we are a planet in an ultimate darkness, we are humanoid creatures on this planet – with all its beauties and terrors: now, the veil of fable and fantasy have been removed – and our purpose is clearly – survival. This survival is not the survival to some imagined life beyond this one: it is the survival of this one. The look to and prayer to powers other than the powers that be on this planet – are to hide the gist’s own glory in a mystical mist of old story.
First the frailty then the glory. The frailties confounding the glory in this COVID-19 Era are three: climate change, quest for new spirituality, and working as one family of Earth. Very difficult trinity – as there are massive denials of all three. The core of those denials is primarily religion, which envisions a transcendent power governing happenings on this planet. The solace of thinking one’s prayers are answered while other’s prayers are not – is to live by an Oath-Faith of Hypocrisy. Worshipping a Deity of personal love, who oversees the death and horror of innocents – is some dimension of dumb, hypocritical, and false: compounded by the faith-fact-for-some that the dead are called to be angels and to have some kind of immortal existence. And, yes, the great Asinine Divine theory has some saying that we are being Judged and given a lesson: believe or die. ICYMI! We each one will die and 100% of that reality is that death is final. COVID-19 is making people face this global fact of life and death as it is on Planet Earth. America is vulnerable because IN GOD WE TRUST is on our money, on police cars, in schools, and ONE NATION UNDER GOD inserted in our Pledge of Allegiance. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have a tough time ahead. The Evangelical White Nationalist Christians are newly armed and inspired.
Climate change is as real as this virus. The need/quest for a new spirituality is as real as climate change and this virus. Comprehending/constructing the global oneness/compassion of our shared humanity is as real as climate change, the spiritual quest, and this virus. If we continue to seek resolves of our frailty in transcendence and cherish refusals to overcome our denials of the realities of our existence – then those powers will sustain the wars of peoples against peoples and mysticisms against the sciences. We are Global not Gospel.
Often, I’ve invoked Voltaire in such times. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 killed 15,000 and injured just as many. The Catholic Church called it God’s judgement of humanity. Voltaire called such a God a “God who scatters evil.” He coined his famous cry of Ecrasez L’infame – “crush the vile thing” – this “Credo quia absurdum” of Christianity. And, so, here we are again today. This time with an American President, deemed God’s Chosen by Evangelicals, who has a Religious Advisor, who claimed she has visited the Very Throne of God Almighty. It’s not about morality, ethics, goodness, compassion — or even SPIRITUALITY — it is about power —– political power: POWER OVER PEOPLE! — This will play-out most vehemently in the USA. The separation of Church and State, Church and Schools, Church and Society has never been more vulnerable. The old Calvinistic concept that it is the well-to-do (because they are such) manifest being chosen by a Deity which does such things. Thus, those with economic power are justified and are so attired by their Deity — and should be followed. They are doing God’s work. And, right now, the Baton Rouge pastor keeps the congregation coming – disregarding commands of distancing and his misdemeanor charge for doing so – because it is their constitutional right and because THE LORD TOLD US TO. – What a Loose Lord who tells some to and some not to. Presently, there are 12 States that are allowing religious groups to congregate – saying this is “essential” for them to break quarantine and distancing. One Pastor was quoted as saying gathering was necessary for “the laying on of hands.”
This planet and our human promise are full of gardens, graces, and glories. We need to protect them and universalize our sciences, economies, and medicines for all humanity or all we’ve achieved so far will be on lock-down for so long that the portent of recovery is as fragile as we are now. It is possible to live for this life and all its blessings. Voltaire said it long ago and it is to be said ever so loudly today – WE MUST BE ABOUT TENDING OUR GARDENS. Even he could not see our garden planet midst the vast, explosive, and endless galaxies filling the blackness of space. The Spirituality that comes from tending to our garden is ever so phenomenal – as it challenges/inspires us ever so new today. Alas, new scriptures of spirituality are being composed by the medley of sciences, history, and global covenants with our Planetary Nature and Universal views of galaxies and blackholes and mysteries of existence as never before witnessed, daily increasingly so, by human consciousness and our will to be alive & survive with our drive for meaning. There were plagues killing multi-millions in ancient times and even since Voltaire’s cry — as in 1918’s pandemic and up to today’s Covid-19: multi-millions died. Today is full of modern conveniences, sciences, and global-eco-economic nourishments unlike any other eras of human existence. The old scriptures come from eras long gone. We must be global now. Not to take away the beliefs of old that some may cherish for themselves – but unto themselves.
Back when the Obama Administration was wrestling with the Affordable Care Act , and the Swine Flu of 2009 had our attention and the issues of universal health care were rising to notice, I was not alone to pick-up on the possibility of quelling any pandemic/epidemic by the fact of hospitals and vaccines being readily available for all. Therefore, no excuses for not getting treatments necessary to the population as a whole – to protect all. A difficult reality to achieve. Obama Care began the effort. Exceedingly difficult after the fact – which is where we are now. Pandemic means global/universal: Earth’s Everyone.
We are thrust into a new trust that covenants our global consciousness with this planet Earth – which is, after all, our home: we were raised here – we are creatures on a small rock in the utter unknowable vastness of blackness. We may never fathom our mystery, but we can polish our miracle. My books-poetries, in brief, are about just that. An afterlife Parent God existence has not manifested itself to me in any fashion – other that such thoughts from other times and cultures. Wishful thinking for those realms is crafted as the great antidote for all the horror and death that exist side-by-side with beauty and love. Nature, it seems most clearly, has made us as we are and has had the stuff for us to work with to be and perform as we are. We are spiritually and survivor covenanted with one another and the forces of existence on this planet. This is the ever-challenging and ever-recreative scripture sounded from Earth.
More so than in the past, this pandemic comes at a time when all peoples are in touch with one another through internet, iPhone, TV, Movies, and all the media/communication possibilities from this, ever increasing world-wide, technology and the economics allied with this new era of human history. Of the three dimensions mentioned (and economics and sciences in all) – climate change/sprituality/global humanitarianism ) – it seems to me that spirituality in the USA, particularly, will be under construction again. This expectation is based on what has been developing over these past few years – various battles between Evangelical Christian Nationalists and the ever-growing “spiritual but not religious” orientation. As Freethought, Freedom from Religion, Atheist, and Humanism groups grow there is much renewed searching in Eastern religions and philosophy. Hinduism and Islam have great differences to resolve. Many are not attending church/synagogue as they used to. How this pandemic will affect these issues remains to be seen. This is for sure: we, the world, will know the necessity of medical facilities, Doctors, Nurses, all the hospital staff people, and medicines, on-going research, and equipment sufficient for humanity to survive these deadly onslaughts from our planet’s plethora of pathogens.
I hope, even trust, that there will be gentle ( GEN-i-US) souls who will find what spiritually/existentially HOLDS for ALL humanity in this new GLOBAL EPOCH NOW – working the vineyard for the best wine and communion – and the truest science, and the strongest poetic/artistic grasp of our unique existence. Fifty-four years ago, I was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist Minister – with Emerson on one side – Jefferson on the other — and the quest of that time for a New Humanism. Emerson called for new Bards to leave the past and to grasp nature’s real miracles for our most natural communion. Jefferson called for a declaration of independence and the separation of church and state as required with the formation of America. From Eliade, I learned of the “terror of history” and the need for a NEW HUMANISM response. There were other scholars/poets/scientists, but these three speak of my call to be a “freedom-reason” worker in this vineyard of nature and planetary existence.
The gist of this Spring 2020 is that the quest for this meaning is spinning on a very sharp pivot of transition and transformation. Not a time for Fool’s Play. The meaning of life is sacred play. Integral to that meaning is the love-drama of this life and the fulfillment of its promise: from each individual’s story to the total theatrics of the Globe. A very tattered curtain rises for the next Act. How to be and how not to be are straddled side-by-side with a dialogue of undeniable clarity and purpose. Actors and Audience are all Groundlings together. The Proscenium Arch has a HOLD OF ACTION with new dimensions of vision and voice to sound against all voids and imaginings of oblivion. Our roles and the stage are well defined. Our boots are in the stirrups. Reins in hand. Soon the saddle-up to a new world. FORWARD HO! Up the mountains, across the plains and through the flowing streams – COVID’s a COVENANTALLY INSPIRED DESTINY! O! The depths and heights of Spirituality in such a ride. Hold on tight! – mdok – 4/4/2020 —