Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Life Is Sacred…

In Around the web on September 4, 2012 at 5:37 am


I retreat in the summer to the mountains and coasts of Maine and New Hampshire to sever myself from the intrusion of the industrial world. It is in the woods and along the rugged Atlantic coastline, the surf thundering into the jagged rocks, that I am reminded of our insignificance before the universe and the brevity of human life. The stars, thousands visible in the night canopy above me, mock human pretensions of grandeur. They whisper the biblical reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Love now, they tell us urgently, protect what is sacred, while there is still time. But now I go there also to mourn. I mourn for our future, for the fading majesty of the natural world, for the folly of the human species. The planet is dying. And we will die with it.

The giddy, money-drenched, choreographed carnival in Tampa and the one coming up in Charlotte divert us from the real world—the one steadily collapsing around us. The glitz and propaganda, the ridiculous obsessions imparted by our electronic hallucinations, and the spectacles that pass for political participation mask the deadly ecological assault by the corporate state. The worse it gets, the more we retreat into self-delusion. We convince ourselves that global warming does not exist. Or we concede that it exists but insist that we can adapt. Both responses satisfy our mania for eternal optimism and our reckless pursuit of personal comfort. In America, when reality is distasteful we ignore it. But reality will soon descend like the Furies to shatter our complacency and finally our lives. We, as a species, may be doomed. And this is a bitter, bitter fact for a father to digest.

My family and I hike along the desolate coastline of an island in Maine that is accessible only by boat. We stop in the afternoons on remote inlets and look out across the Atlantic Ocean or toward the shoreline and the faint outline of the Camden hills. My youngest son throws pebbles into the surf. My daughter toddles over the rounded beach stones holding her mother’s hand. The gray and white seagulls chatter loudly overhead. More…

Let’s replace our fixation on growth with a steady-state economy focusing on lower consumption, leisure and ecological health…

In Around the web on September 4, 2012 at 5:28 am

TheGuardian UK

We can’t grow ourselves out of debt, no matter what the Federal Reserve does…

[Upcoming film from Transition Ukiah Valley: GrowthBusters... -DS]

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s pledge at Jackson Hole last Friday to “promote a stronger economic recovery” through “additional policy accommodation” has drawn criticism from economists, liberal and conservative, who question whether the Fed has the wherewithal to stimulate economic growth. What we actually need is more spending, say the liberals. No, less spending, say the conservatives. But underneath these disagreements lies an unexamined agreement, a common assumption that no mainstream economist or policy-maker ever questions: that the purpose of economic policy is to stimulate growth.

So ubiquitous is the equation of growth with prosperity that few people ever pause to consider it. What does economic growth actually mean? It means more consumption – and consumption of a specific kind: more consumption of goods and services that are exchanged for money. That means that if people stop caring for their own children and instead pay for childcare, the economy grows. The same if people stop cooking for themselves and purchase restaurant takeaways instead.

Economists say this is a good thing. After all, you wouldn’t pay for childcare or takeaway food if it weren’t of benefit to you, right? So, the more things people are paying for, the more benefits are being had. Besides, it is more efficient for one daycare centre to handle 30 children than for each family to do it themselves. More…

William Edelen: Christian Mysticism

In William Edelen Blog - The Contrary Minister on September 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

Towards the Mystery

Trying to read biblical material factually and literally is the ultimate in biblical illiteracy. The bible is saturated with mysticism and mythological continuity, or diffusion. The Hebrew scholar Rabbi Barnett Joseph, in a lecture on Aspects of Jewish Mysticism made the statement that “the bible is the world’s greatest classic of mysticism.”

Moses, the prophets, Jesus, Paul the author of John, ALL were mystics. The Psalmist of the Old Testament declared “You are gods… all of you.” (The Hebrew word here for “gods” is “Elohim,” which literally translates God.)

Space, of course, precludes documenting the thousands of passages from the Old Testament that are pure mysticism, but for those of you wanting to pursue this subject, I suggest you read the great work by Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. The two major schools of Jewish mysticism More…

Labor’s Day…

In Around Mendo Island on September 2, 2012 at 9:00 am


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,526 other followers