Why now? Because what better time than immediately! Look, there’s a lot of people talking about how “The Earth is in trouble,” and “‘Gaia’ is hurting,” and “We need to save the planet,” and whatnot. This is all nonsense. The planet is fine. Earth ain’t going nowhere. There’s not a thing you can do to the planet that’s gonna end it. You can throw whatever you want into the water, cut down as many trees as you want, frack and strip-mine the dickens out of the mountains, kill off entire species– the Earth won’t mind. It’ll keep on plugging away, adjusting as need be, balancing itself as well as it can. Earth doesn’t need saving.
Humanity, on the other hand… well, ya’ll have some issues.
First of all, you’ve got to have noticed that things are changing. Weather’s getting worse. Food’s getting more expensive for those of you who can afford to buy food. Social structures are getting more authoritarian in a lot of places. Things are getting different, for your generations. Dumb to claim otherwise.
Look, I don’t give a shit what you call it or what’s causing it. “Climate change.” “Fluctuations in weather patterns.” “A return to thousand year old atmospheric blah blah BLAH.” You could even call it, “This Summer Sure Is Hot!” Fact is, things are getting different. Maybe it’s because of something “mundane,” like fluctuations in the sun’s intensity. Maybe it’s because humans are gassy creatures and there are a lot of you. Hell, it COULD BE that this is all normal, in the scheme of things. COULD BE that nothing unusual is happening at all, if you look at charts and graphs going back thousands of years. The thing is, it’s happening. Now. And there’s no turning back; you’ve reached the end of the road to have any real impact on these changes, at least in your lifetimes, and in your childrens’ lifetimes. If you aren’t willing to accept this, you may as well stop now. This isn’t for you.
Okay, let’s say it’s a blip, and nothing’s really happening in spite of the insanity of data that tells us otherwise. Fair enough, there are semi-cogent arguments made by some people who think it’s all no biggie. But I’ve gotta ask you: do you wanna take that chance? I mean, if I’m wrong, nothing’s gonna happen to me, except some people’ll get to say, “That stupid fox gave us some terrible advice.” I’ll be fine. If I’m wrong, or if you guys somehow figure out a way to keep going the same way you’ve been going, I’ll be the first to admit it.
Like I said, Earth’s gonna adjust. It’s its own system, and if everybody stopped breathing tomorrow, there’d still be oceans and mountains and such. But you, humanity, you’re running some real risks of facing down a period of serious discomfort. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about the end of the world, or even the end of civilization. I just mean, it’s time to face the facts that you missed your chance to take the easy way out, so doesn’t it make sense, then, to think about looking for ways to adjust to that discomfort now, before it really hits?
So how you gonna do that? Science and Technology are good tools; God likes Science and Technology. Not taking advantage of these methods of exploration is ridiculous. It’s like not letting your kid get medical treatment because some jerkass told you it’s bad to get a blood trasfusion. Here’s one thing, though: all technique expands to fit all of its potentialities. Science and Technology are neutral.This means that as soon as somebody invents a microwave oven, the potential exists for somebody to make a microwave weapon. And they will. Gotta be careful about that.
Of course, unless you’re directly involved in scientific or technological research, you might not even see the results of the benefits coming from science, especially if you can’t afford to. Rich people are always gonna be first in line for cyborg parts, get me? For most of us, a better thing to consider is, how is what you’re doing impacting your family? Remember, when I say family, I’m not talking about your blood relatives. I’m talking about the people who you’d want to say goodbye to if you knew you were gonna die. Might be nobody you’re biologically related to fits that bill, but usually it’s a mix of your biological relatives and your friends. These are the people you impact most in life. Are they comfortable? Are they healthy and happy? Do they have enough to eat?
Some things to consider: can you grow a garden? Can you cook for yourself? You don’t have to do these things, but maybe if somebody in your family knows how to do them, you could do something for them, and then if things get bad in your area, you’ll be a little more ready. Or, maybe your family is like synergistic, and you all have all of these useful abilities, and so if it gets really hot one day, or super-cold, you’ll find one another and help one another out.
So how does a religious message fit into all this? And hey, “religious” is the right word to use. “Spirituality” is great, and people asking questions about spirituality is fantastic, but not everybody wants or needs to experience the numinous. If you do, that’s great– maybe that’s a good contribution you can make to your family! But listen– there’s a reason most monasteries have cooks.
So, religious questions: why are you here? How come you experience bad things if God is all-good? What happens after you die? What’s the current situation? I can help with a few of these:
Why are you here? It’s a Mystery. Most likely, it’s because God needs your help to explore the universe– it’s too imperfect for God to fit into whole-cloth, so you get to help God take a look around. This could be wrong, though. I’m just a fox.
How come you experience bad things if God is all-good? Because God’s not all-powerful. For whatever reason, God needs us to take some responsibility for our situation and help out a little.
What happens after you die? Your bodies rot, but you happen again, in some form or another, at some point in or out of space/time.
What’s the current situation? That’s what I’m trying to tell you about right now.
I have a question for you: why are you asking these questions? If it’s to be happier and to know more about your place in things, then the only important question is What’s the current situation? That’s the question that binds us together, those of us who find these words meaningful. Which means that’s the religious question.
A lot of the religions out there right now aren’t working. First of all, a lot of them are treading water by focusing on how you should all be nice to one another. Duh. By now, if you’re involved in human society and you have to be constantly reminded that being nice to one another is important, that hurting and killing people is bad, then religion isn’t going to help you one bit. Yeah, it’s nice to have some fun stories and some moral support when you’re trying to be nice to people who aren’t nice back to you, but listen: cooperation and helping each other out is an innate part of experience. Otherwise, you’d have gone extinct a long time ago. Yeah, there are a lot of violent jerks in the world, too, but on the whole, cooperation seems to be working a little better for you. Which, by the way, is how God wants it.
And another thing: other religions are so concerned with the mystical experience that they forget that mystical experience doesn’t have a lot of impact on people. If it did, wouldn’t you be in a lot better position than you are now? I mean, it’s fantastic to tune into the God channel, and if it’s your thing, you should totally do it, but after a certain point it gets to be like when somebody’s addicted to television. This actually applies to religion writ large– you can get so preoccupied with being religious that you start doing asinine things, like refusing medical treatment or trying to get other people to think the same way you do.
Let’s not forget that a lot of religious get really self-important about their stories. Their stories are amazing, powerful truths, up until the point where they start to make peoples’ lives more difficult. You really think God gives two shits if two guys or two gals want to get married to one another? What kind of nasty God would want fewer expressions of love in the world? Maybe that was okay at one time, but that’s not okay anymore. God is totally fine with that. See how dangerous these stories can be?
Of course, the biggest beef I have with religion is that nobody’s willing to admit that God isn’t all-powerful. Geez, it answers so many questions, people. God needs our help. You have some responsibility here, to help out God by doing what you can to keep this place livable for consciousness, and to explore as much as possible. This is a little doom-and-gloomy, but all isn’t lost. Think about how amazing it would be if we kept ourselves around and comfortable enough to start exploring the rest of the universe? Think about how much more we’d learn and know, and how much more God would learn and know if we did these things?
Here’s a little secret, though: no matter what, consciousness is gonna be fine. You think in all of this big universe and the areas beyond it, something as stubborn as consciousness is gonna vanish, even if all of you humans bit it? Ask yourself this question: what would the other planets look like if there weren’t any humans around to see them? What would a comet look like if we couldn’t use a telescope to find it? What did all of those alien planets out there look like before they were ‘discovered’ by humanity? God needs consciousness, get it? God needs consciousness to help keep an eye– or ear– on this crazy place, and if humans end up not cutting it, God’ll come up with another way to do it, and you’ll get to help. You might end up being a three-eyed tentacle monster who lives on a moon circling a gas giant, but God’ll be there, too.
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