Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’
What on earth are we all doing!
I started writing this early morning last Friday, 10th May. It was prompted by a post then just in from Christine’s blog 350 or bust. I didn’t have the heart to republish it for a few days.
Then as the news of the atmospheric CO2 concentration passing 400 parts per million (ppm) moved more and more into mainstream news, I found myself morphing from sadness and puzzlement into anger and then into some form of determination to ‘do something‘, however insignificant that might be.
Because if humanity does not turn back from our carbon-based lifestyle pretty damn soon then those who are, say, 20 years or more younger than me (I’m 68), are in for some very tough, very rough times indeed.
So over the next two or three days, I shall focus on this topic simply from the motivation of wanting to join the numerous others around the world who are also recognising this moment in the history of man.
Ergo, for today that post from Christine. But I make no apologies for staying with the theme for much of this week.
Rolling The Dice: CO2 Concentration Hits Record High Amid Global Inaction On Climate Change
Via The Guardian:
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days.
Readings at the US government’s Earth Systems Research laboratory in Hawaii, are not expected to reach their 2013 peak until mid May, but were recorded at a daily average of 399.72ppm on 25 April. The weekly average stood at 398.5 on Monday.
Hourly readings above 400ppm have been recorded six times in the last week, and on occasion, at observatories in the high Arctic. But the Mauna Loa station, sited at 3,400m and far away from major pollution sources in the Pacific Ocean, has been monitoring levels for more than 50 years and is considered the gold standard.
“I wish it weren’t true but it looks like the world is going to blow through the 400ppm level without losing a beat. At this pace we’ll hit 450ppm within a few decades,” said Ralph Keeling, a geologist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography which operates the Hawaiian observatory.
For more on the awful implications of this milestone in human history, check out the links below (hint: it isn’t good news for humans or animals or the ocean).
Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the bird is on the wing.
But that’s absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.
Ah, that feels better!
I was drawn to this wonderful piece of doggerel because it is exactly the sort of humour that dear friend Richard and I have been silly with for 40 years.
The relevance of that is that Richard and his lovely lady Jules have arrived in North America and are coming to stay with us in Oregon for a few days, arriving Saturday. Naturally, we are scurrying around getting the house tidy! So what with that and wanting to enjoy their company for the next week I shall be posting either light-hearted items or repostings from elsewhere.
Richard is no stranger to Learning from Dogs because like others who take pity on me publishing a daily post, he has sent me material for LfD. For example, there was Understanding Europe last September, the Euro according to Blackadder and English, as she is spoken, both April this year.
Also last September, Richard sent me the following. It was published last year but it deserves another airing!
An elderly man is stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and is asked where he is going at this time of night.
He replies, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.“
The police officer asks, “Oh really! Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?“
A most heart-warming story! Beats the heck out of murders, politics and terrorists!
This was sent in by John Hurlburt for Jean who has been a bit of a ‘horse lady’ in her times and is devoted to the two miniature horses we have here in Oregon.
Molly is a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana . She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected and her vet went to Louisiana State University (LSU) for help.
However, LSU were overwhelmed and Molly became a ‘welfare’ case. You know where that goes, don’t you!
Then surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly and changed his mind. He saw how Molly was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn’t seem to get sores. He saw how Molly allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.
Surgeon Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and, in a very real sense, that’s where her story really begins.
“This was the right horse and the right owner!” Moore insisted.
Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.
Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight and her mane finally felt a comb. Then, amazingly, a prosthesis designer built her a leg.
The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports:
And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can’t catch a three-legged horse,” she laughs.
Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.
“It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Kay said. “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.“
Allison Barca concluded, “She’s not back to normal, but she’s going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”
Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind. Literally as well as metaphorically.
Leave you with that wonderful feeling of love for Molly? Feel free to share it with all the animal lovers that you know.
Sharing a beautiful aspect of this new home State of ours.
Let’s face it, Jean and I know as much about Oregon as we know about Timbuktu! A house and property requiring much love and care and 10 dogs, 5 cats and 2 miniature horses does rather cramp one’s style! Actually, let me be honest. We just adore the grounds that surround the house. Almost every single walk around the property with or without a few dogs brings some new discovery. Thus we are not lusting to get out.
Just by way of example, yesterday we discovered that the dam built across our creek, just upstream of the bridge, was used in days long ago for creating flood irrigation. That’s the dam in the picture below. The old plank and steel work are still in the undergrowth alongside the creek; to the right of the picture.
OK, to the point of this post.
Shortly after we arrived here in Merlin, Oregon we joined Oregon Wild. Their Mission Statement says: Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for all Oregonians. Can’t argue with that!
Last December a press release was issued about Bringing Wolves Back Home to Oregon. Here’s part of that release.
Wolves in Oregon:
Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were once common in Oregon, occupying most of the state. However, a deliberate effort to eradicate the species was successful by the late 1940s.
Trouble for wolves began before Oregon even became a state. In 1843 the first wolf bounty was established and Oregon’s first legislative session was called in part to address the “problem of marauding wolves”. By 1913, people could collect a $5 state bounty and an Oregon State Game Commission bounty of $20. The last recorded wolf bounty was paid out in 1947.
After an absence of over half a century, wolves began to take their first tentative steps towards recovery. Having dispersed from Idaho, the native species is once again trying to make a home in Oregon. One of the first sightings came in 1999 when a lone wolf was captured near the middle fork of the John Day River, put in a crate and quickly returned to Idaho. In 2000, two wolves were found dead – one killed by a car, the other illegally shot.
In 2006, a flurry of sightings led state wildlife biologists to believe that a number of wild wolves were living in Northeast Oregon near the Wallowa Mountains and the Eagle Cap Wilderness. In May of 2007 a wolf was found shot to death near La Grande, OR.
As I explain on this blog, there is a deep connection between dogs and wolves:
Dogs are part of the Canidae, a family including wolves, coyotes and foxes, thought to have evolved 60 million years ago. There is no hard evidence about when dogs and man came together but dogs were certainly around when man developed speech and set out from Africa, about 50,000 years ago. See an interesting article by Dr. George Johnson.
Back to Oregon Wild. Just three weeks ago came this update.
State Announces Wolf Recovery Numbers
With the state’s wolf killing program on hold, conservationists celebrate recent success, express concern for the future.
SALEM, OR Jan 16, 2013
Today the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced the state’s wolf population has risen to at least 53 animals and as many as five breeding pairs. Though still mostly confined to the Northeastern corner of the state, the news was welcomed by conservationists.
The confirmation of wolf numbers comes on the heels of a number of announcements of new wolf pups, interbreeding between packs, and new science demonstrating the important and irreplaceable role wolves and other native hunters play on the landscape.
The announcement also comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of another great wolf recovery story. On December 28, 2011, a wolf known as Journey (OR-7) crossed the Oregon border to become the first wolf in California in nearly a century. The story was celebrated around the world.
Read the rest of this good news story here. But I couldn’t resist showing you this photograph that appeared in that story.
Let me close with these two videos.
Imnaha alpha female wolf, July 2011
Snake River Wolf Pack howling
Published on Aug 1, 2012
On July 25, 2012, an ODFW wolf biologist on a survey for wolf pups took this video of a Snake River wolf pack pup howling. The video was taken in the Summit Ridge area within the Snake River Wildlife Management Unit, in Wallowa County.
In the video, the pup howls three times. A low returning howl is heard and the pup gets up. Then, other members of the wolf pack (not seen in the video) return the pup’s howls.
Wolves are highly social animals and howling is a common behavior that help packs communicate and stay together. Wolf howls can be heard from several miles away.
More information on wolves in Oregon can be found at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves.
Much more than a house move.
Today, the 4th January, we have been at our new home in Oregon for exactly 72 days. We knew there would be many differences between Payson, Arizona and Merlin, Oregon all of which could be described as objective, factual differences. However, what was unexpected were the deep, complex emotions associated with moving to this rural part of Josephine County, Oregon. We were utterly unprepared for that.
In fact, I have been staring at this screen for some time unable to put any structure or meaning to this post. So I’m not going to try anymore, just offer some photographs and my reflections in the hope that you can sense where I am coming from.
The Winter storm that came in on the 20th December was, according to locals, unprecedented. We lost our power from the 20th until just before Christmas Eve. It caught us unawares in terms of being ready for this type of winter event. But then the sun came out one afternoon and I took this picture.
It shows the flank of Mt. Sexton, the picture being taken from our deck in front of the house. I found it impossible to describe the effect that this natural beauty had on me; being in awe just scratches the surface of my feelings.
We have been working hard preparing stables in readiness for two miniature horses that we have purchased from our neighbours, Margo and Clarence. Last Tuesday, we were busy at this when I saw another breathtakingly beautiful sight.
Just some growth on the top of an old fence post. But the words utterly fail the image. Here it is.
Then about an hour ago (yesterday), while struggling to write this post, I heard the dogs barking in the bedroom next door. Went into the room and they were ‘speaking’ to some wild deer grazing our pasture land.
Wish I could wrap this all up with some profound view, some wise observations about life and the meaning of the universe!
But I can’t! Can’t make any sense of it at all. How did we get here? How did I meet Jeannie, this most precious woman, back in Christmas 2007? How did I sell up and walk away from Devon, England, with just Pharaoh by my side, to start this unbelievable new life with Jean and all the dogs?
Anyone know the answers?
More beautiful pictures from Cynthia G.
A couple of weeks ago, I published a selection of photographs from a number of pictures that had been sent to me by Cynthia. I named the post Small pause today and it received 25 ‘Likes’ and favourable comments including one from Pedantry that simply said, “More of the same, please! “
So to Pedantry and all you other dear readers, here comes more of the same!
Forgive me now for this little indulgence; a couple of pictures from closer to home – literally!
An early morning picture of the woods overlooking our Oregon property.
My lovely Jeannie helping tidy up the bank of the creek.
The Sufficiency Economy – Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down
For some time now I have been subscribing to the news feed from The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. It originally caught my eye because Jean and I want to adopt some of the techniques of permaculture here in Oregon. However, the ‘news’ from the PRI ranges across such a broad range of topics that rarely is their regular email not worthy of detailed reading.
No less so than on the 24th, just a couple of days ago, when I saw the essay by Dr. Samuel Alexander of the Simplicity Institute under the heading of The Sufficiency Economy – Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down. I started to read the essay and very quickly realised that I was reading something of profound importance, not just to me and Jeannie, but to millions of other people right across the planet. I sent an email to both Dr. Alexander of the Simplicity Institute and Craig Mackintosh, Editor of the Permaculture News asking if I might have permission to republish. Dr. Alexander quickly replied in the affirmative and also approved my suggestion of breaking the essay down into separate chapters.
So, in a radical departure from my normal pattern of different topics each day, this week is going to be devoted entirely to Dr. Alexander’s essay. Tomorrow, I will include information on the Simplicity Institute, an organisation that I hadn’t heard of before, but one that deserves the broadest promotion.
Please, please, dear reader, stay with the topic all week if you possibly can. I guarantee that it will change your outlook and offer real hope that mankind can turn away from the suicidal path we presently seem to be on. Indeed, I can do no better that introduce Part One using the opening words written in Permaculture News by Craig Mackintosh.
I would exhort readers to ignore the potentially off-putting length of this piece, to instead step into, and allow yourself to be absorbed by, this important and worthy attempt at future-visualising. Readers who have been following my own work over the last several years will recognise and appreciate the themes covered. From my own perspective, what follows is a highly pragmatic view on the potential near-future of civilisation, and I truly feel that the speed and shape of progression (i.e. objectively and cooperatively planned and peacefully implemented), or, regression (i.e. unplanned, reactive, desperate, monopolistic and individualistic), and ultimate form of that future will largely depend on how many people are objectively considering these themes and adjusting their lives, and their influence, accordingly.
THE SUFFICIENCY ECONOMY
ENVISIONING A PROSPEROUS WAY DOWN
Simplicity Institute Report 12s, 2012
Dr Samuel Alexander is co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne.
When [we have] obtained those things necessary to life, there is another alternative than to obtain superfluities; and that is, to adventure on life now, [our] vacation from humbler toil having commenced. – Henry David Thoreau
If a society does not have some vision of where it wants to be or what it wants to become, it cannot know whether it is heading in the right direction – it cannot even know whether it is lost. This is the confused position of consumer capitalism today, which has a fetish for economic growth but no answer to the question of what that growth is supposed to be for. It is simply assumed that growth is good for its own sake, but of course economic activity is merely a means, not an end. It can only ever be justified by some goal beyond itself, but that is precisely what consumer capitalism lacks – a purpose, a reason for existence. It is a means without an end, like a tool without a task. What makes this state of affairs all the more challenging is that the era of growth economics appears to be coming to a close, due to various financial, ecological, and energy constraints, and this is leaving growth-based economies without the very capacity for growth which defined them historically. Before long this will render consumer capitalism an obsolete system with neither a means nor an end, a situation that is in fact materialising before our very eyes. It seems that today we are living in the twilight of growth globally, which implies that the dawn of a new age is almost upon us – is perhaps already upon us. But as we turn this momentous page in history we find that humanity is without a narrative in which to lay down new roots. We are the generation in between stories, desperately clinging to yesterday’s story but uncertain of tomorrow’s. Then again, perhaps the new words we need are already with us; perhaps we just need to live them into existence.
It is not the purpose of this essay to offer another critique of growth economics, the details of which have been laid down comprehensively many times before (Schumacher, 1973; Meadows et al, 2004; Jackson, 2009; Latouche, 2009). Instead, after briefly summarising the critique, this essay will attempt to describe in some detail an alternative economic system, which I will call ‘the sufficiency economy.’ This term is typically applied to so-called ‘developing economies,’ which either have not yet industrialised or are still in the early phases of industrialisation (see e.g. Suwankitti and Pongquan, 2011). These economies are sometimes called sufficiency economies because they do not or cannot produce material abundance, or do not seek material abundance. Instead, sufficiency economies are focused on meeting mostly local needs with mostly local resources, without the society being relentlessly driven to expand by the growth-focused ethics of profit-maximisation. My point of differentiation in this essay will be to consider the notion of a sufficiency economy within the context of the most highly developed regions of the world – where an economics of sufficiency is most desperately needed – and to explore what such an economy would look like, how it might function, and how the transition to such an economy might transpire. I address this subject having been convinced that the growth paradigm has no future and that some alternative vision is therefore needed as humanity begins its inevitable transition to a world beyond growth. I put forward the sufficiency economy as the most promising alternative model, although it is one that I believe may ultimately be imposed upon us whether we want it or not, for reasons that will be explained. We can go the easier way or the harder way, so to speak, depending on our attitudes and actions.
Defined and defended in more detail below, a sufficiency economy can be understood in direct contrast to the dominant macro-economic paradigm based on limitless growth. Whereas existing economies in our increasingly globalised world are predicated on the assumption that ‘more production and consumption is always better,’ the sufficiency economy described below is shaped by an acceptance that ‘just enough is plenty.’ As will be seen, the implications of this alternative economic perspective are nothing short of revolutionary. Rather than progress being seen as a movement toward ever-increasing material affluence, the sufficiency economy aims for a world in which everyone’s basic needs are modestly but sufficiently met, in an ecologically sustainable, highly localised, and socially equitable manner. When material sufficiency is achieved in these ways, further growth would not continue to be a priority. Instead, human beings would realise that they were free from the demands of continuous economic activity and could therefore dedicate more of their energies to non-materialistic pursuits, such as enjoying social relationships, connecting with nature, exploring the mysteries of the universe, or engaging in peaceful, creative activity of various sorts. How to spend this ‘freedom from want’ is the exhilarating and perhaps terrifying question all human beings would face in a well-established sufficiency economy, so defined.
Such an economy recognises that there are fundamental limits to growth (Meadows et al, 2004), and in this it obviously shares some conceptual ground with the notion of a steady-state economy developed by ecological economists in recent decades (e.g. Daly, 1996). But to date the steady-state economy has remained largely at the level of theoretical abstraction, and this has made it difficult to envision the alternative society it vaguely implies. Unfortunately, this has hurt the movement for change, because if people cannot picture the alternative society, it is very difficult to desire it; and if we do not desire it, no social or political movement will arise to bring it into existence. Many have been persuaded, as I have been, by the insight that economies are a subset of the natural environment, not the other way round, as neoclassical economists assume. Very little attention, however, has been given to describing in detail what economic life would be like if an ecologically sustainable economy actually emerged. How would we feed ourselves? What clothes would we wear? What forms of transport and technology would we use? How much and what types of energy would we require? And what material standard of living would we have if we were to successfully decarbonise the economy? Most importantly, perhaps, what would the quality of daily life be like? These are some of the concrete questions to which this essay will offer some tentative answers, acknowledging all the while that the nature of the sufficiency economy described, like any economy, must ultimately be shaped and understood in context-specific ways. (1)
The analysis begins in the next section by briefly outlining the multi-faceted problems the world finds itself facing, not for the purpose of providing a thorough review of the global situation but simply to contextualise the discussion that follows. Unless one understands the magnitude of the overlapping problems we face, the relevance, importance, or even the necessity of the sufficiency economy may not be immediately apparent. Once the global predicament is outlined, the analysis proceeds to define in more detail the principles that underpin the sufficiency economy, although again this will be more a matter of exposition than comprehensive defence. The main part of the analysis then explores in some detail what economic life might be like if developed nations gave up the pursuit of growth and transitioned to some form of highly localised ‘sufficiency economy’ based on far lower resource and energy consumption. It is hoped that this analysis might provide some guidance on what it will actually take to transition to a just and sustainable society, as well as provide some deeper insight into what life might be like if we were ever to succeed.
- In forming the following views I have been influenced and inspired by many people, the most significant of whom I would like to acknowledge. With respect to material simplicity and ‘the good life,’ Henry Thoreau (1982) has by far been the greatest influence on my world view, followed by William Morris (2004) and the Greek and Roman Stoics (e.g. Seneca, 2004). I am also greatly indebted to my colleagues and fellow authors at the Simplicity Institute – Ted Trainer, Mark Burch, David Holmgren, and Simon Ussher – all of whom, in their own way, have deeply influenced the following discussion (see Simplicity Institute, 2012). The work of Ernst Schumacher (1973) and the Club of Rome (Meadows et al, 2004) first introduced me to the ‘limits to growth’ analysis, and Serge Latouche (2003; 2009) introduced me to the insight that degrowth, not merely zero-growth, is what is needed to achieve sustainability in overdeveloped nations. With respect to energy, Howard and Elisabeth Odum (2001) and Joseph Tainter (1988) have been my biggest influences, showing me how central energy is to the world we live in. I must also mention and thank Rob Hopkins (2008) and the Transition Movement, for providing what I consider to be the most promising framework for bringing about a just and sustainable, post-carbon world.
(The full set of references will be included in the concluding Part Five to be published on Friday.)
Part Two – The Global Predicament will be published on Learning from Dogs tomorrow.
The end of a treasured time in Payson, Arizona.
Today, Jean and I together with our 11 dogs and 5 cats start the 1,200 mile journey to Merlin, Oregon. While we have only lived in Payson since February, 2010, it has been a time of fantastic experiences. I had to work through the long process of getting a fiancee visa from the American Embassy in London. Until that was issued my ‘residence’ in Payson was that of a British tourist with me having to leave the USA every 90 days.
The visa was issued in October, 2010 and I flew immediately to Arizona. On the 8th November, 2010 Jean and I were issued with a Marriage License Certificate and we were married on the 20th November at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Payson.
We have made many very dear friends here in Payson but Oregon feels like the start of our home in every sense of the word, not just because it is the first home that Jean and I have bought jointly.
One of those dear friends here in Payson has been John Hurlburt, a devoutly spiritual man. A little over a week ago, he sent me a very thoughtful essay and I wanted to include it today as a guest post in recognition of the way that John and many, many others have embraced these couple of Brits over the last 32 months. Thank you all.
Everything fits together
The species of animals we know as human beings is a part of everything that exists. We are a very young consciously-aware species that does not begin to know all the answers. What little we do know has a Natural pattern. It would seem that there’s a lamplighter and a navigator in all of us. The lamplighter is our fundamental awareness of being and provides nature’s guidance along life’s pathways.
Our natural navigator is designed for evolutionary competition. There’s a biological survival kit in our DNA. Extreme demand for limited resources generates deadly combat; both within and between species. As a result of competition taken to wretched excess, our global economy is leveraged 22 times beyond any earthly foundation. The unspoken intent to destroy each other over what remains of our planet is becoming increasingly evident.
The human species is engaged in a global war over money, ideals and disappearing finite resources. Ninety-seven percent of the world scientific community has confirmed that the natural effects of heat and discharges generated by human machines and related human activities are the primary cause of recent rapid climate change.
These dedicated scientists are opposed in the media by three percent of their corporate energy-financed peers. An oppressive worldwide network of often offensive politicians is similarly supported and managed accordingly. Nature couldn’t care less about politics, emotions or idealistic arguments.
Human squabbles mean very little in the totality of universal life. The drumbeat of local natural disasters increases steadily. There are no two ways about it. No amount of human ifs or buts can or will change reality. Our human species is in deep serious trouble.
It has been six million years since the first humanoids emerged and two million years since the rise of human civilization. What a sorrow it is to realize what we have done to the earth in just the past two hundred and fifty years. We’ve reached the moon and are exploring Mars. It’s well past time to clean house and re-grow our local garden.
As an old navigator, there’s a sense of urgency regarding the course life on earth has taken. For those who continue to care about facts, the prognosis is not encouraging. We have the know-how for an alternative. We can avoid the perfect storm of going over the edge of an economic cliff and the crush of an environmental crisis in the midst of a war-fuelled, profit-driven, global, corporate fight to the end. The alternative is that we have the know-how to transition rapidly to a reality-based economy and a way of living that’s gentle to the earth. The solution is global, it’s industrial, it’s natural and it’s our best hope. It may well be our only hope. It’s time to light some lamps.
Conscious human awareness emerges as we relax, contemplate, meditate, and communicate openly. These are levels of awareness beyond the limits of our daily human musings. The wisdom which flows from enlightened awareness embraces humility, experience, knowledge, understanding, and faith. Life has never been easy. We’re fragile biological beings. Our mutual growth is the result of sustained efforts over millions of years.
Yet despite attaining a higher level of conscious awareness our human culture continues to operate on a material basis rather than a moral basis. We have become confused by our own importance or the apparent lack thereof. We all too often retreat into a rut, furnish it and turn on the electronics.
By definition, natural processes support species growth in harmony with all natural life. Those natural processes are indistinguishable from the planetary support systems within which all life interacts. Human interaction is local. We spend much of our lives unaware that we are unaware; initially as infants and throughout our lives in deep sleep. When caught up in the pressures of our daily lives, it’s easy to be unaware of being unaware.
It’s time to wake up. Cosmology is an eternal spring from which the waters of the earth still flow. When we turn ourselves inside-out and achieve higher awareness, we discover who, what and where we really and truly are. In a trinity of spirituality, nature and science, we’re cosmically energized beings; spiritual beings sharing a transitory human existence.
Ninety-eight percent of the human population believes in a power beyond species and self. The simplest understanding of this belief is that we humans did not originally create ourselves. All human wisdom and understanding leads to the conclusion that human beings don’t own the earth. We’re caretakers and we’re only passing through. Given that we have a systemic crisis, what do we have to work with?
We have a species that’s squabbling over diminishing resources, an environment and an infrastructure which both desperately require attention, a sustaining objective of equitable global employment, a world economy that’s about to collapse for lack of any real foundation, a burgeoning population which further strains the system and the clear need for a unifying purpose.
Put it all together and what do we have? The navigator is our guide to growth. The navigator shares our wholeness. The lamplighter is our guide to unity. Everything fits together. Each of us is a part of the unity of life. Unity has a natural purpose. It’s time to build a life boat.
John Hurlburt is a former U.S. Navy aviator and successful corporate executive who presently serves as a senior Christian educator and a founding member of an international Transition Town in Payson, Arizona.
Don’t know about you, dear reader, but I find those incredibly powerful words. Words that provide the truth. A truth the whole world needs. John set out in a personal email to me the three simple fundamentals of our lives. Just a few more words to sum up the truth.
“There’s an environmental crisis. There’s an inevitable global economic abyss touching us all on a daily basis. The need for a green economic transformation is obvious.“
Thank you, John.
A challenging couple of weeks ahead of us.
On the 23rd, next Tuesday, Jean and I plus our eleven dogs and five cats together with the contents of our Arizonan house move the 1,200 miles to SW Oregon! Moving to a beautiful home with 13 fabulous acres just outside the small community of Merlin, near Grants Pass.
But managing Learning from Dogs for the next couple of weeks or so is going to be a challenge.
So I shall be re-running posts from time to time concentrating on posts that were published during the early months of Learning from Dogs on the assumption that many of today’s readers will not have seen them.
It’s likely that internet access won’t be available to me until the early days of November, so, between now and then Martin Lack of Lack of Environment has very kindly offered to monitor goings on and respond to comments. Thank you, Martin!
As British Rail have been known to say, ‘Normal service will be resumed just as soon as possible!‘