Wrong Turn

October 4, 2018

global warmingThoughts on  global warming and how we got to thinking nature is our toy or slave rather than our own vital substance.

“The Church at the start of the Christian era didn’t know whether to accept the ancient view that we share consciousness with nature, or to declare a new era. The Church Fathers were afraid to open the door to too many visions for fear the ancient world would simply flood the Church. As it happened, The Church … smashed the temples, destroyed the relating texts and the lost doctrines. One Jacob Boehme, founded his theology on the idea that there is a consciousness inside nature; he was driven out of town by the local Protestant priest.  The French priest, Bossuet,  (writing about the same time) expressed in this passage one of the more prevalent Christian attitudes toward nature:

May the earth be cursed … a thousand times, a thousand times be cursed
because from it the heavy fog and those black vapors continually rise … from
the dark passions and hide heaven and its light from us and draw down the             lightning of God’s justice against the corruption of the human race.

This attitude was acceptable to the Church Fathers and to developing capitalism. When we deny there is consciousness in nature, we also deny consciousness to the worlds we find by going through nature; we end with only one world, the world of McDonalds, and that one is exploitable.” —Robert Bly in: News of the Universe, Poems of Twofold Consciousness

As an American I was schooled in that attitude. And, being brought up in the ways of Church and catechism, I’ve been twice stoked and smoked. Unlearning’s been a sweat to say the least.

Wrong Turn

scoping maps of other worlds

I came upon a shiny gazetteer
so bright with arcane avenues
and archipelagos it kept me

lured and stupefied for years
Jim Culleny
October 2007