Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cautionary Tales

I watched the season premier of V last night--I liked it. But I kinda thought I was being hit on from the Right side, because the script could have dripped directly from the pens of Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. What with the Visitors from space sending out messages of Peace and Hope, and *gasp* Free Medical Care for everybody. "You mean, like, Universal Health Care?" shouts one of the actors.

And, yes, Virginia, the attractive, tall Visitors outwardly beautiful appearance belies the slimy lizards beneath their skins. It all kinda left me wondering if I had just been assaulted by a rather thinly-veiled Cautionary Tale directed at the Obama Administration.

Or am I just being paranoid in the aftermath of Republican victories in yesterday's elections? But I liked it. I'll watch it again.

AND. I am reading COSMIC CONVERSATIONS--Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality, by Stephan Martin,
featuring interviews with Brian Swimme, Fred Alan Wolf, and several others. The book begins, "On a clear night, step outside beneath the star-flecked sky and listen,"...and continues, "If you let the immensity of the silence speak to you, questions may spontaneously appear."

Well, yeah. Stephan Martin suggests:"What is the universe?" And I add "Where is the universe?" And, "Why?" To Where I would answer Everywhere and Nowhere. The Why seems easier, although there are so many answers offered by various philosophies and religions...the Hindu version probably comes closest to my Mormon Christianity, with its Tantric view of the universe as "thread, flow, and continuity," in that scripture tells me "worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose...The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come, and there is no end...."

Stephan Martin asks questions concerning our relationship to the universe, and concludes, "We are Universe!" He quotes Clifford Matthews, professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois, saying that we can sum up everything we've learned through science about the universe in, just four words: "We are recycled stardust," that every atom of us, and of everything we know and see around us was created in the exploding bodies of stars. "WE are deeply interconnected with everything." We are them. They are us.

Maybe when it come right down to it, we really all do see things basically the same--whether our culture tells us the universe rides on the back of a giant turtle or is a thing created of Mind. As to what happened before, or outside the event point we've all heard about--that mysterious spark that began space, time, life--it's speculation. I'm with Bernard Haisch, who says that "Aristotle was basically on the right track when he said we need a prime cause...we might call it God." Why not?

WHatever you call it, when it comes to contemplating life, space/time, and the universe, I like what Albert Einstein said: we have to believe that everything is a miracle, or that nothing is. "We are process, not reality," says anthropologist/archeologist/poet Loren Eiseley (whose books I adore).

"Like a wave continually cresting from its origin," says Barbara Marx Hubbard, in Cosmic Conversations, "the universe has been engaged in an uninterrupted process of change that has surged from its beginning through atoms, molecules, stars, planets, cells, and now lately, humans. Of course, evolution does not end with humans, starfish, pine trees, or any of the life that surrounds us,...accelerating...with changes taking place all around us every day. After all, we ourselves change many time throughout the course of a lifetime, if not each day. WHere is it all going? you may ask."

Then why, I ask, is it so blasphemous to believe the old Mormon proverb, "As man now is, God once was. And as God now is, man may become." (?)

Anyway, whatever your philosophic persuasions may be, Cosmic Conversations is as its back cover describes it, "an eloquent but tough-minded" journey through "searching and heartfelt questions put to many of the world's leading scientists and spiritual wisdom keepers." A good read!

Up next: John Muir's Nature Writings.

Photo: The Crab Nebula from Hubble. Click it!!!


petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hilarious, Joyce!

How have you been????

I wanted to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Petra xo

christine said...

To me the proverb is another way of describing the human condition. We are in a state of yearning, with occasional glimpses of immortality.

Gorgeous photo. Wow! I didn't watch the TV show, but if it inspires you to write such interesting essays, I'm all for it!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes, Joyce! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It's hard to believe we'll soon be ringing in the New Year! Seems like only yesterday we were ringing in 2000!

Love, Petra xo

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

p.s. enjoyed your slideshow of your grandchildren! They're beautiful!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas, Joyce! Wishing you and your loved ones a prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year! Love, Petra xo