Friday, April 22, 2011

On Earth Day / Good Friday

I know that normally today is the day reserved for an installment of my own back story, and we will get back to that next Friday. But today is too special a day for me to write only about myself, because today marks both a day of awe inspiring self sacrifice and a day of critical reconciliation that have coincided for the first time in at least 100 years. Today the Christian observance of Good Friday, and it is also the global observance of Earth Day.

When I first began this post, I was very tempted to begin a tirade based on my own personal religious beliefs against one holiday in favor of the other. But I look back at certain points in my life and I realize that there were never more ignorant times I have lived through, than when I had worn my religion on my sleeve. I am old enough now to prefer the more dignified approach to spirituality by keeping it to myself and judging no one else on theirs. If only current mainstream religious leaders could do the same, we would live in a much brighter world. At least from the standpoint of not having my Sunday afternoons interrupted by roving Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on my door.

Here in Costa Rica, a heavily Catholic nation in addition to a very environmentally conscious one, it's easy to see which holiday will come out on top today. In this particular rural and somewhat back woods area that I live in, there will be people actually and literally without exaggeration being nailed to crosses and being paraded around the neighborhoods. They definitely go full out. I do not allow my children to watch this, not out of animosity towards the religion, but more out of not wanting them to see a bloody and often times screaming man going down the street. Call me a party pooper...

Not only will there be scenes like this, but every single business from small store to multinational corporation has been shut down since Thursday and will not reopen until Monday. So if you didn't stock up on anything you may need in the span of this four days, you are pretty much screwed. Yes it is inconvenient, but who am I to question faith?

Today isn't really a holiday in my faith inasmuch as it is more a day of observance. The actual holiday isn't until later. But I do take this time and this day very seriously, as I sincerely hope others do as well. A consciousness was awakened on this day and a very important one that speaks very truly up to this very moment. And I believe the message is more important today than it has ever been in any other point in our history as a species. Do we use this day to focus on compassion, understanding, and humility? Or do we focus on the pain we have inflicted that we can never take back, but must always strive to make amends for? If you see how both of these different days that have come together carry the same meaning in their own ways, then you are beginning to get my point.

These two days have never been separate. Not in the most philosophical sense of the word anyway. One honors our Father, while the other honors our Mother. Both have lived separate lives (at least in regards to Europe and "Western" society) for thousands of years. And in that time Western society, from the standpoint of children, have been raised by only one parent since the "Burning Times"when that critical energy of the feminine was burned at the stake for acts of "sorcery" like having the audacity of healing illness with herbs. It doesn't take that much effort to see how even in our enlightened 21st-century, we are out of balance with ourselves and the world around us. Sure we have walked on the moon, mapped the human genome, split the atom, and conquered the skies. But we have also poisoned our waters, choked our skies, and committed acts of genocide against so many species including parts of our own.

Is it heresy to say that this balance can be achieved by welcoming back the power of the feminine and the reverence of nature? Offhand it seems like a very simplistic solution to a complicated problem, but it least it's a place to start. Is there room in our hearts and minds for the notion that God itself is made up of both of these energies? There cannot be a Yin without a Yang, there cannot be a positive without a negative, and there cannot be male without female. The Bible itself quotes God as saying "I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end..." So the notion of duality should not be so foreign to the mindset of the Judeo-Christian adherent.

If all of us are created in God's image, do we truly expect that image to be a bipedal higher primate like ourselves, or was God referring to our soul which is timeless and holds no physical form? I don't really see God being able to traverse from one galaxy to another with a thought by using feet like ours, so I am going to go with the second possibility. I could also see where controlling supernova and quasars with bodies like ours could be quite problematic as well...

So today, I meditate on balance. I think of the undying and unquestioning love of the Heavenly Father and the soft compassionate embrace of Mother Earth and pray that these two forces reconcile soon before it is too late for all of us. Being the optimist that I am, I give us a 50-50 chance of this happening at least with our descendants when they inherit the war-torn and polluted world that we were so careless with...




45 comments:

Astronomy Pirate said...

Wonderfully written even if I don't particularly share the same beliefs. The Earth is a fragile place and it will always be home. I think some of the short-sightedness has kept us stuck here for longer then we should have though, there is a lot out there for us. I also like that you're no longer wear your beliefs on your sleeve, nothing speaks arrogance and ignorance like such notions, regardless of belief. I generally try to avoid the topic in conversation from bad experiences with people who deeply believe in a 'personal savior' when I tell them that if there is a God, he exists in the mysteries of science and the Universe around us, the act of creation, and really couldn't give a damn about a mite on a mudball.

Daan said...

Yesterday was thursday, today is friday, tomorrow is saturday and sunday comes afterwards

PryON said...

Yowza that be some heavy sheee...
And possibly rightly so.

This here country I'm in is predominantly Catholic.
Remnants of State being ruled by the Church carry on still, and today all the off-licenses and bars are shut.

Rather than carry on tradition of a sober (in more than the literal sense) day of fasting and reflection, prayer and extended ceremony involving a lot of standing and kneeling (don't think we went so far as to nail one another to crosses at any point) my brethren stock pile the booze on Holy Thursday and generally get drunk and bbq up some luscious meats on Good Friday.

As a consequence in this shift of attitude, Good Friday has since been known as Bad Friday and now Party Friday.

I will consider your thoughts this day... before I get drunk tonight. ;I

The Old Master said...

deep as

The Angry Lurker said...

I agree with you on this but the future for us looks bleak.

duffboi said...

Very good post. I actually have a bright outlook for the Father and Mother coming back into balance in our world and lives. I can only hope this happens sooner rather than later tho.

The Reckmonster said...

An awesome post, Aaron! Very thought provoking. They do the same thing in the Philippines (where my mom is from) on Good Friday (re-enacting the crucifixion). My parents didn't let me see it either when I was little (even though we are Catholic - me, notsomuch now! LOL)...so good call on that one. Do you have your kids there with you? How awesome for you to be able to teach them about the importance of Earth Day in an environment like that!! May your Earth day be filled with the sweet smell of fresh air, and if you do choose to partake in some jelly beans and peeps - Happy Easter to you and your family! (*Maturely stays away from religious references, embracing everyone's right to believe what they want...lol)

Jay said...

very insightful, thanks for sharing, although i am more optimistic about our children's children's future. :D

Megan said...

wow that was a really powerful and good post. i am not often left too speechless, but i am a bit now...especially where you said:
"Not in the most philosophical sense of the word anyway. One honors our Father, while the other honors our Mother." It is really hard for people to often relate these two together, especially when people don't appreciate and respect, but rather impose their relgion and beliefs on you.

I come from a Catholic and conservative family...I am too the same in most of my beliefs but not all. I am very spiritual and close to mother nature, and many people can't grasp that I can have both. But in all reality, they are all one to me. I am probably making no sense...LOL!

Anywaysss have a great weekend!

Reina Torres said...

This is by far the most beautiful thing I have read in months.

Staggering. This is the first time I have ever cried after reading a blog post.

Zombie said...

I think Earth Day is more important!

dj said...

Very well written!

Anonymous said...

Ever the presence of a certain 'Susie Hippie' in everything you write. LOL. That IS a compliment by the way. Catholic and Environmentalist aren't mutually exclusive. I will say the replay of the last days of Jesus Christ is slightly disturbing and I wouldn't let my kids watch it either. Gruesome. I can't agree 100% - I never do.... the Earth is not my mother - the Earth is a creation of the creator - BUT...... this in no way negates the care and love we should show the gift of such a beautiful home. The Earth - through God - provides us with everything we need and we should offer back the same. As far as the burning of women for the simple fact they listened to nature and used what was given them from God to heal - grrrr - don't get me started.... also - the EU if you didn't know - is banning herbal medicine - I didn't know if you saw that. ANYWAY - once again - a great post from a great mind!

Leila said...

It is a shame how religion and dogmatism has both maligned the name of faith and spirituality, especially since the bible is basically a blue print of how people need to live their lives in terms of loving and appreciation. Most people just dismiss it as religious bullcrap because of the converters and evangelists and bigots who "save" in the "name of God." Having been a Catholic, I learned how to separate the propaganda from the beautiful myths laid out in the bible. After all, Jesus did not die for you. He died to SHOW you. The story of Jesus's birth and death tell an ancient tale of deconstruction and reconstruction (as told by the auroboros snake, the myth of Jonah and the whale, The Great Flood, the myth of Zeus's birth), a metaphysical process people need to overcome their officious egos and subconscious neuroses to arrive at a higher state of being. Not to mention, the bible is beautifully written. Any appreciator of literature will love the bible. The Philippines also observes the same kind of rituals and processions during Holy Week, with people being nailed to the cross and such. I don't dismiss it as religious bigotry as most Westerners are inclined to do. I see it as a willingness to change, regardless of religious/dogmatist motives. Pain, both psychological and physical, are essential for our growth as human beings.

I also hate it when people believe only science and rationalize can explain the universe. Science is a human's attempt to make feeble sense of the world around him, but as quantum mechanics has proven, it is not as easy as Newtonian physics. I do not submit myself to a deity supposedly more superior and omnipotent. But I know there is a God, not the phallic, finger-pointing, bearded asshole sitting on clouds. But a true God, one spoken of once in the philosopher's stone of ancient alchemy.

Alphalpha said...

Yea not my cup of tea, but this was very eloquent, props!

Alphabeta said...

Locals volunteering to be crucified sounds insane.
I hear what you're saying though - good to consider the weight of the message behind the day.

Therese said...

Wow, you've come a long way since I last knew you. You were always pretty smart, but damn! I see you have this blog for a while too I need to catch up on all your stuff!

And I can personaly confirm this man knows how to properly "revere the feminine". Oh but yes he does. Yum!

You are far from forgotten hun ;) Enjoy Costa Rica!

Shutterbug said...

Happy Earth day! I hope that people will take the time to think about their carbon footprint and how their actions will affect the next generation. I try my best to take care of the environment and do what I can to make the world a more beautiful place to live! :)

Autumnforest said...

My blessings for the earth? No more fossil fuels and zero population growth. Other than that, I find nature to be an amazingly self-balancing thing. However, even the human liver will be shot if you drink enough and I hope we keep that in mind because there will be no transplant for the planet should it find itself completely diseased and nonfunctioning. I'm sure where you are, today is quite interesting and dynamic. Be sure to go out this evening and enjoy the night sky, but do not go for a stroll to look at the moon this time. I am sneaking time outdoors with my patio garden and studying the desert and the desert creatures. I have always been earth-based, not religion based. In fact, I believe religion is the prostitution of spirituality, so for me this day is about my planet and Her health and spirit.

Lhosreiff said...

If I could choose to remove something from the entire world it would be religion. And autotune.

Nina said...

Very interesting.

ed said...

just realized its good friday, i have faith

Mike James said...

Great post,

Hopefully you check out my blog and show some support.

I look forward to hearing your feedback

James

Kicking Rocks said...

they show footage on the news of what you wrote about. I saw people nailed to crosses and taken by the streets like a parade.... I remember seeing it when I was younger and I was like wtf they are actually nailed there? what does this accomplish!?!?! lol

P.S. I 'air' slapped her ass!

Alee. said...

This is going to sound cliche but shouldn't every day be "earth day?" How are you going to celebrte earth one day per year? C'mon now...

Marlene said...

I, too, wish the door knockers would cease and desist. I don't bother other people with my beliefs, and wish they wouldn't impose theirs on me.

Happy Earth Day...and Happy Easter!

Moobeat said...

earth day > good friday

Justin said...

Nice post, they always are!

JapRoulette said...

beautifully written!

JayPower said...

Very deep, the future seems kinda depressing lol

Come At Me Bro said...

This great!

Jay Reid said...

That's a pretty deep post tbh. I agree to some point, I never been religious.

Amalek said...

Ill give you a hint, youre half right

Venus said...

wow very beautiful and truthful... I too hope for a better tomorrow.

Ray Rousell said...

Great post and well written as others have said, I had the usual knock on the door on Good Friday to be confronted by three, Jehovah Witnesses, I was a bit miffed and politely told them to bugger off!! then minutes later I had an insurance company phone me asking if I wanted to swap my car insurance, I couldn't believe it!

notforeverybody said...

beautifully written post...

clique said...

Good

Gloria said...

Happy Easter Aaron, have a nice day with your family! gloria

Anonymous said...

I just added your blog site to my blogroll, I pray you would give some thought to doing the same.

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

I suspect that Jesus would want us to observe Earth Day just as much if not more than Good Friday.

Banacek said...

I think a lot of the problems occur because, even if we view ourselves as an advanced culture, we still can only understand God in anthropomorphic terms. We are a very philosophically primitive and close minded people here in the western world. But that's just my opinion.

Blk Jesus said...

wow this was good!

Patti D. said...

I like your approach, trying to get those two points of view together.

Melanie said...

very well said!

Solsby Kid said...

@Zombie
Gotta agree with you there!