EMBODIED SPIRITUALITY [ Ecstatic Naturalism / Organic Biosemiotic Text vs. Linguistic-Sanctuary Constructions/Word of God/Law] OF MORRIS BERMAN: What is different about Morris Berman's search for the original sin is that he goes beyond conceptual models [Language/Law] to emphasize the primacy of the body [Biosemiotic Text--Non Language--Feeling the World--Existential--Life Force Infusion of Reciprocity--Novalis / Context vs. Concept] and the significance of the loss of embodied spirituality in the modem world. He wonders, in Wandering God: a Study of Nomadic Spirituality, how modem humans lost a sense of paradise [God as a Bio-Physcal Experience--Not as Linguistic Text-Sanctuary as in a Bible] in everyday life. How did spirituality get to be a "vertical" [conceptual] attribute which is projected upward, leaving a flattened world? Terms like "transcendence" and "heaven" indicate the Judeo-Christian bias toward a separation of sacredness as above and secularness as below. What Berman imagines, instead, is a spirituality of the "horizontal," of this earth and this existence...Ilene A. Serlin
"One sticks one's finger into the soil to tell by the smell what land one is in; I stick my finger into existence- it smells of nothing....Who am I?...Where am I?...What am I? "-Kierkkegard
"We can design our life in any way we want, but whether we will thrive depends on how well that life fits human predispositions"
-Frans De Waal
"If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are."-- Wendell Berry
"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, 'till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.- William Blake
"We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe. All the disasters that are happening now are a consequence of that spiritual ‘autism.’ ” --Thomas Berry
"When you reach the end of what you should know,
you will be at the beginning of what you should sense".-Gibran
THE BIOLOGY OF MORALITY
"I am life that wills to live in the midst of life that wills to live"-Albert Schweitzer..."You cannot laugh and be unkind at the same time"-Gibran..."Our biology and our morality are mutually interactive, and morality naturally flows from the biological state we are living in".-Nancy Morrison /Sally Severino.
“10-20,000 years ago–-people weren’t defending resources...There was also no property, so they weren’t defending that either…But the thing is, among hunter-gatherers, the way to breed successfully is having alloparental help and provisioning help from others. Anybody who goes around killing off his wife’s relatives and stealing women is going to have a lower chance of rearing offspring. These warring bands of brothers didn’t emerge until fairly recently, after people started to become more sedentary.”--MOTHERS AND OTHERS--Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
“No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure”-Emma Goldman
"...today's great crisis is not economic, political or religious, but a crisis of affect, of the capacity to feel a connection with others...Our mission is to celebrate the greatness of Creation and connect it again to the Core where it came from and to where it will go."-Leonardo Boff
"...WE HAVE AN EPIDEMIC OF EMOTIONAL NEGLECT OF CHILDREN TODAY THAT HAS GONE COMPLETELY UNRECOGNIZED...If you look at the ethnographic accounts of band-level hunter-gatherer in Africa or Melanesia—though I’m not sure I can say this for South America—what jumps out at you is the indulgence towards children. Child abuse would not have been tolerated. Other group members would have intervened, the perpetrators socially ostracized, possibly even expelled from the group if they harmed a child. It was not acceptable. We don’t have this same sensibility today for a number of reasons. I think we have an epidemic of emotional neglect of children today that has gone completely unrecognized."- Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
"WOMEN LOST THEIR AUTONOMY OVER THEIR OWN CHILDREARING ASSETS...WITH THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION AND THE INVENTION OF AGRICULTURE…I think what disappeared was the flexibility in residence for women. I think as hunter-gatherer groups became larger and more complex people had to begin defending the more compressed territories where they made their living. This was certainly the case with the Neolithic revolution and the invention of agriculture. Over time, as populations built up, as property became much more important—and it also became important to defend property—that’s when boundaries became less porous and men stayed together. To defend fixed areas it made sense to remain near brothers and fathers. Male kin alliances became much more important. Then I think two things happened: Women were moving between groups to places where they didn’t have matrilineal relatives and men were staying put, which changes the balance of power in all sorts of family relationships. But you also had group boundaries that were no longer as porous as they had been. This meant that a woman couldn’t simply take her children and leave to be near her kin if she wasn’t being well treated. I think that was the first big transition, women lost their autonomy over their own childrearing assets. And, of course, with patrilocality and the influence of patrilineal descent, you begin to have a concern with female chastity so that it really matters if a woman “goes off alone.” Not only are women losing but children are taking it on the chin".-Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
"We are sensorial because the world is totally sensorial--from which we have been designed and forever made for--with no other purpose. Nothing can be in the world unless it is sentient, it is all sentient, everything in existence has feelings and affections--it's own unique capacity of awareness--atoms, molecules, cells, genes, rocks, water, trees, sky, storms, stars, galaxies, are all speaking and helping to direct one-another into an intention (telos) that is found existing only between them all; genetically all children are born knowing (a natural innate unconscious trust) and playing in this community of sentiments..."--mtc. [See David Abram: "Becoming Animal", Reciprocity pg. 71]
"...it is not only other animals, plants and simpler organisms that have contributed, during the course of evolution, to the unique character of the human creature, but also the fluid ocean, and the many rocks that compose the soils, and the way the mountains gather clouds above the high ridges. These planetary structures are not extrinsic to human life- they are not arbitrary or random aspects of a world we just happen to inhabit . Rather they are the constitutive powers that summons us into existence, and hence are the secret allies, the totemic guides, of all our actions. They are as much within us as they are around us; they compose the wider , deeper life of which our bodies are apart."-David Abram (p77, Becoming Animal)
THE WHENCE AND WHITHER...
"One sticks one's finger into the soil to tell by the smell what land one is in; I stick my finger into existence- it smells of nothing....Who am I ?...Where am I ?...What am I ?..."-Kierkkegard
"Closure marks both ends of the human journey, but profound traces of the whence and the lure of the whither enter into and shape everything that the human process contrives, thinks, and assimilates..."-Robert S Corrington
"The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap." -Novalis
"And to both, bee and flower,the giving and receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy."-Gibran
"Matter is not a thing at all, it is an event" (David Bohm)..."I dont think it, it think's me...we can never-ever 'be' but only 'be-come' the reciprocity of each arriving moment"--THE ETERNAL MOMENT--mtc
"Everyone is the other, and no one is himself"--Heidegger
"And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom. It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself." -Gibran
"There will be no peace in the world until the biosemiotic (telluric connection) and unconscious foundations of joy and beauty embody the human countenance once again ." -mtc
"The universe resounds with the joyful cry I am." -Scriabin
"You cannot laugh and be unkind at the same time"-Gibran...
“When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses, there are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think, The "sublime" object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be.”-Julia Kristeva
"There still is night, down where the long-abandoned road disappears amid the newgrowth beneath the tumbled dam, deep virgin darkness as humans had known it through the millennia, between the glowing embers and the stars"....(Kohak)...
"Emanuel Radl (1873-1942) a Czech biologist and philosopher, made me aware of the vital and moral orders. Jan Patocka (1907-77), another Czech philosopher, forced me to recognize that the crisis is deeper than it appeared to Husserl or even Heidegger, and that the "natural world" which radical reflection must seek need be not only pre scientific but pre historical-or, better, "pre historicist" [or pre-linguistic-mtc]....Calvin Schrag gives a new vitality to Husserel's search for the primordial experiential reality in which all reflection and speculation is grounded... philosophies which sought to deny that original text ["biosemiotic"-mtc] and to build on their own speculations, no matter how cunning, have regularly ended up in wistful denial of their own competence." -Erazim Kohak
"The natural world itself is our primary language as it is our primary scripture, our primary awakening to the mysteries of existence. We might well put all our written scriptures on the shelf for twenty years until we learn what we are being told by unmediated experience of the world about us...the primary educator as well as the primary lawgiver and the primary healer would be the natural world itself." -Thomas Berry
"And I have taken infinite pains to know all its phenomena, thinking that I have here the entire poem, but to my chagrin hear that it is an imperfect copy that I possess, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, mutilating it. I wish to know an entire heaven and earth. All the great trees, beast, fish, and fowl are gone. The stream, perchance are somewhat shrunk."-Henry David Thoreau
"God is dead ... and we have killed him!"-Nietzsche
THIS PAGE IS PARTLY THE REASON I STARTED THIS WEBSITE:
I wanted to attempt to try and communicate "the transpersonal embodied experience in nature" and its endurance within the epigenetic process ["We are whatever our DNA-in response to our environment- makes us... DNA does not operate in vacuum: the genetical heritage is constantly interfacing with our experience and environment.The old question of 'nature or nurture' was always pointless, as the constraints are biological and the opportunities are circumstantial."-Paul Shepard ] as the ultimate source of the Self and migration [the "self-othering"--"Everyone is the other, and no one is himself"--Heidegger].
Everyone in some measure has had the common "aesthetic" experience in Nature--but some not the "ontic and ecstatic empowering" . There is a presence in Nature, described by many, that our cultural elements of "enframing" ("Ge-stell"/ Heidegger) have estrange us from. I will be looking for the voices that have been in this experience, and have some gift for communicating it. Comprehensively these articles all attempt to speak into a civilization--a weltanschauung--that is disembodied from "the soul-intention and *teliology of Nature". Please read from some of the places that I have started:
SIGNIFICANT VOICES OF EMBODIED KNOWLEDGE AND "THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE FLESH"
"DNA is fundamentally about information. At the observable level, that is what the body is all about--a self-organizing, intelligent organism, but one that requires creative interaction with all other embodied forms for the release of its true potential. No bodily form makes sense in isolation. Interdependence is written into the very essence of embodied reality. Indeed, it is these two features--intelligence and interdependence--that provide the most generic clues to the meaning of our embodied existence in a corporeal universe..." -Darmuid O'Murchu
"These concepts of embeddedness or holarchy, and of the autonomy at every level of holarchy always tempered by holonomy are extremely important to understanding how life works. We humans, for example, fight about whether to see individual interest or community interest, whether to develop locally or globally. This is because we fail to understand life's fundamentally holarchic nature-- always a dialogue among relatively autonomous embedded holons, all of which are critical to the function of the holoarchy".-Elisabet Sahtouris (EarthDance, p40)
"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way man thinks." -Gregory Bateson
- Robert S. Corrington: ECSTATIC NATURALISM; [a guide/introduction]. Corrington is provocative, original, intellectually poetic, urgent, and worth the labor; from Phenomenology he wonderfully stretches the discussion across Naturalism, the Unconscious, Spirit, and the Maternal--a fresh, vital, window (within philosophic theology) from our: "Origin to Spirit"-[An excellent Review of Corrington's literary style and position within the forum of Ecstatic Naturalism.] This is a bold intellectual pioneer--a wild-ness --in the bold/noble heart and tradition of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau
- Elisabet Sahtouris: "Earthdance", Elisabet Sahtouris, is simply the best comprehensive primer I have come across in gaining insight into some of the imbedded principles that guide all of Nature. And from these guiding principles she offers a 'natural' ontology and teleology that might offer some direction if we are to survive as a species now in historical crisis.
- Paul Shepard: Deep Ecology / Human Ecology
- Mary Jeanne (M.J.) Barrett: Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina
- David Abram: Alliance for Wild Ethics
- Ted Toadvine: Philosophy and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
EMBODIED/GENETIC KNOWLEDGE AND A DISEMBODIED EXISTENCE
[These categories are general and overlap others; If any visitors to this site could recommend other literary expositions to look at--within the general categories below--please email me. Paleolythic Cognition, Bio Semiotics (Passeos/Sevilla), and the Biology of Morality are some of my main interest at this time.]
THE SEMIOTIC ARTIFACTS OF ALIENATION
- John Zerzan: Running on Emptiness: THE FAILURE OF SYMBOLIC THOUGHT
- John Bolender: The Origins of Other-World Religion and Life after Death as an Ability of Language.
- Kyriacou/Brugge: HOW THINKING DETERMINES LANGUAGE: THE RELATIVITY OF LANGUAGE...
- Eric Gans: The Little Bang: The Early Origin of Language
- Enrico Passeos: [aka: J. Sevilla] The Evolution of Language: From Natural, to Mythical to Logical Thinking [Within some conceptual elements of Jung, Heiddeger and Paul Sheppard]
- John Zerzan: THE CASE AGAINST ART
- Jorge Sevilla: Evolution of Language...Biosemiotics, and Ecopsychology
- Kevin Tucker: Spectacle of the Symbolic
ECSTATIC NATURALISM [see short introduction excerpt below this index]
- Robert S. Corrington: "Evolution, Religion, and an Ecstatic Naturalism," (2010).
CORRINGTON is provocative, original, intellectually poetic, urgent and worth the labor; from Phenomenology he wonderfully stretches the discussion across Naturalism, the Unconscious, Spirit, and the Maternal--a fresh, vital, window (within philosophic theology) from our: "Origin to Spirit"-[An excellent Review of Corrington's literary style and position within the forum of Ecstatic Naturalism.]
- Custom Google Search/Corrington: ECSTATIC NATURALISM
- Leon J. Niemoczynski: Ecstatic Naturalism: An Interview with Robert S. Corrington.
PALEO-ANTHROPOLOGY / HISTORY / GREEN-ANARCHY
HEIDEGGER / PHENOMONOLOGY / EXISTENTIALISM / PHILOSOPHY / PSYCHOLOGY
- Mathew Antolick: DEEP ECOLOGY AND HEIDEGGERIAN PHENOMENOLOGY
- Lawrence W. Howe: Heidegger's Discussion of "The Thing": A Theme for Deep Ecology
- Jacques Derrida: [DECONSTRUCTIONIST THOUGHT] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- David Wood: THINKING AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Korab-Karpowicz: Martin Heidegger--Pier-Reviewed Academic...Encyclopedia
- Andrew Irvine: EXISTENTIALISM [An Easy Introduction with a focus on Kierkegaard]
- Jon Mills (2003). Existentialism and Psychoanalysis: From Antiquity to Postmodernism.
- Roy Hornsby: WHAT HEIDEGGER MEANS BY "BEING -N THE-WORLD":
Elements of Heigegger's Dasein: Authenticity/ Inauthenticity/ Thrownness/ Fallenness/ Fear/ Anxiety/ Busyness/ Idle Talk/ Homelessness/ Time/ Death/ Moral Responsibility/ Care.
- Jon Mills: *The False Dasein: From Heidegger to Sartre and Psychoanalysis
- Jack Reynolds: *MERLEAU-PONTY--Pier-Reviewed Academic...Encyclopedia
- Henri Louis Bergson: [Wikipedia: Actualy it is a Good Introduction] See Philosophy of Creativity/ Intuition/ Élan Vital
- Alexia Eastwood: "Revisiting Economic Man: "...our inclination to share and cooperate is hardwired into our genetic code..."
- Cashmore/Uomini/Chapelain: The evolution of handedness in humans and great apes
- Wikipedia: ORGANISMIC-GESTALT THEORYS of Actualization: [A General Overview / Primer / Resource Search] Goldstein, Bertalanffy, Deci, Ryan, Piaget, Maslow, Perls, Rogers, Werne etc.
DEEP-ECOLOGY / ECOLOGY / BUDDHISM / COSMOLOGY
- Paul Shepard: [Epigenesis] NATURE AND MADNESS
- John Zerzan: PRIMITIVE GREEN...Interview [Green Technology as an "Un-Sustainable Bad-Dream"]
- Michael Zimmerman: HEIDEGGER, BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY [The Cambridge companion to Heidegger By Charles B. Guignon]
- Thomas Berry: Singing to the Dawn...Our Broken Connection to the Natural World
- Michael Cohen: PROJECT NATURE CONNECT [Applied Ecopsychology and Natural Attraction Psypchology]
- Herman Green: A Call for the Ecozoic, Earth Light, 1999
- E. F. Schumacher: BUDDHIST ECONOMICS
- Berry-Swimme: THE UNIVERSE STORY [ECOLOGICAL BUDDHISM]
- Aruna Gnanadason: Response to "The Great Work" by Thomas Berry [Some Issues neglected by Thomas Berry
- Ivone Gebara: TO RELEASE INTUITION: an evening with Ivone Gebara [Brazilian ecofeminist liberation theologian] by Heather Eaton
- 'Empathic Civilization':
When Both Faith And Reason Fail, Stepping Up To The Age of Empathy by JEREMY RIFKIN
- Daniel Smith: IS THERE AN ECOLOGICAL UNCONSCIOUS?
ONTOGENESIS / PHYLOGENY / NEOTNEY / PSYCHO-ECO EPIGENESIS
- Joseph C. Pearce: MAGICAL CHILD (Reviews in Goodreads.com) is a major seminal work--in non-technical language--of the pre/post natal conditions that maximize intelligence in a child.
- Stephen J. Gould : ONTOGENY AND PHYLOGENY (Wikipedia Intro)
- Paul Shepard: [Epigenesis] NATURE AND MADNESS
- Garbo Mate: IMPAIRED BRAIN DEVELOPMENT / MORAL ACUITY /AND ADDICTION IN THE SOCIAL FOUNDATIONS OF OUR CHILDREN (YouTube)--Not since Paul Shepard, have I met another author who extends Pauls's inditment of the historical institutions complicity in moral failure (as a failed epigenesis) into one's own personal failure (emotional impairments) for essentially the same social/historical reasons.
THE BIOLOGY OF MORALITY
*[I want to use "telos" here, not as some ultimate grand external force or intention, but as a synergistic unfolding, a composition or process belonging intrinsically to every unique part of the whole--only accomplished collectively, always open and infinately possible in all vital ways of Becomming something New.]
ROBERT S. CORRINGTON'S ECSTATIC NATURALISM
ECSTATIC NATURALISM, Signs of the World: "the strategy of the present book, which takes up again in a most unexpected way the capacious medieval distinction and terminology of natura naturans and natura naturata as the principal vehicle for advancing a revolution in contemporary philosophy and presaging the shape of philosophical thought for the twenty-first century. In this thought "semiotics becomes reconstructed", as the author puts it, to serve "the needs of a metaphysics that wishes to honor the utter ubiquity and sovereignty of nature"...From the first page, Corrington develops the theme that comes to full expression in his final chapter: "The human process actualizes semiotic processes that it did not make and that it did not shape. Our cultural codes, no matter how sophisticated and multi-valued, are what they are by riding on the back or this self-recording nature"-John Deely (Foreword to Corrington's book: ECSTATIC NATURALISM)
1st INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON ECSTATIC NATURALISM
"A new generation of ecstatic naturalists is moving into novel and rich dimensions with their own amplification and critiques of ecstatic naturalism. This congress is an opportunity to engage in dialogue with panentheisms, pantheism (what Corrington calls his “deep pantheism”), ecotheology, theopoetics, and the religious implications of evolutionary psychology, mysticism, a semiotic cosmology, and a robust Liberal Theology that is post-tribal."--FROM INTRO OF: "The First International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism".
LJN: "I see. So ecstatic naturalism is a naturalism that honors a more capacious conception of nature in that does not seek necessarily to describe nature, but rather identify and honor nature as an availability for whatever can be described—and so involves the potencies of nature, discussed earlier. Thus it seems to involve an ecstatic act inasmuch as human beings turn toward the potencies of nature and in some sense must remain “open” to them. So the concept of “ecstasis” is put together with a unique variety of “naturalism.” Correct?
RSC: This is well expressed Leon and indeed quite correct. From our side there is a movement from the unconscious, which has its own highly precise form of consciousness, toward an arising of meaning/energy [*biosemiotic potency/vital-force/primal powers] that has, at first, a shaded or masked contour. Almost like magnetism the two are drawn together, each ecstatic in its own way. So in classical Heideggerian terms we have a standing out of the self [*self-othering//"trans-form"-ation//"the ontological difference"/Novalis: "Seat of the Soul"] that is also the entrance point for a return ecstasy from nature. Projection and transference fascilitate this process. Non-ecstatic forms of naturalism tend to have a much flatter (safer) conception of nature. Some might see the ecstatic form as positing a super-naturalism but this is very far from the truth. Granted, ecstasies are scary as they erupt without warning, seem to have no relation to efficient causality, and are clearly a force that is prior to any division into good or evil. They can even kill millions. I did not make them up and drop them into an otherwise tidy view of nature. One of our greatest moral demands is to shape ecstasies into energized prospects for social growth—if you like (tongue in cheek) a neo-pagan Deweyianism..." *[font color and bracket content added by mtc.]
"RSC: There is a sense in which a pre-digested theory of god is an impertinence. It is an enterprise that has done far more harm than good— a kind of high-end, high-status tribalism. Strictly, primordial, consequent, willing, history-making, world crushing, and self-involuted gods do prevail in nature, but I suggest that they do so in ways that would disappoint many who seek some serious ontological thickness for these conceptions. Yet an aesthetic appreciation of, say, protean goddesses and gods can enhance the imaginative life, as Santayana reminds us. Who is to say? A more pervasive impertinence, as I have noted, is to aggressively state what can or cannot be in nature, or what is genuinely knowable and what not. Query and wonder serve us well and keep us from those power- driven concrescences that sadly continue to drive the many philosophical tribes. An ecstatic naturalist will, where humanly possible, move past and through any tribalism that blocks access to those uncountable prospects that open up endlessly throughout the infinite orders of the world and that can, sometimes, open out on a vista where one can even look down, yes, with fear and trembling, into the workshop of the potencies...
I suppose that the ecstatic naturalist approach can become compelling for those among us who can let go of regional metaphysical systems, like process or materialism, and let our conceptual articulations arise out of the pulsations in nature. There is a sensitivity to what I have called sheer secondness, a mode of secondness that is almost pre-dyadic and involves a tremulous gifting that has no upshot other than its own presence. These ecstasies can never be reigned into the circle of sufficient reason nor can they evidence a mapable shape. So an ecstatic naturalist has a special kind of openness to what can never be circumscribed. In addition, an ecstatic naturalist recognizes that almost all philosophical theology has taken the wrong tact toward the nature/divine correlation. As Tillich liked to say, we must look down, not up. The innumerable sacred folds of nature have their self-othering origin in the unconscious of nature.
Naturalism, as a self-aware movement, has many forms and takes on many guises. I suspect that most people would initially think of the materialistic and mechanistic naturalism maintained by evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists. I applaud their struggles to keep teleology from getting too rambunctious. Clearly, it is a concept that is not needed in the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. Yet the all-too-easy and lazy conjunction of efficient causality with a somewhat simplistic mind/brain identity theory can serve to blunt inquiry, and on a deeper level, query. More specifically, the reduction of mind to brain violates the insights of ordinality that demand a much more sophisticated understanding of pertinent and ordinally related traits. Once this process gets seriously under way it becomes obvious the identity theory is serving more of a polemical purpose than an ontologically illuminating one. I have found most naturalisms to be a betrayal of nature insofar as they select one or more traits to be both generic and honorific. I find it a bit amusing that identity theorists deny the possibility of immortality because of a fairly unsophisticated understanding of mind and consciousness. There is no reason why one couldn’t believe in reincarnation, as I do, and still be an official card carrying naturalist. Ecstatic naturalism is not in the business of saying whether or not (subjective) immortality is possible in principle or ruled out before hand. A capacious naturalist can believe in either extinction or survival. These are subaltern questions. Naturalism should never shrink itself into a subaltern perspective that foolishly sets up entrance requirements that dictate what is ‘allowed’ to prevail". -Robert S.Corrington
FROM AN INTERVIEW BY LEON J. NIEMOCZYNSKI, 2009
..."An ecstatic naturalism moves toward an aesthetic phenomenology of the sacred folds that emerge from the fierce self-othering of nature naturing as “it” moves ecstatically to eject semiotically dense momenta of meaning as it con-figures itself at discrete and distinctive loci throughout nature natured. These sacred folds are strikingly antientropic, seeming to regenerate metaphorical heat and order from the inexhaustible well of the underconscious of nature in its not-yet-in-time mode of preordinal expression. But this “expression” of nature’s depth dimension is not one with any specific whatness nor with any notion of the sacred history, whether of being or the divine. Note that the aesthetic and postreligious aspect of ecstatic naturalism has nothing to do with process-style aesthetic projections that mold and shape “nature” into pleasing shapes, while, strangely, denying that it is doing so.
Uncountable histories emerge, but there is no sense in which they have a cumulative direction or a single contour. For the ecstatic form of naturalism, and surely for others, History has long been a bloated category and that un- derneath it all reside the demonic would-bes that arch out over the rabble of “mere” histories to bring them into a tension-filled convergence that can only be the promised land. As gentle and guileless as process views of history seem, replete with creativity and congenial forms of novelty, their underlying imperialism won’t escape notice forever. A more genuine evolutionary perspective knows full well that creativity, like purposes, is very expensive, and the costs are borne by other orders and complexes than the creator itself. Alas, predation can’t be watered down by panpsychist fantasies and some kind of ontological creativity an sich that pays its own bills automatically.
The ecstasies of nature are not going anywhere, are not a unity, are not good or evil (until we encounter them and initiate a moral struggle), do not contain information or a blueprint for anything or anyone, and are not tribal in themselves because they live on the cusp between the prespatial and the spatial. Sadly, of course, sacred folds are quickly hijacked for tribal purposes. But in the power, shock, and magma of these deep semiotic folds, religious tribalism, deep in our evolutionary bones, can begin to loosen its grip."
["...naturalism becomes ecstatic when it courageously and oftimes joyously becomes open to the self-othering potencies emergent from nature naturing (the underconscious of nature")...]
Evolution, Religion, and an Ecstatic Naturalism
Robert S. Corrington / Drew University American Journal of Theology & Philosophy . Vol. 31, No. 2, May 2010 © 2010 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
THE DIVINE INTELLIGENCE OF NATURE AND IT'S COUNSEL OF WISDOM
"The morning and evening were sweet to me, and I led a life aloof from society of men. I wondered if any mortal had ever known what I knew. I looked in books for some recognition of a kindred experience, but, strange to say, I found none. Indeed, I was slow to discover that other men had had this experience for it had been possible to read books and to associate with men on other grounds. The maker of me was improving me... I was daily intoxicated, and yet no man could call me intemperate. With all your science can you tell me how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul".-Henry David Thoreau
“If you are traveling for health, play truants to doctors and friends, fill your pockets with biscuits, and hide in the hills of the hollow, lave in it's waters, tan in it's golds, bask in it's flower-shine, and your baptism will make you a new creature indeed. Or chocked in the sediment of society, so tired of the world, here will your hard doubts disappear, your carnal incrustation melt off, and your soul breath deep and free in God's shoreless atmosphere of beauty and love". -John Muir
"My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect…This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and the sun and the stars…The last three-thousand years of mankind have been an excursion into ideals, bodilessness, and tragedy and now the excursion is over...it is a question, practically, of relationship. We must get back into relationship, vivid and nourishing relation to the cosmos... we must return to the way of knowing in terms of togetherness...the togetherness of the body, the sex, the emotions, the passions, with the earth and sun and stars.”- D.H. Lawrence
“I’m in the woods and they are in me ... I’ve taken the sacrament with the douglas squirrel, drunk Sequoia wine, Sequoia blood, and with it’s rosy purple drops I am writing a woody gospel letter... The light shines not on us but through us...No amount of word-making will ever make a single soul to know these mountains. As well seek to warm the naked by lectures on caloric and pictures of flame. One day's exposure to the mountains is better than a cartload of books. See how willing Nature poses herself to the photographer's plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. All that is required is exposure and purity of soul".-John Muir
"The calamity is the masses...Every burned book enlightens the world... All great men come out of [leave] the middle classes... The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization...There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter the world...the shadow of the soul, or 'other' me [Over-Soul]- lies wide around. Its attractions are the keys which unlock my thought and make me acquainted with myself...This world we live in is but thickened light"-Emerson
"Land is text, and meaning is found everywhere, through movement. gesture, sound, rhythm. When you drive traditional people off the land, you drive them out of there mind." -David Abram
"Were you thinking that those were the words, those up right lines, those curves, angles, dots! No those are not the words, the substantial words are in the ground and the sea, they are in the air they are in you... The workmanship of souls is by those inaudible words of the Earth". -Walt Whitman
"I feel an indescribable ecstasy and delirium in melting, as it were, into the system of beings, in identifying myself with the whole of nature." -Rousseau
"[N]aturalism becomes ecstatic when it courageously and oftimes joyously becomes open to the self-othering potencies emergent from nature naturing (the underconscious of nature)".-Robert S. Corrington
"All true wisdom is only to be learned far from the dwellings of men, out in the great solitudes…To learn to see, to learn to hear, you must do this---go into the wilderness alone"… --Igjugarjuk, Caribou shaman, In Joan Halifax, Shamanic Voices (Galland. 1980, p. 100)
"Civilized, crying how to be human again; this will tell you how. Turn outward, love things, not men, turn right away from humanity. Let that doll lie. Consider if you like how the lilies grow, Lean on the silent rock until you feel its divinity Make your veins cold, look at the silent stars, let your eyes Climb the great ladder out of the pit of yourself and man. Things are so beautiful, your love will follow your eyes."-Robinson Jeffers
"Since every effort in our educational life seems to be directed toward making of the child a being foreign to itself, it must of necessity produce individuals foreign to one another, and in everlasting antagonism with each other". Emma Goldman
“…At issue is a biological plan for the growth of intelligence, a genetic encoding within us that we ignore, damage, and even destroy. The mind-brain is designed for astonishing capacities, but its development is based on the infant and child constructing a knowledg of the world as it actually is. Children are unable to construct this foundation because we unknowingly inflict on them an anxiety-conditioned view of the world (as it was unknowingly inflicted on us). Childhood is a battleground between the biological plans intent, which drives the child from within, and our anxious intentions, pressing the child from with-out.”--Joseph Chilton Pearce
"Strained as this analysis may seem, it is an accurate presentation of where we stand. Bonding is a psychological-biological state, a vital physical link that coordinates and unifies the entire biological system. Bonding seals a primary knowing that is the basis for rational thought. We are never conscious of being bonded; we are conscious only of our acute disease when we are not bonded or when we are bonded to compulsion and material things. The unbonded person (and bonding to objects is to be very much unbonded in a functional sense) will spend his life in a search for what bonding was designed to give: the matrix. The intelligence can never unfold as designed because it never gets beyond this primal need. All intellectual activity, no matter how developed, will be used in a search for that matrix, which will take on such guises as authenticity, making it in this world, getting somewhere". - Joseph C. Pearce
"…let us not longer omit our homage to the Efficient Nature, natura naturans, the quick cause, before which all forms flee as the driven snows, itself secret, its works driven before it in flocks and multitudes, (as the ancient represented nature by Proteus, a Shepherd) and in undescribable variety. It publishes itself in creatures, reaching from particles and spicula, through transformation on transformation to the highest symmetries, arriving at consummate results without a shock or a leap."—Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter". -John Muir
"Ishi, (the last hunter-gather Native American) was sure he knew the cause of our discontent. It stemmed from an excessive amount of indoor time. 'It is not a man's nature to be too much indoors."- Theodora Kroeber“
"Some of the people who left the human communities remembered some of the qualities. They remembered some of the joys of possession—not possession of things but possession of Being.”—Fredy Perlman. Against His-Story, Against Leviathan
"The ultimate goal of the Bantu is to possess as much vital force as possible, while what he fears most, is to see a reduction in his stock of this inestimable commodity. Every disease, infliction, wound or suffering or depression every injustice and every failure is interpreted by the Bantu as a sure sign that there has been a reduction in his stock of vital force".-Placide Temples
"There is no inner world without the outer world."-Thomas Berry
"The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap." -Novalis
"We seem to have experienced a fall into representation, whose depths and consequences are only now being fully plumbed. In a fundamental sort of falsification, symbols at first mediated reality and then replaced it. At present we live within symbols to a greater degree than we do within our bodily selves or directly with each other. The more involved this internal representational system is, the more distanced we are from the reality around us. Other connections, other cognitive perspectives are inhibited, to say the least, as symbolic communication and its myriad representational devices have accomplished an alienation from and betrayal of reality".-John Zerzan
"Would that you could meet the sun and wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment, for the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind... Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair...behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom. It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself". -Gibran
"Here in a transpersonal "shadow of wordless knowledge" (Gibran) you will be bodily re-connected into the primary intention of everything around you. . This is a transpersonal intelligence--infusion--of "in-form"-ation that only happens in an exchange with the animate intentions of a world in nature--at its height it is sensually ecstatic in it's informing, beyond all cultural aesthetic or subjective artifacts. "When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense" (Gibran)...."it is said into my very life [and] remains the address of that very moment and can not be isolated" (Buber). It is collected in reciprocity. Your life in these moments--'The Eternal Moment'--is no longer a plan or expectation but the providence of the greater intentional biological community. To diminish any of this intention through environmental destruction is to diminish the grand teleology of our very selves accomplished only through the wellbeing of this whole. History, and our personal evolution within Creation, is simply impoverished and tragically off-track on this point. The psycho-spiritual confinements of our anthropomorphic artifacts (language, tools, institutions) have over 50 thousand years, eventually left us blinded and imprisioned by its thorough invasiveness into every aspect of our daily life..."-mtc
"You are going on a strange journey this time, my friend. I don't envy you. You'll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen. Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor, deluded, self-burdened people. Keep close to Natures heart, yourself; and break clear away, once and a while and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean from the earth-stains of this sordid, gold seeking crowd in god's pure air. It will help in your efforts to bring to these people something better than gold. Don't loose your freedom and your love of the earth as god made it". -John Muir
"In the society of many men, or in the midst of what is called success, I find my life of no account and my spirits rapidly fall...It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. Those qualities that bring you near to the one estrange you from the other...The true poet will ever live aloof from society, wild to it...I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things... read not the times, read the eternities...The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior...[So] Fare well my friends, my path inclines to this side of the mountain, yours to that. For a season my path seems lonely without you...Yet I have faith that, in the definite future, new suns will arise, and new plains expand before me, and I trust that I shall there in en-counter pilgrims who bear the same virtues." --Henry David Thoreau
We are at war, yes, but this is not an economic war. It is a world war against the economy...Against the economy that for thousands of years has been based on the exploitation of nature and man...If we do not exit economic reality and create a human reality in its place, we will once again allow market barbarism to live on...Natural resources belong to us, they are free, they must be made to serve the freedom of life...The temporality of draining, erosion, tiredness, and decay is determined by labor, an activity that dominates and corrupts all others . The temporality of desire, love, and creation has a density that fractures the temporality of survival cadenced by work...The call to teach stems from the pleasure of transmitting life: neither an imposition nor a power relation, it is pure gift, like life, from which it flows...Economic totalitarianism has ripped learning away from life, whose creative conscience it ought to be. We want to disseminate everywhere this poetry of knowledge that gives itself. --Raoul Vaneigem
Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed....Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoia....put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years...work for nothing....take all you have and be poor....love someone who does not deserve it....be joyful though you have considered all the facts....as soon as the generals and politicos can predict the notions of your mind, lose it.( The mad farmer)- Wendel Berry
"...[E]volution in the Paleolithic age meant the development of creativity—the distinctive trait of the human species...But during the Neolithic, the osmotic relationship [italics added] to nature loosened progressively, as intensive agriculture became based on looting and the exploitation of natural resources. It was also then that religion surfaced as an institution, society stratified, the reign of patriarchy began, of contempt for women, and of priests and kings with their stream of wars, destitution, and violence. Creation gave way to work, life to survival, jouissance to the animal predation that the appropriation economy confiscates, transcends, and spiritualizes. In this sense market civilization is indeed a regression in which technical progress supersedes human progress"-RAOUL VANEIGEM
"As soon as we allow ourselves to think of the world as alive, we recognize that a part of us knew this all along. It is like emerging from winter into spring. We can begin to reconnect our mental life with our own direct intuitive experiences of nature. We can participate in the spirits of sacred places and times. We can see that we have much to learn from traditional societies who have never lost their sense of connection with the living world around them. We can acknowledge the animistic traditions of our ancestors. And we can begin to develop a richer understanding of human nature, shaped by tradition and collective memory, linked to the earth and the heavens, related to all forms of life, and consciously open to creative power expressed in all evolution. We are reborn into a living world."- Rupert Sheldrake
"The break with patriarchal values is final. We are moving toward the end of the exploitation of nature, of work, of trade, of predation, of separation from the self, of sacrifice, of guilt, of the forsaking of happiness, of the fetishizing of money, of power, of hierarchy, of contempt for and fear of women, of the misleading of children, of intellectual dominion, of military and police despotism, of religions, of ideologies, of repression and the deadly resolutions of psychic tensions. This is not a fact I am describing, but an ongoing process that simply requires from us increased vigilance, awareness, and solidarity with life. We have to reground ourselves in order to rebuild—on human foundations—a world that has been ruined by the inhumanity of the cult of the commodity."-Raoul Vaneigem
"Although we define ours selves in terms of nationality, race, profession, and so on, it is evident that the context of our being in the past is wilderness--to which, one might say , our genes look expectantly for those circumstances that are their optimal ambience, a genetic expectation of our genome that is unfulfilled in the world we have created...infants go from their own and their mother's body to exploring the body of the earth to the body of the cosmos. Our basic human intuition tells us that these bodies conspires a "matrix", that is "mother". The significance of perceiving environments through a series of different but perpetually motherly" matrices or context is that the world is prototypically organic, feminine, and maternal."- Paul Shepard (CHP-p131/p29)
"We now know ourselves as genetically related to every other living being in the universe. Only through this story are we able in any integral manner to overcome our alienation from the natural world about us. We are finally able to understand just why our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of the planet on which we live. Yet even when we know this with such depth of understanding in its scientific context we still find it difficult to rethink economics, law, religion, and education within this context. Our universities seem caught in a fixation from which they cannot escape even when these prior cultural forms are proving unable to prevent the devastation of the planet."-Thomas Berry
"...t is not only other animals, plants and simpler organisms that have contributed, during the course of evolution, to the unique character of the human creature, but also the fluid ocean, and the many rocks that compose the soils, and the way the mountains gather clouds above the high ridges. These planetary structures are not extrinsic to human life- they are not arbitrary or random aspects of a world we just happen to inhabit. Rather they are the constitutive powers that summons us into existence, and hence are the secret allies, the totemic guides, of all our actions. They are as much within us as they are around us; they compose the wider , deeper life of which our bodies are apart."-David Abram (p78, Becoming Animal)
"There still is night, down where the long-abandoned road disappears amid the newgrowth beneath the tumbled dam, deep virgin darkness as humans had known it through the millennia, between the glowing embers and the stars".-Erazim Kohak
"...every living creature is a word of God and a book of God."–Meister Eckhart
'We need a spirituality that emerges out of a reality deeper than ourselves, even deeper than life, a spirituality that is as deep as the earth process itself, a spirituality born out of the solar system and even out of the heavens beyond the solar system. There in the stars is where the primordial elements take shape in both their physical and psychic aspects. Out of these elements the solar system and the earth took shape, and out of the earth, ourselves....In our totality we are born of the Earth. Our spirituality itself is earth-derived...If there is no spirituality in the earth, then there is no spirituality in ourselves....the whole burdon of modern earth studies is to narrate the story of the birth of the human from our Mother the Earth"-Thomas Berry
"Other species are our kin. This statement is literally true in evolutionary time. All higher eukaryotic organisms, from flowering plants to insects and humanity itself, are thought to have descended from a single ancestral population that lived about 1.8 billion years ago. Single-celled eukaryotes and bacteria are linked by still more remote ancestors. All this distant kinship is stamped by common genetic code and elementary features of cell structure. Humanity did not soft-land into the teeming biosphere like an alien from an other planet. We arose from other organisms already here."-E.O. Wilson
"If we accept Darwin's insights, and concede that the human species has been shaped by the creative flux of evolution, then we must acknowledge that the enfolding biosphere is the very matrix within which our organism came to acquire its current form. Our senses have coevolved with the chemistry of these waters and this air, shaping themselves to the particular patterns of the animate earth. Our human eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other, non-human eyes--our ears are now tuned, by there very structure, to the howling of wolves, and the thrumming of frogs. While gliding in huge, undulant schools through the depths of amniotic oceans, or latter, while crawling upon our bellies from puddle to puddle (our scaly skins glinting in the sun)--while racing beneath the grasses as tiny, nocturnal mammals, or leaping from branch to branch as long-tailed primates--our brainy bodies have steadily formed themselves in dynamic interaction with the textures and rhythms of terrestrial nature".-David Abram (Becoming Animal, pg. 78)
"... In a thoroughly palpable sense, we are born of this planet, our attentive bodies coevolved in rich and intimate rapport with the other bodily forms--animals, plants, mountains, rivers--that compose the shifting flesh of this breathing world...So it is the elemental Earth that has lent us our proclivities and gifts, our specific styles of behavior. Our ways of moving, our modes of perception, our unique habits of thought and contemplation, have all been informed by the variegated nature of this wild-flowering world. Thus, the enfolding biosphere provides the inescapable template for our experiences of any other realm we must discover or devise...the brain did not evolve in order to understand itself...focus...back upon itself...The complex organization of the brain evolved as a consequence of our sensorial and muscled engagement with the complex, dangerous, and ever shifting landscape that surround us. The brain has thus a natural proclivity to help us orient and interact with those enigmatic surroundings...yielding an image of things profoundly informed by our animal body and its accustomed habitat...it is time to listen...it is time to unplug our gaze from the humming screen, walking out of the house to blink and piss under the river of stars. There are new stories waiting in the cool grasses, and new songs..."-David Abram (Becoming Animal pg.78-80.)
"The natural world itself is our primary language as it is our primary scripture, our primary awakening to the mysteries of existence. We might well put all our written scriptures on the shelf for twenty years until we learn what we are being told by unmediated experience of the world about us". -Thomas Berry
"[God] ain't a he or a she, but a It. It _ain't a picture show. It_ ain't something you can look at part from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is_or ever was_or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found it....My first step away from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a mother less child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that , if I cut a tree my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact when it happen you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high upon my thigh." -Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
"BETWEEN TWO NOTHINGS"
"The existential analysts believe there is much evidence that…twentieth-century Western man not only experiences an alienation from the human world about him but also suffers an inner, harrowing conviction of being estranged (like, say, a paroled convict) in the natural world as well" (p. 118).-Rollo May (YouTube Interview)
The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings as in his native land...In the true sense one's native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home....Since every effort in our educational life seems to be directed toward making of the child a being foreign to itself, it must of necessity produce individuals foreign to one another, and in everlasting antagonism with each other....The worker who knows the cause of his misery, who understands the make-up of our iniquitous social and industrial system can do more for himself and his kind than Christ and the followers of Christ have ever done for humanity; certainly more than meek patience, ignorance, and submission have done....The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation...The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice...One cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills; the extreme thing is generally the true thing.-Emma Goldman
"From the moment of birth, when the stone-age baby first confronts its twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to forces of outrageous violence, called love, as its mother and father have been, and their parents, and their parents before them. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of the baby's potentialities. This enterprise on the whole is successful. By the time the new human being is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like our selves, a half- crazed creature, more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age." -R. D. Laing
"We perceive the dark side of our present condition as our failure to adhere to the standards of "civilization". Crime, tyranny, psychopathology, addiction, poverty malnutrition, starvation, war, terrorism, and other forms of social disintegration seem to be the weakness and flaws in our ability to live up to the expectations of being civilized. Present disillusion with ideologies and goals of advance nations since the Enlightenment, and the decline in quality and experience of life it self, are matched by the degradation of world eco systems and the ratcheting scale of poverty and wide spread social turmoil. In the absence of some new synthesis that rejoins us to our natural heritage, the world of corporate organization pushes us towards the degenerating process of conformity, the frenzied outbreak of genetic engineering, and the pied pipers technological tootle leading down the "information highway" towards the "net worked" insanity that confuses electronic regurgitation with wisdom. This circuit-sedative turns us into entertainment junkies hooked without reprieve to the economic machine and its media, a new level of confusion between D?"Bity and virtual reality. Our image of ourselves-of humanity- is in question because ideology alone always fails. Species and cultures that have endured scores of thousand of years are subject to oblivion in the hands of this culture in which our faith has been upstage by growth."
"We are not new as organisms or as a species, nor are the millions of species of plants and animals around us new. Some how our hunger for change and novelty has cost us a sense of the roll of nature in personal growth and the necessity of compliance and limitation. We must now ask in what sense our present dilemmas are measured by departure from some kind of diffuse, primordial scheme of human life and what if possible in terms of recovery".
"In the face of predominant anthropocentric values, the vision of "natural" human kind seems eccentric, regressive, even perverse. Our idea of ourselves embedded in the context of the shibboleth of growth places us at odds with the notion of kinship with nature. When we grasp fully that the best expressions of our humanity were not invented by civilization but by cultures that preceded it, that the natural world is not only a set of constraints but of context within which we can more fully realize our dreams, We will be on the way to a long overdue reconciliation between opposites that are of our own making. The tools we have invented for communicating our ideas and carrying information have actually impaired our memories. We must begin by remembering beyond history." - Paul Shepard
"IT IS BETTER TO BE SMART THAN STUPID [?]"--Noam Chomsky
"A few years ago, one of the great figures of contemporary biology, Ernst Mayr, published some reflections on the likelihood of success in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.(1*) He considered the prospects very low. His reasoning had to do with the adaptive value of what we call "higher intelligence," meaning the particular human form of intellectual organization. Mayr estimated the number of species since the origin of life at about fifty billion, only one of which "achieved the kind of intelligence needed to establish a civilization." It did so very recently, perhaps 100,000 years ago. It is generally assumed that only one small breeding group survived, of which we are all descendants. Mayr speculated that the human form of intellectual organization may not be favored by selection. The history of life on Earth, he wrote, refutes the claim that "it is better to be smart than stupid," at least judging by biological success: beetles and bacteria, for example, are vastly more successful than humans in terms of survival. He also made the rather somber observation that "the average life expectancy of a species is about 100,000 years."
We are entering a period of human history that may provide an answer to the question of whether it is better to be smart than stupid. The most hopeful prospect is that the question will not be answered: if it receives a definite answer, that can only be that humans were a kind of "biological error," using their allotted 100,000 years to destroy themselves and, in the process, much else.The species has surely developed the capacity to do just that, and a hypothetical extraterrestrial observer might well conclude that humans have demonstrated that capacity throughout their history, dramatically in the past few hundred years, with an assault on the environment that sustains life, on the diversity of more complex organisms, and with cold and calculated savagery, on each other as well..."-Excerpt from : Hegemony or Survival (2003) by Noam Chomsky,
(1*) Mayr, Bioastronomy News 7, no. 3 (1995).
"And there it is. The false bottom. The thinly woven layer of myths and lies and fantasies, advertising jingles and arrogance and unreality that we are walking on. As though it will support our overweight appetites. The more we repress our terror, the more fanatical our belief in the false bottom. The only reality that our government and media foster is the reality of the “reality show,” the reality that is totally managed, totally false. The reality of the silicone breast, the imbedded reporter, the development of resources ( as in, clear cutting the rain forests), economic expansion, necessary collateral damage, security based on militarism rather than justice, environmental solution by dilution, credit card debt, the official lie. Hal Crowther says, “It’s a cruel irony that just as reality itself is banished from America’s forebrain, the word ‘reality’ has become a relentless, unavoidable part of popular culture.”
We are obsessed with unreality so that we might dream on in Foreverland. But nature’s reality lurks below. The giant snapping turtle of resource depletion, climate change, species extinction, habitat destruction, poverty, overpopulation, materialism, cellular toxicity and imperialism is stretching its jaws. Nature has been distilling its ferocity for 65 million years. Our legs are dangling through. We are starring in our own horror movie, pretending though, as we stuff our faces with popcorn and M & Ms, we are watching someone else’s movie. Getting vicarious thrills from our own precarious situation. Having separated ourselves from our responsibilities to the Earth and each other, will we drift like disembodied ghosts, watching the inexorable destruction of our own bodies, children, and futures? Will we enjoy it?
I don’t think so.
In fact, I think we are waking up. We are re-embodying ourselves and our spirits. We are fed up with false bottoms and the people who promote them. If, for no other reason, we owe it to the turtles."
Yes! We are Created in the Image of God, we have been "thought up" by Creation...We are ..."The Dream of the Earth" (THOMAS BERRY). To be in the World is to be within the infinite Mind of God: "Creation is not a hurdle on the road to God, it is the road itself".-(MARTIN BUBER)... "through which we enter into DIVINE SPIRIT: The organic semiotic textures of sensorial rhythms--energy/feeling/viability/vitality/fluidity/reciprocity---that come up out of the unconscious, that are the very spiritual signatures of the near and distant Earth-Universe process itself."-mtc
ECSTATIC NATURALISM/DARK GREEN RELIGION
"THE ECSTATIC MOMENT: NATURE NATURING / BEING-BECOMING/THE ONTOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE "
--THE ENDLESS RE-FORMULATIONS--
"Natura naturans are at once in these chaoses the self-fissuring, thus the rending. Differences crackle through them, like hghtenings through a night, quartering the darkness. Differences thus fissure (ceaselessly) natura naturans in all their magnitudes, and, thus fissured, constitute them as domains (as mappings constitute once "uncharted" lands into domains, realms); these same fissurings are as plowings, cultivating natura naturans by rending them (as the plough blades did the prairies), thus rend-erring them seed beds, seminaria." -Guy Woodward 1998
"Nature naturing" represents the vastness of nature which gives birth to "nature natured" (i.e. the multiple orders and complexes of the world). Nature naturing is not only the origin of everything else, but a destination as well, a “not-yet” (Heidegger). The ontological difference between the two dimensions of nature is, for ecstatic naturalism, held open by an abyss, which a person must confront in order to gain meaning of the world...Robert S Corrington
...[this] movement from the unconscious, which has its own highly precise form of consciousness, toward an arising of meaning/energy that has, at first, a shaded or masked contour. Almost like magnetism the two are drawn together, each ecstatic in its own way. So in classical Heideggerian terms we have a standing out of the self [*self-othering//"trans-form"-ation//"the ontological difference"/Novalis: "Seat of the Soul"] that is also the entrance point for a return ecstasy from nature."-Robert Corrington-ECSTATIC NATURALISM
"...DNA does not operate in a vacuum: the genetical heritage is constantly interfacing with our experience and environment. The old question of nature or nurture was always pointless, as the constraints are biological and the opportunities are circumstantial." -Paul Shepard
Six Reasons Why Earth Won't Cope for Long - John Gibbons
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