Dorian’s Environmental Catastrophe and You

We are just receiving images from the horrific devastation of the Bahamas. A recent news segment showed a reporter in a wind tunnel at different wind speeds. That was a very graphic and useful thing to see. But they wouldn’t increase the speed above 112 mph. Dorian’s winds were 185 mph with gusts up to about 220 mph. I can’t imagine living with those winds and rain for 48 hours.

The small number of us who have tried to bring attention to the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions for years have obviously been unsuccessful. There are indications that devastating storms like Katrina, Maria and Dorian might finally be getting the attention of the public. Or maybe not.

A growing number of people believe we have passed so many tipping points that we won’t be able to stop the incineration of the Mother Earth. Whether we are past the point of no return or not doesn’t matter much at this point. The only moral thing we can do now is work to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as we can, to at least slow down the environmental chaos we are experiencing and our children will be living through.

It has been difficult for me to continue, for some forty years, to ask people to change their lives to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It is difficult not to feel like a failure, to wonder what I could have done differently. There are several reasons why I don’t feel I have completely failed. (i.e. there have certainly been failures on my part).

I have diligently worked to hear what the Spirit has asked me to do. One of the reasons I treasure Quaker meetings for worship is how the hour of quiet creates the space to be able to hear the still small voice that will tell me what is being asked of me. Doing this in the presence of other spiritual seeker is important. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s like an enhanced Spiritual awareness sometimes occurs. Sometimes, because that doesn’t always happen. It may be a long time before you receive spiritual guidance. This requires patience.

I have been blessed to spend time with, and make friends with some Native people. I continue to be so impressed by the spiritual foundations of their communities and their lives. My own spiritual practices and knowledge have been greatly expanded.

Another reason I don’t feel I have completely failed relates to what failure is. I would sometimes feel I failed because I hadn’t seemed influenced people to give up their personal automobile. The problem with that is seeing others give up their cars is what I thought success would look like. My Quaker community taught me I should discern the will of the Spirit and then obey that. Even when, or especially when, that isn’t what I had in mind.

You gotta put down the weight, gotta get out of your way.
Get out of your way and just look around the corner at your real self and look at all the potential that this beautiful Earth and love has to offer you.

Nahko Bear

My friend Joshua Taflinger, who I worked with on numerous #NoDAPL public witnesses and prayer gatherings in Indianapolis, has posed some key questions for us to answer. Just a few days ago I wrote about the use of questions as a spiritual practice. I see Joshua’s questions that same way.

If you are feeling helpless in the face of increasing environmental chaos, answering these questions might help you. And asking your friends and neighbors these questions might help them. Especially if we act on our answers.

So, not sure if you noticed, but the Amazon RAINforest has been on fire for the past 3 weeks!
Translation: If we don’t do something about this out of control circus, our children are f…..d.
The government isn’t going to do a thing to help us.. so quit waiting for that delusion to play out…
It’s up to us.
What are you willing to do for your children? Your grandchildren? How far will you go?
What is your truth when it comes to the edge?

Well it’s time to go to your edge, or else your children’s future is over!
Let this be the wake up to take action. In your life. In your community.
Now is all we have and our opportunity to make a difference is slipping by rapidly.
Quit thinking about the change you want to see and just be it! Today! NOW! Later is no longer an option….

I think one of the biggest ” problems” in our world is that so many of us carry cumbersome burdens, traumas, fears, thoughts… and we don’t know what do with them…
How to talk about/share them productively..
How to get through them to come out on the other side into our vision of personal freedom.
How do we get free?
And what is it we are really trying to get free from?
Who are we truly freely wanting to be?
What are we truly freely wanting to be Doing with our lives?

Joshua Taflinger

Whatever your spiritual practice is, I hope you will consider what your answers, and what your community’s answers, are to Joshua’s questions. I would be interested to hear answers you feel comfortable sharing. jakislin@outlook.com


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