Sep 15 – Dec 17 Logos Genotype 1.1.5 – PDF
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Every person on the planet shares a desire to see the world continue and flourish, so that there will be a habitable world for our offspring, for the future generations of humanity and for the diversity of life to continue. We also want to see a world without war and one in which justice prevails for the rich and poor alike. Even highly religious people, except for those pursuing martyrdom, often for violent ends, and a few fundamentalist rapture seekers, want to see a world in which their children and other people can survive.
The trouble is that, while we want to have a sustainable world, achieving it seems to always be beyond the horizons of economic and political realities. Economic realities keep up the pressure on for short-term thinking and political realities are contaminated by vested interests in the business world who deny the damage done to the climate and biosphere by human impact for their own self-interests, despite the obvious mounting scientific evidence that human impact is causing increasing, and possibly irreversible, detrimental change to our future.
Worse still, the world's religions, despite some very good words from a few religious leaders, including the current Pope, are more devoted to ascendency and internecine apocalyptic warfare combined with utopian visions than actual care of the planet. The two major religions Islam and Christianity both promote unrestrained population growth and have ingrained agendas to control female reproduction. One only needs to make a rough assessment of how little financing of environmental projects comes from the major religions to see the actual thrust of their activity.
The large numbers of people who would like to contribute personally to protecting the planet and its future, face an uphill battle because, in the absence of a society-wide ethic to actually cherish and replenish the Earth, effort remains confined to protest groups such as Greenpeace and sporadic government action such as creating nature reserves. Thus investment in saving the planet is like throwing money over your shoulder in a cold shower, because one can put time and effort and money into it until one becomes destitute and depleted, while the problem still grows larger, leading to a tragedy of the commons from the failure of people to act together with a coherent common sense of purpose, while others exploit it for gain.
Is there a way out of this dilemma? Yes there is! Lets simply extract three key ideas that convey the most world-transforming insights:
The first is to cherish and replenish the living planet and its diversity throughout the generations of life.
The second is to facilitate the conscious transcendence of all sentient beings.
The third is to support a caring community to this end.
1. I vouchsafe to cherish and replenish the living planet and its diversity throughout the generations of life.
2. I vouchsafe to facilitate the enlightenment of all sentient beings.
3. I vouchsafe to support a community that fosters a consensus to replenish the living planet.
This is a very serious covenant and particularly so, since it is the only all-embracing covenant taken. It needs to be vouchsafed in front of one's covenantal peers, and it is not God, but one's peers, who will judge one's good character from then on in life. Peer scrutiny is the great leveler of scientific research and fraudulent results can mean the cost of a researchers entire career in life. Someone cannot just pay lip service to the covenant, reaping the social benefits and go on acting for their own self-interest alone, as if the core values are just a hypothetical contingency. This doesn’t mean giving up the pleasures and bounties of life or decimating one's financial resources because ongoing life is ecosystemic and economic. It just takes acting as a responsible guardian of the planetary future.
These two are sufficient to bring about a common sense of purpose, both to protect and sustain the planet, and to enable all people to reach a deeper state of understanding of the universe in which they live. They are thus good cosmological science and consistent with the scientific pursuit of knowledge unhindered by beliefs and assumptions. Affirmative belief is not essential to religious meaning. In Judaism, the virtue of keeping the covenantal traditions and in Buddhism observing the dharma, or way, - i.e. actions - are what is critical to bring the blessed condition into being.
The Sanctity of Nature:
The covenant to cherish and replenish the Earth is a commitment to preserve and restore the bountiful diversity of nature planet-wide. It is the key that unites the latent energy of people across the whole face of the globe to have the confidence and energy to realize we can together, without pain or privation, actually achieve the perpetual sustenance of the Planet in the immortal passage of the generations of life. This brings with it an immeasurable sense of relief from the anxiety that we are living in an insecure world of conflict and degeneration, where the very meaning in existence is occluded, and our futures, and the future of the whole world remain in an unacceptable degree of doubt.
By drawing people together with the clear and simple purpose of sustaining the immortality of life, the covenant to cherish and replenish can potentially unite the energy of the entire planet's population around the central activity for which the human species has inherited the Earth to perform. We thus become the guardians of the perpetual diversity of life and find our place in nature not to subdue and have dominion over it, but to act as verdant guardians of a perpetual paradise in the universe at large.
By facilitating the enlightenment of all sentient beings, we are also accepting the scientific pursuit of knowledge of the natural universe and the spirit of sceptical inquiry, where we test our assumptions against the oracle of nature, rather than imposing our preconceived beliefs. Enlightenment can have no meaning if it is simply a spiritual conviction or vision in the absence of affirmation from the nature of the world around us. We need both the knowledge and the wisdom to fulfill the engagement.
Thus the quest for enlightenment is both the scientific quest to understand the universe and the sentient vision quest to understand the very foundations of conscious experience of all kinds: waking, dreaming, mystical and visionary. The emergence of conscious sentient beings is a natural cosmological process forming the most complex complete interactive manifestation of the fundamental forces of nature emerging from the cosmic origin. It is thus a cosmological sigma point and the quest for conscious enlightenment is also cosmological.
Tantra: Sacred sexuality in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
At the same time, accepting the sacredness of sex as the foundation of the passage of the generations of life, from which we all come transforms religions of renunciation such as most of Buddhism, the implicit sexual guilt of Christianity from Eve's 'transgression', and the explicit sexual oppression of Islam, through lethal penalties for adultery, enforced veiling and sequestering and seclusion of women into traditions celebrating in the mutual ecstasy and joy of sexual union and the full abundance of the flow of life, rather than the negation and control of it. Sacred sex has long been central to the Vedantic tradition and is one of the highest rites of illumination in Tibetan Buddhism as well.
Sexuality is a central part of social bonding key to deep human relationships and the stability of family life and is not just for reproduction, but sacred sex transcends social sex as the deepest celebration of the fertility principle between woman and man. The sacredness of sex also implies mutual respect between men and women and the right of women to reproductive choice, not to be controlled by men or patriarchal religious dictates, because they the bearers of the principal responsibility for parental commitment in pregnancy, a sometimes perilous delivery, lactation and long-term child care. The passage of the living generations comes through sex, so it must needs command the uttermost sacred respect as the holy grail of life itself.
Complementing the meditative and contemplative traditions, the use of the visionary power plants and fungi as sacraments, which are already incorporated into religious traditions in the Americas, including an ongoing Christian movements, which identify them as holy sacraments, provide a democratic avenue to the mystical experiences that are the foundation of religious illumination - forming the psychedelic face of a new Christianity, thus healing the Eucharist which is otherwise a decadent empty sacramental religion celebrating in its central rite the consumption of human flesh and blood in remembrance of a homicidal sacrificial death two millennia ago.
Psychedelic entheogens are not dangerous drugs and have been shown in recent experiments using mature people who are not drug takers that they can provide genuine spiritual experiences which have lasting benefits months and years later. The core of religious experience is mystical experience, so a genuine sacrament to replace the empty sacrament of the Eucharist is a pivotal step in making Christianity a real sacramental religion with the integrity to protect the Earth and one in which every person can share in the spiritual vision, rather than having to stoop to the conformity of unquestioning doctrines and a dominant hierarchy of the priesthood for instruction.
At its most universal, the way, or Tao of the Tree of Life would involve just these two declarations as a simple all-embracing covenant, leaving everyone free to express this in an endless variety of creative ways in both acts of restoration and celebration of life. The way of the Tree is ecosystemic, so it is not one movement but a fractal social democracy of democratic movements with their own creative avenues meeting as peers. It is a wisdom understanding which can take diverse forms and have unlimited traditions of celebration.
This evokes a path of true compassion and a human movement of empowerment, which can celebrate its existence in diverse rites of passage, from birth, partnership and death, to the fertility of the seasons, and the agape of creative musical and artistic performance. Just as people across the planet love to party and experience life to the full, the path provides the zest of life with the added sense of meaning and fulfillment and joy of living which actually bringing our energy and activity to its natural fruition brings forth in overflowing abundance.
One can think of the Tao of the Tree of Life as an integration of cosmological science, psychedelic Christianity and sexy Greenpeace Buddhism, taking the best out of each, but really it is the foundation of all spirituality. It is the common thread of sentient survival and the science of nature and cosmology because it is rooted in the realities of the natural universe discovered by the scientific pursuit of knowledge.
This Tree of Life is not just the Biblical notion of a tree in Eden hidden since the foundation of the world but is the tree of evolution of the diversity of life as it has emerged and flourished on the planet over geological time scales.
In a metaphysical way, this brings the two trees in Eden of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life together into one. Knowledge only gains the capacity and temptation for evil when it becomes divorced from our primary goal in life, which is to sustain the passage of life itself. Once this integration with our life meaning and purpose occurs evil fades away as simply a form of ignorance of the whole picture.
This is a covenant, which religious and non-religious people alike can accept and fulfill together, because its foundation lies in the very truth of the nature of existence. It can thus have a wider basis for collective action than traditional religions, which are fragmented into competing factions each vying with one another as the one 'true' way. By becoming a common affirmation of a wider section of society it would actually become possible for collective action to restore the living planet to become globally effective as well as applying ethical influence to government and business decision-making.
However we also need to consider what it means to go beyond the religious paradigm altogether and establish a new paradigm of wisdom to complement the knowledge of science without being bound to the presumptive beliefs religions entail, so that all people, whether religious or otherwise, can come together with a common sense of vital energy, compassion and purpose to safeguard the life flow of the planet.
Paradise Found David Miller www.mauiarts.com
Resplendence: A Paradigm beyond Religion to Reparadise the Earth
This article is the Resplendence Codex. Resplendence evokes the paradigm shift from religion to paradise in a single word. Codex - caudex means the "trunk of a tree" - in this case the Tree of Life.
Resplendence means many things. We usually think of it as a glorious state of natural splendour, but its root meaning re-splendere is to "shine brightly" or "shine again". It is thus both the full overflowing abundance of paradise, and as a global consciousness, it is the light of the world. But it has a deeper meaning, as the true immortal condition of humanity and is hence the natural paradigm successor to religion.
Resplendence is both an attitude of mind and a social dynamic attuned to bringing Earth back to a state of resplendent paradise, sustainable and resilient over evolutionary time scales, to ensure our own survival and the survival of the diversity of life.
Revealing Resplendence - Text of the talk
Instead of leading to the physically unrealizable imaginary scenarios of religions, such as heaven and hell in the Day of Judgment, resplendence leads to a single real and positively resplendent outcome - the reparadising of Earth in natural abundance, through a democratic culture empowered by climax technology, medicine and science and based on the principles of ecosystemic diversity.
Resplendence complements the knowledge provided by science with the wisdom of what to do about it, in the same way religion has sought to complement practical knowledge in human history. Science deals with the pursuit of the knowledge of how nature and the universe work, while the wisdom of resplendence deals with what we creatively do with this knowledge, in reflowering paradise - the ultimate manifestation of wisdom in action.
We all want to find meaning in life and want it to have a meaning which extends beyond our own lifetime. We also want the security that we are living in a world that has a viable future for our offspring and the future generations. The critical source of our angst that many of us turn to religion to alleviate, is that we are living in a world which is not only teeming with injustice, violent conflicts and weapons of mass destruction, but is lurching towards an uncertain future as a result of human impacts on the world's living habitats, climate and resources which could take us to an irreversible tipping point, undermining the future of unborn generations.
Okavango Delta. One of Africa's richest biodiversity hotspots.
These are problems we need to deal with and heal in this life to have a sense of fulfillment, not just pass them on to future generations to worry about, or to an imagined afterlife full of even more graphic tortures and punishments. The only meaningful contribution we can make to the future is through our offspring, our contributions to understanding in culture and society, in the humanities, science, art and music, through innovations we bring to society which produce lasting benefit and through actually protecting the living planet through our actions to guard the diversity of life.
No selfish, expedient, greedy or jealous motive, or action - can serve to give anything more than a futile and temporary distraction from the central goal of creative integration with the immortal flow of life around us. Redemption comes through coherence and integration with paradise pure and simple. And paradise is a realizable condition, if we only put our collective resources and inspiration to work to achieve it.
Science, Resplendence and Religion in a Nutshell
Science is the foundation of our description of nature and the physical universe.
Resplendence complements scientific cosmology providing three existential raisons d'etre for humanity as a climax cultural species:
(a) To cherish and replenish the diversity of life on the planet so that the immortal passage of the generations will continue
(b) To facilitate the unfolding illumination of all conscious beings.
(c) To support a caring community to realize resplendence as a creative process.
Traditional religions are in fundamental conflict with both scientific cosmology and human survival. Monotheism is particularly dangerous, because it invokes a violent End of Days, leading to conflagration, triage of all life and destruction of the Earth in favor of a heavenly kingdom.
Science, Resplendence and Existence
Religion, according to Augustine comes from re-ligare to "bind again" or "bind fast". Religions bind together spiritually-minded people into mass movements, but religions are also contaminated with the notion of bondage to a potentially oppressive utopian moral order. This is a fascist totalitarian notion that makes traditional religions dangerous and harmful to world futures. The fasces is a bundle of sticks, sometimes with a protruding axe, or labrys, whose strength bound together is greater than the sum of its parts.
Cosmological Paradigm Shift: Ancient religious notions of a universe created by God are in fundamental conflict with the scientific description of reality confirmed by experimental investigation. The six day sabbatical creation of Genesis (a) has the 'Elohim or God as a manufacturing designer creating the life forms and the firmament of stars as a dome over the flat Earth. The plants are created with seed-bearing fruit a day before the Sun and Moon. This view continued into the middle ages (b), but with the scientific revolution a conflicting paradigm has emerged (c), in which the Earth is a planet in a vastly bigger more complex universe, which has emerged from an explosive origin over 13 billion years ago, with processes such as cosmic inflation providing the dynamics to induce the formation of galaxy clusters, stars and planets in the form we see today amid accelerating expansion caused by dark energy. This is a cosmogenic process with no evidence for an external creator God. Life was not generated de-novo in a fixed machine-like act of manufacture at a single point in time, but shows exhaustive genetic, fossil and developmental evidence of evolution (d) to form complex organisms and ultimately conscious sentient beings. Resplendence, as a democratic social process, seeks to reparadise the Earth by applying the scientific paradigm correctly to the human existential condition. This provides a more effective view of our life-giving role in the universe, in terms of protecting the generations of living diversity and of conscious beings on the planet over evolutionary time scales, thereby enabling a deepening of conscious awareness as a whole in the universe, as a cumulative emergent manifestation of cosmology.
In scientific revolutions, the sceptical principle of inquiry, seeks verification from nature, confirming a theory to be true only when all attempts to negate it result in contradiction, rather than imposing preconceived beliefs. This means that descriptions of reality only remain stable over limited epochs, called paradigms, punctuated by evolutionary leaps. When a new theory, or description of reality, is discovered, which generalizes, or replaces a previous one, a new scientific paradigm is born. The term paradigm itself has an ancient origin in Greek paradeigma, "pattern, example" from para, "beside, beyond" and deiknumi "to show, to point out" meaning "exhibit, represent, expose". The term was used in Plato's Timaeus as the model or pattern that the Demiurge (god) used to create the cosmos. Resplendence in making a paradigm transition from religion does precisely this, transforming the naive view of religious creation of the cosmos by God into a wisdom tradition to guide human action based on the extraordinarily confounding and detailed scientific knowledge of the universe we have more recently accumulated.
Human societies and individual consciousness have been driven by two complementary sensibilities. On the one hand, the practical understanding of nature is essential for survival, manifest in gatherer-hunter society, for example in knowledge of diverse food and medicinal plant species and in the practicalities of hunting and developing arrow poisons and this has eventually become science. Complementing this are feelings of belonging and meaning in a precocious natural world, associated with beliefs in spirits and deities that guide behavior towards societal strength through morality, and explain the mortal condition and the vagaries of fate. These have over time become what we call science and religion.
However, religions have resisted natural paradigm evolution because they seek permanent ascendancy. Thus Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad remain fixed male entities impeding the natural evolution of human insight and world guardianship of nature. Buddha has become a symbol of perfection unattainable in the round of birth and death. Muhammad is claimed to be the last prophet under pain of execution. Jesus is claimed to be going to return in the 'second coming' as the avenging Lord. This prevents natural evolution, even though our understanding of the world, and the closing circle of the biosphere have been transformed, both by science, and human impacts of our burgeoning planetary technological society, leading to climate change, ecocrisis and potentially irreversible risks to human and natural survival.
Resplendence accepts the paradigm shift to the scientific description of reality in all its manifestations, while at the same time resolving the dilemma of existence in a way religions are failing to do, by coupling our sense of purpose and collective action to the one thing that immortalizes us - protecting the life flow of the living planet and its generations.
Morality and Redemption: Christianity asserts a corrupt moral imperative that human beings are flawed by original sin, stemming from Eve's transgression, and that human free will is set in a moral cosmology, in which those who do not believe in God, and/or commit any of the seven deadly sins, will suffer eternal damnation in the Day of Judgment. Resplendence asserts that humans possess original virtue in their emotional makeup, which allows for love and empathic relationship as well as expedience and betrayal, and that moral behavior is a natural feature of sociobiology in which individuals in a species, or human society, or religion, forgo immediate advantages over their peers to enable the society as a whole to gain dominance over competing societies and better survive in the wider environment. Below: Three features of morality in mammals (a) Protective behavior at risk to the individual. Lion attacking a wildebeast. A pride of lionesses cooperating to try to capture a young, or weaker, straggler are rounded on by a herd of buffalo also cooperating with one another, making a classically moral decision to act together for the benefit of the group at some risk to their individual lives, forcing the predators to flee. (b) Clear evidence of emotional bonding in elephants and chimps showing they can make emotional decisions. (c) Collective altruistic action. A group of hippos act together to save a zebra at a waterhole from a crocodile. Altruistic punishment is neither necessary, nor sufficient for morality, although it is very effective in human societies. Compassion and empathy are natural mammalian emotions which have also been observed, even across species in animal societies. Notice also that the carnivores have an essential role in the ecosystem of avoiding boom and bust in the herbivores, which could lead to a famine resulting in them becoming extinct, so their role in tooth and claw is also beneficent. The lion lying down with the lamb of Isaiah is thus a misguided fantasy. The religious moral imperative in urban societies arises from the imposition of cultural values which rob the human individuals of their deeper relationship with the passage of the generations in nature. As a climax species having major impacts on the planet, we are only now becoming aware of our cognizant role in planetary life. Resplendence, by restoring the natural relationship between humanity and life as a whole, applies the redemptive principle, which heals cultural tendencies towards selfish exploitation, because they are futile mortal strategies with no long-term fulfillment and no lasting outcome, except for diminishing the regenerative process by short-term exploitation and tragedy of the commons..
Gods are projections of conscious personalities onto the cosmos that come from an earlier phase in human emergence, where gatherer-hunters devised parent-like entities to guard over their vulnerable lives in a tumultuous world, and later in our cultural adolescence, agricultural civilizations used increasingly powerful deities as punishing moral entities holding sway over life and death, and the implied after-life as the final moral end-of-days scenario.
With the coming to maturity of human culture in reaching a state today where human actions themselves can irreversibly harm the planet's future, we have to accept we have entered a state of de-facto maturity and accept that it is we ourselves, neither God, nor Jesus as Lord in the Day of Judgment, who must assume responsibility for beneficent guardianship of the planetary future, and achieve the enlightenment to be able to do this successfully. This is a complete fulfillment of our life meaning and purpose and enables the mystery of conscious existence to be more and more deeply explored over the lifetimes of all the sentient participants as an open-ended process.
Resplendence seeks a condition of unfolding visionary transcendence in sentient consciousness and in human society at large. This is a quest that spans both the foundations of cosmology and neuroscience and the deepest insights of the religious traditions. It is a greater perspective than the lofty pretensions of religions because it encompasses all conscious experience in an open-ended discovery process, neither limited by materialistic assumptions that the consious mind is no more than the workings of the chemical brain, nor pre-empted by doctrines and dogmas of prescribed religious assumptions..
Spiritually, resplendence seeks a condition where every individual is able to explore the mystical and visionary undercurrents of the conscious condition first hand, without becoming subject to oppressive forces seeking to assert any religious belief or creed, or to deny people the opportunity to experience such states themselves through legislation to prevent the use of visionary sacraments or drugs which induce visionary states. Attempting to ban access to mind altering substances is a benighted policy aimed more at shoring up mindless consumer materialism and existing traditional religious beliefs than any protection of society from misadventure. Any forms of societal abuse of substances need to be treated as a heath matter to avoid the growth of violent criminal organizations seeking to profit from banned substances in an age where technology is making synthesis on demand ever more available.
Women and Sexuality: Left: Enforced veiling and homicidal stoning. Islam, imposes stringent and violent restrictions on female reproductive choice, social, educational and career opportunities, enforced by torture and homicide for adultery, as part of an archaic patriarchal tribal code. Such reproductive control of the female to ensure patriarchal reproductive imperatives has been an almost universal feature of world religions for millennia. Centre to right: In contrast with religion, resplendence seeks a high degree of sovereignty for female reproductive choice in an overall climate of mutual partner choice consistent with the needs of the human family. This is because humans are at an extreme among mammals in the dissonance between the male reproductive strategy which is primarily focused on fertilization and the female strategy focused on parenting. Because mammals bear live young and the females engage lactation and a pivotal role in infant care, females need to be able to choose the best combination of resourcing partner and good genes for what is a massive commitment, with a long pregnancy leaving the woman vulnerable and travail, a risky delivery bearing a large head, months to years of breast feeding and years of young child care. In addition mammalian XY chromosome sexual selection favours males displaying single X-linked characteristics, while females are able to apply sexual selection to these, again emphasizing the importance of female reproductive choice. In an overpopulated world, universal access to contraception is essential, but in addition, there need to be social incentives to enable capable achieving women to both pursue and maintain their professional careers and have security of parental leave, to avoid the conflict between parenting and women's careers that has blighted democratic countries from Italy to Japan. At the same time, this predicates a pro-choice position concerning terminating pregnancy, not least to avoid the risks women suffer when these rights are withheld in the name of religious conviction. Finally resplendence implies ensuring natural childbirth remains a viable process, and advising against routine cosmetic Caesarians based on a false image of womanhood, and giving responsible advice about the implications for future generations of technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic sperm implantation, as well as more advanced techniques such as generating gametes from stem cells, to avoid the human species becoming perpetually dependent on medical procedures to survive. Right: Sexuality commands respect as sacred to the natural order, as we each become conscious beings through sexual fertilization and sexual recombination to create the diversity of all sexual beings, without which higher life forms would never have come into existence.
Politically, resplendence aims at an ecosystemically diverse informed non-violent democratic society of mutually enlightened beings, possessing maximal autonomy of choice, avoiding the tyranny of the majority democracies are prone to , while recognizing the need to actively oppose all forms of totalitarianism that could lead to a loss of democratic autonomy, both from political movements such as totalitarian fascism and communism and from world religions with totalitarian doctrines that form an even more all-encompassing utopian threat to freedom of choice and world futures.
Technologically, resplendence seeks a society utilizing the most advanced techniques in a sensitive way, which works closely with evolutionary principles to achieve a high standard of living and fully informed intelligence, while having minimal impact on and actively restoring the biospheric resilience of the planet over evolutionary time scales. The energy economy needs urgently to move to renewable forms of energy not having deleterious impacts on the climate and biosphere as a whole. The information economy needs to remain as free as possible from governmental surveillance and accessible to all people.
Above all resplendence seeks to prevent the destabilization of the entire planet's resilience and robustness to survive, through rampant habitat destruction, burning the fossil fuels accumulated over three hundred million uears and climate change running to tipping points which could compromise both human survival and the survival of the diverse species upon which we co-depend.
Weapons of mass destruction need to be replaced by programs to provide defences against events on an astronomical scale threatening to the continuity of life, such as asteroid impacts and nearby supernovae. Questions of interstellar migration, or communication, need to be considered cautiously for their deeper implications..
Great precautionary care needs to be applied to bootstrap genetic technologies such as germ-line editing and engineering, which feedback directly into the process of genetic evolution itself and hence the informational foundation of the biosphere. These technologies have vast utopian potential, and invoke the temptation to make choices which result in an elitist dependence on advanced reproductive technology. They are liable to lead to 'poisoned chalice' dystopias, lacking the resilience to survive over evolutionary time scales.
Because resplendence is founded on the resilience that natural evolutionary ecosystems have over cosmological time scales and the super-computing power of parallel genetic algorithms in a diverse natural ecology, as a concept it needs to apply a very strong precautionary principle against forms of technology which to bootstrap genetic technologies such as germ-line editing and engineering, which feedback directly into the process of genetic evolution itself and hence the informational foundation of the biosphere. Eugenic genetic engineering and/or cloning, or using other genetic reproductive technologies for "brave new world" utopian aims is a key potential threat to long term ecosystemic viability that needs to be avoided, because it is most likely to lead to irreversible loss of characteristics essential to the long-term adaptiveness of both human beings and the species upon which we depend for our future survival. These technologies have vast utopian potential, and invoke the temptation to make choices that result in an elitist dependence on advanced reproductive technology. They are liable to lead to 'poisoned chalice' dystopias, lacking the resilience to survive over evolutionary time scales. Use of technologies such as germ-line editing, particularly in humans and the species upon which we depend, thus has to be examined very carefully on a case-by-case basis.
Primary Threats to Evolution and Survival: Top: Hiroshima after the nuclear holocaust. Middle: Intentional deforestation in Indonesia. Bottom: Genetic technology hold both great promise and great risks, requiring careful ethical assessment to avoid irreversible damage. (Left) Macaques genetically edited using CRISPR to alter three genes. Right: Parthenogenetic and stem-cell generated mice using reproductive genetic technology.
CRISPR, a new gene editing technology based on a key bacterial immune system, has already been shown to be able to make changes in specific genes and yet enable the birth of live gene-edited primate offspring, leading to the potential to make selective changes to genes such as those causing diseases in humans. But this technology has to be very carefully assessed. Combining it with 'gene drive' techniques, which can selectively result in the edited genes being transmitted to virtually all offspring when an organism containing the edited changes mates and produces offspring, rather than the natural 50-50 ratio, could eliminate a disease such as malaria by precipitating an explosive loss of mosquito fertility, but could also cause irreversible changes to both species and ecosystems. Such gene drive mechanisms could continue to cause collateral damage, resulting in the loss of essential characteristics in species upon which depend or even our own species. A decade ago Monsanto tried to introduce 'terminator technology' which would cause seeds produced by the company to become genetically infertile in the second generation leading to a similar risk of irreversible loss if the natural varieties ceased to be cultivated on an adequate scale by farmers dependent on the technology.
Resplendence is the natural paradigm successor to religion, in which we cherish and replenish the Earth throughout the generations of the diversity of life, no longer seeing through a glass darkly, but now face-to-face, coming into coherence with our sexually-immortal condition, becoming the source of a collective illumination of enlightenment, both scientific and visionary, to flower the future generations and sustain the epoch of paradise on Earth.
There is no basis to the cosmological argument for God because there is no meaningful way to mount an initial cause, since space-time begins with the cosmic origin and time does not extend to before but curves to meet itself in much the same way as all the lines of latitude come together at the south pole of the Earth. There is thus no meaning to trying to apply linear causal logic that something beforehand must have made the universe, except as a classical misconception. This problem only gets worse If the universe is part of a larger fractal cosmic inflation process, because it is fundamental to general relativity that the curvature of space-time is shaped by gravity.
Likewise it is meaningless to talk about a 'final' cause of life - a single external defined purpose to which it must converge. Just as dark energy suggests the universe will expand forever, so the quantum physics of biology leads to the evolutionary diversity of life and the vision quest of consciousness as open-ended outcomes. In this process we, and the generations of life with us, will discover, ever more deeply, the nature of conscious existence, which is the most inscrutable process in the universe.
For this reason we need to protect the evolutionary diversity of life and of conscious existence throughout the generations as a prime purpose in life, while at the same time exploring as deeply as possible the conscious condition. We also have a prime purpose to safeguard the genetic diversity of life in our use of technology.
Recent research connecting quantum entanglement to space-time and gravity implies that quantum reality, with its spooky wave functions connecting past and future, may define the large scale structure of the universe and hence space-time as well. Elapsing time is a feature of an observer inside an entangled state. Outside this state, the observer sees space-time extension with no time evolution - i.e. eternal existence. It is everything forever - alpha to Omega.
Because the conscious brain depends on edge-of-chaos sensitivity and quantum entanglement to anticipate reality and survive in an uncertain world, we can experience both the temporal aspect and the eternal aspect of the existential condition. In the temporal, we witness things change and evolve and we are born and die. In the eternal, everything we have witnessed and will ever witness is encoded in the entanglement of past and future.
Consciousness and intentional will are a process which enables us to anticipate the immediate future and to act to perpetuate the process in terms of survival. Thus the consciousness in every sentient being is subjectively participating in determining the causal destiny of the universe. The universe coming to experience itself is the ultimate interactive consummation of the symmetry-breaking of the forces of nature in the cosmic origin. It is thus fully cosmological - the Sigma state complementing alpha and Omega.
Cosmological life - paradise on the cosmic equator.
In the temporal aspect of existence, we are discovering ourselves while discovering nature and collapsing the cosmic wave function so that we all experience a temporal line of world history in the making. From outside the entanglement, this is the universe having come to know itself in paradise on the cosmic equator. This knowing is eternal - spanning space time - so that it is of significance only that it came to pass at all, not when it begins or ends. It doesn't matter if life ends on Earth, or even the entire universe meets its heat death, because the experience is eternally encoded in space-time.
The eternal aspect of this collective consciousness, spanning the entire history of the universe, is what religious people think of as God generating the universe as a dream, a thought, an intellectual pronouncement, or ultimate cause. Let there be life and there was life! Vishnu, the sustainer, dreaming the universe out of Brahman emerging from a lotus in his navel, lovingly overlooked by Lakhsmi. The Pauline Logos as a demiurge pronouncing the universe into being through his intellect.
These worldviews are allegorical myths, not literal accounts. We need to explore the actual mysteries of sentient existence in the first person to validate them, just as good science discovers the natural world by sceptical inquiry. This is a primary responsibility of being a sentient being alongside protecting the diversity of the generations of life.
Ten Clarifications on the Nature of Existence
1. Biogenesis, Evolution and Consciousness: Biogenesis is a cosmological interactive process leading, through biological evolution, to consciousness as the most complete expression of all the fundamental forces of nature in interaction. It is thus the Sigma point on the cosmic equator in space-time, standing in consummating relationship to the alpha and Omega.
2. Transcendence lies in the Biota: Transcendence is thus manifest principally or exclusively in the biota, and hence in the human vision quest. The messianic quest, the mystical quest, the shamanic vision quest and the quest for enlightenment are thus real, as is the sacredness of sexuality, but worship of deities, including the monotheistic God, is a false vision based on idolatry and bibliolatry. There is no final prophet or messiah, because the mysterium tremendum of existence is manifest in every sentient being.
3. The Origin of Apocalypse: Our conscious awareness of the existential condition during the epochs of human emergence and the development of civilization has led to an awareness of tumultuous future shock converging on the covers being thrown off reality, a phenomenon that has come to be described in religious traditions as apocalypse.
4. Transcendence versus Deity: Transcendence is not manifest in the monotheistic God or other deities, which are projections of human nature and transcendence into imaginary personalities in heavenly and hellish domains. The Day of Judgment is thus a false morally punishing apocalypse.
5. Sexuality, Fertility and Incarnation: Sexual complementarity and fertility is key to the emergence of complex life and consciousness and secures the creative and perennial passage of the generations of life, even though as individual organisms, we suffer a mortal life-span, inescapable in biological life. Sexuality is thus integral to the sacred condition and the immortality of the generations of life. Because incarnation is sexual, the idea of reincarnation of individual souls, possibly in different species is a natural fallacy.
6. Religion and Nature: The purpose of spirituality and religion is to cherish and replenish the planet throughout the generations of life. Nature is thus central and pivotal to the sacred condition.
7. Religion and Morality: The social value of religion is to encourage collective respect for, responsibility about, and action to, protect the living planet and life in the universe. It is neither to worship God, nor to create a dominant culture through morally prescriptive punishing deities and doctrines, nor to repress female reproductive choice, all of which are oppressive worldly instruments of male power.
8. Realization and Fulfillment: Individual realization and collective fulfillment comes through contributing to the future fecundity of life and discovering the inner nature of conscious experience and the natural world and communicating these experiences to others. This is fulfilling the destiny of the universe coming to understand itself in space-time through conscious illumination.
9. Conscious autonomy and Will: Consciousness and intentional will exist to bind together the complementary subjective and objective physical aspects of existential reality in such a way as to enable subjective intentionality to alter the course of physical history and bring about a more blessed and aware world and cosmological condition. We are thus responsible for our actions and their ultimate affects.
10. Selfishness and Mortality: While free-will can also be used for selfish ends, or to create dominant dystopias, these aims are ignorant and ultimately doomed to mortality because they do not achieve fruition of the immortal condition. The aim of enlightenment is to help everyone see the futility of such selfish manipulative and oppressive actions and to act with joy and vitality to protect the living generations of life.
Accounting Religious Apocalypse and its Greening in the Traditions
Apocalypse is a cosmological nightmare generated by a patriarchally dominant culture generating religions of conflict and destruction in the name of the male reproductive imperative and its ensuing male mortality anxiety inflated to cosmic proportions in the quest for eternal life and the cosmic war between God and the devil. This is itself a betrayal of faith in both our evolutionary original virtue, which sustained us into this situation, and for believers in the divine, a betrayal of the genuine power and essential goodness of God, by placing Him in mortal combat with equally oppressive forces of darkness, which have no place in any cosmological description, outside the all too natural human failings of jealousy, betrayal, anger, contempt, disgust, envy and expedience.
The scientific revolution has shown us in astounding ways how the universe actually works and how it comes about, and it does have moral and ethical implications for conserving the diversity of nature, knowing how long evolutionary time-scales take to generate the living and genetic diversity upon which the robustness of the planet, and our future with it, depends.
The unique role of religion, when it is functioning for the human and planetary good, is to bind us together in a paradigm of caring and of moral and ethical goodness and togetherness in which major decisions for the long-term welfare of the planet and its ongoing life may take personal sacrifices on the part of all of us to avoid a tragedy of the commons (Hardin) caused by winner-take-all exploitation and greed.
This is precisely the theme of the current Pope's encyclical to care for the planet, to avoid severe climate change and loss of biodiversity, paralleled by similar responses from the Anglicans and a group of Muslim scholars which we shall examine in the next section, so it is possible for religion to have a helpful role when it is not oppressive. However, religion also needs to respect female views on contraception and reproduction in an era of peaking and potentially unsustainable human population. Its role should be to mitigate human violence with a sense of wisdom and mutual compassion, rather than to invoke homicidal violence and dismemberment through outmoded doctrines and prescriptions, such as stoning for adultery, amputation for stealing, and death for apostasy.
As Rosemary Radford Ruether (1982) notes: both the [Covenental and Sacramental] traditions are marked by a legacy of patriarchalism and must be reinterpreted, if they are to be genuinely affirming of dominated women, men and nature. Even then, the question of whether they can be adequately liberated and made liberating will remain. … I assume there is no ready made ecological spirituality and ethic in past traditions. The ecological crisis is new to human experience. This does not mean that humans have not devastated the environment before. But as long as populations remained small and human technology was weak, these devastations were remediable by migration, retreat from top-heavy urban centers, or adaption of new techniques. Nature appeared a huge inexhaustible source of life and humans small. Only after the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did humans begin to recognize the possibility that they could destroy the planet by their own expropriated power. The radical nature of this new face of ecological devastation means that all past human traditions are inadequate in the face of it.
Many of the ways religions act already encourage compassionate sentiments, in the virtues of charity and love for others, celebrated collectively in rites-of-passage, from birth, through sexual union, to death, and in the festivals of the seasons. They also encourage caring for others in creating a fairer world for all. This is the joy and magic of people coming together in love with a common cause of the fertility of life itself and the part each of us plays in the fabric of existence. We are thus the agents of giving meaning to existence through the meaning we give to life itself, rather than seeking it in subservient worship and unquestioned archaic doctrines. Extended to an opportunity for mystical experience as well, provided by the living sacraments completes the cycle in the first person, making the whole process one of confirming reality through personal affirmation, rather than prescriptive belief.
We nevertheless need to hold all existing religions to account for their history of violence and deal with them in terms of tough love, resisting all violence and coercion, to avoid them taking humanity and our very ability to protect our future generations, hostage to their coercive and often violently enforced utopian ambitions.
Muslims hold Muhammad as a sacred perfect being, peace be upon him, under pain of death for his mere depiction, but it is clearly documented that he ordered the summary beheading of 700 Jewish men and took their women into sexual slavery by appointing a dying warrior judge over their fate when they had parleyed with the Quraysh besieging Medina, but had not betrayed the Muslims by actually opening their gates in the Oasis (Armstrong). Thus a genocide was committed, even though an actual betrayal had never occurred, or the Muslims wouldn't have been in a position to exact such a diabolical punishment. Muhammad personally ordered apostates to be killed and women to be stoned for adultery. All people on the planet need to recognise that the prophet's own actions are completely inconsistent with Islam's pretence to be a religion of peace. If any religious leader in this day and age were to commit such heinous offences, the international community would hunt them down and put them on trial for crimes against humanity. We need to come to a day of reckoning about those who have committed unconscionable violence in founding a major world religion with utopian aims for world domination, and steadfastly oppose all rights to commit homicidal violence in the name of religion, or scripture.
The Genocide in the Souk of Medina (Fitna)
For this reason I close with a series of abrogations of scripture invoking violence or repression, as possibly the one person on the planet who has declared the need, taken the prerogative, and the had insight to do so, in the spirit of culminating the violent epoch of apocalypse once and for all time to follow, for the liberation of all sentient beings from bondage and religious homicide.
But to consummate this process, we need to consider the wider horizon. The world is suffering from a schizophrenic mismatch between the scientific and religious traditions. On the scientific side, paradigm shifts (Kuhn) - fundamental changes in the description of reality - are happening at an accelerating pace, just as Albert Einstein's quantum theory and relativity formed a new paradigm, generalizing and replacing those of Isaac Newton. Whole new developments, from the theories of fundamental physics, through cosmology and the ultimate origin and fate of the universe, to the human genome project, biological genetics and neuroscience, are completely transforming our understanding of the natural world, using the sceptical principle of accepting only those theories that are confirmed by nature.
Physicist Richard Feynman put it this way: In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is - if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.
By contrast the world's major religions are caught in a sabbatical flat-Earth view of existence, in which evolution doesn’t exist, God made the living species in an act of creative manufacture as we make tools, autos and computers, the heavens lie in the clouds and we all wait in fear for the Day of Judgment. In the middle stands the planet and its biosphere and the human impacts documented by science which could jeopardize the long-term future of planetary life. Despite efforts on both sides to paper over the cracks and claim some consistency between science and religion, these two world-views have become fundamentally inconsistent and in a state of conceptual and actual conflict.
Central to this question is the way religions try to infer the reality of their models by reference to a-priori assumptions, untestable hypotheses and notions invoking supernatural processes transcending any form of human examination. The Hellenistic cosmogony of Christianity posits a divine ultimate being in turn giving rise to a creator god, who creates the universe as a kind of conscious mental imprint of their own intellect. Modern versions of this Christian idea see God becoming all things to all men - the Biblical god of Israel invoking jealous wrath in the Old Testament, the forgiving father God of Jesus, who sacrifices his only begotten Son, the Logos-Christ at the beginning and end of the universe, and finally the god imagined to be standing somehow behind the inordinately complex physical universe we have now discovered through science, and in the conscious minds of its diverse inhabitants, along with all the good and beneficent feelings of compassion and awe we can come to express – i.e. God is in everything!
Despite the US being a developed country with strong scientific and secular traditions, over 42% of people still believe in Genesis 1 creationism, sometimes disguised as 'intelligent design', and most, particularly Republican Christians continue deny human impacts on climate change.
Caught up in this confusion are the endless arguments for the existence of God. The original ontological argument was "that than which nothing greater can be conceived" must exist in the mind; even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God. The cosmological argument, which we shall consider and refute in detail, is generally in the guise of a notion of the cosmos as a causal process, which thus must be set in motion by a primal first cause claimed to be God.
There are fundamental reasons why the cosmogony and cosmology of both the physical universe and conscious sentient existence should apply the standards of sceptical inquiry, only confirming theories which could actually be disproved and for which there is confirming evidence, either objective or subjective. The picture emerging both from quantum theory and the relativistic universe clarifies why positing first causes of this nature are likely to be fundamental misconceptions originating from mental introspection in the classical world, which do not hold in general.
Quantum theory is stochastic, with deterministic Hamiltonian wave functions interleaved with causality-violating processes invoking the probability interpretation, either from the notion of collapse of the wave function and other theories such as many worlds. Quantum processes also admit both advanced and retarded solutions, so that implicitly time-reversing properties such as the many versions of the Wheeler delayed choice experiment become manifest in diverse forms of quantum entanglement. Causality in the physical universe is generally associated with the "arrow of time" in that causes precede their effects, but general relativity invokes the curvature of both space and time, so that for example in the source of the big bang, space and time become rather like the north pole where the lines of latitude come together, with there being no meaning in asking what came before hand, as a primal first cause. Ideas of internal symmetries and symmetry-breaking have better explanatory power, although there are also cosmogenic physical theories in which a clash of higher dimensional 'branes', a recurrent bounce from a big crush, or a fractally inflating cosmos, could introduce new big-bang baby universes in the process.
Likewise the study of conscious experience is better served by empirical discovery than a-priori assumptions about transcendence and notions of first-causes, even though subjective consciousness may not conform to the notions of objective replication experimental science usually applies. Since we are all subjectively conscious beings, we can each enter into the cosmological spectrum of mental states achievable by the human brain and psyche and into a discovery process, just as shamans and mystics have done since the dawn of human culture. To have veridical validity, this needs to be pursued in the first person rather than surviving third-hand on doctrines of a priesthood or religious prescription.
Centrally in terms of the religious pursuit of eternal life in a mortal world, we need to understand that the redemption of mortality lies not the apocalyptic genocide of "a new heaven and earth", but the living immortality of the passage of the generations. Complex intelligent life could not have evolved without sexuality providing the almost endless repertoire of viable variations that sexual recombination enables. This leads in turn to the variety of each of us as sentient beings with a common compassionate basis in mortal incarnation as individual organisms. We are thus as individuals, 'emanations' of sexuality and gain our physical immortality in the immortal web of the generations of life. In return we owe it to the passage of the generations to cherish and replenish it. This is the best of all possible outcomes, not a flawed universe doomed to mortality of the individual. Through empathy and compassion we become united in life.
The caveat on a-priori assumptions also applies to Christogenic theories, such as that of Pierre Teihlard de Chardin, the Catholic philosopher/archaeologist who was prevented by the church from publishing his work during his lifetime and produced an evolutionary Christology occurring in qualitative 'phase transitions' in which successive phases supplanted one another due to their invoking more efficient and novel forms of emergence, from physical and chemical complexification, through biological evolution from simpler to more successful complex organisms, in turn succeeded by human culture proceeding from primitive societies through early civilizations to democracy and technology, leading to a unitary mind, reminiscent of the 'global village of the world-wide web, culminating in unidirectional causality in the 'body of Christ' in Love, realizing the Hellenistic notion of the cosmic redemption. Rosemary Radford Ruether notes the dark side of this unilateral 'privileged axis', leading to 'sanguine acceptance of extinction of species as the acceptable price of this progress' although it has been widely recognized by scientists for its integrated view of humanity in the universe.
Chardin's Christogenesis model.
The idea that there is a beneficent underlying basis for the deeper and deeper integration of conscious experience, which is also a manifestation of the interactive cosmology of the universe is consistent with it being manifest subjectively in the cosmological nature of consciousness itself, which can be experienced in meditation and contemplation. But this is something we need to explore very carefully without preconceptions, because it is the most subtle manifestation of the sentient cosmos. We have no evidence that this will lead to a linear axial Christology, rather than an increasing diversity of indwelling mystical insights in a resonating tapestry of living experience, just as we are still trying to determine whether the current physical universe will expand forever, rather than ending in a 'big crunch'.
Science, as the pursuit of natural knowledge, can tell us the planet is in trouble, but it falls to social activists, such Greenpeace, to try to bring human consciousness to bear on the problem, while world leaders dither and argue, urged on by a few more enlightened of their members, often hobbled by conservative forces aligned to business interests who depend for their wealth on the status quo, leading towards a tragedy of the commons. Traditionally the complementary role falls to religion to give people a view of reality in which life makes sense, to motivate people to act for the common good, and in which our collective prospects and sense of meaning in life and death are given real hope.
Science and religion in deeper human history over the last 100,000 years have appealed to complementary aspects of how the human brain has evolved. Science is basically an abstraction of the practical natural skills of hunters developing potent arrow poisons and gathers learning the nutrient and medicinal properties of diverse plant species, and potential uses of natural products to achieve diverse cultural ends. It is the knowledge of how to live in nature successfully. Religion plays into our sense of meaning, our togetherness as a people, our sense of moral rightness towards one another in the face of potential betrayal, and the subconscious realms where visionary experiences, our mortal fears and sense of belonging play out in senses of ecstasy and ultimate meaning.
It is thus religion that has been the motivating force for the rise and fall of successive cultures and civilizations. The world is in absolutely urgent need of the ability to have paradigm revolutions of its religious traditions, so that humanity can come to constructive engagement with the closing circle of one biosphere. Now the tragic fallacy in this equation is that Christianity, Islam and even Buddhism too have set up toxic traps to prevent natural paradigm change. Buddha embodies a state of perfection unattainable in the round of birth and death. Islam has declared that Muhammad is the final prophet, preventing any change to the paradigm under pain of execution. Christianity has in many ways set up an even more lethal trap by claiming the only messiah is Jesus who will return as avenging Lord in the day of judgment, thus not only being the final prophet, but the judge and executioner as well.
Correspondence between attitudes to climate change and evolution in US religious groups shows negative attitudes to both are broadly correlated with religious fundamentalism.
Try to imagine for a moment the relationship between Newton and Einstein. If Jesus, as the historical founder of Christianity, is compared to Newton, how can an Einstein ever come into being in this tradition? No Meister Eckhart, Saint Paul, or Mother Teresa can do it because all are caught in the gilded cage of having to worship the Christian doctrinal package, unadulterated by heresy, as good faithful Christians. The current Pope Francis who is a genius about protecting diversity and addressing global warming in his encyclical compiled by world class scientists, and has moved to soften the hard line against divorce, and abortion through forgiveness, is still stuck with claiming that "Good weeps" for the victims of church child abuse. What kind of God of creation lurks in the aether, expressing human emotions and "biological" tears for Catholic wrongdoings, while genocidal religious war rages in Syria and the planet is in ecocrisis?
So, is it true that the only way a Christian Einstein could come about would be by founding a completely new religion, overthrowing the broken paradigm of Jesus stuck on the Cross bleeding for all eternity? Since Christianity is the central cultural religious tradition of the Western world, this is like saying Einstein would have to overthrow science to discover relativity. It is madness pure and simple. It is possible but it would clearly take a huge challenge to the zeitgeist to accept a human innovator daring enough to do a stealth raid as the "thief in the night". The acid test ultimately is universal credibility of the innovation.
Hence we need to look very carefully at what the natural revolution of this stasis is, in complete honesty and transparency. The answer, in the closing circle of the biosphere, is clearly that the central meaning, raison d'źtre and purpose of all our human lives is to cherish and replenish the Earth throughout the generations of living diversity. There is no other end game, no other Unveiling, no other solution - this IS it! It's not a matter of affirmative belief, such as "I believe in the one God", but the ultimate truth of existential reality itself, and our conscious place in the process. This is what I describe as the way, or Tao of the Tree of Life, the natural successor to Christianity in the Western tradition.
And it comes with two clear implications about nature and fertility, both of which run diametrically opposite to the view of reality pronounced in Eden - that nature is evil, as the serpent is evil, and that woman is the devil's gateway. The truth is that nature is sacred, sine qua non, as paradise is sacred, and that sexuality is as sacred as nature. Reproductive fertility, its underlying genetics and the parental investment of the human female stipulates that female choice reproductively and culturally is at least as sacred as male choice.
The Abrogation of Violent and Repressive Scripture
I unpronounce dominion over nature.
I unpronounce the Anathema maranatha.
I unpronounce the death curse on the witch.
I unpronounce stoning for adultery,
or any other violent punishment.
I apologise to all women for the sins of man.
The following sample passages from the Old and New Testaments, Qur'an and Law of Manu are hereby abrogated in the name of the Bridegroom, to liberate all women from the yoke of patriarchal religion, whether monotheism or polytheistic Hinduism. These are representative examples. Any others expressing similar attitudes are likewise abrogated by implication and precedent. All references to death for adultery are abrogated in every religion in which they occur. There are so many diabolical hadith concerning stoning and other stone-age punishments that only three key passages emphasizing the origin of stoning from applying it incorrectly to Jews on the basis of an outmoded passage in Deuteronomy are included to emphasize the origin of this grievous error, which has plagued Muslim women for many centuries.
Exod 22:18 Death curse on the Witch Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Lev 20:27 Familiars A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 24:16 Blasphemy And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
Deut 21:22 Hanging on a Tree And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;
Deut 20:12 Genocide and Sexual Slavery And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; (used to justify Muhammad's genocide at Medina)
Deut 22:20 Stoning for Adultery But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: (used to justify stoning for adultery in Islam)
Deut 22:22 Stoning for Adultery If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
Deut 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Luke 14:23 Religious compulsion And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
1 Cor 16:22 The Anathema curse "If any 'man' love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let 'him' be Anathema maranatha".
1 Cor 14:34 Women to keep silent "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
1 Timothy 2:11 Women not authorized to Preach "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent with all subjection; for Adam was first formed then Eve. Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor".
1 Cor 7:29 Negating sexuality in marriage "Blessed are they who have wives as if they had none, for they shall inherit God".
Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Qur'an 4:34: Men superior to women, Beating "Men stand superior to women in that God hath preferred the one over the other ... Those whose perverseness you fear, admonish them and remove them into bed chambers and beat them, but if they submit to you then do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."
Qur'an 4.11: Male worth two Females Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females
Qur'an 4.15: Confinement unto death And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.
Qur'an 4:89 Death for apostasy They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.
Qur'an 24.2 Flogging for adultery (As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement. The fornicator shall not marry any but a fornicatress or idolatress, and (as for) the fornicatress, none shall marry her but a fornicator or an idolater; and it is forbidden to the believers.
Qur'an 24.31 Enforced veiling And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons.
Verses of the Sword
Apologists for Islam, as a supposed religion of peace, often quote the following:
Qur'an 2.256 Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clear from error.
But the Koran includes many abrogated verses, called mansukh, and abrogating verses, nasikh; the latter cancel the former, rendering them invalid, though they nevertheless remain in the Koran and are deceptively quoted, for Western consumption, as though they still represent genuine Islamic beliefs. Of the Koran's 114 suras, only 43 are without abrogated or abrogating verses. The Koranic verses that preach tolerance and peace and prohibit compulsion in religion, are among the earliest of Muhammad's revelations and are thus liable to abrogation, whenever Allah felt the inclination to revoke his immutable word. Muhammad was thus able to impose upon his followers the implausible belief that the inerrant Muslim God had routinely changed his mind. The early Koran invoked religious tolerance because Islam had not yet acquired the power to compel conversion:
The Apostle had not been given permission to fight or allowed to shed blood ... he had simply been ordered to call men to God, endure insult, and forgive the ignorant ( Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah. )
But when Islam became powerful, Islam could now call people by the sword - that is, compel conversion - and accordingly verses of the sword were conveniently revealed to the Prophet, verses that sanction and command conversion of the Infidel by armed violence, which historically would become Islam's preferred method.
Hence the following sura are all abrogated in the name of religious deceit and the need for a sustainable world without promulgation of religious violence to achieve physical domination:
Qur'an 5.33 Crucifixion for mischief The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement, Except those who repent before you have them in your power; so know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Qur'an 5.51 O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. Allah guides not the people of the evildoers.
Qur'an 8.12-13 Allah revealed His will to the angels, saying: 'I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!' That was because they defied Allah and His apostle. He that defies Allah and his apostle shall be sternly punished by Allah.
Qur'an 8.37 In order that Allah may separate the pure from the impure, put all the impure ones [i.e. non-Muslims] one on top of another in a heap and cast them into hell. They will have been the ones to have lost.
Qur'an 8.39 And fight them until there is no more fitnah disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allah and the religion worship will all be for Allah alone. But if they cease worshipping others besides Allah then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
Qur'an 8.60 Muster against them [i.e. non-Muslims] all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to Allah.
Qur'an 8.65 O Prophet, urge on the believers to fight. If there be twenty of you, patient men, they will overcome two hundred; if there be a hundred of you, they will overcome a thousand unbelievers, for they are a people who understand not.
Qur'an 8.67 It is not for any Prophet to have prisoners until he make wide slaughter in the land.
Qur'an 9.5 Killing idolators So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Qur'an 9.29 Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden -- such men as practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book [i.e. Jews and Christians] -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.
Qur'an 9.39 If you do not go to war, He will punish you sternly, and will replace you by other men.
Qur'an 9.73 Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal harshly with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate.
Qur'an 9.111 They [i.e. faithful Muslims] will fight for the cause of Allah, they will slay and be slain.
Qur'an 9.123 O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness, and know that Allah is with the godfearing.
Qur'an 17.16 When We resolve to raze a city, We first give warning to those of its people who live in comfort. If they persist in sin, judgement is irrevocably passed, and We destroy it utterly.
Qur'an 21.11-15 We have destroyed many a sinful nation and replaced them by other men. And when they felt Our Might they took to their heels and fled. They were told: 'Do not run away. Return to your comforts and to your dwellings. You shall be questioned all.' 'Woe betide us, we have done wrong' was their reply. And this they kept repeating until We mowed them down and put out their light.
Qur'an 47.4 When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take a ransom from them, until war shall lay down her burdens.
Qur'an 48.29 Muhammad is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.
Qur'an 111.1-5 May the hands of Abu Lahab [Muhammad's uncle, who had refused to embrace Islam] perish! Nothing shall his wealth and gains avail him. He shall be burnt in a flaming fire, and his wife, laden with firewood, shall have a rope of fiber around her neck!
Hadith Death for Apostasy al-Bukhari 4:52:260 Narrated Ikrima: Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'
Hadith Stoning for adultery al-Bukhari 2:23:413 Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque."
Hadith Stoning for adultery al-Bukhari 4:56:829 Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah's Apostle said to them, "What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?" They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them." Abdullah bin Salam said, "You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm." They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, "Lift your hand." When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, "Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. ('Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones."
Hadith Stoning for adultery al-Bukhari 6.:60:79 Narrated 'Abdullah bin Umar: The Jews brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from among them who had committed illeg- al sexual intercourse. The Prophet said to them, "How do you usually punish the one amongst you who has committed illegal sexual intercourse?" They replied, "We blacken their faces with coal and beat them," He said, "Don't you find the order of Ar-Rajm (i.e. stoning to death) in the Torah?" They replied, "We do not find anything in it." 'Abdullah bin Salam (after hearing this conversation) said to them. "You have told a lie! Bring here the Torah and recite it if you are truthful." (So the Jews brought the Torah). And the religious teacher who was teaching it to them, put his hand over the Verse of Ar-Rajm and started reading what was written above and below the place hidden with his hand, but he did not read the Verse of Ar-Rajm. 'Abdullah bin Salam removed his (i.e. the teacher's) hand from the Verse of Ar-Rajm and said, "What is this?" So when the Jews saw that Verse, they said, "This is the Verse of Ar-Rajm." So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones.
Law of Manu IX. 4. Reprehensible is the father who gives not (his daughter) in marriage at the proper time.
Law of Manu IX. 88. To a distinguished, handsome suitor of equal caste should a father give his daughter in accordance with the prescribed rule, though she have not attained the proper age (puberty).
Law of Manu V. 157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body, by living voluntarily on pure flowers, roots and fruits ; but let her not, when her lord is deceased, even pronounce the name of another man.
Law of Manu V. 161. But a widow, who from a wish to bear children, slights her deceased husband by marrying again, brings disgrace on herself here below, and shall be excluded from the seat of her lord.
Law of Manu V. 162. Offspring begotten on a woman by any other than her husband, is here declared to be no progeny of hers ; no more than a child, begotten on the wife of another man belongs to the begetter; nor is a second husband any where prescribed for a virtuous woman.
Yajnavalkya 86. When deprived of her husband, she must not remain away from her father, mother, son, brother, mother-in-law or from her maternal uncle; otherwise she might become liable to censure. Here again Yajnavalkya does not suggest that a widow become a Sati.
Vijnaneshwar "This is in the case of the alternative of leading a celibate life vide the text of Vishnu [f75] : "After the death of the husband, either celibacy or ascending the (cremation) pile after him." Vijnaneshwar adds 'There is great merit in ascending the funeral pyre after him.
The Requital Document
This heritage document from 1997 sets out, in unaltered form from 20 years ago, my initial statement to the world in opening the epoch of the Tree of Life as an antidote and perennial remedy to the apocalyptic epoch. Some of this looks quaint in retrospect but it still rings true to the vision and to the unveiling.
Some things have changed: Then it was concern about the US failing to ratify the Rio Biodiversity Convention, now it is Donald Trump – the blundering elephant in the swamp of his own making - attempting to walk out of the Paris Accords on Climate Change. Then it was the Taliban before al Quaeda and 9-11 now it is the implosion of Islamic State after an episode of genocide and sexual slavery of the Yazidis that directly echoes Muhammad’s folly in Medina. Then it was “terminator technology” now it is the much more sensitive and multi-faceted issue of CRISPR and genetic editing the human future.
To: world political, economic and religious leaders
For: every sentient being on planet Earth.
Requital Document - Chris King - 1997
I am setting out this document of Requital, on the first anniversary of my millennial mission to save the biodiversity of our planet, to set the measure of world transformation and to address the issues which need to be resolved quickly and effectively if we are going to stop the holocaust of biodiversity and preserve our most precious living genetic garment for the benefit of future generations.
"To proclaim the acceptable year"
Spiritual Democracy and the Ethic of True Love:
I come as a follower, as a servant of the smallest among us to proclaim love and peace in the place of war and dominion - sakina in the place of jihad. True love, even of our enemies, so that a full requital can take place and Earth can again become whole. We cannot escape the alienation and angst of our existential dilemma until we realize our full potential in love and until we stop destroying our future heritage.
"To bind up the brokenhearted"
I am not here to be a secular or religious authority, but a catalyst to heal in freedom, to restore the questioning soul of humanity, our independence of insight and vision, the divine spark within, and our sense of direction in the unfolding of life's living diversity. To usher in a new epoch of spiritual democracy in our coming of age in the universe and in our assuming responsibility for our future - "I have said ye are gods and children of the most high". Spiritual democracy respects the Wisdom within our shared vision which can provide the foresight to deal with the unfolding future given the immense powers we have gained over the physical and natural world. Science cannot solve these questions, except to tell us the factual basis upon which we can make an ethical decision and any likely consequences. Neither can any religious dogma hope to address the new ethical issues being raised by scientific advance.
The Planting: A New Ecosystemic Synthesis:
Rio has passed with no effective result. The US continues delaying to ratify the world biodiversity accord, something which should be corrected forthwith. Kyoto has brought agreement for a moderate level of reduction, in CO2 emissions by the industrialized powers marred by rights-trading by the world's biggest CO2 polluter. Biodiversity remains the number one long-term issue. Sumatra and the Amazon are burning and the seas are polluted and over-fished. El Niño is rumbling, the ice sheets crumbling. World peace and disarmament are nowhere in sight. Nuclear weapons remain abundant and there is increasing risk of nuclear proliferation. Militarization still takes precedence over world poverty and world health. The Millennium is upon us reflecting the consequences of our actions and our illusions.
If we do not act now to renew the world order, all the signs are that hypocracy and short-term winner-take-all greed will decimate biodiversity and the resources of our planet in a "tragedy of the commons" which will strip and burn our great rain forests, the lungs of our green planet and the cradle of our living diversity, the riches of the oceans, and our very atmosphere, leaving only an "accursed share" in perpetuity to our own descendents, our very life blood of the future. Such selfishness in one generation will cause all of us to be cursed, not for millennia, but for millions of years. As I stand on this earth in a climacteric spanning all of evolutionary time - cosmological time also - I cannot afford to leave biodiversity to drift any further towards holocaust.
"Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord"
It is thus time for all of us on planet Earth to come to a new synthesis, a restoration and replanting of nature, to undo the damage of pollution, nuclear fallout, habitat destruction and exploitation of every available resource, in a replanting of life for the future of our own offspring and for the unfolding diversity of life itself, while there is still time and the jewel of biodiversity is yet with us.
"and they shall build the old wastes
and they shall raise up the former desolations ... of many generations ...
as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things that are in it to spring forth."
This can take place only through a complete re-examination of what ecosystemic society means, which goes beyond the male-invented cliches of egocentric capitalistic right and homocentric socialistic left in the political spectrum to form a new ecocentric cultural ethic based on regional autonomy and true democracy.
1. A moratorium on further exploitation of all remaining areas of natural diversity - stop burning the Amazon and the rain forests of Africa and South East Asia. Stop felling virgin forest or clearing virgin ecosystems.
2. An immediate world action plan to rescue all threatened habitats to be contributed to by each nation in proportion to their GNP.
3. International support for all peoples currently in ecologically sensitive zones to avoid them having to engage in environmentally damaging activities to survive and prosper.
4. Stop polluting and over-fishing of the oceans.
5. An immediate agreement for complete nuclear, biological and chemical world disarmament, with all cost savings to go to direct aid to the disadvantaged, so that inequity does not give rise to international tension. No nuclear missiles except as a very small international defence against asteroid or comet strike.
6. Fully ratify the Global Biodiversity Convention, and effective limitations on global warming emissions.
7. International cooperative development of renewable energy technology based on GNP-related investment in advance of the economic depletion of fossil fuels.
8. Debate the form of sustainable ecosystemic society through a transparent gender-equitable accounting.
The millennial 'apocalypse' is, by definition, the 'unveiling' of the bride - the end of the occlusion of the feminine and her sequestering and repression. This bride is the feminine spirit, returning to her sacred place of natural sustainability to complete our vision and to correct the imbalance and oppression of the patriarchal cultural epoch. Until respect for the feminine and for nature is restored to its sacred status, men will continue to rape and plunder the earth in the name of science, of progress, and of God. I thus ask all of you on this planet, male and female alike, to respect the restoration of the feminine spirit of Wisdom and sustainability.
"and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels"
As a male messenger of this feminine apocalypse I invite women of all walks to meet together and with men of like mind in gathering empowerment to join in discussing as widely, transparently and democratically as possible the future nature of this "replanting" of sustainable ecosystemic human culture. I believe it needs more than the gender tokenism of an equal share of the vote, because somehow men generally pack the representation deck even given "equal opportunity". The process needs equanimity of representation of women at every stage, either by proportionate representation or by gender consensus. Only by such a forward-looking initiative now will we have a good prospect of a soft genetic landing next century and a verdant world of diversity to save for our living future. I am thus not here to lead, but to apologise to the womankind of the world for their treatment over the last two millennia and the destruction wrought upon the Earth by mankind and to ask you to join in the sacred marriage of the biosphere in reunion and in forgiveness so that our immortal living heritage will be preserved.
1. An immediate cessation of female circumcision and infibulation.
2. Do not kill the girl child.
3. Abolition of violent or lethal penalties for female infidelity Judeo-Christian and Islamic.
4. Freedom of dress, expression and decision-making for all women in all cultures.
5. Removal of all social, religious and economic barriers to women receiving a free, full and fair education so that we are all fully able to contribute fully to empowering a nurturing and sustainable society.
6. Equanimity of representation of women and/or gender consensus in all future political and ethical decisions.
No action on the world environment and ecosystem can be successful without real and equitable social justice. To fulfil this agenda means freeing people from bondage, particularly from political imprisonment and repression, poverty and ill health, but also from their double-binds and misconceptions - from the joint tyrannies of mechanism and fundamentalism, from social programming through commercial advertising and other forms of illusion and indoctrination.
"To proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of prison to them that are bound"
Poverty and hunger are prisons. While some people in the world consume over 100 times the resources of others and live in luxury, most of the world's people live in hunger and poverty. While the rich developed nations enjoy ostensible democracy and human rights, most of the world's people struggle simply to survive, often under the yoke of political and/or gender oppression. While the rich of developed countries have their pick of space-age medical techniques, people in the prison of poverty have little or none. In caring for the health of the world, we also need to care equitably for the health of each of us that are alive at a given point in time. While the glaring economic inequities characterised by "north and south" continue, economic colonialism remains a millstone to any reconstruction of the natural environment. While the richer nations extract natural resources from the underdeveloped world at cheap prices, nature is squandered and population pressures continue because the demographic transition is delayed along with rising living standards and full education.
The egocentric ethics of capitalism does not adequately address the severe inequalities that can and do arise in society from real differences in opportunity. The foundation of a meaningful human society is caring: "From each according to their abilities to each according to their needs". The free-market ethic violates this principle of human caring by asserting: "From each according to their resources to each according to their investment". Social conscience is required to fulfil the agenda of social responsibility. This conscience can only come from an ethic of love, not only for one's kin and neighbour, but even for one's "enemies" - the Hapiru or "outsiders" who lie beyond our domains of kin and reciprocal altruism.
Under the free-market ethic, taxation is minimised, social services to the poor and needy are cut. Responsibility for social justice becomes a voluntary indulgence of those rich and powerful people and nations who choose to be altruistic. True social justice requires making consensus economic sacrifices and political decisions which transform the egocentric ethic of capitalism, without imposing a totalitarian homocentric ethic, as has been the bane of communism. An ecocentric ethic is required for a sustainable society. This requires a new socio-political synthesis which can only be developed through ethical debate in a free society, not through political manipulation and corporate control of the media and economy. I am thus calling for in-depth discussion on the form of ecocentric society to be brought to Sakina for consideration.
Justice cannot come unless the rich nations are prepared to give fairly to those of the poor and less developed nations. It is sheer hubris for the so-called democratic electorates of developed countries such as the US to campaign for less taxes while consuming the lions share of the world's resources and begrudging any curbing of their CO2 emissions.
1. A comprehensive world poverty plan which displays international compassion and justice to all peoples regardless of nationality.
2. Redistribute all available resources to the needy. No stockpiling for profit!
3. Require all commercial advertisers dominating communications media to contribute to free informational programs initiated by citizens groups lying outside corporate influence.
4. Free all prisoners of conscience including all political prisoners.
5. Again I say free Tibet. Free Burma. Free the women of Afghanistan. Stop the killing in Algeria, especially disembowelling pregnant women. Allow free elections in China.
Free Market Genetics:
Much of the problem is sourced not in individual greed but in corporate greed. Corporate transnational organizations have become a law unto themselves which violate all principles of national sovereignty, regional autonomy and grass-roots democracy. It is essential that the power of transnational investment is subject to democratic scrutiny by the people of this planet.
While western politicians espouse principles of electoral democracy, international trade agreements are negotiated for the benefit of transnational corporations who are not elected democratically, who command and exploit the world's diminishing resources and dominate world media without any direct accountability to the human population. Corporate interests control the world economy in a way which now bypasses all democratic electoral processes. World free-trade agreements result in a net loss of national autonomy, particularly for smaller and less developed economies in ways which their electorates have no power or control over. Until such corporate organizations become democratically accountable to the populations they serve, such treaties will simply remain instruments of capital colonialism and serve to accelerate the exploitation of the dwindling resources of the planet by the quickest to get to them and the greediest.
The free-market is touted as a natural ecological vehicle of efficiency through competition, but the 'free-market' is not genetic, because company law allows complete liquidation and re-direction of company investment. Companies can thus escape accountability for damaging, exploitive behavior because they do not contain the genetic principle which is essential to the sustainability of survivors in a surviving biosphere. Without any genetic principles, the free-market is dangerously prone to overshoot and catastrophic rebound caused by rapid over-exploitation of resources to reap short-term gain in advance of other players or regulatory protection. .
1. Apply genetic principles to company law.
2. Fundamental changes to law are required to establish a sustainable ecocentric ethics in human society. These must make corporate organizations democratically accountable to the people as well as to their shareholders.
Genetic Technology and Freedom of Information:
Two illustrations of how anti-democratic such activities can become are indicative. Monsanto is busy buying up major world seed producers while using coercive policies to force the adoption of patented genetically-engineered seed stock resistant to its own brands of herbicide. All such initiatives are taken without public request or advance ethical debate, on the pretext of corporate trade secrets and intellectual property rights. The effect is the planting of vast productive areas of the planet with zero-diversity monoclones, severe loss of genetic diversity and private ownership of our world heritage. While Bill Gates rightly opposed the big-brother attempts of the Clinton administration to make world encryption open to the US security agency, Microsoft is becoming a real threat to the future freedom and independence of the internet - something destined to become the 'noosphere', our one central expression of human conscious interaction. This undercuts freedom of information and the foundation of a democratic world society.
The issues of freedom of information and genetic technology are absolutely pivotal to our future. Major changes which are crossing deep ethical watersheds are being made in secret by companies for profit alone and are not submitted in advance to society for any democratic process of ethical consideration. Industry is able to apply sufficient influence to government, particularly in the US, to bypass the electorate. Corporate scientists attempt to bypass consumer opinion by claiming the consuming public's ethical concerns are based on ignorance of the scientific issues, religious misconceptions, or frankly that society will just have to accept the inevitable onrush of progress in the development of genetic engineering technology in a relentlessly changing world. This is frank intellectual prostitution.
Many of these new genetic technologies may bring great benefit, but they are being developed in a completely unethical, undemocratic and clandestine way, which is by-passing the very social forward thinking that is essential to prevent us falling into an evolutionary end-game and potential extinction. The future ecological security of our food species is at increasing risk. They are being replaced by non-viable, infertile and engineered varieties and both the original genetic diversity and wild habitats are being rapidly lost. Germ plasm banks cannot save our food plant heritage alone.
Science lacks any intrinsic ethical qualities. For every scientific ecologist trying to save the planet there is an unscrupulous genetic engineer undoing their work in monoclonal gene tech products. Gene tech depends on biodiversity for its genetic resources but is the single most serious threat to biodiversity outside direct habitat destruction. It raises completely new ethical issues relating to the very future of evolution and the genetics of the human germ line, which cannot be dealt with by scientists and industry and government experts alone on the assumption of an ignorant general population.
1. Corporations to present all genetic technology development proposals to consumer ethics committees before proceeding with research and development.
2. A moratorium on all patenting of genetic intellectual property rights until the rights of all people to our genetic endowment and particularly those peoples who have traditionally discovered and used these species have been protected.
3. Processes involving the human germ line which may alter our genetic future subject to fully-informed, collective decision by society as a whole.
4. Keep the internet and all information media free for the political freedom of humanity.
World population is a very significant factor in both poverty and hunger and in habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity. There is urgent need to realize an abatement of population growth before we all suffer the consequences severely next century. However the population problem is complicated by severe economic and energy-consumption inequities. While population growth in much of the developed world has declined or even reversed as a result of the "demographic transition" accompanying higher living standards and better education, the developing world is caught in a vicious cycle of exploitation which results in poverty, hunger, lack of education, population growth and habitat destruction. Population cannot be addressed without addressing educational, gender, and economic inequity between the developed and developing world.
Enforced population control measures, including sterilization often act selectively against women and have also resulted in atrocious rates of female abortion and infanticide, particularly in China, India and Korea. Education, and empowerment of women are the key to informed, voluntary non-destructive population abatement.
1. Population measures aimed at voluntary contraception, education, family-planning, empowerment of women to have autonomy over their own fertility and reproductive process, and the providing of economic circumstances in which full education and autonomy is possible.
2. Religious patriarchs should publicly rescind harmful statements encouraging population growth, such as those opposing contraception and claiming sex is solely for procreation.
3. Abortion remains a controversial issue of new medical technology, because it presents an ethical continuum. It is a matter of individual conscience which needs to be discussed further through continuing ethical debate, rather than religious edict and violent conflict. Good education, free access to contraception, responsible use and advance reproductive advice is a constructive alternative.
Religion and the Patriarchy
While biodiversity genocide is in full swing, the patriarchal religions stand silent, because they are all tainted with the view of dominion over nature inherited from the Fall. This silence is evidence of deep complicity of religion in the plight our planet now faces.
"Who is to blame for the crisis we face? First and foremost, I accuse the religious leaders of the world. They have fed mankind with with the dangerous myth that humanity is somehow above nature and that it is our god-given right to hold dominion over the Earth and subdue it. In many cases, they have actively encouraged over-population and have gone out of their way to prevent family-planning schemes They are a disgrace." - Desmond Morris.
The reason for this is a deep confusion between God and the male spermatogenic imperative. While the major religions purport to offer a God which is manifest in every flower and every tree, in fact they are acting as agents of male reproductive rights. All the features of population explosion, resource exploitation, exponential economic growth fantasy, and environmental overshoot to the point of irreversible damage are simple manifestations of the spermatogenic reproductive imperative operating in the absence of a compensating feminine nurturing oogenic strategy of long-tern sustainable investment.
The reasons for this are ludicrously simple. Human social and intellectual evolution occurred through the dissonance of sexual paradox resulting from the gender complementation of gathering and hunting. The human cryptic oestrus, the privacy of human sex and many other aspects of human, and particularly female sexual evolution, attest to the relatively egalitarian relationship between the sexes we see manifest in the ancient bearers of the Rift Valley tradition, such as the !Kung today; one in which both male polygyny and a consistent degree of clandestine female adultery are endemic and central to our evolutionary emergence.
With the establishment of urban cultures, a new pattern of cultural gender repression began, based on male reproductive insecurity and enforced by male rule of law and frank militarization. Women, over a period of time, became sequestered in the home, in the fields, in harems, nunneries and brothels. When God gave Abraham the covenant of seed as the dust and as the stars in the sky, this was not the God of creation but the spermatogenic imperative speaking. The chador, female circumcision and the atrocities of infibulation, the repression of the daughters of al-Llah, and the Asherah, the evils of sex outside procreation, stoning the female for adultery, male prerogatives of divorce, the virginity of Mary, the killing of the girl child, all follow from the rule of the sperm.
The Christian church is divided between Catholics, who in addition to Abba and Christ, worship Mariam as the great mother has been worshipped since time immemorial, but banish women from the clergy, and protestants who sometimes admit women to the clergy but insist on a transcendent view of "God the father" which suppresses the feminine aspect of deity and the creative potential of nature in a divine order and a clockwork universe running down from the first creation, in which evolution cannot happen. At least the pope has had the perspicacity to acknowledge evolution. At worst we end up in a rapture in which nature will be shed as a husk as if the destruction were a mere prelude to the divine. At this point the very knowledge of good and evil has become our worst enemy - a combat myth between light and dark, leading only to an Armageddon we only narrowly avoided during the Biblical xenophobia of the Cold War.
The only consideration of rights to life are aimed at male control of female fertility and reproduction, not at the ecocentric rights of other species to exist. Genocide of the entire biosphere does not even rank as a sin. Contraception is opposed because sex is deemed only for procreation in an era of frankly exploding population, while abortion has become the subject of ritual murder in the name of religion in US clinic murders by Christian fundamentalists.
The biblical destiny of the Christian church is clearly to become the vehicle of the Tree of Life in the immortal age - the Transfoliation, to care for the Earth and replenish it, to reach with loving care into every ecosystem, and to teach that nature is sacred. This can occur only through spiritual democracy and the rescinding of church dogma, replacing religious authority with living conscience.
The severity of genetic holocaust requires that the church now literally become the ark of the covenant with nature - a true Noah's ark - in which we preserve as much of the immortal living garment of diversity as we can while there is still time. It is time to replant the sacred groves in the greening of eschatology. This is the sacred fulfilment of every Christian, every Jew, every Muslim, every Hindu, every Buddhist, Taoist, Shaman and every follower of spirituality on this planet.
It is meet that after two millennia of domination by Father, Son and Holy Ghost that there are initiatives under way to give Mariam and the feminine aspect divine recognition, but it is sheer fantasy to declare a specific role to Mary as intermediary between God and humanity. Both Magdalen and Jesus' mother Mariam were free women. The parthenos was almah. Magdalen was a priestess of the seven familiars and pronounced the exaltation. She is the source and destiny of Christianity. She was first overthrown by Peter and centuries later by a circumcised virgin designed to protect male reproductive imperatives over the free woman. She is but the shadow of Artemis resurrected from Ephesus and, in her mother image, Isis of Byblus.
Since the discovery of the ovum two centuries ago, the notion of the virgin birth has become ludicrous because male sperm is no longer the complete seed. Therefore God, in replacing Joseph, did not complete the conception. Mariam, according to the Talmud was descended from princes and consorted with carpenters and a Roman, one Pantera by name. In truth Mariam and Christos are coeval archetypal figures of the human stream of consciousness. They can never be chaperoned into the idolistic fantasy roles Catholicism has assigned to either of them.
"I was set up from everlasting
from the beginning or ever earth was"
I ask the Catholic church to open to the flood tide of the feminine: to accept not just the virgin intermediary but the "free woman" even with "seven familiars" and to bring women into all levels of the church by an open process of consensus. The hierarchy of religious authority needs also to be balanced by the soul of the nabi and prophetess - free people who hold religion and science alike to account, both for religious dogma and for scientific irresponsibility.
Parousia is the time to finally bring Jesus down from the Cross of Torment. Only by celebrating the descent from the cross can we erase this millennial heritage of guilt and violence that has marred Christianity from alpha to omega.
"to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning"
Jesus was named the Bridegroom in the light of the sacred marriage:
"as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments"
It is now finally time to celebrate the sacred marriage of the Bridegroom with the Bride, so that the birth of true fertility can finally be consummated, to appreciate the beauty of the Song of Songs, to receive the Bride, and realize she is not merely the Christian church but the immortal feminine principle manifest in every flower and every tree - the cytoplasmic inheritance of the body.
1. The Pope has declared the millennium to be an occasion to right the sins of the Church ... I applaud this and request the following:
2. Apology made for blaming Christ's Roman crucifixion on the Jews - a virtuous step taken much too late. This should be forthcoming from all Christians publicly.
3. Apology required for the Crusades, Inquisition and Witch Burnings which lasted six of the last eight centuries and killed as many people as the holocaust.
4. Rescind the anathema maranatha.
5. Apology required for the suppression of the Gnostics.
6. Removal of all dogmas which control female reproduction. Allow us living beings to develop a democratic ethics of diversity and choice. Full support for contraception and voluntary measures towards population abatement. The central dogma of molecular biology that DNA makes RNA makes protein was overturned by the discovery of retroviruses, HIV being a notable example. Science cannot afford dogma and it is likewise a stain on the nature of religion.
7. Abolish the death penalty in remembrance of Christ.
Muhammad was a great prophet and Islam carries the prophetic tradition a step forward from Christianity. Islam is in many ways a purer religion than the idolistic worship of Jesus and Mary, which Muhammad rightly commented upon with concern, and rightly named Jesus as one in a line of human prophets. Many of Muhammad's statements were inspired, but his inspiration according to al Tabari was amended in the attempt to remove his acknowledgement of the three daughters of al-Llah as intermediaries from the Qur'an which has become notorious as the satanic verses.
Muhammad did not enter Mecca through jihad but through the Sakina of Hudaybiyah and through the spirit of religious toleration of the Haj that welcomed all spiritual seekers in a spirit of non-violence and saw 360 images in the Ka'aba including pictures of Jesus and Mariam. Neither can Islam rule the world or nature through jihad or a sharia of religious inflexibility and gender intolerance. Just as the crusades were a failure and offence to Saladin, so jihad is an offence to world peace. Islam has violated the spirit of religious tolerance in appropriating the ancient Haj for itself alone.
While Islam often claims to protect the interests of women, history tells otherwise. Please recognise that the apocalypse is the bridal unveiling. This means the end of men demanding the chador or burqa. If the female wishes to wear a veil to protect herself from molestation by men, or as an expression of her cultural tradition, that is her prerogative, but let no man henceforth do anything to sequester the female, to tell her how to dress or how to vote, or whether or not her face or body should be covered. Cast no more stones against the female, nor any other method of killing or dismemberment.. You are all guilty of blasphemy against the Almighty. It is essential for the survival of this planet that the female must be free at all times and in all places to do as she is want, starting with the women of Daws, as Muhammad prophesied.
The Qur'an says Isa is surely a knowledge of the hour. No other person is specifically so-mentioned except al-Llah. Therefore do not seek to harm the messenger, as Jesus was harmed and killed, or you will reap the grim harvest, for your actions will be demonstrated in history to be hubris in the face of God to your bane. Respect the work that is to be done in the name of Sakina. By the time you read this, there can be no turning back, because others will have also realized the truth in this very communication. The truth which fertilizes cannot die.
Sharia is not the Qur'an and even the Qur'an must be subject to reflection and critical scrutiny. To align church and state into one monolith is an offence to the freedom of informed society, the diversity of the divine within each and every one of us, and a continuing threat to the future unfolding, which is spontaneously creative and shall never conform to religious edict.
Scepticism is the foundation of science and satire the foundation of true religion. To cast a fatwa of death for shining a mirror upon the satanic verses is hubris, an offence to al-Llah and al-Lat alike. The satanic verses are your Achilles heel. The place of violent injustice to the female for which your tradition stands vulnerable and guilty. Is idolatry or blasphemy worse than a death sentence for representing God or for testing the veracity of belief with satire? Isa himself was accused of blasphemy unto death and he comes in your own tradition to perform Requital. The fatwa is your bane and your scourge.
1. Establish a sanctuary for the freedom of the female at Daws.
2. Rescind all Islamic law and scripture which sequesters, penalizes or restrains the female in her freedom.
3. Rescind jihad and the verses in the Qur'an abetting martyrdom.
4. Return the Haj to the fertility navel of the desert it has always been.
5. Free the women of Afghanistan.
6. Stop the killing in Algeria, especially disembowelling pregnant women.
7. Withdraw the fatwas on Taslima Nasrin and Salman Rushdie [and others]. Free the Bahai's.
Judaism and Zion
Christianity has in many ways been a bane to Judaism and particularly to the Pharisaic tradition, which has always been a vehicle of social conscience to its people, and has in no way been responsible for Jesus' sacrificial death. The Christian church is only now making an apology for two millennia of frank persecution and for complicity in the holocaust, within three years of the second millennium, a time shorter even than Jesus mission in John. This is too little, too late and deserves a deeper acknowledgement.
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion"
Like Christianity, Judaism two millennia later still awaits the fulfilment of the messianic hope. The basis of such a messiah is not the exclusiveness of race, nor the Hellenistic vision of Christ as man-God, but long-term future goodness and real social salvation. The messiah is the circumcised one who can deliver the goods. Just as Jesus became a Jewish cultural emigrant, fulfilment of the messianic hope lies in the return of the nations to Zion. Such a gathering can occur only through an acknowledgement on both sides, both of the unique tradition of Eden contained in the scripture, and of the essential oneness of all peoples. It is thus meet that the messiah of Israel should be a circumcised gentile Hapiru "and their seed shall be known among the Gentiles," just as Jesus was the lost messiah, a Jew who became messiah of the Gentiles. This is the nature of reunion in the Requital - your fulfilment but also the ultimate poetic irony.
You have been factually at war for every day except the first day your new nation existed. The mourning will not stop until you have reconciliation. You still stand a nation whose sacred marriage with the land and her people is unconsummated, because, despite diaspora and holocaust, you do not recognise the self in your other - that you have made the Palestinians Hapiru - outsiders in their own land. Only by Requital can your destiny be completed. You cannot "eat the riches of the Gentiles" while you indulge in "robbery for burnt offering". You cannot be acknowledged as the priests and priestesses of the path of Eden until "in their [the Gentiles] glory" you can claim just credit. Sakina is your opportunity for true reconciliation with your Palestinian partners. It is a profound spiritual honour that destiny has chosen you as the people of Eden to celebrate the sacred marriage of the biosphere in your holy city. In this sense, if you receive the nations with openness, you shall indeed become "priests" and priestesses "of the Lord" because you carry the tradition of the fall and its very Requital.
In return, I invite back to join you all the nations of Earth to celebrate their sacred marriage to the land, Terra, Gaia, "or ever Earth was" in each and every one of us undoing the Fall and again receiving the immortal fruit of Eve and of the Tree of Life - in the return of the Shekhinah to dwell again among us. In doing so, I am also bringing the Christian church back to its origins in at-one-ment.
1. Rescind all passages of the Pentateuch abetting violence to the female and the death penalty.
2. Apologise to the women of Israel and Palestine for Josiah's precedent in the destruction of the sanctuaries.
3. Rescind circumcision, so that the female shall remain unscathed also.
4. Love the Palestinians as yourselves.
5. Accept me as your comrade in Eden.
The Prophecy of the Tree of Life - The final chapter Revelation 22
And he shewed me a pure river
of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,
which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Epilogue: Singing the Apocalypse
Accompanying this article I have produced a redemption song, Revelation, which you can find as a video at https://youtu.be/9WI0PymUWZg and as an mp3 along with my other musical productions at http://dhushara.com/nino/.
Black Rose http://dhushara.com/nino/sharon.mp3
Last Temptation http://dhushara.com/nino/temptation.mp3
Verdant Unveiling http://dhushara.com/nino/verdant.mp3
Hymn to the Epoch http://dhushara.com/nino/epoch.mp3
The Anointing Reading http://dhushara.com/nino/anoint.mp3
Set Love Free http://dhushara.com/nino/seto.mp3
This article was written in response to a life-and death wake-up call, in which I realized I needed urgently to write down the essential connection around which my life has revolved before it was too late and the threads became scattered and lost, after I had a serious accident and sustained head injuries which could have left me with permanent brain damage, tetraplegia, or death. You will no doubt say "physician heal thyself" about this! My body has naturally sloughed off virtually all this damage, but ironically I had to fix my own teeth gathered from the pavement in the middle of the night from the accident scene after leaving A&E, with superglue, making a stainless steel and thermoplastic implant for one that was still missing because the NZ government accident compensation scheme failed to provide even basic support.
The final climactic words are liberating the apocalypse from under the very noses of the religious traditions, by singing it out in one fell swoop, as the 'thief in the night'. Observe the words carefully in the finale below. This is reality, not religion speaking. It is a song writing itself into veridical history. It could be ignored at our peril, but it can't be undone! It's the planet and its living diversity that is the unveiling of our meaning in existence. I'm sure you all know this, so it's not that hard to accept!
I am resurrected! I have ascended!
I am transfigured, I am redeemed sufficient unto the day thereof,
to bring some consolation to a very troubled world.
Jesus, you are tired - please just come down from that cross.
It's time for an end to all the blood, to the death, the guilt and remorse.
I am a phoenix from the ashes. A new man of the Morning Star,
A feathery serpent of two ways now, the Lord of both dark and light.
I am resurrected! I have ascended!
Life has given me another day, living here on a borrowed fate,
to do the things that were left undone, before it's all just too late,
Freed from the past, hurtling into an uncertain future,
on a mission of salvation, to give back what we owe.
For all the glory of this life, for all its pain and agony,
let's make this world a better place, where we can all find sanctuary.
I am resurrected! I have ascended!
I was clutched into the jaws of death, but the old grim reaper spat me out,
so I have the chance to run another round, and discover what its all about.
I am here to love the world all over, and help turn crisis into survival,
for all the living creatures who scuttle upon this Earth,
for all the finny fishes, for the forests and their dappled trees,
for the birds that fly up in the sky, and human beings like you and me.
I am resurrected! I have ascended!
We are here to make the world anew in an all-too fleeting existence,
suspended between birth and annihilation, suffering and strife.
Not just in the halls of the rich and famous, and the corridors of power,
but those clinging on to life in the ghettos, and the refugees of war.
The only way we can find redemption, is to give our very heart and soul,
to the flowering of the living planet, our golden shining love-bird goal.
This is the hour of Resurrection! It is the time of Ascension!
It is our Transfiguration! It is our very own true Redemption! It is our Salvation!
This is our consummating Unveiling! It is our Revelation!
The hidden quotations come from D. H. Lawrence's "Plumed Serpent" and the Gospel of Thomas:
"But I, I am lord of two ways.
I am master of up and down.
I am as a man who is a new man,
with new limbs and life,
and the light of the Morning Star in his eyes.
Lo! I am I! The lord of both ways.
Thou wert lord of the one way.
Now it leads thee to the sleep. Farewell!
So Jesus went on towards the sleep.
And Mary the Mother of Sorrows lay down
on the bed of the white moon,
weary beyond any more tears.
"And I, I am on the threshold.
I am stepping across the border.
I am Quetzalcoatl lord of both ways,
star between day and the dark."
(DH Lawrence -The Plumed Serpent)
Jesus said: "If those who lead
you say to you,
'See, the kingdom is in the sky,'
then the birds of the sky will precede you.
If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,'
then the fish will precede you.
Rather, the kingdom is inside of you,
and it is outside of you." (Thomas 3)
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Bartholemew , Archbishop of Constantinople 2012 Patriarchal Encyclical on the occasion of the Indiction http://www.ecpatr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=1518&tla=en
Campbell, Joseph 1988 Historical Atlas of World Mythology Vol. II Part 1 The Sacrifice, Harper & Row, N.Y.
Fielder, Christine & King, Chris 2004 Sexual Paradox: Complementarity, Reproductive Conflict and Human Emergence http://dhushara.com/paradox/
Francis Pope 2015 Laudato siÕ, miÕ Signore http://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf
Furst, Peter ed 1972 Flesh of the Gods Praeger, N.Y.
Glueck, Nelson 1966 Deities and Dolphins, Cassel, London.
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Griffiths R et al. 2008 Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later J Psychopharmacol 22:621-632 doi:10.1177/0269881108094300
Griffiths R et al. 2011 Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects Psychopharmacology 218 649-665 DOI 10.1007/s00213-011-2358-5
Groombridge, Brian 1992 Global Biodiversity : Status of the Earths living Resources, Chapman & Hall London.
Hardin, G 1968 The Tragedy of the Commons Science 162 1243-1248.
Hodson M 2015 We are the body of Christ, so we feel the pain of all creation https://youtu.be/lxgMJl1-dwI
King C.C. 2015 Biocosmology http://dhushara.com/book/bchtm/biocos.htm
King C.C. 2015 The Tree of Life: Tangled Roots and Sexy Shoots http://dhushara.com/book/unraveltree/unravel.htm
King C.C. 2012 Entheogens, the Conscious Brain and Existential Reality http://dhushara.com/psyconcs/psychconsc8.htm
King C.C. 2013 The Cosmology of Conscious Mental States http://dhushara.com/mental/cosMentSt2.htm
King C.C. 2014 Space, Time and Consciousness http://dhushara.com/stc/ct.htm
King C.C. 2015 Nature, Violence, Consciousness, Sexuality and World Religion http://dhushara.com/fallacies/fallacies.htm
King C.C. 2015 Religion, Politics, Sexual Reproduction and the Future of Human Society http://dhushara.com/repcult/reproduction-and-culture.htm
Kuhn, T S 1970 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Univ, Chicago Press.
Lavin, Marilyn 1992 Piero Della Francesca, Thames and Hudson, London
Pagels, Elaine 1979 The Gnostic Gospels, Random House, N.Y.
Pagels, Elaine 1988 Adam Eve and the Serpent, Random House, N.Y.
Pagels, Elaine 1995 The Origin of Satan, Random House, N.Y.
Pagels, Elaine 2003 Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Random House, N.Y.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford 1982 Gaia & God, Harper Collins.
Riedlinger, Thomas.ed. 1990 The Sacred Mushroom Seeker Diascorides Press, Portland, Or.
Riedlinger, Thomas 1996 Pentecostal Elements in RG Wassons accounts of the Mazatec mushroom velada, Shamans Drum, 43, 26-35.
Schonfield, Hugh 1965 The Passover plot : new light on the history of Jesus, Hutchinson, Lond.
Schultes Richard Evans, Hofmann Albert 1979 Plants of the Gods, McGraw Hill, N.Y., Reprint Alfred Van Der Mar
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre 1959 The Phenomenon of Man With an introd. by Julian Huxley, Harper, NY.
Thiaw I et al. 2015 Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change http://islamicclimatedeclaration.org/islamic-declaration-on-global-climate-change/
van der Post, Laurens and Taylor, Jane Testament to the Bushmen Penguin Books, UK.
Welby J et al. 2015 Lambeth Declaration 2015 on Climate Change http://www.cimer.org.au/documents/lambeth-declaration-on-climate-change.pdf
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/files/The_Francis_Effect.pdf
Religious Encyclicals and Declarations on Climate and Biodiversity
Pope Francis's edict on climate change has fallen on closed ears, study finds
Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical has had a very significant impact on the world's media which gave it a very positive reception for its call to a moral conscience about human impact on the climate and biodiversity of the planet which stands out for its clarity by contrast with the dithering of politicians and vested business interests. It sets a new standard for religious dialogue about science and nature, partly because it was commissioned utilizing the experience and credentials of a spectrum of respected scientists and activists, including for example Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, while inviting Naomi Klein one of the world’s most high-profile social and environmental activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism to be a lead commentator.
Pope Francis embraces Patriarch Bartholomew
Immediate positive commentary in the media, acknowledging its position about climate, diversity and social justice came from as diverse heavyweights as Nature, Science, New Scientist, The Economist, New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal, as well as news outlets such as The Guardian, The Atlantic, CNN, al Jazzera, TIME and the Telegraph.
Opening the Laudato Si', Pope Francis quotes the original St. Francis in lamenting the rape of the Earth:
Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. 'Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs'. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she 'groans in travail'. We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
Consistent with the Resplendence Codex, he squarely addresses loss of biodiversity:
The loss of forests and woodlands entails the loss of species which may constitute extremely important resources in the future, not only for food but also for curing disease and other uses. Different species contain genes which could be key resources in years ahead for meeting human needs and regulating environmental problems. It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost for ever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity.
Climate change is also addressed and specifically asserted to be largely due to human impacts:
The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.
We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels — especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas — needs to be progressively replaced without delay. Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the lesser of two evils or to find short-term solutions. But the international community has still not reached adequate agreements about the responsibility for paying the costs of this energy transition.
Moreover the Pope is making a moral claim both that this is caused by exploitative processes in society and that as human beings we have a moral duty to act as responsible guardians of the Earth's living diversity and climate for the future generations and that our spiritual welfare as well as the fate of the less advantaged depend on this.
He also has a respectful and reasonably astute assessment of genetic technologies:
The respect owed by faith to reason calls for close attention to what the biological sciences, through research uninfluenced by economic interests, can teach us about biological structures, their possibilities and their mutations. Any legitimate intervention will act on nature only in order “to favour its development in its own line, that of creation, as intended by God”. It is difficult to make a general judgement about genetic modification (GM), whether vegetable or animal, medical or agricultural, since these vary greatly among themselves and call for specific considerations. The risks involved are not always due to the techniques used, but rather to their improper or excessive application.
However the word "contraception" is notably absent and discussion of population fails to address the fact that we have an explosive human population precipitating much of this impact:
To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and 'whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor'. Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.
Naomi Klein, who was invited by Cardinal Peter Turkson to co-lead a Vatican press conference on the encyclical, notes that population control may eventually emerge: Some traditionalists have been griping about all the heathens, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a roster of climate scientists, who were spotted inside these ancient walls in the run-up to the encyclical’s publication. The fear is that discussion of planetary overburden will lead to a weakening of the Church’s position on birth control and abortion. As the editor of a popular Italian Catholic Web site put it recently, "The road the church is heading down is precisely this: To quietly approve population control while talking about something else." However this remains to be seen in a world where sheer population and ensuing resource and agricultural impact is a principle destroyer of natural habitats.
As expected, abortion and embryonic stem cell research are met with abhorrence and abortion is no excuse for protecting the Earth from overpopulation despite the fact that Christian reproduction rates exceed the world average and are second only to Muslims:
Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?
There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development.
Venture capitalism and consumerism receive a central share of the criticism:
A sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.
The biblical accounts of creation invite us to see each human being as a subject who can never be reduced to the status of an object. Yet it would also be mistaken to view other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination. When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This vision of 'might is right' has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all.
In traditional terms, sin is still the elephant in the room:
The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.
But the encyclical spreads an attitude of hope that real change can be achieved through a change of heart and mind. The ecological crisis is also a summons to a spiritual ecological conversion:
A commitment this lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an “interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity”. … The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. “To achieve such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart”.
It will also require coherent social and political conversion:
Nevertheless, self-improvement on the part of individuals will not by itself remedy the extremely complex situation facing our world today. Isolated individuals can lose their ability and freedom to escape the utilitarian mindset, and end up prey to an unethical consumerism bereft of social or ecological awareness. Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds. This task “will make such tremendous demands of man that he could never achieve it by individual initiative or even by the united effort of men bred in an individualistic way. The work of dominating the world calls for a union of skills and a unity of achievement that can only grow from quite a different attitude”. The ecological conversion needed to bring about lasting change is also a community conversion.
Naomi Klein notes that "by asserting that nature has a value in and of itself, Francis is overturning centuries of theological interpretation that regarded the natural world with outright hostility—as a misery to be transcended and an “allurement” to be resisted – 'Teach us to despise the things of the earth and to love the things of heaven' - as the Latin prayer of advent goes. - Of course, there have been parts of Christianity that stressed that nature was something valuable to steward and protect—some even celebrated it—but mostly as a set of resources to sustain humans".
Other Christians actively advocating "dominion over nature" immediately rejected the encyclical. Among Pope Francis's opponents is the evangelical US-based Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has written to him arguing that we have a holy duty to keep burning fossil fuel, as "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork". It also insists that exercising the dominion granted to humankind in Genesis means tilling "the whole Earth", transforming it "from wilderness to garden and ultimately to garden city".
However some of the more socialist and ecological clergy do see this as a real sea change. Irish Catholic priest and theologian Seán McDonagh, who was part of the drafting process for the encyclical wishes it had gone even further in challenging the idea that the earth was created as a gift to humans, saying "How could that be so, when we know it was here billions of years before we arrived?" Naomi Klein asked him how the Bible could survive this many fundamental challenges—doesn’t it all fall apart at some point? He shrugs, telling her that scripture is ever evolving, and should be interpreted in historical context. "If Genesis needs a prequel, that’s not such a big deal."
Statistics of US reaction to the Pope's initiative (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)
Nevertheless, it is clear the Pope's message has had a demonstrable effect on US public opinion and on the moral attitudes of US Christian denominations. Trust of the Popes position on climate change grew from 50% to 60%. The above charts from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication show that while a large majority of people across the religious spectrum claim his message has had no affect on their views, nearly half admit it has made them more concerned and now a clear majority of the population are concerned. While nearly half still believe global warming is not man-made, a clear majority do concede that global warming will harm future generations and that action to reduce global warming will help the natural environment. While more are prepared to accept economic costs to reduce emissions, there is still fundamental resistance and denial from the evangelical sectors of Christianity.
Outstanding points are that more Americans think global warming will harm people here and abroad:
• More think global warming will cause a great deal or moderate harm to people in developing countries (Americans: from 48% to 63%, +15 points; American Catholics: from 45% to 62%, +17 points).
• More think global warming will harm the world’s poor (Americans: from 49% to 61%, +12 points; American Catholics: from 42% to 62%, +20 points).
• More think global warming will harm future generations of people (Americans: from 60% to 70%, +10 points; American Catholics: from 63% to 74%, +11 points).
• More Americans (from 48% to 57%, +9 points), and more American Catholics (from 45% to 58%, +13 points), think global warming will harm people in the United States a great deal or a moderate amount.
Aligned with Pope Francis’s message, Americans are more likely to think global warming is:
• A moral issue (Americans: from 32% to 38%, +6 points; American Catholics: from 34% to 42%, +8 points).
• A social fairness issue (Americans: from 21% to 29%, +8 points; American Catholics: from 21% to 25%, +4 points).
• A religious issue (Americans: from 8% to 12%, +4 points; American Catholics: from 6% to 13%, +7 points).
Now turning finally to the Pope's idea of precisely what "God" is, we find a complex adaptive notion, which in essence comes down to the mysterium tremendum cited in the Resplendence Codex as a conscious manifestation of transcendence, without having to invoke God as an anachronistic, sometimes jealous and punitive anthropocentic personality.
God is the creator of the physical universe, as we know it today complete with its evolving biota. The world is described as fragile and entrusted to humans by God for us to use intelligently and place limits on. Complex relationships of countless forms in the universe "lead us to think of the whole as open to God's transcendence, within which it develops."
"The respect owed by faith to reason calls for close attention to what the biological sciences, through research uninfluenced by economic interests, can teach us about biological structures, their possibilities and their mutations. Any legitimate intervention will act on nature only in order “to favour its development in its own line, that of creation, as intended by God” – implying that benevolent human action upon nature can fulfill God's will.
Although evolution is conceded as a possibility, human consciousness adds another dimension of "God consciousness": Human beings, even if we postulate a process of evolution, also possess a uniqueness which cannot be fully explained by the evolution of other open systems. Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself.
Each creature reflects something of God, and humans cannot afford to ignore the order and dynamism God has written into it. The risen Christ is intimately present to each being, surrounding it with his affection and penetrating it with his light. God lies in the realities and experiences of the world, and although natural entities are not divine in themselves, the mystic experiences the divinity through the intimate connection between God and all beings. In nature the "Father" has interlinked us into loving relationship in which we can resolve the world's problems, but in the Catholic view this is offering ourselves to God "as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable", turning the nature of sacrifice from a crucifixion into a sacred duty to cherish living diversity. Finally the all powerful God who created the universe as we now have come to understand it scientifically is actually the same loving and caring God who liberates and saves in the Bible, making God all things to all men - a kind of spiritual mirage like the Holy Ghost that can appear to us in many different ways as the beneficent agent that enables the conscious universe to become compassionately aware of itself.
This IS the mysterium tremendum and the only legitimate way to approach transcendence is with no prior assumptions, exploring transcendence consciously and psychically, just as we do good science, not clothing it a-priori in the garments of a deity that in history has also taken blood sacrificial and violently punitive forms. Understanding the ultimate mystery of transcendence will take a revolution of outlook every bit as fundamental as Galileo's reversal of the flat-Earth view of Genesis to confirm the Copernican reality, leading eventually to the universe full of galaxies we understand today. Pre-emptively calling the shots on this fundamental mystery in the form of an all too anthropocentric personality, even if expressing sentiments of compassion, as well as violent moral punishment, is a fundamental error of judgment.
The Pope acknowledges in his encyclical the debt owed to Orthodox Patriach Bartholomew 1, who has been a champion of the guardianship of biodiversity and the planetary biosphere for over a decade: Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for "inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage", we are called to acknowledge "our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation". He has repeatedly stated this firmly and persuasively, challenging us to acknowledge our sins against creation.
Bartholomew's Sep 2012 Orthodox Encyclical, which although brief, states the case for cherishing and protecting the planet in no uncertain terms. Despite a traditional emphasis on the creator God, the message is clear and the urgency is unambiguous.
Our God, who created the universe and formed the earth as a perfect dwelling place for humanity, granted us the commandment and possibility to increase, multiply and fulfill creation, with dominion over all animals and plants. The world that surrounds us was thus offered to us as a gift by our Creator as an arena of social activity but also of spiritual sanctification in order that we might inherit the creation to be renewed in the future age. … biodiversity is the work of divine wisdom and was not granted to humanity for its unruly control. By the same token, dominion over the earth and its environs implies rational use and enjoyment of its benefits, and not destructive acquisition of its resources out of a sense of greed. Nevertheless, especially in our times, we observe an excessive abuse of natural resources, resulting in the destruction of the environmental balance of the planet’s ecosystems and generally of ecological conditions, so that the divinely-ordained regulations of human existence on earth are increasingly transgressed. For instance, all of us – scientists, as well as religious and political leaders, indeed all people – are witnessing a rise in the atmosphere’s temperature, extreme weather conditions, the pollution of ecosystems both on land and in the sea, and an overall disturbance – sometimes to the point of utter destruction – of the potential for life in some regions of the world. … In addressing this appeal, petition and exhortation from the sacred Center of Orthodoxy to all people throughout the world, we pray that our gracious Lord, who granted this earthly paradise to all people dwelling on our planet, will speak to the hearts of everyone so that we may respect the ecological balance that He offered in His wisdom and goodness, so that both we and future generations will enjoy His gifts with thanksgiving and glorification.
Again Bartholomew states in no uncertain terms that this is a sin against God: Thus, the invocation and supplication of the Church and us all to God as the Lord of lords and Ruler of all for the restoration of creation are essentially a petition of repentance for our sinfulness in destroying the world instead of working to preserve and sustain its ever-flourishing resources reasonably and carefully.
The 2015 Lambeth Declaration on Climate Change supported by a wide spectrum of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist movements also made a specific declaration:
As leaders of the faith communities we recognise the urgent need for action on climate change. From the perspective of our different faiths we see the earth as a beautiful gift. We are all called to care for the earth and have a responsibility to live creatively and sustainably in a world of finite resources. Climate change is already disproportionately affecting the poorest in the world. The demands of justice as well as of creation require the nations of the world urgently to limit the global rise in average temperatures to a maximum of 2oC, as agreed by the United Nations in Cancun. We have a responsibility to act now, for ourselves, our neighbours and for future generations. The scale of change needed to make the transition to a low carbon economy is considerable and the task urgent. We need to apply the best of our intellectual, economic and political resources. Spirituality is a powerful agent of change. Faith has a crucial role to play in resourcing both individual and collective change.
We call on our faith communities to:
• Recognise the urgency of the tasks involved in making the transition to a low carbon economy.
• Develop the spiritual and theological resources that will strengthen us individually and together in our care of the earth, each other and future generations.
• Encourage and pray for those engaged in the intellectual, economic, political and spiritual effort needed to address this crisis.
• Work with our communities and partners in the UK and internationally to mitigate the effects of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world;
• Build on the examples of local and international action to live and to work together sustainably,
• Redouble our efforts to reduce emissions that result from our own institutional and individual activities.
The fact that there is no mention of biodiversity in the Lambeth Declaration is a matter of concern, however another specifically Anglican declaration does so in passing.
The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice 2015 from 17 Anglican bishops from all 6 continents: We accept the evidence of science: Human activity, especially in fossil-fuel based economies, is the main cause of the climate crisis. The problem is spiritual as well as economic, scientific and political. We have been complicit in a theology of domination. While God committed the care of creation to us, we have been careless - but not hopeless. In the words of St Theresa of Avila, we are God's hands and feet on earth - now is the time for us, rooted in prayer, to step up and take action on the climate crisis.
The Declaration commits the bishops to actions including: energy conservation measures in church buildings; more renewable energy; nurturing biodiversity on church land; supporting sustainability in water, food, agriculture and land use reviewing churches’ investment practices. While this is commendable, it is scarcely any more effective than the measures any ecological group can engage on an individual basis.
We are the body of Christ, so we feel the pain of all creation: To see how convoluted the Christian language of biodiversity protection can become, one only needs to heed the words of Margot Hodson vicar of the Haddenahm Benefice at the conference "Reconciling a Wounded Planet" at Coventry Cathedral:
When we look at the world, with climate change, with all the biodiversity problems, it's easy to feel that things are out of control and to wonder how on earth we can hold it all together. But God through Christ created this world. It was created in Christ and through Christ the whole of creation, which means that it has value in its own right, and it means that it belongs to him and not to us, and you also see that he is holding creation suffering and damaged as it is, as a father holds a wounded child and you can see that through creation you have that resurrection power of Christ. But we are the body of Christ and surely in some ways we are holding it too and that's why it hurts because we don't see these problems in the world simply as fellow creatures and humans on the planet, if that wasn't enough to empathize with the terrible things that we see, but there is hope because through his death on the Cross he has made peace and has brought about reconciliation. He reconciled all things and that means the environment as well, the universe as well. So we need to ask what is our role and the answer is very straightforward. If Christ is holding creation and we are holding it with him, then that is our call to be there in the places where creation has needs, to be a visible presence of that resurrection power and joy that runs through our creation and that's what we challenge people to do.
Although Anglicans are generally right in the liberal fringe of Bible-bashing Christianity, it is really difficult to judge where we go with this Hellenistic literalism from Colossians that the universe was not only created by God but in and through Christ as well. Is the "body of Christ" just the humans in the Christian church, or all the biota and the physical universe? What of God's hands and feet in the previous declaration? Are we not also in some way the brains and heart? It is equally hard to understand whether the suffering and death of Jesus is a good or bad harbinger for the mass extinction of biodiversity. Do we actually accept the necessity to save our genetic heritage before it is irretrievably lost, as the Resplendence Codex asserts is our sacred duty, or is it just part of the eschatology of wounding and suffering the Cross implies, with the redemption a little like Magdalene looking on from afar at the damage done, or suffering triage in the vain hope of eternal life, as in Revelation? This is why I am certain that a change of paradigm is urgently needed to flush out the endless confusion and the continuing ability to return to notions of subduing nature in dominion over it, as a mere fabrication of the creator, not a sacred irreversible process over cosmological time scales.
The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change authored by a group of prominent Muslim scholars has made a clear pronouncement addressing the need to both protect biodiversity and reduce the impact of climate change caused by human use of non-renewable energy resources, stating clear scientific parameters while also feeling it necessary to issue a string of Quranic quotations about al-Llah creating the universe with all life bowing to and serving the creator to legitimize the case.
God – Whom we know as Allah – has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bow to their Lord’s will. We human beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings, to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures.
Our planet has existed for billions of years and climate change in itself is not new. The earth’s climate has gone through phases wet and dry, cold and warm, in response to many natural factors. Most of these changes have been gradual, so that the forms and communities of life have adjusted accordingly. There have been catastrophic climate changes that brought about mass extinctions, but over time, life adjusted even to these impacts, flowering anew in the emergence of balanced ecosystems such as those we treasure today. Climate change in the past was also instrumental in laying down immense stores of fossil fuels from which we derive benefits today. Ironically, our unwise and short-sighted use of these resources is now resulting in the destruction of the very conditions that have made our life on earth possible.
The pace of Global climate change today is of a different order of magnitude from the gradual changes that previously occurred throughout the most recent era, the Cenozoic. Moreover, it is human-induced: we have now become a force dominating nature.
We are driven to conclude from these warnings that there are serious flaws in the way we have used natural resources – the sources of life on Earth. An urgent and radical reappraisal is called for. Humankind cannot afford the slow progress we have seen.
We affirm that Allah is the Lord and Sustainer (Rabb) of all beings
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form (Qur’an 59: 24)
الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ
Nothing that He creates is without value: each thing is created bi ’l-haqq, in truth and for right.
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ مَا خَلَقْنَاهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ