445: The natural world demands a response that rises from the wild, unconscious depths of our souls
The Next Journey of the Universe meeting
The Journey of the Universe DVD Series facilitated by Steve at The McFarland's Home. Our next gathering will be:
Monday, June 7th, 2-4pm.
2404 Marylyn Circle
Please RSVP to Nancy so she can arrange for enough chairs.
Call Nancy at: 707.280.4705
Or Email Nancy (Please note: I sent the wrong email address yesterday.
Here's the correct version)
Day 445 Friday, June 4, 2021
“The natural world demands a response beyond scientific insight. The natural world demands a response that rises from the wild unconscious depths of the human soul.”
- Thomas Berry
“Have we forgotten to listen to the voice of the rivers, the mountains, or the sea. are the trees and meadows no longer intimate modes of spirit presence. Has the world around us become an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou.’” Questions from Thomas Berry
How Creation Stories Bind Our Species Together
Can creation and its threatened demise as manifested in climate change bring humans together again? Can Cosmology and the goodness of creation named in Genesis 1 bring humans together again?
And can the sacredness of creation acknowledged in all the world’s religions bring people together again? Can our common self-interests bring people together again—such as our interest in not going extinct? and therefore our working together to preserve a healthy planet?
It is this—Creation—that lies at the heart of our spiritual journeys today as a species
and as individuals.
Is Creation holy and sacred–or not? If it is, isn’t it time to begin our education with that? And therefore our Law? Our Politics? Our Economics? Our media? Our religions?
To say Earth is “holy” or “sacred” is to say it is special, unique, necessary and far bigger and older than ourselves. It makes us; we did not make it. We are, however, within it and curious about it and learning of it and because of it. Thomas Berry says, “only our sense of the sacred will save us.”
At the beginning of chapter two of Genesis, the Yahwist or J author ends his telling of the creation story this way. “Such were the origins of heaven and earth when they were created.” (Gen 2:4) This is very much a creation story, a cosmology story, from an ancient tribe and in many ways it tells us what all creation stories have in common.
Many other creation stories emerge in the Bible whether in the psalms or Song of Songs or in the New Testament in Matthew and in John 1 and elsewhere.
It is almost as if we never have enough creation stories. Each one sheds light on the mystery that we call existence.
The fact that we have a new creation story from science is no small matter for it gives us a post-tribal version of how we got here.
People in Africa and India, China and Southern America, Europe and Russia and North America can tune into it and find they share a common origin.
That is special and important. It is inclusive and universal as science tends to be. Nor do we have to cling to one religious story of creation for there are numerous stories around the world.
We don’t have to throw out the ancient stories
even as we take in the new story.
Every story has its lessons about who we are and how we belong and how we should conduct ourselves in our time on earth.
One of my favorite stories comes from the Apache people: First God created the dog. But the dog got lonely; so then God created humans. We are here to lessen the loneliness of the dog—doesn’t that teach us a bit of humility as a species?
Might we learn something important from other creation stories around the world also?
Reflection by Matthew Fox