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Terra-ists vs. Terrorists

A lay sermon presented to the Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Marysville, WA
Dave Ewoldt
September 30, 2001

   The simple psychological process of reconnecting with Nature, as taught by Project NatureConnect using the Natural Systems Thinking Process, leads to an awareness of the interrelated structure of reality. This awareness ties the rational and the spiritual sides of our being together -- along with the emotions and intuition -- and validates these connections by reconnecting our multi-sensory whole selves with the whole of Nature's guiding intelligence. Showing by the example of a living system in a supportive balance of sustainability, NSTP shows how to honor and enjoy the diversity and spirituality of our multi-sensual self as it is mirrored from Nature. It can teach us to think and act the way that Nature works.

   This past week I sat quietly in Nature one afternoon, and contemplated the events of Sept 11. I'd been listening to CNN that morning while going through a weeks backlog of e-mail, and listening to the US response to terrorism. It was... interesting in light of some reading I'd been doing from Howard Bloom's "Global Brain" in support of Darwinian group selection as opposed to individual selection... and what I was hearing was also alarming from the viewpoint of an American citizen... I heard someone whose major concern seemed to be feeling safe to go to shopping malls, and my first thought was how shopping malls are a major part of the problem.

   From feeding the unfulfillment of want through pushing excessive consumerism, to creating some of the other artifacts of capitalism run amok -- projecting vapid over-consumption and the illusion of a life of leisure that gets evangelized by soul-less multi-national corporations to the rest of the world, and the disastrous results to the environment and to the concepts of self-determination, human rights, social justice, and cultural diversity.

   My communion of spirit with Nature that day took place with a tree that was still alive and growing even though it had fallen over in a windstorm years earlier, and was laying horizontal on the ground with half its roots sticking up out of the Earth. I've visited with this tree a few times over the past year. I call it Percy, which is short for Perseverence Tree. Percy's branches are still growing up toward the sky and still supporting other creatures with its sap and its shelter. I was reminded that we need to have the strength for perseverance, in order to stay on our path and pay attention to our intentions without becoming locked in on one particular outcome (like growing exclusively in one direction.)

   My afternoon in Nature pointed to positive possibilities and was optimistic overall. I felt a very hopeful joy from simply being alive and being able to experience these feelings, but the experience also made it very clear that it would require a committed effort because there is no time to waste... there is just too much pain in Nature and in people's inner nature.

   I became aware that Sept 11 could be a catalyst for the shift in consciousness needed for an intelligent co-creative evolution with Nature, and that the NSTP can be an effective method to return the Earth and all of its creatures to a system of balanced supportive relationships.

   I feel very strongly the loss of lives in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New York City, but I especially grieve that it took a loss of this magnitude to wake Americans up to a reality that much of the rest of the world has been living in for the last few centuries.

   And, I simply have to ask, where is the balance in the US response? Where is the real justice and respect for diversity? Where is the shock and horror for what the people of Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Bosnia, and South Africa have been having to endure?

   Where is the grieving for the acts of terrorism that have been inflicted on the First Nations Peoples, Native Americans, and other indigenous cultures?

   Where is the indignation for the acts of terrorism that are still being inflicted daily and which are fully condoned by the US Government in developing and third world countries?

   Where is the call for accountability for the act of terrorism inflicted on tens of thousands in Bhopal, India by Dow Chemical? Where is the true acceptance of responsibility for Love Canal, and a faithful commitment to never allow it to happen again?

   And most importantly, in order to help provide solutions and heal the above, where is the call for action against the continuous daily acts of terrorism against our planetary Birth Mother?

   Then, I have to ask why are so many Americans so blind to the symbolism of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers and at the Pentagon? And the myriad ways these symbols and the institutions that uphold them have contributed to America's "most hated nation" status in many parts of the world.

   Why are Americans allowing themselves to be blindly lead into a Big Brother police state by the Military Industrial Complex which is taking advantage of Sept 11 as their excuse to remove and/or restrict many of the freedoms so many Americans have fought and died for over the last 200 plus years?

   After watching CNN on that day, it became so apparent that CNN hasn't said anything meaningful... anything that Americans really need to hear... for a long, long, time.

   We terra-ists need to find the strength to overcome and heal the wounds that lead to these acts of terrorism. In a mutually supportive community that follows Nature's wisdom, we can do it. 15 billion years of universal evolution provides the only example we need to follow.

   The only questions a decision need ask is... is it really a direction that honors the spirit in you and does it support the Global Life Community?

   As conscious mental agents, we need to constructively contribute towards building responsible, balanced, supportive relationships in a co-creative and sustainable manner that honors Nature's diversity, wisdom, and love.


"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Albert Einstein


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