Friday, January 14, 2011

A Winter’s Day Meditation (14 January 2011)

“In my mind a naturalist is someone who comes to understand the biological life and ecological relationships of a particular place with some depth and seeks to use this understanding to forge an appropriate relationship with earthly life.” (14)
-          Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent (2006)

I have been kept in the house today by a beautiful flurry of snow and wind.  Sitting here, watching the snow falling, hearing its slight patter on the window and smelling the snow-fresh air coming in at the crack under the door, I have turned to devout thinking, and am inspired to wonder at Nature in all its beauty.  Looking out the west window as the lecturer on my laptop continues talking about inflation and how it solves certain problems related to the Big Bang and cosmic evolution, I’m suddenly led to reflect on the ways in which we interact with Earth & Cosmos.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Science and Spirituality (Epiphany 2011)

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.  When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual." (29)
-  Carl Sagan  The Demon-Haunted World (1996)
A spirituality is a set of disciplines, rituals and stories that facilitate what certain philosophers have called "the good life;" that is, a life lived as well as we can live it, given our abilities, situation and the conditions in which we find ourselves.  A spirituality is a pattern for living life to the hilt; to the fullest – a praxis (i.e., a theory united with practice) that helps us make the most of the brief time we have in this world as mortal animals.  To facilitate the ‘good life’ a spirituality must (1) identify paths for realistic personal and social transformation and (2) situate the practitioner in the world as it is known to be (for how can you affect real personal and social transformations, if you don’t have a realistic grasp of the world?).