” . . . some insects, called the human race, lost in time, lost in space…and meaning.”
Do you recognize this quote?
It’s from Rocky Horror Picture Show, circa 1975.
Why would I open an Earth Day blog with that quote?
Because I wonder about things like Earth Day and environmentalism.
My Mother taught me to question things, even things she told me and things she believes. And believe me, my Mother is an environmentalist type who believes in “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” She started a recycling program at her church when she discovered they had none. I was writing letters to the editor of our city newspaper when I was a child, pointing out green goo in the river and wondering when they were going to clean that up. They did, too, and it gave me quite a sense of my ability to help and improve things.
But now I’m asking, “What if?” again.
What if the temperature fluctuations of the planet that we’ve only been recording for a few decades are normal?
What if cars and industrial pollution have nothing to do with the disappearance of the ozone layer? Or the melting of the polar ice caps?
What if all of this stress is only that – something else to stress about and beat ourselves up with?
I sent my mother a note about the piles of paper documentation generated in an office my friend, Angela, is working in. Angela said they would stack up as high as a tree. Mother replied, “Idiots!”
Instead of nodding my head in automatic agreement, I tilted my head and wondered, “Is that true?”
I mean, isn’t it a given that planets have a finite life, just like human beings? They don’t last forever. Nor do I think they should, necessarily. After doing the IAM Meditation, “Zooming in on Death,” you may see why I question this fear and avoidance of death.
Is there maybe a reason to suspect that we are simply, as Steven Sashen once put it, “An ant farm with thoughts?”
I mean, what do we do?
Katie says, “We sit, stand or lie horizontal.” That’s about it.
Steven, in a similar vein, says something along the lines of: once we have a place to sleep, something to eat and someone to sleep with, that’s pretty much it.
Haven’t you noticed?
The rest is stories.
Maybe we have an exaggerated sense of our own importance on the planet?
I’m not saying we are not important, but isn’t it this sense of self-importance, “crown of creation,” latest-and-greatest in the evolutionary lineage that has something to do with the arrogance with which we make choices about our resources in the first place?
Could it be that supposing we are the cause of all the environmental shifts and changes in the world is part of the problem? Not part of the solution?
What would it take for us to have a little humility? Where could that lead us?
For Earth Day, I suggest we all take out a sheet of paper, perhaps a “Judge Your Neighbor” Worksheet (see the right-hand column or www.thework.com.) On that sheet of paper, make a list of all of your thoughts both “good” and “bad” about the environment, the Earth, your place on it, your responsibility for the environment, etc. and ask the Four Questions, then write the Turn Arounds.
1. Is it true?
2. Can I absolutely know it is true?
3. How do I live or react when I believe this thought?
4. Who would I be without this thought?
Turn it Around. (To self, other or an opposite)
Try it. See what happens.
When you get to Question #3 about reactions and how you live, stop to wonder: is this thought peaceful or stressful? And be sure it is really peaceful before you say so.
Could it be that it’s really excitment or an adrenaline rush that you are calling peace? Peace is a calm thing, not a rush to go out and save the planet. I don’t know what you’re feeling. Just check.
I’d love to read your comments when you’re done.
So . . . in honor of my Mother, that’s my Earth Day blog.
Will you ask those 4 questions with me?