Step Six - philosophical me . . .

There is a consciousness behind make-a-(green) plan that is made up of the basics, literally – the elements. As part of all life on earth, I am FIRE, AIR, EARTH and WATER. Whether I speak in terms of the wiccan magik, or in poetic terms, or scientific terms, I speak of these 4 within and without. I’m not separate from my environment. Modern culture and intellectual reasoning treats nature, the environment as an externality. It is not. I am interwoven in all the elements.

Nostalgically, this takes me back to my first sense of my own spirituality and my god-self. The book, Be Here Now was a real eye opening (chakra opening) experience almost 40 years ago. I don’t think I am alone in finding this book a spiritual catalyst and a resource for more and further teachings including yoga and eating whole food. This book helped me see beyond my background in organized western Christianity, both the feel-good, jujune Lutheran days of my childhood or the lockstep rigors, smells and bells Eastern Orthodox days of my marriage.

My belief is that my own god-being is within me. The goofy post about the fantasy figure is indeed a joke. I am no longer enamored of the robes, orbs and auras as trappings of my god-being within. More simply I think that I am an aspect of the whole. Like a red blood cell within my body does what a red blood cell must do for my body to work, I suspect my being is a cell with a great living body – just doing what my being does to help make the whole thing work. Being fully engaged can be transcendence, a real high, while being a seemingly humdrum event.

Some weeks ago I decided I would organize my year-long challenge in several different ways. For instance, I have chosen to divide my year in Air, Water, Earth and Fire periods. I decided this because these elements are a traditional device to study micro-systems and macro-systems alike.

Yesterday I saw a brief portion of Dr. Suzuki’s documentary on Link TV titled, Suzuki Speaks. The website says:

In a time when people are thirsty for honesty, inspiration, meaning and global change, comes renowned scientist and visionary Dr. David Suzuki, delivering the most important message of his career: what it means to be fully human in our interconnected universe.

This film's stunning motion graphics weave a tapestry that transforms Dr. Suzuki's wisdom into a complete sensory experience, literally creating new worlds and new ways of seeing. Suzuki Speaks will leave you feeling renewed, challenged and alive.

This film spoke to my own desire to look at the 4 elements and my life even though teh New Age Spiritural Days and even teh Solitary Wiccan Days have gone the way of teh Christian practices of my upbringing. I am still an amalgamation of all of the belief systems that shaped me. Some of my notes from this documentary translated into my own thoughts as follows:

  • I am AIR. It is said that every breath we take contains air previously breathed by historic figures and species of every kind. This is a vital connection for all life past and present and a connection of my life to all others.
  • My body is 60% WATER. Not only that, my body knows how to regulate water levels. I am losing water all the time through my skin and my bladder and my breathing, but my body will trigger thirst because it knows more is needed.
  • Though dirt or soil has a negative connotation, I am the earth. I take food – EARTH - into my mouth and as I take the molecules of earth into my cells, I am earth. I am what I eat.
  • The energy in our body, even at the cellular level started as light from the sun, the planetary FIRE. Photosynthesis is the chemistry that translates the solar energy into all the energy systems my body uses to type these words and to survive.

To return to a sustainable lifestyle, I am drawn by all I read, see and hear to a vegan diet. Clearly, we can no longer justify the massive methane and carbon dioxide given off in raising meat for people to eat.

It's a little hard to take in when thinking of a small chick hatching from her fragile egg. How can an animal, so seemingly insignificant against the vastness of the earth, give off so much greenhouse gas as to change the global climate? The answer is in their sheer numbers. The United States alone slaughters more than 10 billion land animals every year, all to sustain a meat-ravenous culture that can barely conceive of a time not long ago when "a chicken in every pot" was considered a luxury. Land animals raised for food make up a staggering 20% of the entire land animal biomass of the earth. We are eating our planet to death. What we're seeing is just the beginning, too. Meat consumption has increased five-fold in the past fifty years, and is expected to double again in the next fifty.

I admit that the ethics of meat eating isn’t the primary reason I began considering the vegetarian diet. But, the longer I eat primarily plant food, the more the thought of meat is sickening to me. My love of dairy and habit of eating eggs makes me think vegan may not be too easy to pull off. I can imagine vegetarian though, so I will set my sights on that as a starting place. I confess here at make-a-(green) plan that last year I began a vegan diet in February, but I wasn’t true to it for more than a month. After that it was only loosely vegetarian.

Movement each day, using my muscles and eating whole nutritious food doesn’t seem like an insurmountable task. Additionally, I will be talking about 100 mile diet, organic food, raising my own food and bulk buying. Besides walking I hope to bike. There is a whole year ahead; my gift to myself is to treat myself to good food and daily exercise. I should throw in the fact that I also value enough sleep, water and interacting with others