Hello humans. (If you are reading and understanding this then you probably are one.) It's time once again to celebrate our home planet, and this year as never before, the earth is calling out for your attention, your rituals and prayers and, of course, your activism. And this is Scoop Nisker with a piece of green liturgy for Earth Day, every day.
We're talking about your mama here, and I'm not playing the dozens. We're talking about the mother planet who gave you life and who carries you across the skies. And I'm sorry to say that she is not feeling so well these days; her circulatory system is full of poisons and she's experiencing severe fevers and chills. And many of her dear children -- all manner of life forms -- are becoming extinct at a rate estimated to be 1000 times the norm. To a major degree, this devastation is due to the activity of our species, trampling across the planet and consuming everything in our path. We have discovered a problem and it is us, the homo sapiens sapiens, the self-anointed "double wise" humans.
So what can we do? What can be done? One thing is clear: There are just too many of us. Some of you will have to go. I recently saw a bumper sticker that read, "6 billion people can't be right."
It's also clear that you and I, and all of us living here in the overdeveloped world will have to cut back our consumption. The economic recession is a first tentative step, and our politicians should not be too eager to stimulate an economy that will further erode the earth's ability to sustain our populations. So I suggest that we all work with a mantra, "Enough, enough. We've got enough stuff." The younger generation could chant, "We quit, we quit, we've got enough shit."
But at the core of our problems is a defective belief system; an outdated mythology; a case of mistaken identity. Haven't we lived long enough believing that our "true self" is somehow disconnected from this body, or somehow separate from atoms and matter, or from this planet?
Our major religions tell us that we are just visiting the earth, as if it's some kind of training planet, a place where you come to learn some lessons or burn off some karma, or get saved by some messiah or another. The hope is that once we're done on this funky old sphere, our true self will go off to a better place, where it truly belongs.
Those beliefs are now dysfunctional. They take the divine away from the earth and rob life itself of the reverence it is due. It is time for an upgrade of our mythology; a metaphysics that makes sense. To begin with, there is no longer any doubt that the scientific story of evolution is true, at least among people who have a large forebrain. So let's embrace evolution as our new creation myth. You can start by feeling yourself in a body, and realizing that it is composed of "all natural" earth ingredients. Your bones are made of calcium phosphate and silicates, the actual clay of earth molded into your shape. And the fluids in your body are similar to those of the oceans; you literally sweat and cry seawater. You are certified organic! We humans are essentially earth sprouts that gained a lot of mobility. Our primary identity is that of "earthling."
We human earthlings are built out of all the life that came before us on this planet. For instance, scientists have discovered that we have three virtually different brains -- a reptilian brain, a mammalian brain, and the new human brain. And some scientists speculate that we use our new human brain mostly to make excuses for the behavior generated by our other two brains. The lizard and the wolf still live inside of us.
And now we know that we are related to everything that ever lived, through the miracle molecule of DNA, which carries the information for every form of life on this planet. We share 90 percent of our DNA with mice and nearly 70 percent with worms. So if we declare ourselves divine, is not the slime also divine, and if not, where do we draw the line? Does the snail get a soul? And what about the mushrooms? The point is that the story of evolution does not have to deny our divinity as humans: Instead it just denies our "exclusive" divinity.
While we're on the subject, let's give the DNA a spiritual spin, and instead of thinking deoxyribonucleic acid - such a cold clinical term - from now on, whenever you see or hear the letters "DNA" think "Divine Natural Abundance."
What the earth is asking of us now is a shift of consciousness so that we embrace our identity as part of earth life, so that we come to know ourselves as members of a particular species, as humans, as animals, even as vertebrates. Come on, say it loud, "I'm a vertebrate and I'm proud."
One important way to begin your shift of consciousness is to celebrate Earth Day, a holiday meant for all of us, regardless of kingdom, genus, phyla, or color of skin, fur, feathers, scales, leaves or bark. Earth Day is everybody's Mother's Day, a celebration of the goddess Gaia, Pacha, Mama. The earth is the Milky Way's little biosphere project, and it's everybody's 'hood.
To celebrate Earth Day you might want to go picket in front of the oil company of your choice, or go out into the ocean and take a swim in the primal amniotic fluid, and while you are out there maybe chain yourself to an endangered coral reef, or play some soothing music for the fish, who must be very confused due to the changing temperature of the oceans. At least take a vow on this Earth Day, humans, that you will do something more to protect your mother. And to seal that vow, at some point in your Earth Day celebration, take off your shoes, and dance on the earth, touching your mother skin to skin. Or just lay down flat, face down, ignore your inner cynic, and give your mama a great big hug. As always, she will forgive you, and welcome you home.
And this is Scoop Nisker singing praises to the earth, and reminding you -- if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own!