Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Morning meditation - Exact change not required
"My hometown, Seattle, was required by the Reagan administration to implement emergency policies in the case of a nuclear attack. One policy read, 'In case of an evacuation due to a nuclear attack, citizens may ride the metro buses without exact change.' This is our world." p. 20
Rebecca Ann Parker, Blessing The World
And the citizens of New Orleans could ride their buses in their flooded city without exact change as can the detainees at Guantanamo and the citizens of Bhagdad and the millions of people without health insurance.
George W. Bush, according to the media, is worried now about his legacy. How about 8 years of lunacy which has set the United States and the world back about 75 years to the days of the depression?
And what is the religious response to such suffering, trauma, lies and deceit?
Rebecca Ann Parker suggests in her essay, After The Apocalypse, three things which would describe a religious response in a post apocalytic world.
The first would be truth telling. Highly unlikely in a world of spin and public relations. Don't expect it from your government. Maybe from historians in 50 years. Certainly not from Fox News, Fair and Balanced, or from the pundits.
The second would be salvaging by which I think she means sifting throught the nonsence to identify what matters. This is based on good values and good judgment. This also is in short supply these days as we are overwhelmed with information most of which is noise in the system rather than anything of value. The 24 hour news cycles of cable TV keeps the crap coming.
The third is identifying guides who know what they are talking about. These more than likely are people who have suffered, resisted, who are self aware and empathic and call it like they see it, i.e. are honest. I know very few people like this but when I encounter them I feel blessed. Most frequently, when I have felt blessed, it is by people in recovery. They have come to terms with themselves and the evil in the world.
I find as I get older that I have less patience for idiots and I am surrounded by them. They often are officious, arrogant, have power over other people, and are highly paid. They often are pretentious, condescending, disdainful if not contemptuous, and haven't a clue. They are the idiots that write the policies for the Seattle emergency plan and who work at FEMA like "You're doing a heck of job, Brownie." and often they get elected to high places like President and Vice President of the United States or lead large powerful companies like Ken Lay and Jeff Schilling at Enron before it collapsed.
They are like the mother of a 14 year old girl I saw in a counseling session yesterday who through her tears told me her mother told her to take her mask off, Halloween was over, implying that her facial appearance was grotesque.
The pain and suffering is immense in our broken world and what do Unitarian Universalists have to offer? Do we have an explanation for this brokeness? Do we have a theology which helps us cope, manage, overcome?
I don't know, but I think I have made a start on sorting a theology out. Here are a few glimmers which I have caught:
UU says that there is no God who is going to save us; humans have to take more responsibility for their own behavior.
UU says that there are seven principles/values that can help us discern what matters in life.
UU says that we can find guides in all faith traditions and from humanism and even atheism if we are open to exploring and searching for truth.
UU says that democratic practices are the best way to agree on how to live together effectively.
UU says that in spite of the illusion of the ego, we are all in this together and that we must come to not only respect that fact, but rejoice in it.
This is a theology of a new age which hasn't arrived yet.
Meanwhile, it's comforting to know that in the case of a nuclear attack our government officials won't require exact change.