The Beginning of the End of an Era

2009-11-18-0spock-2
May his memory Live Long and Prosper

As a boy growing up on a farm, I remember being transfixed, watching the original series of Star Trek on a black and white TV.  Despite the lack of color and the ever-present static haze of rural television reception, the show had a profound effect upon me.  It introduced me to so much that was outside the narrow bounds of my world, transported me (if you will) to a broader universe, and inspired me to think in much grander vistas.  As its rise to a cultural phenomenon attests, Star Trek has done the same thing for millions and millions of others.

Perhaps more than any other TV show, Star Trek opened our collective psyche to consider possible futures and possible worlds and possible thoughts and possible philosophies that we never would have imagined.  I wonder if our ability to readily embrace the innovations of the technological revolution isn’t in part a result of the influence of Star Trek.  Having watched the crew of the Enterprise employ miraculous devices, this opened the door, and the desire, for us to do the same.

While it’s likely that the character of Captain Kirk had the greater influence upon me personally, Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock certainly had a profound impact as well.   I would attribute some of my interest in science, and in logic, of course, to his influence.   Mr. Spock also gave me one of my all-time favorite words to use:  Evidently.   Just love how that sums up so much so concisely – all the available data points to the most logical conclusion that one can draw – i.e,  Evidently.

That attribute that he is most famously known for, the use of the intellect to control the emotions, while seemingly one-dimensional or “de-humanizing”, was actually neither.   As Eckhart Tolle teaches us now, and the Buddha taught long ago, we are not our emotions, we have emotions.  We are a consciousness that can step back from our emotions and regard them dispassionately.   And we can choose to identify with the emotions or with that deeper consciousness.

I have also found it noteworthy that Spock’s approach to logic and emotions evolved over time, a transformation that required decades and several movies to take place.   In Star Trek VI he utters a very memorable ( very memorable to me, at least!) paraphrase of a biblical passage, to a younger Vulcan protégé.   The original passage goes:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” which the movie turned into:  “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.” Signalling an embrace of his humanity and his emotions.

Growing up in a Scandinavian farm community, I had no exposure to other races, cultures, philosophies, or religions.  The character of Mr. Spock introduced me to all of these.  It was mind expanding.   Leonard Nimoy, through his compelling portrayal of Mr. Spock, opened many doors for greater understanding. With his passing, the era that Star Trek ushered in is beginning to close.  One wonders what trajectory the next era will take.

May the gifts he has given us Live Long and Prosper.

Spock-Leonard-Nimoy

I shall miss him greatly.

 

As A Tree

10428456_10153175717465850_2372710360012574991_n

A friend of mine posted this image on Facebook.   Such a fantastic concept!

Which prompted me to share this thought:

“How cool would it be to create a “living cemetery” of these that is a Food Forest ~ could literally feed one’s descendants, and they would be fed by their ancestors…   [see the link below for a description of a food forest]

Then someone else made this comment:

I like to think of me as a tree !!!

Which inspired me to write this little poem:

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
with roots sunk deep
into ancestral dreams
and ever nurtured
by the fecund earth
with a willing embrace
of this world of form.

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
with branches reaching
toward what is to be
and ever enlivened
by the radiant sun
with a willing embrace
of the Élan Vital.

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
transmuting
past into future
heaven into earth
energy into form
dwelling within
the omnipresent.

 

And as long as I’m dwelling upon thoughts of trees, it feels fitting to share this talk that I delivered at a 911 Tribute in 2005.  (I was speaking in front of 3,000 people, and was so nervous that my knees were wobbling the entire time.)

TREE DEDICATION

As we begin our program this evening and prepare for the invocation, I would like to first bring everyone’s attention to the tree festooned with ribbons and streamers that stands to the west of the band shell. This is a Valley Forge American Elm, a testimony to survival – it is naturally resistant to Dutch Elm disease, and it has just been donated by area businesses to serve as a living memorial to all those who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Throughout time, trees have always served as inspiring symbols, symbols of hope, of strength, of peace, and even the symbol of life itself. And in our country specifically, trees have been a symbol of the political principles that we treasure so deeply. The first Liberty Tree, located in Boston, was an Elm tree, just as this one is. The Sons of Liberty gathered and held their meetings in the shade of its branches. They flew their banners from its branches. In time, all 13 colonies each had their own Liberty Tree, which served as rallying places for the ideals of the American Revolution.

The original Liberty Elm in Boston was cut down by British soldiers, as an act of war, in 1775. The last of those original 13 Liberty trees to die was in Maryland, in 1999. It died as a result of a hurricane.

So in trees we see living symbols of our guiding principles, and we also see how those principles might be lost. We find ourselves gathered here this evening with two events in our minds and in our hearts – one, an act of war, 4 years ago, the other, a natural disaster, hurricane Katrina, mere days ago. Both of these events have presented our country with immense suffering and sorrow. Both of these events have presented us with immense challenges. They have challenged us to respond in a fashion that maintains and upholds the democratic principles that we hold so dearly, “that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It has been said that the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit – to plant trees for generations that are yet to come. The founding fathers and mothers of this country planted many trees, in the principles they fought for and the institutions they created. We benefit from these trees which they planted so long ago. And so it is now our turn to plant trees. Thus, tonight we dedicate this Elm tree, as a living memorial, as a testimony to survival, as sign of hope for healing and peace. May we also plant trees of principles and institutions that will shelter and serve generations yet to come.

 

http://www.beaconfoodforest.org

Welcome
The goal of the Beacon Food Forest is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.

 

What is a Food Forest?
A food forest is a gardening technique or [Permaculture] land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals make up the lower levels. The Beacon Food Forest will combine aspects of native habitat rehabilitation with edible forest gardening.

 

Wolf Medicine

Mexicanwolf2
Mexican Wolf Population Now Tops 100 in US

15 years ago I led a small group who carried the Wolf energy from Minnesota down to New Mexico to do a blessing ritual for the Mexican Gray Wolves that were being reintroduced into the wild.

Minnesota at one time sheltered the last remaining wild wolves in the lower 48 states, so it seemed fitting that we give some spiritual assistance to this noble effort.

Thus, I was so pleased to read the article linked below, that tells of how the wolves, after a very rough start, have been flourishing.

This is just wonderful news to share for all those who feel a connection to our animal brothers and sisters.

http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-wolf-population-now-tops-100-us-123358887.html

The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), a smaller subspecies of gray wolf, was hunted out of the wild in the United States by the 1970s.

Once driven to the brink extinction in the United States, the population of Mexican wolves has doubled in the past five years.

— there are now 19 packs, with at least 53 wolves in New Mexico and 56 wolves in Arizona. The 2014 total also included 38 wild-born pups that survived through the end of the year

(keep reading more at the link)

I could discuss the Wolf energy, and how Wolf can assist one as a spirit animal; but rather than doing that, I would love to hear about other people’s  experience with Wolf Medicine ~ So please share!

 

Indigenous Realism

10955739_10153170653340757_8692094320732958378_n

Indigenous Realism has taught me so much.

So grateful for the diversity of human cultures:
~ those cultures that have focused upon the intellect, developing tools to explore the mystery of existence through science, deepening our understanding and changing our lives through the evolution of technology.

~ those cultures that have focused upon the intuition, developing tools to explore the mystery of existence through spirituality, deepening our understanding and changing our lives through the evolution of the soul.

Dancing with the Yin and the Yang.  Gotta love it.

Explore the Great Mystery.
Evolve.

 

 

Groundhog Days ~ And Nights

groundhogleebhamilton2copy-2

For those of you with a touch of Groundhog energy, here’s some new info to flesh out your understanding…

Woodchucks aren’t forecasting the weather when they emerge—they’re looking for love

The Truth about Groundhog Day
http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/national-wildlife/animals/archives/2006/groundhogs.aspx

Stam Zervanos, a biology professor at Pennsylvania State University’s Berks-Lehigh Valley College has made a discovery that could, um, cast a shadow on Groundhog Day. Male woodchucks, as the animals are also known, aren’t checking the weather when they wake up in early February, says Zervanos. They’re scoping for potential mates.

Yes, Groundhog Day is more like Valentine’s Day. When a male groundhog wakes up in February from its three-month-long hibernation, he leaves his burrow and goes for a stroll around the ol’ territory—a tract of about 2 to 3 acres. When he comes to a female’s burrow (there may be several within his territory), he ducks inside and stays the night. The next morning he continues on his tour. “Each male visits two or three females,” says Zervanos.

But he is pretty sure the sleepover parties are tame. “We know they are not mating because no baby groundhogs are born in early March,” he says. (The groundhog gestation period is about 30 days.) After the February cuddlefest, the male goes back to his own pad, rolls up in a ball and sleeps for another month.

So what’s with the rodent sleepovers? “They’re a chance to bond,” Zervanos suggests. The February visits may serve as “getting to know you” sessions—obviating the need to spend lots of time exchanging biological details in March. As far as Zervanos knows, this speed-dating behavior is unique to groundhogs. “I think it’s a major find,” he says.

When the groundhogs wake up for good in March, the males drop in on the females again for a week of wild groundhog mating.

Zervanos still has questions about groundhogs. He wonders if females are ever visited by more than one male