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consumption

The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity

All Mother, its been almost 2 months since my last post. And I confess that it was a bit of a downer: the non-event (for me) of Lausanne 2010.

That shut me up for a bit. But now, the news just got good again…

I’ve been following one of the most inspiring events of recent times online. It’s called “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity” and curated by Michael Dowd, author of the 2009 book “Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World”.

Continue reading “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity”

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A Crisis of Particularity

Love all creation. The whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, and every ray of light. [Dostoevsky]

Particularity is not an often used word. But it is one which has recently come into my awareness, and with a little reflection, has begun offering green shoots of hope in a world overrun by the global, the universal, and the general. The disconnection we experience as a result has at root, I believe, everything to do with a loss of intimate relationship with the particular.

Continue reading “A Crisis of Particularity”

My agricultural revolution.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. [Henry David Thoreau]

second-patchI have had the good fortune to be a homeowner since 1999. “Owning” (I use the term advisedly) a piece of land has provided the impetus for reconnecting with the Earth. One of the things I set out to do was to “grow my own”, and to start a gradual return from the industrialised insanity of consumerism.

By this I mean, I wanted to set an achievable target of the amount of food I consumed off my own land and by my own hand, rather than merely bought via a corporate supply chain. I set the goal at 1% for the first year. It’s now nearly 10 years later and I am nowhere near that. Continue reading “My agricultural revolution.”

Make Something Day.

For many years now Friday (US) and Saturday (International) after thanksgiving (that’s November 29th in South Africa) has been Buy Nothing Day, in recognition that we consume and waste too much. Originally suggested in 1992, the idea has been promoted by AdBusters, an activist media organisation.

But now it has been suggested that withholding purchases is not going far enough. A positive idea is to actively create something, and to rethink BND as Make Something Day. This includes: Organise It, Make It, Give It or Share It.
It sounds to me like a challenge of liturgy. Don’t forget, liturgy means “the work of the people”.

How will you be spending MSD?

 

AB 08 scorecard / Syncroblog

Update:

Afrika Burn 2008 Syncroblog:

Also see

We are back from the burn! Just thinking that causes the dust to rise.

Next Monday 27th October 2008, we are inviting anyone to Syncroblog with us; to participate see this post.

But to get the ball rolling, here is my initial scorecard for AB 08. Bear in mind this view is personal, and I did not visit all the camps and attractions I would have liked: Continue reading “AB 08 scorecard / Syncroblog”

the conundrum of discipline

This is the original sodaiku conundrum for which credit is due to M Scott Peck.

Discipline produces abundance
Abundance breeds laxity
Laxity undermines discipline

A Chernobyl Meditation

//www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/spring2008.1.jpg

I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
… Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
… Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
… And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
 [Bob Dylan : A Hard Rains a’gonna fall]

The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. [Revelations 8:10, 11]

We cannot say how the wind blows. From whence, towards where, how strongly, how varied, bearing good or ill omen. The wind remains, even in this proud scientific age, a profound mystery.

And so it is that the fateful events of April 1986 have been blown into my ambit. I have been reminded of something that is part of the wallpaper of the 20th century, something I saw from afar, the implications of which I clearly did not grasp at the time. I am in the grip of this tale of horror, and feel compelled to make some sense of it. Continue reading “A Chernobyl Meditation”

The treasure in the field

Trifari India Maltese CrossThe Dream (“Kingdom”) of G-d is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. [Matthew 13:44 paraphrased]

The simplicity of this account is deceptive:

  • What is the Dream/Kingdom of G-d like, the treasure, the field, or the story of the treasure in the field?
  • Why didn’t he buy the field with the proceeds from the treasure, rather than the proceeds of his possessions?
  • Is the treasure made more valuable by being under the ground rather than mined or extracted?
  • What does the man want to do with the field?
  • Who having found something of great worth, willingly and immediately looses it again?
  • Surely we are taught by many religions that the good is to be held on to, as we struggle against the bad?
  • How is it that his joy leads not towards publication (making public), but away from it and towards increased circumspection?
  • What is the difference between the treasure and the field in which it is hidden?
  • Does true ownership comprise of securing, or relinquishing?
  • Is the story more than good re-investment advice?
  • Is it making a distinction between commodities (precious metals/minerals) and real estate (the field) as types of value?

I wonder.

AfterBurn – a Karoo flowering, upcoming synchroblog.

triple bypass photo by Rob MillsA group of 5 intrepid journeymen headed for the desert heartland and the Afrika Burns festival at Stonehenge farm, near the Tankwa Karoo National Park this last weekend. About 6-800 others from well organised families to student slackers to trance party vets to die hard hippies to spiritual seekers to hedonists to Gaian survivalists, all thrown together for a few days of celebration of life, diversity, and giving.

It was dustily comforting, scintillatingly bleak, hilariously shocking, gloriously inventive, primally experimental, unconditionally festive, profoundly challenging. More than that, much more. In short, we felt like we have been through a transformation, an affirmation, a validation, a rite of passage. This is what some of us have been seeking in 25 years of (largely church based) conferences/camps/festivals.

upsetters turbine photo by Rob MillsThat’s enough for now; we are going to synchroblog the experience and/or for those who didn’t make it, just the ideas, on Thursday 29th. So if you didn’t make it but would like to contribute to the debate, or even just ask questions about what it might be, you are invited.

Each synchroblog will contain your main thoughts followed by the list of synchrobloggers. The cut-off is Wednesday 28th; send your article URL in a comment here. I will publish Wednesday evening and you can cut and paste the list bit for your articles from me.

camp vuvuzela photo by Rob Mills

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