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Avg: n/a   Vote: 1 2 3 4 5    4 comments, last: Apr-22-2009   Add   Contributor:  TheTeam (Apr-22-2009)
Optimism: 3 Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Religious

I wept and said: "Is this the law of Jesus,
This terrible devouring sword turning every way?"
He answer'd: "Jesus died because He strove
Against the current of this Wheel: its name
Is Caiaphas, the dark Preacher of Death,
Of sin, of sorrow, and of punishment,
Opposing Nature."

 Author: William Blake, 1820, This is a small extract from the epic poem Jerusalem
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Vote: n/a     Comment by: auntiegrav (auntiegrav) (Apr-22-2009)   
People are not so dumb...IF the information is available to them. Blind Faith in gods, guns, and gurus thrives when ignorance thrives.

One more reason that the best solution to most issues is to put a price on our behaviors with a sales tax on everything that reflects the costs of our consumption instead of hiding those costs where people don't know about them. If real information is available, the instinctive choices are better ones. Religion is an example of disinformation and marketing, whether you choose the devil or the god. Advertising is a tax-deductible business expense. People are controlled by the propaganda so well that they don't even realize they pay for it to be done to them.

In general, I guess my point is that we can have a higher nature if we set up systems to make it easier to achieve a higher nature, but we shouldn't forget our lower connections. No matter our imaginary achievements, our behaviors show that we are still no smarter than the lowest life forms when it comes to caring for our DNA and the environment which spawned it.

I'll defer the analysis of specific poetry to you...;-)
Vote: n/a     Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Apr-22-2009)   Web site

Blake uses the same word, Nature, in both a "good" and "bad" sense. He is primarily non-dualistic. Thus, his early poem "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" where the devils are the good guys (women are involved in those poems too, just not as devils or angels). Blake acknowledged Milton as unconsciously promoting the same thing -- Milton's Devil is the most interesting and alive character in his epic poem.

Blake said that all energies come from the body, not the spirit, and that those energies are the source of eternal Delight. So, it is hard for anyone to pinpoint his message without further reading. I was a William Blake student in my youth.

The KoolAid was forced by Jim Jones and a few true believers on the rest of the followers at gun point. Only a few willingly died. People are not so dumb -- unfortunately sometimes we learn a little too slowly, which seems to be the problem with the environmental issues.
Vote: n/a     Comment by: auntiegrav (auntiegrav) (Apr-22-2009)   

A kind thought, Dave, but it also illustrates the inherent problem of religions and 'spirituality': the idea that anything comes from the top down.
Step into your garden once more, put your fingers deep into the soil and feel the worms and bugs. Everything living came from there and from the oceans. Everything started simple and grew more complicated. There is not one example of anything being 'created' by a more complex system except the artificial constructions of human beings.
Blake's view is echoed in our textbooks and paradigms so that we think of nature as destructive and competitive, but when you look at it from the bottom-up, you see that nature's species are cooperative and creative, and that we have to realize our insignificance before we can be significantly useful to the planet in a realistic sense. Humans have to realize we are not all that 'special', and then we can move on to working cooperatively with nature and each other and stop wasting so many resources through redundant competitions for the top of the pile of dead bodies we created with our petty wars, religions, nationalisms, profits (prophets) and egos.
The missionaries were created to teach the natives not to eat the salesmen that inevitably follow them. Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. Let him sell your fish and the ocean is destroyed.
We need to seek a lower nature, not a higher one. The meek shall inherit what's left when the 'higher' drink the KoolAid.
Vote: n/a     Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Apr-22-2009)   Web site

I am not a Christian or even a "believer" in the traditional sense of the word. However, this great re-statement of the relationship between Humanity and Nature by the visionary William Blake epitomizes the struggle we face today. William Blake saw raw Nature as destructive, and leading both humans and animals to compete, kill, and to claw to the top for survival.

For him, the way out of this hell-on-earth was to re-connect with our truer higher nature as spiritual beings. This is the kind of religion or philosophy, call it what you will, that I can believe in and know from experience. Without this kind of understanding becoming more widespread, how can we stop and reverse our current environmental crises?

I am one who believes that technical fixes are only bridges to allow us to reach the real solution, which is a change in cultural and individual values.

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