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Hearing God’s Word in Creation

27 Apr

After a long absence, I thought I would share with my readers this poem “The Word”,  by the 19th century American poet Richard Realf, which was a focal part of my meditation and prayer a couple of days ago. I continue to be moved by ruminate over its message even today.  Here the poet sweetly lauds the Cosmic Word that reverberates throughout all of Creation for all that have ears to hear.

“The Word”

O Earth! Thou hast not any wind that blows 

Which is not music; every weed of thine 

Pressed rightly flows in aromatic wine; 

And every humble hedgerow flower that grows, 

And every little brown bird that doth sing, 

Hath something greater than itself, and bears 

A living Word to every living thing, 

Albeit it hold the Message unawares. 

All shapes and sounds have something which is not 

Of them: a Spirit broods amid the grass; 

Vague outlines of the Everlasting Thought 

Lie in the melting shadows as they pass; 

The touch of an Eternal Presence thrills 

The fringes of the sunsets and the hills. 

 

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Aldous Huxley on The Three Pillars of Western Society

29 Jan

“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”
― Aldous Huxley, Island

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“Peace on Earth” – Classic MGM Christmas Cartoon

23 Dec

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas cartoon. MGM 1939. Anti-war.

Here is my early Christmas gift to all of my friends and visitors to this blog. I hope you take the 8 1/2 minutes to watch this extraordinary classic cartoon. It is distinguished as being the only cartoon to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would describe this as a post-apocalyptic, dystopian-yet-utopian tale that presents the true meaning of the peace associated with the Christmas story in a manner that makes it still as relevant today as it was when it was first released, back in 1939. Think of it as an extended meditation on the twin themes of the “peaceable kingdom” and “turning swords into plowshares” that figure so prominently in the Book of Isaiah; two themes which serve as a backdrop to the story of the first Christmas found in the Gospels of Mathhew and Luke. What is ironic and sad is that this cartoon’s powerful anti-war message was largely forgotten or ignored just two years later when the USA entered the throes of WWII.

I post this now as we enter into this year’s Christmas season in hope that perhaps the message of this cartoon may engender in some people a reconsideration of the subversive but much needed message of Christmas: of the power of non-violent love that was incarnated in the coming of the Christ child some 2000 years ago. As we reflect on the sorrow, injustice and violence that plague our world right now, it should be clear that we need this cartoon’s simple message of peace and hope even more today.

I would love to have you post your reactions and thoughts here once you enjoy this heartwarming cartoon and ruminate over its message. And you are certainly encouraged to share or re-post this!

Merry Christmas and “Peace to All People of Good Will!!!”

Tom

“Autumn Leaves Do Not Shiver” (new original poem)

11 Nov

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“Autumn Leaves Do Not Shiver”

Autumn leaves do not shiver when they fall
but leap like little lads of yesteryear
who, when boisterously barrelling into a pond like tiny cannonballs,
and making their splash into water lilies,
never gave a damn about how far it is to the bottom.
For them, “tis the leap that counts,” after all!

No — these leaves do not shiver when they fall:
To fall is their call, after all!

How else are leaves to parade their fiery blaze of color,
that treasure hidden long before
under the zesty, green garments of Spring?

Ah — but it is WE who shiver —
(or rather, are SHAKEN out of complicity)
as we watch (this spectacle) and wonder IF —
when our time comes to leap:
will we likewise loosen our grip
that we might free fall under Winter’s magic spell
and finally promenade — with one last hurrah —
our own triumphant splash of exultant color?

(c) Thomas C. Webber 11/11/2013

“The New Day Greets Me” (original poem)

17 Oct

sunrise over misty rolling hills

The New Day Greets Me

The new day greets me like a middle-eastern girl —
A young Bedouin virgin, enshrouded in mystery.

A single amber eye peers out to charm
And beckons me from behind the cerulean veil
Which drapes and falls over her woolen green robe,
Revealing barely a hint of her rolling beauty and form.

Oh how I find myself ineluctably drawn to follow
With hopes of savoring her promised delight!

By Thomas C. Webber
2/27/02

Behind the BP Oil Spill: A Deeper Look (Part 1)

17 Sep

A few weeks back I was contemplating the idiotic nature of the BP oil spill in the Gulf. By then, I had moved past simple anger over the long-term, largely hidden ramifications of the spill. Clearly this held deleterious effects that we all need to come to terms with, not only on the part of those people dependent on the health of the fishing industry (e.g., the fishermen, the consumers, etc.), but also (let us not forget) the immediate and future environmental impact this will have on our coastal region and the countless creatures of the sea. My reflection that day concerned grappling with considering ULTIMATELY WHY this could happen at all!

It is apparent to myself and many others that there clearly exists a destructive underlying philosophy and worldview that most of humankind has bought into, an understanding of which the whole future of our planet depends. Hence I wrote the following in my journal:

The fact that the were galaxies and stars spinning, displaying a symphony of light, and later, on earth, life teeming with one-celled creatures and ants and birds and dragonflies and fish and whales and dinosaurs and ferns and flowers and trees — AEONS BEFORE  humans walked this earth — should dispel any theological assertions that the earth and it’s creatures somehow exist “for Man.”  — (c) Thomas C. Webber  7/26/2010

In my second, future posting on this subject, I will attempt to briefly deconstruct  and trace the origins of this anthropocentric (i.e., human-centered) understanding of the world. I will argue that understanding this worldview ultimately explains why “man-made” disasters such as the BP oil spill have happened, and will likely continue to happen, in the foreseeable future. As the journal entry above hints, religion itself has played a sad and insidious role in the formation of this philosophy.  The good news is that such a bleak view of the future is not inevitable — provided humankind as a whole is willing to undergo a fundamental moral / spiritual revolution. It is my hope to do my small part in helping to raise consciousness so that future generations face a brighter future.

Hope you find my thoughts helpful. Please take time to share your own in return by leaving a comment!

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