#11 Eternal vs. Temporal

In nature, there is a dynamic interplay between these two nodes of experience. The fleeting wing beats of a passing eagle give way to the timeless feeling of the mountain. The babbling brook slowly changes pitch after a rain, the river continues to polish smooth the rocks of the bank. In our search for a more natural way of life, we too must embody both of these states of being at once. As much as we can reflect the deep and eternal energy that can come from being on the right track, we must also cultivate the dynamic and ever changing flexibility of the moving water. One thing that helped me find my way to better understanding of spirit was to study water and understand that air is a fluid as well, it’s just 1/6 as viscous. Certain vapors and hot air can be even less so. Taking the next logical step, the ethereal realm wraps around and penetrates us as well, learning to know it’s ebb and flow are essential to finding what many call right livelihood. Wabi sabi can guide common tasks as well as whole lifestyles, if we know how to balance forever well and immediately joyous moments, find solace in the work as well as the relaxation. While also learning to remain present in the moment while considering well the baggage of our past and the great responsibility we have to future generations.

Most of us have had time to realize that the hours we had to wait for things to happen when we were children, now fly by like so many minutes or even seconds as we get older. The temporal nature of our very lives are every bit as miraculous as the never ending chain of life which we participate in. Each human being throughout time carries genetic components from two parents, four grand-parents, eight great-grand parents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and thirty-two triple-great-grandparents. We are ultimately descended from sixty-four people if you go back seven generations. This eternal equation has repeated for longer than most of us can imagine. As fragile as life is, we continue to survive most moments and frequently live long enough to carry the genetic information that we were blessed with to children and grandchildren not yet imagined. They are coming, out to the seventh generation and beyond, most likely.

Today, a friend got all dour about our chances in the aftermath of the great melt-down that is Japan, forgetting that Chernobyl 25 years ago shot radioactive materials more than a mile into the atmosphere, which we later realized circled the northern Hemisphere within a few days. We survived that. Surely there will always be a dead zone, or at least a no-go area for humans, but if we stop building nukes now, and decommission as many as possible quickly, we can avoid writing off any more real estate. Radiation from the Chernobyl explosion is, and will always be dangerous in areas outside the 30km (18.6 mile) exclusion zone. Politically, it is difficult to take any meaningful steps toward remediation. Over one billion dollars will be needed to cover and shield the aging concrete tomb that was poured in place over the damaged reactor site. This is as close to a vision of eternity that humans have. The half-lives of some radioactive elements will keep them dangerous for as long as there have been humans on Earth. We can only hope that the generations hence will pass down the story of our rapidly expanding dead zones. now we will have one in Japan as well. Problematically, along the edge of the largest living ocean on the planet, there will be plenty of vectors to introduce contamination over an extremely large area.

We can take steps now to assure that these problems are reduced. Don’t wait for another catastrophe! We need to solve the problems that will surely be experienced by older nuclear facilities, especially those with a strong likelihood of sustaining similar catastrophic conditions as we have seen many times during the nuclear age.

There are literally dozens of sites around the planet that have been rendered permanently inhabitable due to radioactivity. Humans can stay away from them, if they are told of the hazardous conditions. Other organisms may not have a choice. Nuclear facilities are things that must pass away if we are to have a habitable planet. The type of contamination that they create assures us of danger even after they have been decommissioned. That is why the need to get off the nuclear bandwagon as soon as possible is so great. Luckily, here in our state of Wisconsin, we only get about 17% of our electricity from nukes. We could easily replace our need for power with solar, wind and meaningful conservation efforts. (efficiency improvements) Other states such as Illinois will have a much more difficult time replacing or conserving their way out of having some nukes for the foreseeable future. Having a difficult road ahead is what Americans do best, so we need to rise to this challenge like all the others we have met to date.

Using the intellect and creativity that led to solutions for so many problems, we can not put the genie back in the bottle, but we can begin to decapitate it, stemming the flow of accidents and emergencies that lead to irrevocable disasters whose legacy lasts virtually forever. The only way to achieve this goal is to start heading toward it at lightning pace and without reservation or concession to the lies of industrialists who stand to gain from continued government subsidy of this extremely expensive industry.

Share this and other information about the nuclear age with others, stand by one another in demanding change in policy and direction now. We may not be able to wait any longer if we are to get serious about saving the planet. In the now, we can turn off appliances that waste power, turn off our demand and arrange for renewable energy to make inroads for providing the energy we need. Splitting the atom carries an infinite tax on humanity and we must no longer tolerate it.  Generations to come will be dependent on what we do now.


About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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