#19 Spirit in Review

“We’ve got spirit yes we do, we’ve got spirit how about you?”

Many of us chanted these words before we had a firm grasp of what spirit even was. Some of us, who realized that it had nothing to do with sporting events were confused by the hype. Of course, each of the nearly seven billion of us, and all of the animals and features of the landscape have spirit, but the powers that be don’t want us to realize that. Nationalism is such an outdated concept that without extensive propping up, it would surely pass away entirely. The American Spirit, as we are often told, has a lot to do with the old west. That pioneering mentality that thought that there was an unbroken horizon to the West that beckoned us forth. After we hit the coast, we didn’t lose the theory that each of us could be a rugged individualist, self supporting and if need be, alone. Once we saw the pictures of the Earth from space, this idea was dead. Quizzically though, there are many who feel that we still need to cowboy up and go about our business as if our actions won’t affect anyone else.

Science has taught us much about our globe. We know how far the earth shifted on it’s axis after the Earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We even heard that our neighbors across the really big pond moved closer, I think it was a phenomenal amount, like eight feet! Oh, well that spirit thing, it’s in every single alive thing, the air, fire, water, the earth itself, soil, etc. When we begin to honor the spirit of all these things, ecological catastrophe will be averted because we will no longer tolerate our destructive behavior. The literature is rife with alternatives to petro-everything and fossil this and that. All one needs to do is look into any topic and one will find amazing and simple ideas that led earlier civilizations to thrive, that have been discarded as unfashionable, or “primitive”. Last evening, PBS had an in depth segment on Machu Picchu. 60% of the earthworks that the Inca built were under the surface, designed to keep the mountaintop development from causing landslides and erosion. these people worshiped the spirits of the mountains and the rains, the sun and the moon, all spirits affecting our lives.

The Spirit of the Missippippi was finally allowed to partially unleash itself after over 100 years of mankind’s heavy hand on it’s flow and ultimate destination. If we had any sense, we would stop, take a few steps back, and try to see where we start to go wrong. Which subversion of fact, which bound up knot of lies do we unravel first? Our spirits hurt when we attack any single issue, because we find so many circularly reasoned out “reasons” why we “can’t” make substantial change. Has everyone so quickly forgotten the mantra that led to our most recent President’s election? Yes, WE CAN! We can eat food grown in our backyard. We did it during the great war as a matter of course, and during WWII it was brought back to great effect. The majority of American caloric intake was locally grown back then. Food issues are what we are. Remember the saying from the seventies, You are what you eat? How can we be expected to stand up to corporate greed and hollow assumptions if we consume debased ultra-processed products that no longer resemble food? I have seen a budding new spirit alive in the population. Often the change seems to flow from dietary change and eating lower on the food chain. I have experienced it myself, shedding nearly 100 lbs. since the scary peak weight of 287lbs. My spirit soars now like when I was twenty. Tell me that there is no such thing as spirit and I will ask why mine feels unburdened?

A brief look at energy issues, I know it is hard right now, but why is the corporate tail wagging the dog again? Record profits for energy companies and we are cutting back regulations, offering vast energy subsidies to corporate outlaws and refusing to limit the use of proven dangerous technologies like hydro-fracking. The spirit of the planet wants not to have it’s deep rock injected with chemicals and we don’t have enough energy now, surely injecting steam and chemicals into two thousand foot deep holes will take more energy to release than what we could possibly get in return. like nukes, it can take years of squandering energy and dangerous dirty work with conventional sources of energy, work, time and most importantly money before we see a single Btu of energy output. The spirit of renewable energy is much more down to Earth and far cleaner. Latent energy in the process of creating renewable energy sources to meet our needs come in way below costs for “conventional” and nuclear sources. Why can’t our leaders see the writing on the wall, do they need a blinking neon light?

Energy is but a reflection of spirit, food has it’s own energy, how we set about our lives, giving and taking to a vast energy budget of the planet speaks volumes to who we are as  a people. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/ There are many site that allow people to estimate their ecological footprint, carbon offset requirements and how many earths would be required if everyone lived like us. Thinking about needs versus wants leads many to jump on the more is less bandwagon. The necessary change will only come when the term green or eco-friendly is not a sales point or trendy marketing device. It will just be the way everything is. There will be no wrong choice when we get our priorities straight.

My spirit honors your spirit, as I honor the rains, mountains rivers and lakes, we are all present to this moment and for that I am thankful. for many years I would frequently draw the same rune. Perth, the empty pot. Often when we clear out, or fully empty ourselves, we can wield great power. Our spirit becomes lean and almost rarefied, alcoholics sometimes experience “rock bottom”, but that is where their healing begins. The spirit can express itself more fully from the empty pot and the vessel presents the opportunity for greatest abundance. As a wise old soul said to me, on a pivotal night in my life, “When you have tried every key, it’s a good thing there is always the skeleton key.” In other words, when everything you know is not helping, try walking away and starting over. When you leave with nothing, you may be surprised at what you come into.


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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