Monday, August 10, 2009

Leaning towards life

I've had this idea floating around for a while and though its not yet fully developed, I thought I'd throw it out there for comment. I want to explore the idea that the universe as we experience it bends towards life.

Firstly, let me make some necessary qualifications. I write this fully aware of the second law of thermodynamics and the numerous statistical improbabilities which have been overcome to sustain life on this planet. I am also deeply aware that my personal experience is indelibly coloured by being a tertiary-educated white man in a comparatively wealthy nation.

However, I don't see that any of these hesitations necessarily disqualifies the validity of this basic idea. The Earth is a life-giving planet. It has created and continues to sustain uncounted multitudes of life. I realise that this is also balanced by the massive number of life forms that are no longer with us, but I still find it absolutely amazing. Imagine for a moment, if you will, that the source of this life is what we call God. This is the essence of much indigenous spirituality: an essential connection to the land, to all of creation, and to each other. Its also consistent with what we think we know about quantum physics - there are all sorts of interconnections between particles and relationships that are astounding.

If God is indeed the source of this life, then what does it mean for us to try and connect with God? Surely it means that we also must be on the side of life. It means that we must be part of the life-giving that happens in this world. It means that we need to be keenly aware of how we effect the balance of the environment and of human relationships. Where our actions result in the lives of others being diminished, we are working against life. Where we contribute to the expansion of life, love and justice, we enhance life and participate in God's ongoing creative activity.

We can't accept this view of life and allow people to starve in other countries. We have the resources to feed everyone on the planet, but we choose not to because our priorities are different. We can't accept this view of life and continue to destroy the environment we live in. Humans have repeatedly demonstrated that is possible to overcome this natural inclination towards life-giving in the interests of money, greed and power.

This idea is inherently both hopeful and a strong call towards justice. If indeed we experience the universe as bending towards life, then there is meaning in our existence as we seek to join in all that is life-giving and life-affirming. We can invest ourselves in redeeming suffering rather than avoiding or denying suffering.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I am with you on this. Let's celebrate the source of life and always stand on the side of life in our relationships.
Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good and spongy.

armybarmy said...

love it actually.
Martin Luther King Jr. said the universe is bent towards justice. similar thoughts.
I was really enjoying where the trajectory of the thought goes... life. every life bearing thing.. which means our lives, efforts are death defying... hmm.
Pope John Paul II said the greatest threats to the next generation were 'excessive capitalism and the death of persons not yet born'. They are of course connected. Objectifying people - putting a price on life, dignity etc.. is death to humanity. Some great thoughts Jason. thanks.