Earthpages.org

The Real Alternative


5 Comments

Why I switched my major from Sociology to Religious Studies (not that that was the be all and end all…)

This morning I came across a tweeted story (below) that at first glance I liked. It reminded me of my sociology days at Trent university where many of the professors in that department were above average. Especially in sociological theory. John Hillman covered the classical thinkers with an admirable depth for an undergrad course. Frank Nutch was the fun, alternative professor; a real gem of a guy who introduced me to the sociology of science. Andrew Werknick covered contemporary sociological theory, mostly European. Coming from the UK, Wernick seemed to have a close connection to the European scene. And the late Alexander Wilson was one of the coolest guys you could ever hope to meet. Up from California, he talked about Disneyland as a microcosm for all the imagery and spin we see in the greater North American media. These guys and a few other professors, male and female, really opened my mind. And I thank them.

But it wasn’t enough and I had to move on to something more comprehensive. Hence my switch to comparative religion and then religious studies. Not surprisingly, I used a sociological method (the postmodern work of Michel Foucault) in my doctoral thesis on Carl Jung. I was happy to graduate but, to be honest, that work was the outcome of so many strange and unsettling political forces that I don’t see it as a pinnacle of personal achievement. In retrospect, I see my graduate studies as another bridge I had to cross.

Anyhow, here’s a quote from this morning’s tweeted story:

For Bahro, a peaceful eco-communist alternative to capitalism is both possible and essential, but the belief that capitalism offers a life that is desirable must first be overturned if this alternative is to flourish. Through a variety of psychological strategies subsumed under the rubric of ‘retail therapy’, capitalism promotes pseudo-individualistic lifestyles, drives the desires of the self-absorbed, and promises fulfillment from the menu of all-you-can-eat. Retail therapy locates meaning in life through clothes, cars, homes, holidays and furniture. (view in context).

So what’s wrong with this view?

Well, the overall piece talks about spirituality but it sets up a false conflict between capitalism and spirituality. For me, going out to shop can be a spiritual exercise. We don’t need to compartmentalize “spirituality” and “the world” as so many hack thinkers do. It’s not as if God closes his or her eyes the moment we decide to enter a Pizza Hut or Tim Hortons. Far from it. If we do not objectify other people, interacting with employees can be quite spiritual and an important part of one’s overall journey.

So why the sharp division between “capitalism” and “spirituality?”

A person with any spiritual depth understands that God is everywhere. He or She is not just locked up in monasteries or in the Green movement. Everywhere is everywhere. Period.

All we really have to do is open our eyes and see what’s already there. And I think this perspective, if anything, would help to make the world a better, fairer place. If we see other people as our human brothers and sisters, there is far less chance of wanting to exploit, lie, cheat or rob.

Sadly, the biggest joke is that religion often bolsters people into doing bad things. These people believe the end justifies the means. But in most cases that’s ass backwards. As the good book teaches:

A good tree bears good fruit but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matt. 7-17).

Related articles


Leave a comment

Today’s Top Tweets

Today’s another day where I won’t have time to comment on these stories until later. So I thought I’d just list my favs for now:


1 Comment

Well, this would be one solution to mowing the lawn…

Apparently they’ve been doing this in Europe for ages!


1 Comment

Arctic is greening due to global warming

GREEN – NASA, Handout Cindy Starr-NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center – Using 29 years of data from Landsat satellites, researchers at NASA have found extensive greening in the vegetation across Alaska and Canada. Rapidly increasing temperatures in the Arctic have led to longer growing seasons and changing soil for plants.

Funny how so many New Age pundits tell us to “embrace change” and look for the BIG GOOD in the flux of smaller good and bad events. But all this great sounding wisdom flies out the window when it comes to the warmer regions and climate change.

Why?

Because climate change is really a political issue. Some regions will suffer, others will likely benefit.

I’ve been saying this for months now, but because current power brokers and vulnerable peoples are concerned about what climate change will do to them, we hear a great outcry. I’m not sure if Canada will truly benefit. True, it’s a cold country and our population is quite small, largely because of the climate. But personally, I like it that way.


2 Comments

Arctic greenbelt on increase – climate change

More new plants to compensate for those drying up?


Leave a comment

Alert! Russian Rocket Carrying Highly Toxic Waste May Land In Canadian Arctic


Leave a comment

Earth is hot at the core – something for CO2 tax fanatics to remember

So here’s a story that reminds us that the Earth is incredibly hot at the core. I’m not a geologist but I am wondering: If the mantle can peel off and cause earthquakes, might not some of those deep fissures affect Earth’s surface temperatures?

When I suggested this some time ago at the late David Bowie’s site, I was virtually assaulted… it was implied that I was a “denier” with my head buried in the sand, simply because I wanted to discuss the issues, given the considerable uncertainty we have with regard to just how the Earth maintains its surface temperature.

But oh no. The fundamentalists couldn’t see past their new sci-religion and just look at the issue from as many angles as possible. Like all good fanatics, their pat explanation was good enough for them. And anyone who challenged it was some kind of global criminal. Sad, how regimented some people are.