Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Christian Ecology

In the end, if the teachings of the Christian gospels were fully lived out, history would be replaced by a life of universal Zen-like, other-directed detachment. Humanity would be kind, simple, chaste and ultimately extinct, like the Shakers.
'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
                                                               (Shaker hymn)
Then war and misery and pollution would cease. Species of plants and animals would retake the space we once occupied. The world might then be a place of natural entropy.

4 comments:

Geneviève said...

So you oppose "simple, kind, chaste" to "war, misery, pollution". Is there a connection of consequence and cause there? I mean not to be simple, kind, chaste leads to war, misery and pollution?

And are those qualities required for animals and plants as well? But if plants and animals are chaste, they would be extinct too. Or is to be chaste an ideal quality and virtue good for humans only? Why? The bible does not teach it "Croissez et multipliez" (Genèse) . Does the Gospel teach it? (I would not mention the Puritan and mysogynist Paul)

Joan said...

Chastity is not the same thing as total abstinence from procreation! I don't see why they *would* become extinct!

Cecilieaux said...

My bad, Joan, I meant "celibate." The Shakers -- an American sect -- refrained from all sexual congress.

I am not offering "simple, kind, chaste" as a parallel to "war, misery, pollution." The former are forms of individual behavior, the latter are social conditions. Apples and oranges.

Yes, being unduly complicated, unkind, and somewhat wanton about one's needs has been associated with the likes of Attila the Hun and other warmongering historical figures.

Also, I am talking about people.

And, yes, the gospels have historically been read as tending toward sexual restraint.

I am just taking the thing as taught and carrying it to its logical consequences. Absurd? Sure. Maybe that's why no one practices it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The Shakers believed that their leader, Ann Lee, who considered sex to be the cause of all the world's ills. was the female reincarnation of Christ. (Coincidentally, she was unhappily married and lost a number of children in infancy.)

I'm pretty sure the world IS a place of natural entropy and the minute humanity lets down its guard, it will be taken over by other species. I have not decided whether this is a good or bad thing, however.