10. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 2 – The Effects | 10th Essay – Environments

by Frank L. Jordan III

10. Environments



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In order to better grasp a theatrical production,

     it is necessary to know its setting.

In order to more fully understand our existence on Earth,

     it is a good thing to delve into the roots

          of the environment.

How did this planet come to be?

And why are we here, of all places?

It goes something like this …


When the universe was young,

     planets and moons, comets and asteroids

          were randomly formed within countless galaxies.

Planets spun off of stars, gases condensed over time,

     oceans receded over lands—

          for those planets capable of having oceans.


The point is it was a random process.

No invisible finger guided the planets to where they were,

     processes described by the laws

          of gravity and physics did.

Now, many of these planets found themselves

     in orbits that were conducive to life.

A major component of this conduciveness is temperature.

If a planet or moon sustained temperatures

     between the approximate freezing

          and boiling points of water,

          then the birth and development of life was possible.

Possible, that is, if certain crucial elements

     were found there in substantial amounts—

          elements like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,

          and magnesium.


The truth that life needs

     this relatively narrow temperature window

          to originate and thrive,

          and that life is made of certain elements

               and their chemical compounds,

               and consumes some of these

                    and a few others in the forms

                    of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—

                         these truths are part and parcel

                         of the reality of life itself,

                         and are indispensably essential

                              for the possibility of life as we know it

                              to exist at all.


This window must be what it is.

And where these conditions for life

     are found in the universe,

          the yearnings of the elements and their compounds

          are met and nurtured by God, the Source of life.


It’s like a cavern found deep in a mountain,

     where there are small holes all over the surface

          of that mountain,

          allowing tiny beams of light into the cavern.

Only under these beams of light

     will green plants sprout and grow.

So it is with celestial bodies that have acquired,

     however randomly, the conditions for life.

But once life has originated

     and begun the process of evolution—

          through the power and guidance of Pure Love—

          then the creative act of empowering

               non-living molecules into becoming living ones

               no longer occurs.


This is why within our current world

     of simple and complex organisms,

          nowhere is the transformation of the inorganic

          into the organic to be witnessed.

Those elemental yearnings within the material world

     have already been fulfilled in our planet’s deep past.

Now the desires themselves have become more complex,

     and will not revert back to the ancient desire

          to simply become living.


Even though life can emerge

     on countless planets and moons in our universe

          whenever certain conditions for life are met,

          this does not mean that life will appear

               exactly the same—

               or be in the same stage of development—

                    as life on Earth, at any given time.

If it exists, life elsewhere probably does follow

     the same guidelines of formation as it does here on Earth—

          in the forms of plants and animals,

          of microscopic and non-microscopic life.

And the same processes of respiration, digestion, sleep,

     reproduction, evolution, and ecology probably do apply

          to potential life elsewhere in the universe.

But this does not mean that the histories

     of all planets and moons are the same,

          that the histories of the living beings

          on each planet or moon are the same.


For just as the unique planetary history of our Earth

     has affected life on this planet

          in a particular way over time,

          so have the unique histories

               of other habitable planets and moons

               affected life (assuming there is life) elsewhere

                    in particular ways over time.

And the arena in which this process has occurred,

     is occurring, and will occur is the environment

          of a particular place.

But how exactly is environment defined

     in the present context?


An environment is the sum total of all the objects,

     organic and/or inorganic—

          whether material, mental, spiritual,

          or any combination of these—

               found within a particular place.

The limits of an environment are defined

     by the limits put on the term place.

We tend to refer to our ecological system on Earth,

     the biosphere, as the environment.

And when considering how it can best

     be nurtured and maintained,

          we human beings tend to set ourselves apart

          from the environment, to visualize it more clearly—

               like deliberately leaving the trees

               to view the forest.

But in actuality we are not only a significant part

     of this planet’s environment,

          human beings are at the pinnacle

          of the significance of Earth’s ecology.


One of the reasons for this is because we humans,

     as extremely sensitive life forms,

          are most deeply affected by the realities

          we encounter within our environment.

This is not to say that other life forms on Earth

     are not deeply affected by the realities

          they encounter within their environment.

They are—some nearly as much as us we are.

But here on Earth, human beings have the capacity

     to experience life more deeply,

          communicate life more articulately,

          understand life more fully,

               suffer the accidents and evils of life

               more profoundly,

                    desire sex in life and relish its happening

                    more completely,

                         hunger and thirst for,

                         not only food and drink,

                         but a more genuine experience of living—

                              and with more yearning.


And this experience of living is crowned

     by our relationship with God,

          with all that he, all that she is.

For it is the coursing of God’s love

     within our hearts and minds and bodies

          that gives us the ultimate fulfillment

          during our existence here and now.

Our yearning, our fulfillment is surpassed only

     by God’s yearning for us, fulfillment in us.

For God is the true Lover of lovers!

We are but disciples of his love, of her desire.

And when God’s love permeates an environment,

     that environment is changed, transformed.

Deserts become lush, promised lands.

Cracked river beds are filled to overflowing.


But there are times when these kinds of things

     are obviously not happening, aren’t there?

There are times when other factors burst into our lives

     and affect our environment in hurtful, destructive ways.

Accidents and diseases, catastrophes and crises—

     all can fill our lives with pain and confusion,

          causing us to demand, “God, where are you now?

          How could you, my Protector, let this happen?!”


Good questions that deserve good answers.


It’s so important to comprehend where God stands

     in relationship to the realities that affect

          our environment in hurtful ways,

          for it’s only through such a comprehension

               that we can become truly free

               to fully know and love our kind and loving God.


That’s why it’s so important to understand that God

     does not directly cause pain to occur to any person—

          unless it’s the emotional pain that someone experiences

          when that person has unjustly caused

               or is unjustly causing harm to themselves or others,

               has lost or is losing the valued company of another,

                    has lost or is losing the possession or use

                    of a thing contributing to their own well-being,

                         has lost or is losing the care or service

                         of another who has been contributing

                         to that person’s well-being.


This means that the vast majority of hurtful events

     that we encounter in this world

          are not caused to happen by God,

          who is Pure Love,

               but much of the emotional suffering

               in connection with such events is.

For you see, the pain that God does cause to happen

     is more accurately associated with realizations

          and feelings of remorse and grief—

          for remorse is evidence of the loss of innocence,

               and grief is evidence of the loss

               of that which is truly loved,

                    which is the loss of love itself.

The qualities of innocence and love in this world

     are particularly valued by our righteous, loving God,

          and when we experience their loss

          we can and often do experience pain

               that is directly willed by Pure Love.

For the pains of remorse and grief

     can be like hooks dug deep in our tender hearts,

          attached to the lifelines of God’s care,

          pulling us closer and closer to our Source

               of mercy and comfort.


This especially includes the grief we can experience

     as we leave behind outmoded characteristics

          of ourselves—those lifestyles and habits

          that may have served us well in the past,

               but are no longer appropriate for us now,

               or in the future.

However, apart from all of these kinds of suffering,

     it’s hard to perceive God directly causing hurtful events—

          unless one considers the vanquishing

          of an infectious disease through God’s healing power

               a hurtful event for the disease.

But this falls under the umbrella of a lower life form,

     in this case microscopic,

          unjustly harming a higher life form,

          and thus reaping its just deserts—

               that is, when such healing occurs,

               which at present seems to be a rare

                    and sporadic event.


This brings us to the point that,

     although God doesn’t cause many

          of life’s tragic events to happen,

          it appears that he doesn’t intervene very often

               in stopping them from happening either.


A closer look at some of these events,

     and where God stands in relation to them,

          may throw some light on just why.

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