Spirit Quest - Spaceship earth


Spirit Quest

While keeping an eye on threats from outer space
we should attend to plagues aboard spaceship earth
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

Missed again!

On Tuesday, November 8, an asteroid, 2005 yu55, a black, unfriendly hulk of rock, passed harmlessly by our living planet. It was described as being the size of an aircraft carrier or two football fields — popular ways, it seems, of parlaying the enormity of objects.

It was very big and moving very fast. Contact with such an object would  be quite dramatic and traumatic. How big was the asteroid that 65 million years ago in the Jurassic age, tilted the world, causing climate change which latter is something our present day dinosaurs deny?

Ray Williamson, director of Secure World Foundation, has  said that this planet Earth is “a sitting duck for a cosmic shooting gallery.” All sorts of debris are wheeling around in space, the manmade and the celestial. Doubtless sometime in the future there will happen an unforgettable rendezvous. If every day as you rise you say to yourself that this is my last day, then someday you will be dead right.

We are told that there are no global plans to deal with such a catastrophe. It has been suggested that zapping them with nuclear rays might help, however, in all likelihood it would merely break the rock into many smaller, nevertheless leathal ordnance. Astronomers have mapped space and numbered many of the objects, asteroids, comets and other visitors from beyond and their trajectories, malignant or benign. But that’s about it. What else is there to do? you ask.

“For every evil under the sun there is a remedy or there is none.

If there is one, try and find it,

If there is none, never mind it,” so a familiar nursery rhyme.

We are told that for the time being, my lifetime whatever its extent may be, we, I, am safe. 2028, 99 years from my birth, is the projected revisit of yu55. I am secure, but perhaps not my dust. It will be “blowing in the wind.”

We are about to enter the season of Christmas, if advertisers are any indication. If you are a Christian you are looking to the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of the Incarnation. One of the familiar nativity stories, myths, I suppose, has to do with the appearance of a star that guided the wise men to the place of the Messiah’s birth.

Biblical research has questioned the star story, the wise men’s visit as well as the locality and circumstances of the birth narratives. In all likelihood, if Mark’s Gospel, the first and least embellished account, is to be taken at its word, then Jesus was not born in Bethlehem but in Nazareth, a few hours drive north, depending on the demeanor of the Isaeli guards at numerous checkpoint on the way.

Myths however, are not useless or just entertaining works of fiction. They have a purpose and a message. Thus the star story has as much significance as the star dust whose particles may in fact outsize ball parks or aircraft carriers.

What it all says to me is that our mortality and that of our home base is temporal. That temporal  nature needs to affect the way we live. We are fellow passengers  on this small craft. We desperately need wise men to guide us.

The passengers of that doomed airliner on 9/11 streaking toward the White House, took things in their own hands. “Let’s roll!” became an oft repeated expression.  They did so on behalf of all passengers on board, to no avail, unfortunately, except to save the presidential palace. There were no individual advantages to be gained by their actions. They knew they lived and died together.

Unfortunately our fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth are not of that mind. Whether or not we can devise a plan to save humanity and creation from cosmic invaders, it is imperative that we plan together to protect life on board — all life.

Many still seem to live in a state of denial — no global warming, depletion of resources, no overcrowding even at 7 billion passengers, no financial problems that a hefty bailout cannot solve.  Most of the G20 nations seem of that mind, certainly the government that a minority of Canadians elected last May does.

We continue to be persuaded that the crumbs falling (trickling) from the table are sufficient for all the other 99%, and that a rising tide will lift all boats even if most aren’t seaworthy.

The song, “A star, a star, dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite,” needs to remind us of our universal frailty, but also that our hope rests in that universality, that only together can we do things that may not ward off celestial visitors, but deal with the plagues that threaten all humankind on board. So, “Let's Roll!” The Spirit beckons.

Hanns F Skoutajan

SQ 19/11/11

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