Letter: An uprising of butterfly wings
November 29, 2016
In the 16th century, a time in which Europeans had "discovered" the Western Hemisphere and the Protestant Reformation was underway, Saint Teresa of Avila taught her monastic sisters, and wrote in her book "Interior Castle" (1588) that the soul is like a butterfly.
Chaos theory says that the flight of a butterfly can influence the weather and thereby affect world events. You can Google it. And see the book "Extinction" (1981) by Paul and Anne Ehrlich.
We have just come through a surprising election, and we may be facing some changes. To make this work, we need to make some changes of our own.
First, during this holiday season, a perfect time, we need to transition, if we haven't already, to a plants-only and no-oil diet, as redefined by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. and his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn, in their book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" (2007). Heart disease and stroke are the two top killers of people worldwide, according the American Heart Association's 2016 update. To eat meat clearly is a luxury we can ill afford.
Purchasing only organically grown foods only makes sense, given the toxic chemicals used in conventional farming. And to only drink water or a little tea, given the ill-effects of the sweeter and stronger stuff, like alcohol. And if we haven't stopped smoking, now's the time.
Next, we need to take up meditation and garner some self-restraint, or "self-realization," as Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the book "Autobiography of a Yogi" (1946), calls it. The same meditation that runs through all life, keeping most everything and everyone running smoothly, with relative peace and harmony. Without which we cannot maintain our sanity.
Thirdly, we need to cut down and rapidly eliminate the heavy use of the fossil fuels that have been used to power motor-vehicles and electricity generators for the last 300 years since the scientific and industrial revolutions got started. Such fuels, second to meat production, are the highest contributors to global warming, according to the documentary "Cowspiracy" (2014).
We need to continue recycling everything: carboard, paper, cans and bottles and plastics, and to take our food scraps to the landfill for composting, or have them taken for us.
We need to start weaning ourselves off the electronics and listening to so much of the music and news that seem to occupy a lot of our time, so distracting from our peace, and affording little time for stimulating conversation with anyone.
We need to make a better effort to live within our means, and similarly, to abstain, in all respects, but especially in terms of baby-making activities, if we ever are to control the gross overpopulation and exploitation of the earth.
And lastly, to pray and to confirm our faith, by acting on these resolutions, surely telling of a much better world to come.