Thursday, October 22, 2015

Object Relationships Survey

In a world filled with manufactured, or human-made, things, we are bound to develop relationships with these things. Almost all of us have patted the hood of our car after a long trip or lovingly hand-washed a favorite sweater. Without awareness, we have developed affection for these objects.

Some people have object relationships that go further than the norm. They feel deep, abiding love for an object. They often give this object a name and they experience lasting benefits from the relationship. Because of my own personal connection with an object, I'm interested in learning more about the phenomenon.

Objectum sexuality takes this relationship a step further, into the zone of the erotic. Objektophiles have sexual feelings towards their objects, and consider this their sexual orientation. Eija-Riitta Eklöf, a Swedish "OS" in love with the Berlin Wall, braved considerable ridicule to start Objectum Sexuality International in the 1990s. Their website has not been updated for several years, but may be a good starting place if you are an OS, looking to connect with others.

This is the link to a survey about human-object relationships. While Objectum Sexuality focuses on the erotic, my particular interest is in deep, abiding friendships with objects, rather than sexual relationships. Please, add your voice to the survey if you have an object relationship or share the link with someone you know who has an object relationship.

I have 55 responses so far, on the way to 100. The results of the survey will be published here, and perhaps elsewhere, but all responses are confidential. I'm already finding patterns, including a surprising number of folks who are comfortably "out" to their friends and families. In every one of my responses for far, participants have experienced nothing but joy and benefit from their object relationship.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vote for Love

My friends, as the candidates strive for your attention, remember to judge them by the quality of their love.

Their love for their country must be greater than their love of money.

Their love for the hungry and hurt must drive their politics.

Their love for the suffering and sick must inform their health care policies.

When you enter the voting booth, may your hand be moved by love.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ditch the Book, Reach for the Holy Spirit

An idol is a representation of a god, or any natural thing, used as an object of worship. Many well-meaning Christians worship the bible as an idol—a manufactured thing they have imbued with divinity. They attribute to the book the qualities of their mono-god, qualities like infallibility, immortality and ultimate authority. They revere the book as if it was their god and this can lead to any number of problems for Christians. 

The most obvious problem, of course, is idolatry itself, or bibliolatry. The second is that the book has become a kind of “holy handbook,” an ultimate authority in all areas of life. This is a claim it can’t fulfill, because the bible is an anachronism, the product of a time and place very different from ours. Because of the many contradictions in the book, bible believers are also caught in an intellectual bind; in order to maintain their belief in the bible’s infallibility, they have to deny its contradictions and anachronisms. Their constant practice of denial is a dangerous trait in a world that needs our conscious awareness and thoughtful participation. Last and most important, the book ends up taking the place of the Holy Spirit as their comforter and guide, and in so doing, it may lead them astray. Even the devil, as Shakespeare succinctly put it, “can cite Scripture for his purpose.” 

It’s easy enough to debunk bibliolatry. Let’s take a quick look at the holy handbook thing. To be a viable guide to life, the bible would have to transcend all times and cultures, but instead, it's firmly rooted in a particular time and culture. Issues of marriage, righteous eating, making war, holding slaves and so on have changed over the past 5000 years, and rightly so. In holding to biblical injunctions, therefore, we may act in ways that are illogical or cruel.

In order to cope with these problems, bibliolatrists have a tendency to pick and choose which words to attend to and which to disregard. The bible is so internally inconsistent that they may be forced to consider half a dozen options for addressing any particular issue. Wealth is a good case in point. The parable of the talents suggests that capitalist wealth management is a holy thing, however, not only will the rich have an awful time getting into heaven (as a camel through the eye of a needle), but the rich will whither as the grass and shouldn’t be trusted (according to James). This is of particular interest to me, as I personally believe that great wealth is a reliable indicator of sin. I stand with James in this case.

Many Christians believe their book
is a manifestation of their god.
Why do people feel the need to worship a book in the first place? Why do they cling to it in spite of its obvious inconsistencies and its own injunction against idolatry? I speculate that it’s because of our human need for certainty. Humans prefer certainty to ambiguity, it’s built into our nature, so in a world that’s becoming ever more insecure, we grab hold of absolutes. The bible is not an abstraction like the agnostics’ god. It’s real. We can touch it and smell the ink on its pages. We can spend money to buy it, which always makes something feel more real in our marketplace society, and we can carry it with us as an amulet.

Poor misguided Christians! They don’t need a book. Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit!

Polytheistic Animists also believe in a Holy Spirit, the divine that lives within us. The Holy Spirit is our guide and comforter. His voice can be trusted to lead us well and he will always speak to us of love, courage and wisdom. 

We don’t need a book. We’ve got the Holy Spirit!

The bible is a great work of literature. There’s wisdom to be found in its pages. It’s a compelling record of one culture’s struggle to define human nature and understand itself in relation to God and history. It’s the best record we have of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. But the Christ who is the Christian’s Savior is the mythical Christ, not the historical one. They don’t need the bible to know Christ. 

Our human craving for certainty can only be satisfied by the certainty of faith, faith in our Creator’s love for us and our safety in his hands. We don’t need a book. As you reach out for the love of your Creator, seek instead what one biblical author has called the “still, small voice within.” That is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Listen and you will hear him saying to you, “Be at peace, little human. You are loved.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Animist Reality

Mongolian Shaman, 1909
Animism is humanity’s oldest system of belief and it’s still the most elegant and successful of our attempts to understand what is real. Based on sensory experience, animism describes a reality which is both wholly material and wholly spiritual. All of material creation is intelligent and ensouled. All spirit is embodied. 

Anthropologist Edward B. Tyler first defined animism in this particular way 1871, and said that all the religions of the world arose out of this fundamental belief in the spiritual nature of material being. Tyler was a cultural evolutionist, however, so he was convinced that animism existed along a progressive continuum: from the most primitive, focusing on “inanimate” objects, through classical polytheism to the “advanced” abstract monotheism of his day. I disagree with him on this point. Our spiritual development as a species has taken place in fits and starts. We still have a whole lot to learn, and how many gods we follow is not an indication of our level of spiritual maturity.

Spiritual maturity? What a laugh! Look around you and tell me—with a straight face—that humans are spiritually mature! The fruits of the ripening spirit are sweet and nourishing, but we seem to have grown some sour grapes, like anger and hate. Humans have stunningly sophisticated technologies. We are now the most powerful creatures on earth and we have an overflowing storehouse of factual information, yet the species is spiritually weaker than we were in our kinship days, and we’re pitifully vulnerable to the forces of cruelty and greed. We'd do well to be open to an animist alternative. 

Traditional animists held to their spiritually advanced worldview in the face of vigorous evangelizing by Christians and Capitalists, but they're being overwhelmed and may soon die out. Their systems of belief encompassed the whole of what is real, rather than being set apart as an institutionalized religion within a larger reality. Like contemporary science, traditional animism simply describes what is. This animist reality is not experienced as supernatural or ritualistic, or as a substitute for real (scientific) understanding. It is real understanding. This is also true of contemporary animism. It’s not a religion, per se. It’s a cultural reality.

Polytheistic Animism is a contemporary expression
 of the ancient animist cultural reality.
Traditional animism still lives on in isolated pockets, and indigenous cultures in developed nations, like those of the American Indians, also keep the flame of traditional animism alive. This traditional animism, however, belongs to other times and peoples, not to me. I practice a new animism, one that arises out of the direct, personal experiences of contemporary animists.

The new animist is a 21st century person who believes that all that exists is both material and nonmaterial (or spiritual), fully integrated and inseparable. All material being is conscious, intelligent and ensouled, each existent thing in its own way. Contemporary animists are not looking to fit into a traditional animist schema. We belong to the contemporary world. The animal totems and three-tiered worlds of traditional animism are not relevant to us. We live in a world of plastic food and digital devices, and since animism is always realistic and experiential, animist mythologies will change as material realities change.

An authentic animism is one that reflects the reality of ensouled matter in the here and now. 

We are surrounded by manufactured objects and live in a manufactured world, so our animism includes these things. We may have intimate relationships with trees, rocks, animals and other natural beings, but also with manufactured objects like cars and computers. Polytheistic Animists, like the folks in the Sacred Green Church, also have relationships with greater-than-human beings, commonly called angels or gods. We are contemporary animists who believe in the Gods of Love.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Polytheistic Animism: Our View of Sex in a Nutshell

From an animist point of view, all material being is imbued with spirit. 

Spirit, or the nonmaterial aspect of all things, includes intelligence, emotion, creativity and soul, soul being the sacred life force. Like all that exists, then, humans are material beings imbued with spirit. We are both body and soul, and as an expression of soul, our flesh-and-blood bodies are sacred. Our body’s natural acts are sacred. Sex is sacred.

From a polytheistic point of view, our Creator made our human bodies on purpose, whether through evolution or by other mysterious means, and what the Creator has made is good. He made our genitals on purpose. He gave us the sexual act on purpose. We understand these things as gifts from our Creator.

From an ordinary, scientific-rational point of view, we find that sex enables humans to easily and pleasantly procreate as well as offering us pleasure, comfort, fun, adventure, improved health and other marvelous benefits.

Finally, Polytheistic Animism supports a social structure based on kinship and a morality of loving kindness.

Putting this all together, Polytheistic Animism views sex as sacred, good, useful and righteous. Moral sex is loving and kind, not violent or hurtful, and within this moral limitation, many expressions of human sexuality are acceptable.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Time to Think

I'm awake at 5:00 am. Out of bed, exercise, do some chores, pack our lunches, take a shower, eat breakfast, read a few pages and off I go to work. Sound familiar? There's more. On my way home from work, I stop at the supermarket to pick up dinner food and the library to drop off books. I take in the trash cans, drop the groceries and start cooking, check my email, have dinner with my husband, do the dishes and collapse exhausted in front of my computer where this blog waits. Great! Time to write!

Unfortunately, by this time of day, my brain is foggy and tired, too tired to think deeply and critically. Tonight, though, I promised myself and you, gentle reader, that nothing would stop me from posting. Hell, the topic is right in front of us: we don't have time to think!

More specifically, we don't have that particular quality of time we need to think deeply and critically, and whether or not the dominators set it up this way on purpose, our lack of time to think certainly meets their needs. They prefer us to remain unthinking. They like us accepting, stupid, tired and disengaged. They want us too busy to think, because if we started thinking, deeply and critically and in large numbers, we might begin to notice the wheel on which we spin away our lives. Their wheel, the one that spins raw materials into gold.

The dominators learned their lesson about the dangers of an educated populace in the 1960s and since then, quietly but decisively, they've stolen away the quality of time we need to think.

Here's how it happened. After the Second World War, education blossomed. Children were expected to finish high school, and high school graduates went on to college in record numbers. The GI Bill swelled the ranks of university men and modern young women joined them. By the mid-60s, the boomer generation was in full bloom and these young adults were smart, educated and politically engaged. 

We were not only an educated group. We had more leisure time than ever before. In fact, there was so much more time available to the middle class that we expected a four-day work week to become typical. We developed hobbies. We traveled. We talked. We learned. We hung out. We connected.

Educated people with time to think, and too numerous to ignore, the youth of America were questioning authority, seeing new possibilities and experimenting with mind expansion and spirituality. We were poised to bring down the dominator structure and replace it with love, love, love but they caught on to us . . .

Now, we don't have time to think. Instead of questioning or getting angry about this lack of time, the vast majority of time-pressed and anxious Americans turn to the internet for guru wisdom: you just have to manage your time better, say the gurus. It's your problem, not a social problem. Prioritize. Multitask. Buy time-saving products. Bullshit!

Time to think is subversive and we have to fight for it! Turn off the television set. Let the dishes sit in the sink. Read, talk, and take time every week just to think about things. You deserve it. Your time is your birthright. Take your time back using sick days. Take it back with excuses and lies, but take some time to think deeply and critically about the world around us, before you forget how.

Check it out:

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Return to the Mother!

Our Father: Spirit, Creator, Love

Our Mother: Gaia Earth

Long ago, before the beginning, Spirit fell in love with Earth and Earth with Spirit. Doing the dance of love, they conceived, and from the womb of earth we were born, children of Love and Flesh, the human kinfolk, sisters and brothers all.

Cut off from our Father Love, violence and greed grab hold of humanity and turn us against one another.

Cut off from our Mother Earth, we plunder her body until nothing is left and we starve and turn to dust.

Oh, beautiful humanity, return to the Father, return to the Mother. Come home to the garden, where you belong!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sacred Sex: And a Ritual for Letting Go of Shame

The animal body is good! 

Our human-animal bodies are magnificent, graceful and beautiful, complex almost beyond imagining and as mysterious as the far-flung stars . . . and yet nothing is more familiar and accessible to us than our own bodies. It astonishes me that a religious person can praise his or her Creator and champion intelligent design and still think of sex as dirty, disgusting or immoral.

In Polytheistic Animism, the sex act is sacred. It’s sacred in the same way that all of our bodily functions are sacred, and like the Jews, we recognize the holiness of everyday life with gratitude.

As animists, we know that everything is both material and nonmaterial. Therefore, the sex act is also material and nonmaterial. If sex is only engaged in as a physical activity, an entire facet of the sexual experience disappears and sex becomes dull, even boring. Marital relations begin to deteriorate and intimate experiences constantly disappoint. This can lead to a frantic search for sexual titillation, or its opposite, ennui. On the other hand, sacred sex engages all facets of ourselves, body and soul, and is therefore rich, satisfying and fresh every time. It provides partners with ever increasing pleasure and delight through the years, and is an offering to our Creator worthy of the gift with which he has endowed us, the gift of the flesh. This post is the first in a series about sacred sex.

Polytheistic Animism (Poly-Animism), because it is a theological, or god-believing, religion, allows for the existence of a Creator, a greater-than-human being who created humanity on purpose and for a purpose. In other words, we believe in some form of intelligent design. Humans may have evolved from less complex organisms, and all life on earth may have started as a bit of flotsam floating on a primordial sea, but behind it all is a grand intelligence, and this intelligence is the source of the marvelous design and functionality of our genitals.

We give thanks to the Creator of the Flesh!

We begin our Poly-Animist practice of sacred sex with gratitude for the gift of our bodies and our genitals, and the physical pleasures they offer us. Gratitude makes us humble. Gratitude reveals what we value, and what we value, we will work for and care for.

As we seek to feel and express gratitude for our bodies, we may get in touch with all the ways we’ve denigrated, damaged and ignored the needs of our flesh in the past. Are we really grateful for these bodies? Or do we think of them as an annoyance and source of discomfort, never living up to our expectations or hopes, never quite good enough or good looking enough or strong enough or young enough or smooth enough?

Once again we can return to the animist reality for understanding: the body itself is not only a material thing. Like all things, it is imbued with intelligence, emotion and soul. I’m not talking about our brains, here, which we imagine houses the mind, but with the cells, organs, bones and other material substances of the body. The body itself is alive, intelligent and ensouled, so when we send our living body messages of anger and hate, it reacts with depression, illness and withdrawal. We lose our health and wellbeing. And we lose our erotic edge. Gratitude is an antidote to the poison of self hate.

It might be difficult at first to give thanks for your body. You’ll need to work at it and practice loving your body like your body really is your self, but gratitude for the body is not only pleasing to our Creator. It will pay off in better health and amazing sexual pleasure.

Feelings of shame may also arise when we express gratitude for our bodies, especially for our genitals. As sexually liberated as Americans think we are, many of us are still deeply mired in shame, yet shame will quickly freeze our sexual response. Shame is learned very early and may be difficult to remove, but since letting go of shame is essential for a happy sex life, here’s a ritual to help you let go of shame.

The outcome:
Your body gets the message that it is sexy and good, and that you are grateful for its existence.

What you need:
Privacy, a place to bathe, a towel and massage oil or lotion, the best you can comfortably afford. If you are not able to acquire these things, you can improvise in any way that enables you to give the message to your body.

The steps:
Enter sacred space. Take a bath or shower, taking your time and soaping your body with your hands instead of a washcloth, so you can feel your skin, your hair and your flesh. Notice any feelings of revulsion or shame as they come up and consciously challenge them. Your body is beloved of your god! 

Then, dry yourself off, sit comfortably naked on the towel, and begin to apply the lotion or oil to your body, all the time speaking out loud to your body and giving it messages of affection, kindness and love. You might begin with your feet and work your way up to your face.

Expect to feel overwhelmed by emotion the first time you attempt this, especially if you’ve been giving your body hate messages for years. You may, on the other hand, just feel silly and not be able to bring yourself to speak out loud. That’s ok. Take your time. Pretend at first that you’re not ashamed. Act as if you were not ashamed. Start partly clothed if you need to and remove your clothes a little at a time. Start with just your arms. Start by loving your body for just two minutes, or without speaking the words out loud, but start. If you can do this, something deep inside of you will shift and you’ll naturally begin to eat better, treat your body better and enjoy sex more.

As you gently smooth the lotion on to your skin, speak out loud to your body, as if your body had a mind to hear. Like this, “Good body! You’ve carried me through life. You’ve put up with my bad habits, the bad food, the late nights. You’re an amazing creation. I love you. I’m grateful for you and want you to live a long time. In my eyes, you’re beautiful.”

Or, you can speak to your genitals in particular, even as you massage lotion into all parts of you. “Genitals, you are clean and good and sweet smelling. You can feel the most exquisite pleasure and I am going to give you lots of love!” (This isn’t necessarily the time to massage your genitals, but if it happens, hey, that’s fine, too. Just remember to use oil, lotion or lube that’s not irritating to your most delicate skin!)

That’s how to do the ritual. Do this weekly for a year and your sex life will be transformed!

Please keep in mind that this is a religious practice. This is not a secular website, we are a church, and although this practice is useful for people of all faiths or no faith, our gods, the gods of Polytheistic-Animism, approve of and encourage a healthy sex life. Our Creator made us sexual on purpose, and our pleasure is a sweet offering to all the gods of love.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mog and Og, 100,000 BCE

Practices: The Study of History 2

Polytheistic Animists study history to increase their knowledge, wisdom and agency in the world. You can study history as a Poly-An practice by yourself or with one or more others. I suggest selecting a starting point in time and place, or a topic or goal, and then diving in through the catalog of your local library. Many libraries have consortiums, usually at the county or state level, with catalogs that can draw from dozens of libraries in the region.

Avoid the pop-internet, since the material you find there is often shallow and highly opinionated, but make use of youtube documentaries and online university courses. Be cautious of limiting yourself to textbooks, which are crowded with dominator propaganda. Instead, read widely in print, magazine articles, too, and include a variety of points of view in your selections. If you are a slow reader, or have never engaged in learning activities after high school or college, then young adult books are a great way to start.

Help one another learn. Share book titles and cool ideas. One person in a group may have lots of resources to share on a particular topic, while others will be starting from scratch. I encourage highly educated and resourced people to seek out Sacred Green circles or churches that are looking for teachers and offer to serve.

Studying history is not just memorizing facts. Discussion is essential. Our discussions about history develop intellectual skills and critical thinking, create new cognitive connections and generate new understandings. There are no objective, black and white conclusions to be drawn from history — the past is always viewed through the lens of our personalities, cultures, and current systems of belief, so come to the study of history with a open mind. As you become more proficient at reading and talking about what you read, and as you build up a base of background knowledge, your study will become easier and lots more fun.

If you’re having trouble getting started, drop me an email and tell me a bit about your background and interests. I’ll send you some book titles to get you started. Read on, Poly-Ans! Get smart!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Practices: The Study of History

A religion is not just a system of belief. It's also a set of practices. The practices of Polytheistic Animism (Poly-An) help us reclaim the best of our human potential. These practices are meant to strengthen us in body and spirit and liberate us from dominator control. Unlike many religious practices, they are not designed to separate us from everyday life, but to engage us fully in an animist reality, so that we might sing, teach, work, vote, cook and love this alternative reality into existence. We are to live the reality we want to manifest, or as Gandhi famously put it, to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” The next few posts will describe some Poly-An practices and I’ll address additional practices on occasion in future posts.

One of the most important practices of Polytheistic Animism is the study of history. We believe that knowledge is power, so to liberate our potential for personal and social agency, we are to become lifelong learners. We’re not just looking for factual information, but for a deep, rich and diverse knowledge base, and ultimately, for the wisdom to guide us through life and to share with our children.

All fields of study are encouraged in Polytheistic Animism. Practical skill building is also highly valued, and there are particular practices aimed at improving skills, but let’s focus here on the study of the liberal arts and sciences, and the key to them all is history.

Our Poly-An study of history is inclusive of prehistorical times, mythologies, cultures, social and  political interactions between individuals and groups, and interactions between humans and the nonhuman world. Studied in tandem with anthropology, sociology, and other related topics, history helps us understand human nature and experience. It is the collective memory of humankind, and it teaches us what it means to be human. 

Through the study of history, we develop humility. We learn from our mistakes. Knowing history makes us informed citizens of our nation and the world because it clears our minds of contemporary media imagery and reveals hard truths about the power structures that control human life. It helps us make wise decisions in the present and plan for the future, and gives us new ways to interpret patterns of social interactions. We discover the way things change and stay the same. We place our sufferings and joys into a longer and more realistic perspective. Finally, history provides us with lessons in courage, morality, heroism, perseverance and other positive character traits, and lessons in cruelty and greed and the dark side of human nature. In short, it helps us to understand ourselves as individuals and as a species.

All of these benefits have been listed before. What’s unique about the Poly-An perspective is our awareness that human “finishing” * limits and contains what we know and believe. The reality into which a person is born will appear normal to that person for the rest of his life. Each generation, especially in our rapidly-changing era, believes that the world it experiences is right, true and unchangeable; what we are born into is what should be and the way it always was. We can’t help but do our human thing — we adjust, we adapt, we internalize whatever life brings our way. So, this year’s crop of middle school kids are at home in a fast, noisy, digital world, but since my brain and mind were finished in the 1950s, I find the same speed, noise and technology to be painful and intrusive. Is one of our cultural realities better than the other? Simply asking that question is the power of history, whatever conclusion we ultimately draw.

History is the only antidote to the myopia of normalcy and the unquestioning acceptance of what is. If we discover through history that this Capitalist Dominator Culture (CDC) in which we currently live is not the only possible culture, and that our current beliefs were born in an historical context, then we can begin to question, to choose, to change. The study of history has constantly come under attack in the CDC as trivial, unprofitable or impractical, but underlying that attack is this more fundamental issue — the study of history is subversive. It empowers us to see beyond our propaganda and programming, think critically about our lives, and compare what we are living now to what others have lived before us. History makes us powerful people. 

Now, go and study!

How to go about this study is addressed in the next post . . . * More about human “finishing” in future posts.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Religion and Politics

There doesn't seem to be any way around it — the constitutional separation of church and state notwithstanding — religion and politics are inseparable. 

As institutions of culture, all churches and institutionalized religions reflect dominant political realities. Non-institutionalized religions, personal spiritualities and systems of belief are all formed in relation to the dominant realities . . . and yet, in all of human history, it is the religious experience that can lift us above cultural limitations and provide us with new ways of thinking and seeing. And this, too, impacts political beliefs and activities.

Walter Rauschenbusch, a much beloved teacher of the Christian social gospel in the early years of the 20th century, wrote that, "the religious spirit is a factor of incalculable power in the making of history." One only has to call to mind the religious impulse that fired the civil rights movement of the 60s, or the Catholic Worker movement that arose from the suffering of the first Great Depression. Go further back in history, and you'll find the Diggers and Levellers of 17th century England, Protestant heretics speaking out for social change. The life of Saint Francis (1182-1226 CE) exemplified an alternative political order, and Jesus himself, whose explosive political criticism led him to be executed as a radical, has been our role model of the religious spirit making history in every age since. In every case, these Christian believers tilted the balance of political power toward the common welfare.

But this religious influence is not limited to empowering the common person or calling to task the rulers of the temporal world for their sins of cruelty and greed. For the past 35 years, the collusion of evangelical Christianity with state and plutocratic supremacy has further empowered these mighty sinners and lent the authority of religion to their oppression of the people. To the everlasting shame of a church whose god holds the poor in highest esteem, the religious right acts as a lackey for the powers-that-be instead of a leader in the fight for human dignity, peace and abundance for all. 

This is not new, of course. The Catholic Church was the temporal power of the Middle Ages, crowning kings and controlling cities, and the Reformation was merely a changing of the face of royalty from an aristocracy to a plutocracy. In a wicked slight-of-hand, the Christian churches redefined sin as sexual activity in order to avoid challenging the most egregious abominations of the political orders: cruelty, greed, the use of violence and the lust for power.

And yet, in every age, religious heroes and sages have arisen to speak truth to power and to work for the betterment of all of humankind. Pope Francis, risking the wrath of his own church hierarchy as well as political leaders from around the world, is speaking out against weapons manufacture and human trafficking, and speaking for the poor, for a rational relationship between science and religion, and for an awareness of climate change. I am watching his work with great hope, and pray for his welfare every day. 

We need men and women of alternative faiths, faiths based on kindness and love, to act and speak politically if we are to create the change that will offer true salvation to the human species —salvation in the flesh. “Under the warm breath of religious faith,” writes Rauschenbusch, “all social institutions become plastic. The religious spirit removes mountains and tramples on impossibilities.” This is why Polytheistic Animism engages in political and social concerns and does not isolate itself in a spiritual foxhole.

Friday, July 24, 2015


More is the whole purpose and drive of capitalism. More for its own sake. We crave more money and more power; more beauty, celebrity, possessions, mobility, comfort and ease. More speed. More choices. More friends to collect on facebook. More food on our plates.

More is a moral virtue in the Capitalist Dominator Culture (CDC). The more you have, the more you are honored.

This passion for more leads to extremes of everything. Extremes of bigness, as in houses and bodies, and extremes of smallness, as in microchips. Religious and athletic extremes. Extremes of behavior.

In medicine, more drugs and more surgeries and even more extremes.

In education, more testing and technology. More children left behind.

In a society that craves more, nothing is ever enough. Dissatisfaction is rampant here, but it is not discouraged, because dissatisfaction is essential to consumption. Our discontent is what turns the wheels of industry and generates profits.  

Along with this glut of things and insanity for accumulation comes an emotional and spiritual emptiness that is felt as fear. It’s like humanity has a hole in its emotional bucket, and there will never be enough security to fill that bucket, never enough money to make us secure, never enough weaponry to make us feel safe.

What do we have to fear? God? Nature? Death? Death comes to us all. Nature is our Mother and "G"od is our Father and humans are the most powerful creatures roaming the earth today. We have nothing to fear but one another, so only our love for one another can cast out our fear. Only love can plug up the hole in our bucket.

The lords and masters of the world know this, so they discourage us from loving one another and instead, keep us frightened and suspicious and at each other's throats. Instead of love, we're offered all the things that money can buy, things that can never fill our empty hearts. 

Efficiency won’t help us now. Speed won’t help us. Surgeries won’t heal us. Churches won’t save us. We have to change our system of belief, we have to change what is possible, what is real, what makes sense and what we believe is true at the deepest level of all, our a-priori concepts of human nature and the nature of reality, our beliefs about what is reasonable, and what is knowable and how we know, and what is worthwhile and what is a sin. 

More is never enough. Only love can save us now.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bible Bonk

Our ears are ringing with the assault of the institutionalized churches, monotheistic power lust, holy books and gurus that shout at us from television sets and profit generating websites. 

No wonder we can’t hear the still, small voice of our Creator, singing softly in our heart of hearts.

Put down the book. Lift up your eyes to the green-covered hillsides. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is calling you to love!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Polytheistic Animism Values the Animal Body

Humans, like all that things that exist, are both matter and spirit. You are an animal, a spiritual animal no doubt, but an animal nevertheless. At one time, all hominins identified ourselves as animals and identified with the animal people. We didn’t have the self-awareness of our spiritual aspects that typifies modern homo sapiens. Over time, we became more highly identified with the spiritual aspects of ourselves, valuing them more than our animal aspects and considering them more real. Every monotheistic religion reflects this belief in the primacy of spirit.

To this way of thinking, spirit is uniquely human, setting us apart from other animals. Spirit is beautiful; the body is disgusting. Spirit is immortal; the body is mortal. Spirit is godlike; the body ungodlike. Spirit is moral; the body is sinful and immoral. Finally, we come to believe that the spirit is good and the body is bad. 

Contempt for the body, however, is not only a religious belief. It is now thoroughly embedded in contemporary Dominator Cultures. Even many Scientific-Rationalists (Sci-Rats) consider the flesh expendable and imagine bodies made of machinery. In fact, denigration of the body is a core belief of all Dominator Cultures, because it justifies and enables the subjection of the many by the few. If the flesh is not intrinsically good, if it’s just temporary housing for the soul, then it does not have to be respected or nurtured. It can be used, like a tool or a source of fuel. 

In particular, our Capitalist Dominator Culture (CDC) turns our flesh into a thing called “labor.” Science, medicine and Christianity all define our bodies as a type of mechanism, but machines are meant to be put to use, so you and I have been trained to offer up our bodies to the workplace. We learn to force them to work when they want to rest, to work when we are sick, to work at dangerous occupations, to work in poor conditions, to work without complaint, to work to an old age, to work at things that we don’t like to do and to work at night or in the dead of winter. We are not allowed to attend to the needs of our bodies in the workplace, or make the needs of our bodies more important than our “responsibilities” to the capitalist machine, and we have all been thoroughly schooled in this from the first time we raised our hands in a classroom to ask permission to pee. 

Polytheistic Animists reject this denigration of the body. We believe that the body is essential, good, beautiful and beloved of the Creator. We would not be human without our bodies, and we will no longer be human when we return our bodies to the earth.

This amazing gift of life in the flesh on the earth is a spectacular roller coaster ride. Our Creator purposely and lovingly gave this to us. It is our right and our duty to give thanks to the Creator for the flesh, and to nurture our bodies and the bodies of all of our human kinfolk in his name.

The flesh is good! Praise to the Creator of the flesh!

Polytheistic Animists value the body highly and seek to protect it from harm. In this way, Polytheistic Animism is subversive of the Capitalist Dominator Culture. If this religion ever began to draw the interest of large numbers of people, they would have shut us down or assimilate us, the way Jesus was shut down and his cross assimilated to justify genocide and hate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Going Home to Eden

One thing the Christians got right: we live in a fallen world. 

At least since the time of the most ancient Greeks, humans have generated myths about Eden, that place where humanity lived in ancient days in peace with ourselves and in harmony with nature. Along with that myth is always a story of the fall, because it’s obvious that we don’t live in Eden, anymore.

But, to think that our fall was a punishment for sin is ridiculous. Our Creator is not punishing us. The fall is the logical outcome of our sin. We have brought it on ourselves through our cruelty and greed — while the Creator weeps. 

Although we live in a world ruled by a cartel of cruel and greedy people, surrounded by wasteland, weak, tired and afraid, if we reach out for an alternative reality, we will find it. Like a parallel dimension, the alternative reality exists in material overlap with life as we are living it, and it takes only a shift of perception to move into that alternative reality and live there in spirit, even as the rest of us, (that is, the body, mind and emotion), struggles to survive in this fallen dominator world.

We cannot go back to what was. The mythical golden age, in its historical and material reality, was harsh and difficult in its own ways, but that's ok. Eden does not mean comfort and ease, anyway. 

Eden is a garden, which symbolizes earth in the balance. 

Eden is a place of abundance. What we do with that abundance is up to us. 

Eden is where we belong, where we live together in kinship, kindness and empathy, where we give generously to one another and nurture one another as if each was a child of our own flesh.

Reality is malleable, my friends, and we have the tools and skills to change it. The reality of Eden we can create for tomorrow could not be the Eden of yesterday. We have long since awakened from yesterday's paleolithic dream of gathering apples. It will be different. I can only know that the Eden we create for tomorrow will be the fruit of the kindness and generosity ripening in every human heart today.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Worship the Green God

The Green God is an important and powerful god in the pantheon of Polytheistic Animism. 

I can’t find much precedent for this deity. Several cultures of the ancient Near East worshipped Tammuz, Dumuzi or similar gods of food and vegetation. Egyptians had Osirus, dying and reborn. Mother Nature in her nurturing cloak appears in several divine manifestations throughout history and the Corn Spirit arose here and there in the ancient Western Hemisphere. Each of these divinities had the ability to be dismembered or die and rise again, associating them with the cycle of the seasons, fertility, death and rebirth.

The Green Man, not a god, but an icon that represents the green deva, has been around for at least 1000 years, but was named only recently, in 1939, in an article about church architecture.

Now, all of this is very interesting, but none of these greater-than-human (GTH) beings corresponds with the Green God of Polytheistic Animism.

Our Green God is a mighty earth-god, the child of Gaia and the Sun. He is the Deva of the Green People, the Great Giver of Life. He spins sunlight into food for the animal people. Our species was nurtured in his branches in our evolutionary infancy. In him we found safety and security, food, clothing, medicine, wisdom and shelter.

Call him Beautiful! Call him Savior, for without the Green God we would die!

If we damage the Green God, he will grow back, and all of his children will live. If we attempt to destroy him, we ourselves will be destroyed. Think of this in secular terms. Nuclear winter may send the Green God on a visit to hell, but only long enough for humans and other animals to die off. Then his seeds will rise again out of the ashes. If we cut down the rain forests, we degrade our own climate. Refuse his medicine and the pharmaceutical companies will go instantly out of business and death will stalk the earth. Process his gifts beyond recognition and humans become sick and fat.

The Green God is mighty and powerful to save! I love and follow him, I humbly accept his gifts. All of his children are welcome in my house. Amid the ticks, the prickers and the poisons, I find nourishment, wisdom and healing. Welcome, Green God! Blessed be his name!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What is Polytheistic Animism?

Repent of your greed, humanity and all will be well.
Hello Kinfolk!
Let's begin by defining the religion I practice: Polytheistic Animism.

Animism in itself is not a religion. It’s a cultural, or experienced, reality in which all that exists is both matter and spirit. 

By matter, I mean all that has physical form. By spirit, I mean everything that is not matter, such as soul, light, energy, intelligence, consciousness and so on. Matter cannot exist without spirit. Spirit cannot exist without matter. To the best of my knowledge, animism was the reality of all pre-historic humans, and is still the reality of the remnant of tribal peoples today.

Various religions and cultures may develop within an animist reality. I don't claim to belong to any of the animistic tribal religions or cultures. I was born in New Jersey in 1953, grew up a white girl on the streets of Philadelphia, collected a number of college degrees and now live in a small New England town. I’m not a tribal anything.

But I know that matter and spirit arise together and cannot be separated, and everything else that I know and live flows from this essential fact.

My reality is animist, and therefore, I believe that everything that exists materially also exists spiritually, including trees and dogs and oceans and mountains and the chicken somebody else killed for me to eat for dinner tonight. The sun has soul (essence, spirit) and the galaxies have soul. All things have soul, all being is intelligent, each being with its own kind of intelligence, all being is consciousness, each with its own kind of consciousness. 

All the beings and existences that we commonly understand to be nonmaterial, then, must also be material, albeit in ways we might not be able to experience with our human senses. Gods, angels, demons, devas, light and so on, each have a material existence. I believe that there are many greater-than-human (GTH) beings whose material form we can’t see, but who exist nevertheless. They may be as much greater then we are as a galaxy is greater than an ant, or as much greater than we are as angels are greater than humans.

Billions of galaxies. Billions of stars. Billions of grains of sand and blades of grass. Billions of ants and humans and chickens. And, what, only one intelligent life form that’s greater-than-human? One “G”od? Give me a break! The very idea is absurd!

Billions of GTH beings must exist in the multiverse. And a number of them are clustered here, around our planet earth. My culture is animist, my religion is polytheistic. I believe in many gods.

A typical definition of religion is, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of human life and the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency, usually involving practices and observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." My religion, Polytheistic Animism, is a set of beliefs and practices, a moral code, a cosmology and a polytheistic theology, grounded in an animistic cultural reality.

I’ve tried to define Polytheistic Animism in a nutshell. I know it’s a lot to take in all at once, and my vocabulary may be hard to understand at first, because there are so many new or differently defined words I’ve had to develop. Bear with me. It will all make sense in time.

All the best to you,


Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Worship Love

I worship love. 

Love is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

Love is the material earth, the multiverse, love is the alpha and the omega. 

Love is the body, we are all one body. 

We must turn to love! 

Love is our only hope, love can ensure the survival of the species. 

Love makes the world go round. 

Our Creator loves all the little children, all the little children of the earth. 

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love the plants and animals who give their bodies to nourish us. 

Love is the law and the source of all law. 

Love is righteous, merciful and kind. 

Love is the midwife to the afterlife and all you need is love.