A new friend of mine hushed her husband who was teasing me about something, “George, now. Susan is earnest!” she chided. And I considered, inside, “What in the world does that mean? Really.” So, I meandered home and looked it up in my huge and very beloved Webster’s. It’s from the Old English, meaning ‘to rise’. A serious and intent mental state. Grave and intense attention, or purpose, versus flippant, trivial. Yes, that fits. And then this: To rise, from the Latin, meaning a brook or a stream. Well, alright then!
Meanwhile, Michael Doyle, my friend the priest from Camden, New Jersey, writes of Teilhard de Chardin, the great Catholic philosopher who “linked science, that is always on a road not yet traveled, with a new theology not yet known.” And he quotes Pope Benedict, not my favorite person, as saying “This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end, we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host.” In other words, the whole bloody universe is holy. Yup. We know that.
But it’s nice to have it confirmed by such lofty souls.
Wait, there’s more. This quote is from Barry Lopez, who sits beside the McKenzie River daily, going on 30 years or so. The McKenzie River, a major tributary of the Willamette River, is upstream from here, outside of Eugene. Nice to know we’re not alone.
“The question of how to behave, it seems to me, is nervewracking to contemplate because it is related to two areas of particular discomfort for naturalists. One is how to keep the issue of spirituality free of religious commentary; the other is how to manage emotional grief and moral indignation so closely tied to science, with it’s historical claim to objectivity….. It is, more deeply, an expression of the desire that love be on an equal footing with power when it comes to social change.” See http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=5151 for the complete essay.
And that, in the end, it is love that is the answer. Always.