Friday, April 15, 2011
Rocks are Alive
A person I know posted a link on Facebook to an article about how Bolivia was trying to get legislation passed in the United Nations that would give the Earth rights equal to human beings. The person who posted the link was somewhat mocking of this. She later devolved into a George-Soros-wants-to-control-the-world right wing conspiracy theory while her other friends chimed in with notions about "liberal paganism" (Liberal paganism?? Sign me up!).
The main thrust of the conversation, if one can be said to be having such a thing on Facebook, was that some people (and for "some people" read: me) thought that, as a living being, the Earth warranted certain rights or at least an acknowledgement that everything, sentient or non-sentient, was connected and is deserving of respect. Well! You would think I said that Dick Cheney changes into a 27 ft. long lizard at the end of the day.
For suggesting that the Earth was a living being, I was thoroughly mocked and finally called "retarded". That's where I left the discussion.
The whole thing had me amazed. I took it for granted that everyone thought about the Earth as alive but apparently I am incorrect in that assumption. Setting aside for a moment how offensive it is to use that word, is it really retarded to think of rocks as alive? My experience facing a sheer cliff wall of two billion year old rocks in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland tells me otherwise.
I suspect there were some underlying religious differences at play in that discussion. For the other commentors, a tsunami or volcano eruption is the hand of God at work and perhaps it is not allowed to imagine a rock or a planet or a universe as a living thing.
When I asked Dan, as our resident expert on Christianity (he took more CCD classes than anyone else I know), what he thought about it, he agreed with the naysayers that rocks were not living but then bemoaned the loss of appreciation for the Christian mystic tradition in favour of I-Shall-Be-First-In-Line-At-The-Gates-Of Heaven fundamentalism. Before I start connecting anymore words with hyphens in this post, what do you think? Is it just mysticism to believe the Earth is alive? Or am I, you know, retarded?