Being the Body   5 comments

This Sunday’s homily is inspiring me to write a post about how I found myself on this journey I call conscious and conscience living. I usually enjoy hearing what inspired other people to become interested in social justice, or going green, or living simpler lives; so here I share my story. To be completely honest, I’m not really sure how it happened. It just kind of did. Maybe there is something in my personality that helped me gravitate to this path. There is also a definite “nurture” aspect since my parents sowed many a seed in me that have grown into different aspects of my calling.

Looking back at my personal history, there really isn’t a starting point or a turning point, but I generally think of college as the practical starting point. College was for me the phase of life dedicated to becoming an independent and independent-thinking adult. It was the time when I had to develop my own value system out of the value system that I was raised in at home. In developing that value system I can cite two strong influences: fantasy books and the Catholic church (might explain why I’m proud to proclaim myself one of those “new age Catholics” that the Vatican doesn’t much like).

Many works of fiction are studies in humanity: how we deal with life’s problems, how our personalities are affected by our surroundings, how we relate to those around us, and how we evolve as a society. In my opinion, almost all fantasy and science fiction stories are such studies. Often characters are distilled down to a few elements. For example, in Star Trek there is a purely martial race, a purely intellectual race, and a purely commercial race, which allows us to think about the consequences of those predilections in ourselves without feeling threatened. Often the plot lines are apocryphal, with some threat, be it social or environmental, looming over a nation or the world. And most of the fantasy books that I read are chock full of great lessons about the divide between the rich and the poor, governance, care for the environment, wanton overconsumption, war, isolationism, loss of history, segregation and discrimination, and gender relations. I soaked those lessons up, and especially in the case of my leaning towards pacifism, I have to say my fantasy library is the primary inspiration.

In college, not only was I able to buy as many fantasy books as I wanted, but I was able to return to the church after a couple of years away to overcome my co-dependency on religion. I was really looking forward practicing my Catholicism again, all the more so after I started going to Mass at St. Mary’s (the Newman Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor). At St. Mary’s I found an invigorating, inspirational, and living Catholicism that overcame the negative and dying Catholicism of my youth. I learned to think, to question, and to understand. I learned more about the Catholic church and it’s teachings in a couple of years than I had in the previous 18 years. Every week I learned something new about my faith that gave me hope. I came to really feel the teaching that we are the Body of Christ, and I came to realize that I needed to live that in my attitudes, decisions, lifestyle, and relationships. Eventually I felt my personal calling to being a pioneer living this lifestyle, hoping that by my example and my dollars I could make it easier for others to make green/socially just decisions. I am thankful that I don’t have to be a true pioneer, since most of the trails have already been blazed, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

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Posted June 6, 2010 by mayakey in conscious living, mission

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5 responses to “Being the Body

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  1. “purely martial race, a purely intellectual race, and a purely commercial race”

    which, which and which?

    This Sunday’s homily is inspiring me to write a post about how I found myself on this journey

    What was the homily about?

    I think you inspired a lot of my conscious living. Certainly my move to organics and my shunning of most plastics. I use you as a well of knowledge and an inspiration.

    • In Star Trek the Klingons are almost purely martial, the Vulcans are purely intellectual, and the Ferengi are almost purely commercial.

      This Sunday was Corpus Christi Sunday, so Fr. George’s homily was about committing to being the body of Christ.

      And while I may be an inspiration to you, how much credit goes to Owen as well? I think for women the most common theme that I see in blogs is that motherhood started them on their green journey.

  2. You reminded me of a few things. When you were about 5, we used to take our recycling to Albuquerque Beautiful (it was near AHS) until they closed. You and Ty loved running around the piles of newspapers , cardboard, tin cans and unfortunately broken glass. It wasn’t the safest place for children.

    When our front door neighbors found a private recycling company, you lobbied for our hiring them and we used them until the city stated its own collection.

    A few years later in Costa Rica, didn’t you start your class recycling? I seem to remember something about that. And last, you did a science project where you buried hot dogs and looked at their decomposition. A preview of things to come.

    It was no surprise that you went into environmental engineering.

    • That’s why it is hard for me to pick a start point. It just seems like I’ve always had this streak in me and you guys either encouraged me or didn’t discourage me or both.

  3. Its really a good thing..Being the body of christ…We are created through his image and likeness..Indeed,,we have to submitt our selves to him and need to live with our attitudes, decisions, lifestyle, and relationships.

    Laying laminate flooring

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