Monday, April 25, 2005

I Am In Love With Whales

I cannot believe how much virulently snide anti-evolution claptrap is out there on the Internets.

I have fallen in love with whales. Trey and I went to the Natural History Museum a few weeks ago, and it was a religious experience. My favoritest thing is the enormous whale in the Hall of Biodiversity.
It makes me weep. That something so immense and beautiful quietly inhabits the sea is the most beautiful thing ever. The sheer diversity and complexity and bizarreness of all life on Earth is more cause to prostrate oneself with joy before the force that through the green fuse drives the flower -- except instead of kissing the ground to stretch out on your back! and feel the slow rotation of the earth, see the craziness of the stars. To lie back as you lie back for your lover. All that stretches out before you is part of the same drive, the same pattern, that manifests itself in inumerable incarnations of deep particularity. And when I am sad and small and frightened and my thoughts inevitably fly towards that Someone -- in the anthropic way that I as a human woman cannot avoid -- that Someone who will be larger than me and loving and wise and somehow make everything okay and let me know that it is my duty towards my own deep particularity and that of all those I love -- of late, my heart has been flying out to that enormous whale and I know it will be all right.

Here's one of the many snide links I found so upsetting. First of all -- you're dismissing Darwin as "fairy tale" and you instead look to the BIBLE??? Whatever.

Let me tell you something. There was a period of my life where I hated dogs and I hated monkeys. And the reason was because the raw openness and loyalty of dogs was too much for me to witness, and the vulnerability of monkeys was too much for me to see. Because I projected upon them my own rawness, my own vulnerable shadow. Now, I know myself better, and I can see and love animals and crazy plants and solar systems while feeling more connected to them than ever, because we are all driven by the same energy, all alive and all particular.

The people who get all screamy about "Oh my word, if evolution happened, then we are no better than APES!!! Oh MY WORD, That can't be!!!!!" are usually the most knuckle-dragging among us -- I hesitate to say "apelike," because apes are nice. Give me a break, you arrogant motherfuckers.

Look at the fucking Drudge Report or FOX or anything -- the behavior of our species is pretty fucking appalling. If you need any proof that we're descended from "animals" it's on the TV 24/7. If you're the kind of person who uses "animal" or "material" as a pejorative -- you're simply unwittingly acknowledging your own self-loathing. The human race needs to realize that IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT US, and SUPER-SIZE that realization. RIGHT NOW.

The only reason why people think about God or Gods in the way that we do is because of anthropomorphism. We came into consciousness as parented beings, and thus the metaphor, the trope of parent/parented in creation myths is pretty hard to shake, tenanting our very nervous systems like tertiary idea-syphilis. No surprise that every creation myth has a father and/or mother -- the World Parents dormant in every psyche. That in no way negates the value in religion as a way to understand what it is to be human -- but, taking that stuff literally just makes you -- well, a coward., and a dangerous coward at that. And in these increasingly insane, theocratic tantrummy times, literalism and fundamentalism are the biggest dangers to humanity. Not fags, or terrorism, or even global warming, or reality television. Literalism IS terrorism, is imprisonment, is the Word as graven image. I don't understand how people who consider "materialism" a dirty word allow themselves to be literalists. But I guess that's a cross they've chosen to bear.

The one Bible verse that makes me weep is from Corinthians:
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men... But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the thingswhich are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The mechanism of the world is more than we can understand. It is an asymptote towards which we fumble and are humbled by as one understanding gives way to another. We can only humble ourselves before its beauty and attempt to understand, to connect and enjoy and love. I believe in a "god-force" driving all that there is -- who the fuck are you to say that our humanoid flesh has glory more than any other? What on Earth is wrong with you? oh -- wait -- you are!

Get over yourselves! Go do Outward Bound or something, and leave me alone! Please, please, please, just leave me alone, alone and in love with whales.


Blogger bonnie said...


Alleluia and a perfectly-sung choral threefold amen to that.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Donkey Patrol said...

Nice post Lillet.

But as I read it I can't look away from the truth you continally flirt with, yet ultimately dismiss. So as much as you want me to leave you alone, and as reluctant as I am to get into another intellectual blog-acre with you, I can't just sit here and watch someone as smart as you are brush off Truth and exchange it for the temporal comforts of grass and whales.

And I know you're not going to even read my comments, but as a juggernaut rises and steadies himself for combat, I take a few days off to center myself and prepare an articulate, transcendent blogpost hopefully in the same intellectual vein of your own post. That was a long sentence...

4:43 PM  
Blogger Kender said...

If you were an omnipotent being that decided to create something like what we have here on earth, would you stick it in some little solar system out on the edge of some galaxy that apparently isn't even around the middle of the galaxies?

Or would you stick it right smack dab in the middle of everything?

Persoanlly I have always thoughtit was rather arrogant to think that we are the reason for all of this amazing universe to exist.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Donkey Patrol said...

Yeah but look at it this way,

If not for us, then who? Who else but humans could grasp the beauty of the Universe? Who else could lay in the grass and stare starry eyed into the heavens wondering how that blanket of green grass go there? If not for us to comprehend how ineffably cool our world/solarsystem/universe is, then who would contemplate it? Whales? No way dude, nothing else can get it. I wouldn't say it's arrogant, but just the opposite-it's incredibly humbling to think that this was made for us to enjoy.

That is if you accede a prime mover, but that point is in the works.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

Nice post!

I've seen four species of whales in their natural habitats, and I'll never forget them!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Lillet Langtry said...

Wow, MR. HK, you are so lucky!!!

1:53 PM  

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