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Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion


Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion

Richard Schiffman

The world as we know it is slipping away. At the current rate of destruction, tropical rainforest could be gone within as little as 40 years. The seas are being overfished to the point of exhaustion, and coral reefs are dying from ocean acidification. Biologists say that we are currently at the start of the largest mass extinction event since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. As greenhouse gases increasingly accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures are likely to rise faster than our current ecological and agricultural systems can adapt.


A really beautiful article. Well written, and very nice to see this, in light of all the chaos our world is being plunged into. I wonder if we have the time and the heart to find the ways to “move beyond the idea of ourselves as masters and the world as slave to embrace an equal and mutually beneficial partnership.”. I hope we do.

Being brought up on the Bible, I always had interpreted the text to mean that man should work with the earth to bring it under good management, healthy, useful outcomes, not against it, in order to dominate it. Even in warfare, it is clear that if you are able to out think the enemy, you could use your intellectual skills to work with certain aspects, certain weaknesses of the enemy, and could likely bring them under control more readily than doing just what they are doing, just more killing. I keep thinking of how Karate works.

We destroy the land, the water, the air we breath, and then wonder why we cannot afford to live. We cannot buy our way out of the destruction. We can only stop doing the destruction, if we expect to have a planet to live upon. We put way too little effort into the herculean effort of stopping the destruction, to begin with. Our focus is in “being” destructive. Why are we so stupid?


While many insights are conveyed by this article, including quotes from Berry, it was not until its concluding paragraphs that it lent witness to those that do see, and have seen and felt the inter-connectedness among all species for millennia. I’m referring to the Indigenous peoples, worldwide, as well as mystical worldviews.

WE do not all cut off nature and WE do not all subscribe to belief systems that were codified and enforced through the long reign of the European church-state.

Too often the ethos that has come into place as a direct result of coercion is taken, passively, as an indicator of what WE ALL believe and embrace.

This frame excludes alternative voices, visions, visionaries, poets, prophets, and ways of life.

Fortunately, the article comes full circle to the realization that the old wisdom has always existed.

The mechanistic worldview that sees Mother Nature and all mineral, animal, and plant resources within that sphere as THING to use, often abuse and discard is related to the mindset of patriarchy and the use of war and weapons to subjugate entire peoples starting with women, moving onto Africans, then onto America’s Indigenous tribes, and now rebounding back to the Middle East. Oh, there’s also Vietnam and plenty of attacks on Asians, too.

The story put in place by the Anglo-European male dominators fits THEM and THEIR mindset. The fact that it’s been so thoroughly embedded through churches, what passes for law, culture, and more currently a mass media that owns major hypnotic powers is still THEIR story.

In the same way that today’s media pushes false narratives such as the one infinitely insisted upon that promotes Putin as aggressor while leaving out all key elements of the back (and full) story, demonstrates the same control of STORY that has so many using a universal WE frame that itself discounts–and thus renders invisible–the alternative wisdom of those who have been long cast aside.

The white man scratches his head pondering if it all could really be connected, while women of wisdom, shamans, mystics, poets, and Indigenous people everywhere have known this in their hearts and souls and had to stand back, subdued by armed forced after armed force while the Dominators burned, pillaged, and plundered the Earth all the time insisting this was to improve the quality of life for all. They called it development. And like the War on Terrorism, the prescribed cure is worse that the “disease.”

The answer to the problem requires no new narrative. What it DOES require is giving air time to those who know and have always known… but been brutally shut out of the equation when not pilloried, impoverished, poisoned, burned, or sent into exile.

Nonetheless, it’s encouraging that China is embracing the Confucius teachings, and the Dali Lama reminding what Buddhism means and this particular Pope, arguing for the value of Mother Nature and the urgent need for compassionate stewardship.

Everything comes full circle.


If conservatives refuse to read articles like these, and liberals refuse to read conservative’s propaganda, Mr. Schiffman is preaching to the choir.


Humankind can no longer afford to outsource morality to mythologies. Morality must come from a scientific understanding of our connections to all beings and commitment to the sanctity of the balances that are required to perpetuate a great and improbable temporal ride on a revolving rock rotating on its own axis, around its star, galaxy, universe, and whatever else there is. Those of us in the know, know that humankind is taking too much to sustainably survive at current consumption levels. Furthermore, the developing world seeks what the developed world has, as is natural. Greedy economics (allowing for externalities…) exploits this to enhance “economic activity”. Until humankind’s decision making’s platform, economics, is brought in line with nature’s bound, the ending definitely looks bad for the former, who may not remain long enough to document the fate of the latter.


“liberals” can hardly refuse to consume conservative’s propaganda. It oozes from newspapers, TVs the radio, etc. It is thoroughly rammed down our throats.

That is a large part of the problem. Only a single person could hope to turn off the television box. Where I live I cannot buy a paper not owned by News Ltd (i.e. Fox News/Rupert Murdoch).


This article is just another one of those new agey ruminations of the affluent bourgeois cloistered away in expensive rural solar-bepaneled spreads. What is with this presumptive “we” (appearing 45 times) and “us” (appearing 11 times) in their writing? It should clear that they are speaking for themselves - or specifically the wealthy who own the means of production - who are attracted to such new-ageish preaching and who have created the mess we are in.

It has been the peculiar-to-the-US, and maybe deliberate, confusion of the liberal chattering bourgeois classes with the ideological left that has been a disaster for the US left. The left, including the environmental left, is nothing without class consciousness and an understanding of the social relations of production, and I see none of it in this article.


Thanks for the video. I don’t know why you think this is a proof against evolution, when it’s quite apparent that a mutation in an octopus that let it do this would have a heck of an advantage vis a vis his fellow, and shorter-lived, companions. It might not have been your intention but it’s a good reminder to us of how wonderful the life on this planet really is…


Hey, Yunzer: as a witness to the American ventures in South Vietnam and Chile (war and coup de etat), the least I can say is that you surely ought to register your frontal lobotomy with The Null and Void Trust Company.


When this mad experiment called Western technological “Civilization” perishes on the dust heap of history and our Earth heals may a new truly intelligent species arise.


This “we” certainly does not apply to the indigenous people of Mother Earth.


“There are no multiple parallel universes.”

How do you know? Got a link on that one?


Uhm, if there is no link or other common reference, does that prove there is no truth about it?!

Wow! Imagine how humans evolved before there was writing. Or is that statement too much nuance for you?

And, by the way, where is your proof of any parallel universe?


As you say, there is absolutely no proof that such exists, because there is no way of telling. Equally, with no way of telling, any such claim, either way, on a link [wink :wink: ] or web page could neither be verified or disproved.

But string theory and membrane theory, which seems to be necessary, say physicists, in order to explain the behavior of matter and relativity simultaneously, posits an eleven dimensional universe. There might be room in some of those dimensions for an alternate universe. Any creature that can span more than 3 dimensions would be able to appear or disappear from our plane of existence at will, and clearly those would be gods, angels or demons, (or just trans-dimensional beings).

Not that I understand such things, but you know, there is plenty room for doubt, even in science.

For example, assuming our most accepted theory for the origins of the universe,… Where did all the matter for the big bang come from? It cannot have come from this plane of existence, so it must have come from another. Let me posit a second, and slightly different explanation where all of that matter came from. Viewed from inside the universe, that is when the universe began. But viewed from outside of the universe, that is just when the Cosmic Massive Multi-player Online Simulation began. Given that the universe is just a computer simulation, matter can be simply brought into existence by simply assigning values into an array (in much the same way that Banks can bring money into existence) . And of course, our bodies are the avatars belonging to the players (or souls) participating in the simulation. Meaning that when one dies in the simulation, the soul does not die. (Pass the bong Jack, its my turn for another hit!).


“We bear the universe in our beings,” Berry reflected, “as the universe bears us in its being.” In Berry’s view, our human lives are no accident. We are the eyes, the minds, and the hearts that the cosmos is evolving so that it can come to know itself ever more perfectly through us."

Oops here we go again humans standing outside bearing witness to the grand design. Our extinction is just on the horizon, the cosmos is going to show us a very nasty face even with our solar panels and 40 acres.


Just because you don’t understand how a thing can work (or a biophysical process like evolution) cannot be the standard by which it is judged. It is my guess that you don’t understand how an atom is formed from primary energy (or what such energy is) and yet doubting that the world is composed of substance seems futile. The processes of evolution occur in the realm of very large numbers of very tiny things, all beyond the intuitions of normal experience. People spend their whole life times in diligent study to get just a glimpse of evolution’s functioning. No one can be expected to comprehend its processes without the greatest of effort and good luck.


Well said. We also, I feel, need to admit/ subscribe to natural law/science FIRST…
Everything else will fall into place from there.
Publicly funded elections!!!
Let logic and reason rule.
Not childish billionaires, who bully with money to get their way.


Because solar and wind are at BEST 50 %
Effiecent. That’s WHY we have them and not
Magnet generators or hydrogen (water) powered cars. These techs would put cave man power monopolies out of business.
So their answer has been to strike first,
RIP Stanley Meyers, Thomas Ogle, Thomas Henry Moray. These men were true science


Typically despicable, irresponsible, corporate scaremongering from Common Dreams.

Worth remembering that the HSBC house journal (Guardian) promoted global warming because HSBC, Shell and other carbon traders gave them huge advertising revenue.

Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil - Telegraph

But who is it that sponsors the Guardian?s Environment pages and eco conferences? Why, only that famous non-fossil-fuel company Shell. (Though I notice their logo no longer appears on top of the Guardian?s eco pages: has the Guardian decided the relationship was just too embarrassing to be, er, sustainable?)

And which company has one of the largest carbon trading desks in London, cashing in on industry currently worth around $120 billion ? an industry which could not possibly exist without pan-global governmental CO2 emissions laws ? BP (which stands for British Petroleum)

And how much has Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal made from carbon credits thanks to Europe?s Emissions Trading Scheme? ÂŁ1 billion.

And which companies were the CRU scientists revealed cosying up to as early as 2000 in the Climategate emails? There?s a clue in this line here: ?Had a very good meeting with Shell yesterday.?

And how much was Phil Jones, director of the discredited CRU, found to have collected in grants since 1990? ÂŁ13.7 million ($22.7 million)


Hello everyone. I, too, consider myself to be Christian. However unlike many Christians, I am also Buddhist. This gives me a rather unique perspective on life. I have learned that every heartache and every trial in my life is another obstacle waiting to become a stepping stone. As wise old men once said, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” In the case of our Mother Earth being destroyed by stupid humans, it is my will (and hopefully your will, too) to rise up to this challenge and repay Terra Mater’s compassion with my own compassion.

She has provided for me everything I need to survive, it would be beyond contempt if I failed to return her favor. One of my favorite trials taught me a very important lesson. I learned that God/life does not place a heavier burden on my shoulders then I am capable of bearing. Therefore, if my burden seems beyond my ability to bear it, something must believe in me enough to place that burden on my shoulders.

I hope my words light a fire in your hearts so you can help Terra Mater face this challenge, and more importantly rise above it.