Friday, August 23, 2013

Sacred Substance

If there is a sacred substance on this planet, one that is holy beyond all else, it is not a wafer of pressed bread or a cup of wine, it is water. For, without water, life on Earth (or anywhere else that we know of) is impossible.  Without water life would not have become. Without water life would not have evolved. And, without water life would not be. And yet, like many of our gods we have also consistently abused and crucified this sacred substance.  We have poured our bodily wastes into water since the beginning of collective life in towns and cities. In the name of that very suspect ’progress,’  we have emptied our industrial waste into the rivers and streams, and the arteries of polluted water have burst into flame.

 In Asia the extraction of groundwater for fish culture is causing subsidence of the land.  In the Middle East water wars brew among the increasingly arid sands. In Japan radioactive poisons flow into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. In southern Nevada, the progeny of organized crime have acquired the rights to every drop of water from springs and streams to feed the thirst of Las Vegas.  Even when all the springs are sucked dry, there still won’t be enough water and the tourists will have to learn to drink their own recycled piss. Our theologies teach us that it’s not a good idea to offend our gods and it surely is not a good idea to continue to offend water.  Water may not be the kind of god our many theologies have led us to expect but its continued abuse will inevitably lead to the kind of punishment  we are told our oddly antagonistic gods often impose.