Friday, November 11, 2016
When you finish eating an apple, I was told that if you buried it, an apple tree might grow from the seeds of the eaten apple. The apple had fulfilled its purpose in the universe. It had become a fruit for some other part of creation to eat. In the earth now, it's matter will develop into something else. And that will grow, as long as there is an earth that breathes sufficiently for life to go on. I would not put the eaten apple into a pine box and bury it so that bugs would not get to it. We do that with humans. We put dead people into boxes, bones or ashes and bury them. Why? We have this theology, developed before we knew much about the story of the evolving universe, that says bodies will rise on the last day. To join their souls? And so it goes, but does not seem to fit our sense of an evolving universe of which we are a part. The theology says that people are sacred and the apple is not. Humans get boxes burials. Apples do not. This allows us "sacred" people to chop down the apple tree because it gets in the way of our view, or prevents us from adding more unnecessary square footage to our homes, to reflect our large egos. Then there are some people who are more sacred than others, or so the theology used to say. This permitted slavery. All is sacred. The human may be more evolved than the apple, though at times I wonder. The human is not more sacred. The matter, the stuff of the universe, that makes up my present body may have once been part of a star that exploded a long time ago. The stuff of my body can rot in the ground, be eaten by bugs or whatever. My job is to treat it with respect, help it to do what it is supposed to do in the overall story of the universe and my inner spirit. Something of me will live on with the Divine, but part will be reformed to become something or someone else. The box burial is to recognize body sacredness. But don't forget about the apple or the earth. All is sacred.