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Saturday, July 30, 2016

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing.”
Helen Keller

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the whole concept of security. After the two political conventions in this country, where security was front and center, it's hard not to be aware of all the things we do in our attempt to feel secure. I have some acquaintances who maintain a compound out in the country that is stocked with an arsenal and enough canned provisions to feed several people for a couple of years. These folks were the first to sign up for concealed carry and have taught themselves how to shoot both their guns and crossbows. They have backpacks standing at ready, packed and provisioned, and a map of the escape route that will get them to their compound using only back roads. I listen to these otherwise highly intelligent people talk about the apocalypse as though its date is marked on their calendar. I literally cannot imagine living everyday with that much fear.

Then, there are the persons who try to stop time at a place and stage where they felt most secure. They talk of the “good old days” when men were men and women knew their place. They dream of holding on to power and privilege as though it is their God given right. In the words of Jiddu Krishnamuti, great Indian-American writer and teacher, “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”

The only security we have now, or will ever have, does not come from external structures, it does not come from guns or fortified compounds, or walls. It comes only from being comfortable in our own skin. It comes from having a free spirit that is not bound by stolid, and unyielding tradition. It comes from an understanding that there is balance in the cosmos, and when things are out of balance, the cosmos will self-correct. Some of us may not appreciate the ways that our cultures and societies go about self-correction, but our comfort is not the issue.

I heard on NPR yesterday about a particular type of fresh water snail that carries a parasitic disease called Schistosomiasis, or “snail fever.” It kills thousands of people in the developing world every year. Scientists of the world health organization are now releasing prawn into the rivers and lakes where these snails have proliferated. This prawn is a natural predator of the snails, and for eons kept their populations in check. All the prawns had been fished out of these areas for food for the very humans who are now being killed by snail fever. There is a balance in nature that must be respected, and there is a balance in the realm of human affairs that must be respected. We will find our security in that respect.

                                                                 In the Spirit,


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