"Contemplating the beauty of creation is the most useful thing we can possibly do right now. It is not a substitute for useful action. It is the wellspring of useful action. When grateful awe inhabits us, we bring it to everything we do."

Every day. Thank you. No one else I know is saying it.

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Gratitude for all around us.

In the late 1970’s I was living in Tucson Arizona where water is a very valued resource. I practiced thoughts of gratitude for every drink of water and every shower, thanking the ‘Angel of Water’ much as I believed the Essenes did. Today I live far from the desert. I live with abundant water all around. I still thank the Angel of Water for every drink and every shower. That connection is an affirmation of what your essay expresses to me. Gratitude for your work, Charles.

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My ancestors lived and roamed between what is now Pebble Beach and Moro Bay. They would plunge long branches into mud, tie the ends together and throw mud at this framework until there was just an entrance for them and an exit for smoke. Their homes could be built in a day and maintained with little to no effort over their entire lives.

They lived in a world of abundance so there was no need to give much of anything back except their awe and gratitude. That changed when the good Catholic fathers converted and civilized them, and in the process taught them to toil for a reward that could only be received after they were dead.

Most Christians today don't seem to note that their own gospel narratives clearly and openly proclaim that the kingdom was openly receiving anyone who wanted to enter and continues to do so to this very day. It openly points out that we have a choice to seek after what the kingdoms of this fallen world offer or to seek after the kingdom which is one of such overwhelming abundance that your money is of no value and only good to give away to those who need it to survive in a world of Satanic scarcity.

I marvel at the abundance of seeds within just one papaya, canary melon, spaghetti squash, or Seminole pumpkin. I watch in dumbfounded amazement as the seeds I've dried and scattered, as if by nature's command they simultaneously emerge seemingly everywhere to feed an as yet unidentified blessed multitude. How is it possible for such an abundance to spring forth side by side with a world that is plagued by such abject desperate poverty?

People toil all day long at mercilessly soul-destroying minimum wage dead end jobs while the celestial host of heaven bombards us all with the glory of God's spiritual gifts and blessings. As this world of scarcity comes to its inevitable conclusion, the poor in spirit have no alternative but to awake to this pervasive revelation and blow off this false work. The harvest is incomprehensibly vast, but there are far too few to consume such a feast which is destined to recycle itself into an even greater feast that can only be spurned and ignored by the damned.

I offered my neighbors some papaya the other day which is so sweet it is not only intoxicating but can sometimes give me a hangover. They couldn't taste anything. Their high fructose, hog fat processed diet has so overwhelmed their sense of taste that they can no longer taste the natural sweetness of fruit anymore. The high-tech meta verse world has overstimulated their synapses to such a degree that they can barely keep their eyes open, much less comprehend the beauty that surrounds them.

The proposed modern technocratic utopia will be populated by what is nothing less than a horrifyingly ghastly zombie apocalypse.

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Aug 15, 2022·edited Aug 15, 2022

I live out where Texas and New Mexico meet, not far from the Permian Basin and Roswell, NM. The Basin is the primary source of US oil and gas for 100 years now. There is enough of both out here to fry the planet; no need to worry about Peak Oil. It's water that is the new oil and we are rapidly depleting it, mining ancient ground water that only slowly recharges in its aquifers. The Southwest is in a 1200-year drought as climate paleontologists measure from tree rings and lake sediments.

There are thousands of wind generators, too, out here in the Basin. They all froze solid in the Big Freeze last year. I don't know what the answers is but population reduction looks promising and maybe that is what COVID is about, whether it occurred naturally or, more likely, was engineered.

I am more concerned about the social justice aspect of energy than its consumption. 400 private jets showed up at COP-26 with the One Percent flying in to talk about how the rest of us conserve energy while they keep their jets and yachts. Unless you think Bill Gates, Leonardo de Caprio and Jeff Bezos are going to give up theirs and live in an ecovillage. I think their plan is to exterminate as many of us as possible leaving a few of us to tend their yards and yachts as serfs in a global corporate feudal state.

Then there is spiritual bypassing. I've lived in two ecovillages and they are anything but carbon neutral despite all their virtue signaling, organic toothpaste, water-recycling and composting. They live by hosting conferences where guests fly in from all over and, if they didn't, they would not be able to survive without some outside source of income. It's called thermodynamics. Or, as Milton Friedman said, "There's no free lunch." Even you you say grace over it.

If only we could figure out how those little grey guys got to Roswell all the way from Zeta Reticuli on one tank of gas :)

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THIS is the Charles that I remember! YES. This feeds the soul and illuminates the path closer to the more beautiful world my heart knows is possible!

Much love ❤️

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Beautiful ... deep and very important. Quite possibly your most important essay.

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I read years ago that even from an MBA perspective, clearing trees, then building, then planting trees is *not*, in fact, significantly less expensive than building among existing trees. And it takes a long time for new trees to look as good or to provide as much shade as those that were cut down.

Shady spots are the first to be parked in, so obviously ordinary people recognize their value. Designers of parking lots evidently repress their inner shade hounds before they start designing.

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A lovely essay Charles , it’s really our problem , we see that something works and then we look at how it might be applied to a population . That population needs light , warmth , energy . We become “industrious “ , industry provides . Then industry produces “ lifestyle “ we become consumers . We get used to lifestyle and we become bigger consumers more useful and useless stuff .

Yet If we had basic phones we would use them less and talk more , watching nature we would prefer the real thing to the digital , seeing it more and appreciating it we want to photograph it less . We have too much we want too much - industry provides happily . Energy is used and wasted . The world dies we die

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Aug 15, 2022·edited Aug 15, 2022

Make me cry, why don't you.

I think this is one of the most important essays you've ever written, Charles. It gives me hope, you make me think the world is not doomed.

"The universe in its generosity will not relent in intensifying the conditions that face us with that choice." This reminds me of what I was taught in therapy years ago: the Universe will keep bringing around the lessons until I've learned them. Thank you so much!

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I'm not sure that using less energy is really what Universe wants us to do. The history of life has been one of the steady improvement in the ability of life to access and use energy - finding new sources of energy, and developing more efficient ways of utilizing it to reorganize the material world. In the process, the biosphere has grown both in scope and in beauty and subtlety. It has spent billions of years learning from the cosmos. The flowering of the noosphere is a continuation of that process.

I agree strongly that the desacralization of our relationship with the world has led to our behaving abusively towards it. The hideousness of our architecture is the most visible sign of this. Your characterization of our proper role as taking what is offered, transforming it, and passing it on in an enriched form such that the beauty of the world is increased, is precisely the mindset that we must adopt; not only will this lead to a more pleasing built environment, but it will also establish an ethos of partnership rather than exploitation with the world.

However, we shouldn't imagine that our role is to enter into some sort of balanced stasis. Our telos is already clear in our collective imagination: it is to go out amongst the stars. Wherever we go, we carry the biosphere with us; we cannot not do so. Biology alone cannot unlock the capabilities of, e.g., nuclear fission or fusion, to say nothing of other capabilities such as antimatter or zero-point. Biology alone will therefore be limited to a thin film of life encasing the Earth. By growing the noosphere, the biosphere has developed the potential to extend itself to all the planets of the solar system; to bring life to the asteroids and comets; and to begin reaching across the gulf between the stars.

This does not mean cracking the Earth like a shell and abandoning it, as a chicken its egg, and leaving behind a dead husk as is so often imagined. Rather we should see the Earth as the root of a tree whose branches will embrace the cosmos.

The only way out is through, however we must stop seeing ourselves as nature's masters, but rather its instruments.

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Classic problem/solution mass. The solution to our current problem becomes the next problem, ad infinitum, so long as we continue to operate from the same context. I appreciate you invoking devotion here as it applies to energy generation and use. It's beautiful and consistent. I also appreciate the irreverent humor you bring to the opening paragraphs. A good laugh is always useful in my book.

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Much like excessive wealth and privilege: technology is a double edged sword. It’s not good or bad in itself—but it can be good or bad in the context of the particular agents exposed to it. Only enlightened humans can wield a double edged sword without hurting themselves and others.

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The evocation of devotional energy and reciprocity is a helpful corrective to the relentless focus on energy balance that characterizes a lot of environmental thought, so I thank you for that.

I do look forward to a future post that explains how you look so good for a man of 150.

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Your contribution to human attitude development is beautiful and important. That must be an area of understanding in which you excel.

Seeing the problems of mankind should be so easy everyone would be clear about it. That does not bear out in the observations, though. People simply don't understand the world they were born into. They specialize and find a niche into which they can place themselves to provide what is needed. The larger understanding required to improve that world is sorely limited.

Your words about provision of 'energy' are devotional, but offer no alternative. Capitalism is consuming everything. At the same time, endless effort is being applied to keep people devoted to it. As we face the problems you describe, the consumption of the natural world rages ahead. A cheap and clean energy source would cause a catastrophic collapse of capitalism that would overshadow all ecological disasters. Unemployment is what must be maintained. Doing that is why the planet is being drained and polluted. To feed the children, money must be gotten and allowed to flow in much the same way the devotional return you write about must. It is a 'catch-22' type problem. The competition essential to capitalism sets people against one another and battles the tendency to cooperate like family. I cannot keep up with the thoughts that blaze across my mind begging for expression regarding the folly and failures of people to see the obvious.

Maybe you are an expert engineer or something that qualifies you. Regardless, there are ample methods for procuring energy for human use that are totally in harmony with Nature and the universe. They must be prevented in a capitalist system. Billions of people must have jobs that provide. You know plenty about the commodification of everything. I've read one of your books. You know from Henry George's books how the land is used as a commodity and a control. Surely, you realize that energy must be a commodity. The demand for commodities is essential in capitalism. There can never be a cessation of the devouring. It would put billions into the panic of starvation and ruin the ecology of the planet completely. The systems must be maintained or the ecology will perish.

Those things and much more are the reasons the world is facing an Armageddon.

All of it can be solved. All of it. It is a matter of awakening from the influences and becoming self-created. Love is capable of doing that for anyone. Failing to become a source of unconditional love, let simple logic guide.

The best source of energy for humans is gravity. I find it amazing how so many fail to see that. They know full well that hydroelectric dams work, then fail to associate gravity with the power. It is not the water doing it. It is gravity. A grandfather clock is common to many, but the fact that it taps gravity to do the work of humans must be beyond them. There are many good ways to provide for a growing population with advancing technology, but the imperatives of capitalism demand they be slowly transitioned into society. Personally, I think the very powerful don't want that to happen because of the potential to elevate everyone so much it would damage the egos of the powerful who feel entitled due to their inherent greatness as proven by their wealth/power. The gods are sensitive!

The awakening is underway. It is too slow for me. I am forced to cope. Until we begin to address the problems where they originate, we will be tilting windmills.

The world is organized into human societies that are descended from ancient times and evolved over time. They are not the brainy genius of great people. They are the continued systems that produced kingdoms, empires, nations, and all the violence. The people who extract their wealth/power from the people are preventing the evolution of human society. Capitalism is so important to that we have had world wars and countless smaller wars to preserve it. Is that not obvious? The deluge of propaganda designed to keep people believing like some religious dogma that capitalism is wonderful should fail, but it doesn't. That is testimony about the condition of the average person. We are each capable of throwing off the clamp on consciousness and becoming a rational being living as a source of unconditional love and becoming a free-thinker. Instead, we have become parrots repeating what we hear. Awakening is not an education. It is a synthesis of facts by logic free of biasing influences. The entirety of Reality is accessible by it.

I realize that the passion that drives me makes me seem many ways to readers. That, too, is a byproduct of influence living imposes on a human. It comes from the same place that causes people to tolerate a water shortage on a planet covered by water. Crazy!

We the people have the power to take us all to a better world. From there we can go where no one has even imagined so far. You are right about mankind becoming worthy of more power. Love will make us worthy.

I appreciate your work and you. I agree with most of what you offer. My life was saved when I was fifteen by a mocking bird. I was leaning over the edge already committed to ending my life when that bird began to make racket right next to me in a bush. I paused and began to see the beauty all around me. That gave me a reason to live. To see more of it became more important than ending my heart ache. The way I see it, Mother Nature saved my life. Five years later, Love transformed me forever. I can relate to your words. I have spent the past fifty-one years trying to 'save the world' and help people find the Love within them. It causes many wonderful things; like sight and logic. Reason is sorely lacking among mankind due to many things, but the lack of Love could be considered the primary missing ingredient.

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Aug 15, 2022·edited Aug 15, 2022

Well what a brilliant text: "An artist is one who does something better than it needs to be done for any foreseeable return to herself" That reminds me of the negative externalities: do somethiing what serves you or your company and shareholders -but leaves the damage for the earth or future generations. Against positive externalities; do something waht others can enjoy for free, a beautifull garden, a painting, a poem or a nice text about energy, Charles you are my hero!

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Very clever intro, my friend! I love the journey through our energy as adolescents.

And I agree that the 'path of least resistance' is to first give up the things that don't make us happy. 2-3 hrs of commuting to jobs that make us miserable. Foreign wars of aggression. They don't make me happy, how about you? Instead they keep putting the burden on us to make greater sacrifices, causing us to blame those we don't perceive as doing their share. Guilt=blame=fear.

But no one can give these things up on their own. When we're ready to break out of that cycle, a way will appear. Maybe it will be my economic plan, maybe something totally different. But it will be there.

In the meantime, in the process of questioning everything I thought I knew, I've been reading some interesting things about nuclear that uses up the radioactive waste of the previous model. I sure like the concept. I'll do an episode about it sometime soon.

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