My email pen pal wrote me this morning. A friend of hers had sent a video that former president Donald J. had put out full of propaganda, misogynist messages (lies, surprise, surprise), and ended equating himself with God. I haven’t seen it. She offered to send it to me, but truthfully I cannot stomach any more of that individual’s lies, innuendos or falsehoods. Apparently the video is preying upon the fear of Communism that has haunted America since the McCarthy years. The purpose of my blog today is to point out the need for discernment.

We are living in extraordinary times. Never before has the entire Earth been put on hold due to a pandemic. Seldom have people been so polarized. Fear is a primary force, whether it keeps people home or sends them into defiant rebellion of the “hoax.” Numerous beliefs circulate about the virus, about political parties, people take refuge in strong religious feelings and turn that into hatred and suspicion of other religious groups, racism is coming into the open, and with uncertain feelings abounding, still other people are expressing themselves violently with school, church and synagogue shootings. The evils confronting us today stem from the beliefs people hold and that drive their actions. The only cure, as far as I can tell, is for individuals willing to question their own beliefs and root out the conditioning of hatred.

It is at the level of the Subconscious that beliefs influence what people do. To varying degrees we are conditioned by the lessons we learned from our families, schools, churches and temples, country of origin, and those things that we learned from the needs for survival. This is true for everyone, and as far as I can tell, the only antidote is a self-examined life. What worked for me as a child does not work for me as an adult. I make the effort to go within and ask those questions, which may be uncomfortable, but which will be my saving grace, as I seek to live in accord with my conscience.

People have a whole lot of shit to sort out in order for the human species as a whole to get along and learn to revere this planet we ALL call Home. Do we really need such a wasteful, materialistic culture as Americans have come to expect as the norm? Probably not. Do persons of extreme religious beliefs need to breed so many kids? Probably not. Do we really need to go to war when some asshat in power decides that he needs more power, or more land, or more of something? Probably not. Do we need more guns? Probably not.

What we do need is to balance the human population so that we maintain a sustainable Earth. We all need good, clean water. We all need shelter and food. I’d like to think we all need love and affection, although I must be honest in admitting that some people are driven by other values than I am. I believe we all need meaningful work that helps us feel good about ourselves and contributes to the contentment of humanity as a whole, with neighbors helping neighbors no matter what our religion or the color of our skin. If we were capable of policing ourselves we wouldn’t need to worry so much about black lives, blue lives, yellow lives, red lives, white lives – because all lives matter and we are capable of respecting each other and the laws necessary for civilization.

So here’s what I propose: Let’s create an Earth Church, an idea proposed by my friend Brigid Hopkins. Let’s meet in Nature, and hold silence out of respect for the life force(s) surrounding us, and just listen. Listen to the silence. Out of that silent listening will come answers that we need for our own lives. Such peaceful activity that we bring to our own lives may spill over and envelop all life. And thus like concentric ripples in a pond from a single thrown stone, the examples we carry forward can reach all peoples.

Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

One thought on “Discernment

  1. Absolutely need to do all we can to push the Earth in a new direction, much like how tugs guide a ship. I just finished one of the books of the Joseph Communications and it says how glorious life was in Atlantis when all was balanced. It’s been a long history of darkness for Earth since then.


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