Sunday, September 5, 2010

Religion as Ethical Alchemy

I say religion isn't
about believing things.
It's ethical alchemy.
It's about behaving in a
way that changes us,
that gives us intimations
of holiness and sacredness.

~Karen Armstrong

Of Note: Ever heard of Karen Armstrong? It's not a household name unless the subject of religious history is the topic. However, Armstrong's name should be. Why? This former nun was instrumental in creating a document that if signed and implemented by millions could change the world. After a stellar career as an author and historian, she won a coveted TED prize in 2008 and with her prize money made a wish: to create, launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion. Last November, the charter was given to the world as an act of service. It is currently available in 30 languages and is being translated into as many as possible. The creation of this document was an open and collaborative effort and used a web-based decision-making process that included thousands of people from over 100 countries. After a six-week submission period, 150,000 people commented, and the final document was created by the Council of Consciousness based on these contributions. The Charter for Compassion begins with the words: "The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religions, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves . . . " To read the full text visit and sign it online if the urge strikes.

Today's Weather Report: Perfect weather on a perfect day. I mowed and mowed some more but this will most likely be the final cutting. Everyone has commented how much the grass proliferated this summer because of all the rain. Speaking of rain, it appears from the clouds rolling in that more rain is in the forecast. Last night I brought in all my outdoor houseplants because it was supposed to get down to 36 degrees. Must be that time of year! On a more global note: thankfully, Hurricane Earl swept by the east coast of the USA without too much damage. The same cannot be said of the earthquake that struck New Zealand's South Island Friday. The news reported this evening that the quake opened a new fault line. On top of the volcano in Indonesia that unexpectedly blew last week, much has been happening with the physical Earth recently.