a place for us

wednesday sermon march 27 2013

                                             a place for us

i am polymath factotum, high priestess of analogue.

a polymath is a person of encyclopedic learning, one who knows.  a factotum is a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities or the second meaning of a general servant, one who performs and executes tasks.  everyone is a polymath and everyone is a factotum, we all know many things and are experts in our fields and everyone is a general servant to their boss and dependents.  why not strive to know more? why not serve a community and thereby the world as a whole with a whole and happy heart, instead of slaving for someone else’s gain?

open yourself up to risk and perform the work the universe wants you to and you will be provided for.  you can begin with tiny things that will grow into life changing habits.  enjoy a piece of creativity every day.  like the apple it will help keep doctors away.  for five minutes each day, appreciate something cultural.  stretch and grow your brain connections. if you are unfamiliar with art history, look at some of the masters.  like our cultural myths the images that remain important to us as a mass have power and resonance.  if you are unfamiliar with other cultures’ art, spend some time looking at that.  ideas are entities. they can effect the physical world.  beyond manifestations like manufactured objects, there can be physiological responses to ideas, identifiable, measurable physical changes.

every person has a skill, a talent a desire to do, to make within them, that often goes unrecognised.  any transition that our species is going to make in the future of the planet is going to be made in communities, with the support of many skills and many ideas.  and it will involve being connected to the earth again.  it will involve being connected to each other.  why are our lives not filled with cultural appreciation?  where is the original art in the hallways of our buildings?  we should not fear art but embrace it.  where are the communal growing areas in our urban spaces?  not one or two per neighborhood, but every yard growing soil replenishing perennials and seasonal annuals to feed each household?

a whole new economy would develop within urban centres if they attempted to exist in a natural symbiotic manner.  if restaurants provided their own eggs and meat birds and other smaller animals like goats, pigs and sheep were allowed to be kept in an urban yardspace obviously waste removal would become very important, but all the waste is fertilizer for other farming operations which would also be much more numerous.  spices, potherbs and salad greens could all be provided on green rooves.  workshares could be developed between people who enjoyed outdoor labour and those who preferred more traditional urban pursuits.  a little imagination and ingenuity could shift a disruptive system into a glorious one.  overlaying new technologies and ideas over the old infrastructure will be problematic, but as Joel Salatin says, we must toddle before we can walk.  we have no memory of living in an urban space that also helps the environment, but that does not mean that it is unachievable.

i have named myself polymath factotum not to set myself apart, but to let everyone know that they are knowers and doers too.  what do you want to know?  i want to know the truth.  what do you want to do?  i want to change the world.  life is ideas and matter.  you must interact with both.  this is the truth.  how will you perform in the world, what amazing ideas will you execute through the knowledge that you synthesize through your curiosity?  i have named myself high priestess of analogue, because i can’t give up getting my hands down in the dirt, and doing and making out of messy physical matter.  this is not the only paradigm, be a technowizard if that is what speaks to you. ideas and matter, ideas that matter.

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