The Limits of a Religious Materialism

I walk into an empty room and see a billion sacred things. Another person meets me and there’s a billion upon a billion more. Each thing, each Being no matter how tiny, a billion upon a billion points of sacredness. Ecosystems of rooms, holy. Human beings, holy down to the mitochondria, endogenous viruses, and monerans of which only a small faction have been classified. Ecosystems within layers of paint, holy. In the sublayer of the carpet, holy. Relationships between, holy. Predator and prey, holy. Parasite and host, holy. Discourse from plasmids and retroviruses all the way up to words and rhetoric, holy.

That’s the shallow holy. That’s the superficial, the minimal, the glance into the bedroom filled with holy Matter and holy Beings. That’s not taking the time to listen and attend over holy cycles ranging from seconds to years. To look like an idiot, slack-jawed staring as long as you dare listening and watching holy. To realize as you put the cup to your lips that you sip from the bones of holy on the flesh of the holy and to loose your appetite because those relationships demand conscious consideration about what you’re about to do.

Those are the limits I acknowledge, to not only step over the Spider or gently carry the Wasp out the door, but to change diet, change career, change methods of transportation, change housing. Because other things pay that price.

The difference between us is not that I deny your gods, but that you deny mine, and cry “Disenchantment” because you can’t see dancing and singing Matter. But what’s seen can’t be unseen. I’m getting middle-aged and won’t go back to taking it for granted.


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