Monday, December 25, 2006

If Only Trees Could Fly

According to a recent AP-AOL news poll, over 80% of Americans believe in angels and I don't mean the kind who play pro baseball in Southern California! Not surprisingly, nearly 97% of self-defined white evangelical Christians believe that angels are for real. Not that many have ever seen one, mind you!

What is it about our species that causes so many to believe in what they can't see, explain or possibly know, yet they don't seem to believe in so many things that stare them in the face every day? Yes, most people believe in winged cherubs, but try to convince them that trees or butterflies are sentient beings and all they do is shake their heads and run away from you.

We can see this disconnect in the way our overall society operates.

Take a tree. Far too many folks don't see a living being; they see profit or utility. Some have no qualms whatsoever about mowing down every tree in sight, if it means that someone will hand them buckets of greenbacks.

Do you think such people would so readily strike down a tree if they thought its spirit might hang around? The ghost of trees of chopped down past?

I could make this same kind of argument for a multitude of beings -- rocks, streams, the sun, our air. These are entities we see or interact with daily. In fact, all of these entities sustain us. Without them, there would not be life -- at least as we know it.

Despite this tangible reality, people believe in winged-spirits flitting around the cosmos trying to ensure we stay out of harm's way.

If only trees could fly...

1 comment:

  1. I think it's pretty natural for humans to be human-centered. Actually, most of them are pretty self-centered.... most likely they believe in "their" angels, passed-away loved ones, rather than anyone else's angels.

    But then, not all of us can be lucky enough to see and interact with the spirit of a hummingbird, as I have, or with the trees and rocks. That's why there are so few Taoists, I think. ;^)

    People tend to believe what they are told to believe when they are brought up. I've never imposed religion on my own kids, and their thought patterns are very different.

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