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Reverend Billy’s Revelations

Issue 278

If you’re stressed out about the state of the world, our advice columnist says, turn to the Earth for guidance.

Reverend Billy Talen Mar 21, 2023

Day after day goes by.  The disasters are coming faster and bigger. But we aren’t changing, not enough. When do we wake up in the morning and know that this is a deadly emergency?  When do we realize that business as usual is something we have to escape from?

Sincerely scared,
New Paltz, N.Y.

Dear Rachelle,

Yes, you’re right. We are drifting in a hypnosis.  We are bowed over corporate squares of light in the palm of our hand. Nature seems far away and our response seems far away.  

In a common-sense conversation someone would say, “This can’t go on.”  And then you would help each other do the hard thing: break our habits and commit to the radical act? … Not necessarily to shake our fists, stop cars and shout in bullhorns … Let’s look for a revolution that comes from a larger number of ordinary people sharing “Common Sense”.  

Let’s capitalize the two words Common sense. Let’s slow down and break it down. Common Sense is when you don’t need to be dramatic, because you quietly understand what’s going on, sharing a feeling with the person you are talking to and listening to. 

You see, Rachelle, I think that we are getting to that point. Everyone has got this feeling under the surface. We know what’s going on. But too many of us have given over our Common Sense to corporate sense. 

We are so dominated by corporations, with the cycle of debt and the distraction of marketing, the little screen and the automobile… Long hours of our lives are corporatized. We go back to the little screen and stare at it out of exhaustion. We share our fear of what’s happening with others less and less. We are not tending our Common Sense, which is a living thing like a garden and must be watered and cultivated.

Debra White Plume, a Lakota teacher, once said, “The Earth will have fire and flood, and the window will be open for humans to join in the work. But then after some time the Earth will close the window and the people who have not joined her will disappear.”

I’m not showing you these words to scare you. I want to point out the invitation. We call the wind and the fires “disasters.” We call all the disasters together “The Sixth Extinction.” But these misnomers come from our fear. Listen to the invitation, and let your Common Sense take you to the Earth. She’ll tell you what to do.

The Earth is in charge and the Earth isn’t just a disaster-maker. The Earth invented humans in the first place for a reason, and maybe the Earth is bringing us back to forgotten tasks in this life.  

We need to give up and give over. This will occur to us in a great dynamic transformation. We suddenly, by the millions, will not wait for our town to burn down, or wait for the 200 mph winds… We will have common cause with the Earth.

Rachelle, the Earth is alive and the Earth is communicating with us and we will put down our devices and escape the advertisements. And the Earth will begin to heal because its main predator is healing, too. 

We are evolving. The Earth wants us to. This change takes place outside the media, outside the COP conferences and the political promises. We make Common Sense with the Earth, letting our senses come alive with this miraculous creation.  

Earthalujah!  Rachelle!  Earthalujah!

Reverend Billy Talen is the pastor of the Church of Stop Shopping. Have a question for the Reverend? Email and unburden your soul.

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