In the Spirit of the Earth: Rethinking History and Time

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And the feeling he experiences in that moment is described as "an unblinding" — the scales falling from his eyes, the urgency of what they're talking about clear. The Overstory is expansive where First Reformed is intentionally claustrophobic, sprawling from the near extinction of the American chestnut tree, due to imported blight at the turn of the 20th century, through to the creation of an MMORPG by an Indian American computer prodigy.

The characters are all in some way outcasts and oddballs; one briefly dies after an accidental electrocution and comes back to life a mystic who sees visions and hears messages. And you begin to get the sense that it takes being on the outside of mainstream society to be able to see humanity as part of a larger ecosystem, and to eventually feel compelled to make drastic, frustrated war on its industrial trappings.

He starts disappearing down internet rabbit holes of panicked reporting on a laptop at night, indulging in the very contemporary form of self-flagellation that is mainlining bad news.

In the Spirit of the Earth Rethinking History and Time

He argues with Joel Jeffers Cedric Kyles , the pastor of the megachurch that owns and operates his smaller church, over their reliance on the donations of a local industrialist, and about whether caring for the earth is a Christian responsibility. Joel, who describes himself as, unlike Ernst, living "in the real world," counters by asking how they can know the will of God: "And what if this is His plan? In First Reformed , the urge toward ecoterrorism is not born out of an ecstatic connection to nature, but out of suicidal anguish — as Ernst tells Michael, "If humankind can't overcome its immediate interest enough to ensure its own survival, then you're right, the only rational response is despair.

Ernst is an isolated, moody alcoholic who feels responsible for the death of his son in Iraq, and who's been avoiding dealing with increasingly serious health issues. His is a long spiral downward, and there's nothing but horror in the moment when we understand the violence he's considering inflicting on a gathering of people. But there's no need to make heroes out of ecoterrorists, on screen or on the page, in order to feel a twinge of empathy for their desire to do something that might change our seemingly inalterable course toward apparent apocalypse.

It's hard to imagine these works reverberating the way they do now even a few years back. They're both finely made, Schader's film deeply austere where Powers' novel is vibrantly mournful, but they're also both dependent on their audience relating, on some level, to the feelings of impending doom that drive their characters. Both feel like they were born from a recent shift , a gradual yielding amongst even some of the most reluctant to acknowledge that the environment is changing even if some holdouts still question whether humans are the ones responsible.

It's interesting to look back at Kelly Reichardt's movie Night Moves in comparison, and to see the way its trio of would-be ecoterrorists played by Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard are portrayed. The tense idealism that unites them in their desire to bomb a damn evaporates like mist in the sunlight when things go wrong. In Reichardt's movie, radicalism is the dream the characters awake from, whereas in The Overstory , it's the other way around.

It's interesting too to think of the young fandom that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, has accrued, as profiled in New York magazine back in December. They're kids who found themselves nodding along to his manifesto about how we need "a revolution against the industrial system," creating "anti-civ" reading lists, and participating in open-air survivalist workshops in preparation for the end of civilization. The subjects of the article prefer the term "ecoextremism" and act cagey about their commitment to violence, but they do feel like real-world relations to all these fictional characters.

The same feelings of quiet, constant panic in the face of an inevitable future that come through in this fiction are also bubbling up in our lives , and in these subcultures whose affiliations and actions may be beyond the pale, but whose desperation feels very familiar.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

Contact Alison Willmore at alison. Got a confidential tip? Submit it here. Calum Heath for BuzzFeed News.

Some Very Compelling Evidence the Tower of Babel Was Real

They are people grappling with the conviction that they are standing in the middle of a room, screaming about how the building is on fire, while everyone else goes about their business. To prioritize the planet over fellow humans requires a profound personal destabilization. BuzzFeed News. View Comments. Quick question, if you put Christianity life aside, what do you have left? Common sense is telling me right now that all the times I chose to put Christianity aside, my thoughts, actions and everything else was bound to dead works.

Just dead. Do you see where this is going? And wait a minute! Christianity is the only dress we never take off.

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Once worn, it is forever attached to your body. The temptation to do something uncalled for will come alright. Keep Christianity onside always. Because it wont leave you helpless when it acknowledges the obstacle before you. It will provide you with the strength and wisdom to come out victorious. I believe you know what that means. Sometimes, I wonder if people really pay attention to what the preacher man is saying or not. There you go. Your spoken word carries power. Just be yourself.

He leads.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods | Sustainability Classroom Resources at Resources for Rethinking

He guides. If he did possess us in the process of our singing or praying or preaching, then our case would have been valid.


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Do you think we would be listening to any sermon from the pulpit if the intercessor or the chorister decided not to worry about clocks because the Holy Spirit took over? Wherever God is, there must be peace and order. We have to understand the times we live in and discipline ourselves accordingly so the church of God can grow. As if we have the ability to enter in and out of the spirit whenever we feel like doing so.

Powerful men and women of the Most High! Do you remember the story about the girl in the Bible who kept telling everyone that Paul and his cohorts were people of God who had come to declare the way of the Lord? It will help a lot. But all jokes aside, have you ever asked yourself the kind of thought you entertain in the minds of non-Christians anytime we crack this kind of jokes? You might want to note that down. We are like the practical version of the Bible on Earth so we have to be very careful. Go ahead. Just feel free and say it. My sentiments exactly.

No need to misuse the sacred prayer language of the Holy Spirit. So here I am, my bent knees pressed to the cold wet ground; The skin of my face glistening with the tears of unending despair and hopelessness. Where is He who laid the foundations of the earth? Where is He whose breath gives ice and freezes the broad waters? Has Heaven shut its eyes and ears to my pain? Has the Immortal King perhaps fallen into a deep sleep? Is anybody even listening?

Does anybody even hear me? Oh my! I feel my soul no more. Can I even offer worship?

Pretense it may be, for I will go through the motion; What do I do now? What do I do? Oh no! Lord, please quiet the noise [I pause for a few moment. I feel total silence within now. Be still. Be still and know that I am. I AM He who commands the morning to appear and cause the dawn to rise in the East I AM He who gives strength to the horse and adorns his neck with a shimmering mane Look at the birds of the air; Not tied down to a job description, yet I feed them Forgotten so soon?

You are on Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem You are in the presence of thousands and thousands of angels, Ready to be dispatched on your behalf. How close you are to me! Now spread your case before Me and let Me handle the rest. Lies and a change of mind?