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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

In Defense of Technology and Nature

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E20100525134926

It's a false choice to be either technological or natural. Our technology is our nature.

One idea that I run into again and again among Pagans is that Humans are somehow corrupt, an Unnatural and Unclean Thing that must be walled away from True Nature for the Greater Good.

So apparently Natural Change™ is good and man-made change is Icky-Icky-Poo-Poo.

I don't know any organism that doesn't change it's environment. My particular belief system embraces a variant of the Gaia principle that the planet's biosphere itself is a living organism. There isn't an Optimal State to be carefully preserved. There's only an ever changing set of dynamic tensions. Make one small alteration and the rest of the planet adapts.

One of the things that amazed me as a kid was seeing birds nesting in oil derricks. Birds were supposed to nest in trees, but there they were. Of course as I grew older and visited more and more cities, I found out that many bird species nested wherever they could. Just because they weren't immediately obvious didn't mean that birds weren't there.

But the real kicker was the first time I ever saw a bat house That was something absolutely amazing and it immediately clicked. I mean, I''d seen birdhouses. I'd seen beehives. I'd seen fish ponds. Why not bat houses?

As an adult I found out that sometimes bridges are built or rebuilt to provide a bat habitat. Yeah, bat colonies in natural caverns are pretty amazing, but bats care only about the conditions, not if the space is purely natural.

Nature adapts.

When we are at our best, humans adapt too.

Humans are a part of nature, not somehow separate. And certainly not a curse imposed on the planet.

I'll admit that I am a snob about architecture. Most American buildings aren't designed to work with natural conditions. No, buildings are supposed to change nature and make it submit.

Sometimes the alternative is worse. Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for imposing his idea of space and life on his clients. When it worked it could be great. But move one chair closer to the fire or add a bookshelf and the arguments started.

I'd love to see the Golden Mean incorporated into more architecture. I'd love to see buildings designed to flow with natural features like solar exposure and prevailing winds rather than where the road is. I'd like to see greenspaces on roofs.

I do not believe that being Environmentally Aware means no impact on the milieu. I think it means working with, and yes, sometimes that means major changes. Perhaps it's another example of mastery versus expertise.

Bear with me just for just a bit.

Imagine a "Pagan retreat." Carefully tended grounds using mostly native species allowed to grow mostly their own way. Perhaps there is a "stone circle." But what if it's made in a Celtic influenced Art Deco style? Perhaps instead of carved stone, it uses cast concrete. Maybe an obelisk is made by stacking precast sections.

Would that be less sacred?

Remember, it's not if the technology is period or not. It's the skill and effort that is necessary to create and maintain it.

I'm very much a man of my age. The wildman thing is nice to do every once in a while, but I want my computers. I want my comfy chair. I want my refrigerator. I want my hot showers. And I want clean spaces for sex.

If we're really Children of Nature, we should merge our technology with the Earth.

That doesn't mean that some people don't have terrible taste. Save me from the McMansions.

It may take us years to straighten things out. But it will take inspiration. And that is where modern Pagans can really make a difference. Not an "all or nothing" solution, but ways to make our tendencies and our technology to work with the planet for a better place.

Posted: Tue - May 25, 2010 at 01:49 PM

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Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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