From WWII to Nuclearism
The Northern Hemispheric
nations on Earth were busy creating mega-conflicts in
the first part of the 20th Century. They manifested outrageously
as World War I and World War II (WWII). As human technology
rapidly advanced in the industrial age, global spiritual
maturity was NOT advancing comensurately, so the tools
of mass destruction and the psychic devastation they created
were outpacing the average industrialized peoples' ways
of responsibly handling these ailments. In other words,
as Albert Einstein said, "It has become appallingly
obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
During WWII the most technologically advanced countries
raced to create the most violent, horrific and dangerous
weapons conceivable. The atom bomb (a.k.a. nuclear bomb)
was the result, and the currency of power which it represents
continues 70 years later. The U.S. created three such
bombs by July
16th 1945, and used all three against human populations--sparsely
in New Mexico and more viciously and intenesly in Japan.
Thus, the nuclear age began, and the ideology soon developed
to help U.S. Americans and others wrap their minds around
the alleged need for nuclear weapons development to continue.
This ideology (some say it's a religion) is called nuclearism,
and it enables average people to not become engaged or
outraged over the gross use of resources in homage to
the nuclear industry.
From LDE to NDE
The Lenten Desert Experience
(LDE) began in the early spring of 1982 to honor St. Francis
of Asissi's love of nature, peacefulness, and opposition
to governmental violence. The primarily Christian prayer-activists
came to the Nevada National
Security Site daily for six weeks between Ash Wednesday
and Good Friday, just prior to Easter 1982. This was an
obvious, creative, and bold peaceful witness against nuclear
weapons testing in Newe
Sogobia. Soon these experiences in the Nevada desert
were drawing more participants, of a greater variety in
faith traditions and spiritual paths. The folks who organized
the first LDE continued to help facilitate other events
in the region near Las Vegas, NV as part of a larger movement.
The people coming annually for LDE formally organized
themselves into a group known as Nevada Desert Experience
(NDE) and this group remains steadily organizing nuclear
abolition events to carry on the peaceful witness against
nuclear destruction. Participants joining the NDE and
other abolitionist events care sincerely about protecting
the air, water, soil and earthlings, and against the spiritual
sickness of mega-violence in the history of the world.
In 1991 Dom Helder Camara commented
in a way that challenges North Americans to use our spiritual
power to put an end to the Department of Energy's destructivity:
"This is the scene of the greatest violence on
Earth. It should be the place of the greatest greatest
acts of nonviolence on the Earth."
The movement for nuclear abolition continues, and NDE
continues to organize faith-based events helping people
experience the beauty of the Nevada desert, while witnessing
against the insanity of destroying this natural beauty
and other realms of creation globally. One way to imagine
a peaceful end to the troubles in Nevada and elsewhere
regarding radioactive hazards and the accompanying spiritual
ailments is to consider the LONG-TERM needs beyond the
Beyond NDE: A
"Guardianship Project" For Nevada?
Joanna Macy gave this term to us to signify the long-term
(thousands of years) stewardship needed at radioactive
sites. Because humans enhanced the toxicity of nature,
humans need to protect nature from the dangers created
forever. Therefore, our planet may need the extended commitment
of people to create systems of protection that last beyond
governments, monetary systems, and current technologies.
We need people to continue their practices of following
the many spiritually healthy journeys while engaging in
the interplaying reality of environmental stewardship
and technology. This level of guardianship is a way for
people to take personal responsibility for the poison
fire that our generation has created.