There was a man who lived on a ship. The vessel was large and the vessel was fine. The man had always lived on the ship. And many others also lived on the vessel. This ship had no home port, it had no crew, for no crew were needed. And this man had been born on the ship, had been raised on the ship, had grown up on the ship, had married on the ship, had children on the ship, and had never set foot on land.
The ship was all and all were the ship.
And, once upon a time (no one knew when) the readings and data showed a small malfunction. And some on the ship were alarmed, and others were not. For there had never been a malfunction. The ship was a glorious self-sustaining design that meant they would all sail for ever with ne’er a thought of danger.
And, so, many could not comprehend the meaning of “fault”. And yet the data would not be hidden. The data would not be silenced. And there were some who had studied the engine. Who had studied the design of the vessel. “The ship is dying” they cried. But none heard. “You need to listen”, they cried again, “Our home is in great danger.” Yet those who heard scoffed. “How can this be?” they said, “See our course – it is as it always has been. Cease your noise for you scare us.”
But they would not be silent. So a third time they cried out “We have data, we have evidence, and we must act now or the consequences will be catastrophic.”
And some heard, and some listened, and then went to pray. Others heard and did not listen, and they carried on as always. And yet others heard and listened and became agitated. But their lives were busy and they had other worries to worry over. And a few heard and listened and spoke. “You are right, the data shows a malfunction. Let us join together and speak as one voice.”
But those who studied the engine became angry. “How can you now claim you agree with us? You have taught of an Engineer even you cannot see. We have proved to you time after time there is only this ship – yet you insist there is more.” And the few agreed. “We do know of an Engineer – yet we all inhabit this vessel – this vessel is all we have. We should speak as one voice so that all know we can only fix this malfunction if all of us join together.”
Yet a few who studied spat their disgust. “You do not believe what we believe, and we will never believe what you believe.” And a few called back at the few, “You can never prove our belief is wrong because you can only measure what is in this ship and nothing beyond.” And both of the few turned their backs and made much noise. But they were few and their noises was just noise. And the ship sailed on becoming sicker and sicker.
And this man saw it was not good. For many on the ship had different skills. And each skill was necessary to save the ship. The man saw those who prayed or did not … those who worshiped either The Engineer or The Data … those who sang and those who thought singing was of The Darkness. Yet there were many skills. That was a fact.
And the man said to one, and then another, “What we each believe and live by is unimportant. We have skills that can save this ship. We can join together in healing – for this ship is our home – and each of us live here – and that is all that matters.”
The evidence I have seen and heard convinces me that “being right” changes as we each change. The evidence of science and life say the same thing: we live in a bubble of belief and seek those whose bubbles will not puncture our own. And whatever my “skill”, whatever my “evidence”, whatever my “qualification”, we all protect our bubble so it will not puncture.
So we keep God in a box to keep Him safe (from changing us). So we keep our science intact (from changing us). And we each call our bubble our truth. Others call it a comfort zone … a bunch of beliefs … a bunch of bullshit … Yet it is how we all live – we always have.
Seems to me that the easy bit is “being right”. The tricky bit is “doing right”.
Science told me a long time ago that if my bubble is not growing, it is NOT staying the same – it is shrinking. So I can shrink my bubble ever smaller … I can demand that you live in my bubble and obey my rules … or I can learn to acknowledge my own bubble … or something I have learned that is now my truth:
I can breathe more easily outside of my bubble.
I call that love and freedom (and have no problem with what you call it).
So can we please get on with healing each other and this planet … ?