Extremism & Climate Change
One gallon of petroleum on combustion releases sufficient energy to move over 100 metric tons of mass, the distance of a kilometer! Such is the tremendous amount of energy released when fossil fuels are burnt. The US itself consumes over 100 billion gallons of gasoline a year, not to mention coal, natural gas or other such fuels. By the law of conservation of energy, this massive output is never lost, and is largely converted to heat. Even the energy of mechanical motion is finally dissipated as heat into the atmosphere. While most of this heat energy is radiated out into space, an increasing portion remains within the confines of the earth due to the effect of greenhouse gases associated with these fuels. The end result cannot but contribute to a gradual warming of the planet.
Now weather on the planet is driven by uneven distribution of heat, resulting in convection currents in the air and in the oceans which bring cold, warmth, rain, snow, drought and so on to different geographies. Adding more heat energy into this system is like increasing the voltage of the global weather ‘battery’. The end result is an acceleration of weather phenomena, or extreme weather.
In the chapter Desert of the book The God Principle, we introduced the Principle of Reflection. This principle essentially states that all physical phenomena have analogues or equivalents in the realm of mind, emotions and spirit. For example, in the chapter Storm, we discussed how various weather phenomena correspond to emotional and mental states within human beings. We also equated fossil fuels with what may be called basic instincts, or the baser natures of man, which when indulged in results in powerful compulsions and actions.
The onset of global warming and extreme weather has paralleled the intensification of religious, political and other forms of extremism across the world on an unprecedented scale. This is another instance of the Principle of Reflection at work. Extremism panders to the baser natures of man, and relies heavily on those drives for sustenance, much as extreme weather is driven by large scale burning of fossil fuels.
Extremism relies largely on what may be called the reptilian and limbic portions of the brain, a remnant of the evolution of species, and characterized by the words survival, fear, and aggression. It is possible to consider any event or situation from the view point of this primitive brain function, for it played a significant role in the evolutionary survival and procreation of species. The emotions and viewpoints it engenders are very much defensible and make perfect sense at its own level. But the human brain (and the soul) has also evolved far beyond these baser instincts, to develop or express faith, hope, love and other higher emotions. It is a question of which takes precedence in a given individual in a given situation.
Man on earth has ample latitude and free will to choose and develop on his own path. Whichever way he chooses to develop, it is important that man sees himself and what he has made of his own nature. One of the important functions of reality is to manifest, accelerate, and magnify those tendencies, so that man may come face to face with an amplified picture or reflection of his own reality. This is so that he may now ponder that reality and choose whether to continue on that path or to change course.
This is also why religious scriptures are engineered to accelerate both baser and higher emotions. Their function is to make manifest what is hidden in man, so that he may hopefully choose the higher path shown therein, rather than a lower one. Indeed, most energy input to the earth, including from higher levels, are meant to accelerate WHAT IS ALREADY THERE, so that man may discover himself and choose his path. Weather can turn into extreme weather, and human behavior into radicalism. Progression in such direction is usually a slow one, allowing each human being to discover his or her own tipping point.
Without such discovery of himself, man will never truly evolve. So it is that the principle of reflection exists and the natural world that surrounds man conforms, in time, to his inner reality.