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The Highest Form of Worship

Kim’s Dream  Orlan Ravanera

Protecting God’s Vanishing Creation

He was then lying on his deathbed; in fact, he would die five days later of bone cancer in a hospital in Cagayan de Oro.  But for Mr. Antonio “Nong Tonyo” Salcedo, a 65-year old  fisherfolk leader in Macajalar Bay, cancer has no match against his will to protect the remaining forest in the watersheds of Cagayan de Oro. While he was dying, it was the days of rage against illegal logging in the nineties when  some 50 ten-wheeler logging trucks with armed escorts  carrying illegally-cut logs were every night from midnight till dawn, passing the thoroughfares of Cagayan de Oro when the Cagay-anons were still sleeping. Knowing that all of these logging activities were illegal as these logs were cut in prohibited zones,  thousands of us from Task Force Macajalar took direct actions through human barricades, telling loggers that before they can pass, their trucks should first  pass over our lying bodies.  

Nong Tonyo called the doctor to release him from the hospital because he wanted to join us then. When told that he better rest because he would soon meet his Creator, he replied, telling the doctor that the more that he should join us because he knew that he was dying. He said, “KUNG PANGUTAN-ON AKO SA GINOO UNSA AKONG GIBUHAT ARON MAPANALIPDAN ANG KINAIYAHAN NGA IYANG GIBUHAT, AKONG IKASULTI KANIYA NGA LORD AKO GAYOD GINA SAKRIPISYO AKONG KINABUHI PINAAGI SA PAG BARIKADA SA MGA LOGGING TRUCKS ARON MAHUNONG ANG PAKAGUSBAT SA KALASANGAN UG MAPANALIPDAN GAYOD ANG MGA TANOM UG MANANAP.”  He added, ‘ANG PAGPANALIPOD SA NAGUSBAT NGA KINAIYAHAN MAO GAYUD ANG PIAKATAAS NGA MATANG SA PAG-PANGAMUYO UG PAG ALAGAD SA KAHITAS-AN!”

Well, our beloved environmental ally who had been always with us before in conducting nightly sea-borne patrol in Macajalar Bay and in several mass actions   was not able to join us because he died a few days later. .But I  am sure Nong Tonyo had leaped to the Great Beyond to the loving embrace of the Creator for his struggle in protecting God’s vanishing creation He was in the core group of Task Force Macajalar, an environmental coalition for peace, justice and sustainability which was in the forefront of protecting the Bay against the dark forces that were causing the demise of the bay, i.e., illegal fishing, industrial pollution, massive siltation due to logging and mining operations, among others. His words until now reverberate. Yes, we affirm, protecting God’s vanishing creation is the highest form of worship,  We printed those words in a bold strokes in streamers as we bravely faced the armed men of the loggers  who were threatening us then. In fact, a hand-grenade (M2K2) was thrown to us barricaders one evening that fortunately and miraculously, by Divine intervention, did not explode. That reinforced our firm belief that, “If God is with you, who can go against you.:  Yes, all kinds of harassment had been done by those who could not moderate their greed but we were not cowed. When one faced death mustering all the courage to nurture and to heal the blighted land back to life, all the biblical learnings were proven to be right. Indeed, “If you have faith even as a small as a mustard seed and you tell the mountain to move from here to there, it will move.” Sometime in 1999, no less than then President Joseph Estrada came and dialogued with us. After showing to him concrete proof that logging is illegal, he ordered then DENR Secretary Ceriles to stop logging.  The coming of the “man of the masses” was in itself astonishing.  Barricading logging trucks put us in  that transcendental dimension where the Universal Intelligence governs and intervenes.

Yes, we were called crazy then NGANO KUNO KAMI GAHIGDA KALSADA ATBANG SA SEARSOLIN FOR 10 YEARS.  It was our firm belief then to protect nature with a firm belief that all beings, be human and non-human, have integrity, intelligence and identity, not subject to exploitation and massacre. Indeed, we are all members of one earth’s family, interconnected through the planet’s fragile web of life.  No one seems to understand us then especially when we were predicting of ecological calamities that must be preempted through people’s direct actions, thus, we were called, “prophet of doom.”  But Typhoon Sendong happened and indeed, we were just foretelling what the Universal Intelligence has to say as God is Love and  does not want the destruction and death of His creation especially of the innocent children many of whom lost their lives when some 3,000 were killed due to the onslaught of Sendong.   

Today, that nurturing spirit to protect God’s vanishing creation looms amidst the fury of nature.  Gaia (Mother Earth) is indeed in severe pain and Her sons and daughters must now take the cudgel of healing Her wounds. Our mega-diversity is now becoming extinct, the flora and fauna  that have undergone the process of creation for millions, if not billions, of years are now being erased from the face of the earth because of the contemporaneous  mindset  of the Homo Sapiens, the “new comer” species created only some 700 million years ago, that is dominating and exploiting. It is time to debunk that mindset and be replaced by new consciousness  which is one of inter-connectedness and oneness with all of God’s creation.  Human centeredness controlled by The EGO (also known as the Devil) has brought about the massive exploitation of the earth’s billions  of species being sacrificed to satisfy the human’s consumerist and materialist pursuit, now suffering in collective insanity buried in the  whims and capriciousness of the mundane. 

The new consciousness now is one that recognizes the right to life of other life forms, be plants or animals. We must now take heed of the warning that if man has to be saved from doom, development must be in harmony with nature and not at its own expense. But corporate globalization has no respect at all for nature. Humans cut trees in the name of development and in doing so, have so much  money while rendering millions of  species that live in the forest ecosystem,  homeless. Humans extract resources from the bosom of the earth through massive mining  and in doing so, impaired the balance of nature.  Humans rake our seas of fish and even turn the bays as waste pits;  convert mangroves into  subdivisions and commercial  centers and lost the “nurseries” of  fish,  the reason why,  of the 13 major bays in our country, 10 are already biologically dead at the expense of the coastal communities now living in extreme poverty.  Humans promote life-destroying lifestyle or consumption and production patterns as what is being done in Mindanao where the choicest of lands have been transformed into massive plantations using heavily toxic chemicals.   Humans bombarded the ozone layer with greenhouse gases (GHG) resulting to climate change, global warming and the rising of the oceans. 

 Indeed, either we end up life on earth through climate change or through a nuclear war and the Ukraine war may be the catalyst as our world leaders are so controlled by the EGO, even manufacturing nuclear armaments that can kill humanity forty times over. Despite these glaring painful and troubling realities, humanity seems not to worry at all as it is buried by the mainstream media and religious fundamentalism in the fallacies of life, so enamored in the non-stop pursuit of wealth, fame and power and buried in the whims and capriciousness of the mundane. Please be aware that HUMAN BEING is not just human (body); we are also BEING (spirit) connected to the UNSEEN FORMLESS BEING called God. Feel that and you will be enlightened on the inter-connectedness and oneness with all life which is TRUE LOVE.  Immerse yourself in the beauty and abundance of nature in consonance with the biblical pronouncement to “feel the abundance of life.” Nong Tonyo had felt that while he was dying.  But death is just an illusion as it is just the physical. As BEING, death does not mean end to life but only end of the form, the physical aspect, that becomes a breakthrough toward transformation.  The BEING continues to live as IT IS ETERNAL CONSCIOUSNESS. When that consciousness looms in you now, you will be in that transcendental dimension where the Universal Intelligence governs, debunking the Ego (Satan).. Thus, know that you are consciousness/awareness and not just form. You are stillness and the vast spaciousness, Can you not feel that? When you are in that dimension, the Ego (the devil) will vanish. That is genuine FREEDOM! That means defeating the Ego (the devil) that is now  winning in ending life on earth.

All told, the human EGO (SATAN) has already wrecked so much havoc to Mother Earth that is now in the precipice of its 6th extinction as the global system will collapse in less than one hundred years.  According to the thousands of concerned scientists world-wide, the earth now is just “one minute before midnight.” Indeed, the unimaginable is becoming imaginable, the end of life on earth.  Thus, to reverse the unsustainable pattern of development, let us take heed of the words of Nong Tonyo: ‘PROTECTING GOD’S VANISHING CREATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF WORSHIP.” 

 Wake-up victims of the fallacies of life and religions. Dive deeper into yourself and know who truly you are, COUNSCIOUSNESS, then connect with that Ocean of Consciousness called God. Such is the essence of life that Satan (the Ego)  has  been keeping from us, deceiving us  through pursuit of wealth, fame and power. Indeed, King Solomon was correct when he   pronounced in Ecclesiastes, “Wealth, fame and power are meaningless, utterly meaningless.  What is important is how we have served the least of our brethren. “  All for God’s greater glory.

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