The Invisible Commons

by Dale Olen
Unfortunately, we have been blind to the elephant in our midst (and I don't mean Republicans). The blind spot in our societal space is the Commons. Our society, like most modern societies, contain three parts: Government, Corporations/Business, and the Commons. Today we only see the Government and the Corporations.  Where have all the Commons gone? How can we see them again? 

Seeing Earth as a Commons


By Dale Olen  

Seeing Earth as a living being helps us appreciate the notion of the “commons.”  The term “commons” has shown up with force in environmental circles when Garrett Hardin published the article “The Tragedy of the Commons” in 1968.   The Commons were viewed as specific resources of Earth that no single person owned.  They were public areas or “owned” by the community.  All the citizens had a right to access the commons. 

Earth as Gaia, A Living Planet

Earth as Gaia, A Living Goddess

By Dale Olen 

“Earth is a live planet rather than a planet with life upon it.” Elisabet Sahtouris

Gaia, the Greeks’ earth goddess, creates the world from a swirling mist.  Into the blackness of chaotic space charges this energetic goddess, swathed in white veils whirling through darkness.

 "As she becomes visible and her dance grows ever more lively, her body forms itself into mountains and valleys; then sweat pours from her to pool into seas, and finally her flying arms stir up a windy sky she calls Ouranos — still the Greek word for sky — which she wraps around herself as protector and mate.” (Elisabet Sahtouris).



Thinking of a Living Planet

Think of a Living Planet

By Dale Olen

The living cells within my blood stream probably cannot sense much of an outside world.  They register movement and temperature of other cells in the area and perhaps the slight flow of liquid around them.  It’s hard to imagine these cells have any awareness or view of the tiny blood vessel in which they swim, much less the finger that houses the vessel, the arm that holds the finger, the torso from which the arm extends, and the body that throws the ball.  Those cells have no idea that the container in which they live, also lives. To read more, please press the "read more" button. 

Saving My Life

Six weeks ago, I had brain surgery, a craniotomy to remove a tumor on my skull that was pressing against the left frontal lobe.  They removed it successfully, found it to be completely benign, sewed me up and sent me home. I need no follow up treatment and am on no medication from that invasive and traumatic event.  I invite you to press the “read more” button below and read the story of how my life was saved and transformed.



          Minnaqua, WI 

What Happens in Alaska Doesn't Stay in Alaska

While Alaska is no doubt the "Last Frontier" of the fullness of life, it also is being killed by the global warming, happening there faster and more furious that anywhere else in the world.

For three weeks this summer, I traveled through Alaska – the biggest state in the U.S., twice the size of Texas.  The only way to get through it was by cruise ship in the inside passage to see the blue glaciers. Then float down the salmon-filled rivers in dinghies, riding trains to remote spots to see where miners thought they might strike gold, and flying with bush pilots in sea/ski planes around McKinley Mountain (now called “Denali Mountain” by Obama much to the pleasure of Athabaskan natives), and taking the buses through Denali National Park looking for big animals.  Because so much of the tundra and the forests are in conservation, there were very few walking paths to get up close and sense the energy of the life all around us.  


China's Population -- A Thing To Be Seen


Over population has been a major concern for a long time in China.  I was there recently expecting to see the Great Wall of China, the Terra Cotter Warriors and the karst rock formations along the River Lieu. Along with all that beauty I ran smack into crowds of moving people.  Please click the "More" button below for my reflection on one of China's striking tourist events.

A treasure in the middle of the country

Let me tell you about something located right in the middle of the United States.  We drive over it, fly over it, rail over it.  It supports the breadbasket of America.  I’m talking about the Ogallala Aquifer, perhaps a most central geologic feature of this country.  The Ogallala Aquifer positions itself as one of the main life-giving water sources for the United States of America

Myths Drive Human Society

By Dale Olen

In the historical novel, The Source, James Michener weaves the 100,000-year story of the family of Ur and the beginning of human belief in gods.  Ur’s wife, Timna and son decided to move out of the community underground cave, so they built a little shed above ground where they could better watch and control the planting and growing of wheat (The very beginning of agriculture).  They began to realize how dependent they were on the sun, the rain, and storms to produce the fullest yield possible.  They began to believe there was some agency behind the sun, rain, and storms.  Just as they had taken charge of some parts of growing wheat, they wondered whether there was another willful form behind the elements of Earth.

Christmas: Birth of Life

By Dale Olen

The birth of life runs deep under the Christmas story.  Jesus born in a manger of Bethlehem rises up as a sign celebrating the creation and continuation of life on Earth.

What we remember today is not something that occurred a couple thousand years ago, but a shrouded, mysterious event that sprung up nearly four billion years ago probably in a thermal vent on an ocean floor.


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