Water Mystique – The Counter

Mysticism is that experience that unites with God and, by virtue of God, with the cosmos. False mysticism promotes a fuga mundi. This is at least the Judeo-Christian view of the whole. At the end of history we will enter the messianic era, the ultimate peace, for the Jews. For Christians, we will be received into the kingdom of the Messiah, into the time of universal recreation. What about secular mysticism? Atheist? The mystique of water can bring together the different theological and philosophical systems.
The socio-environmental, ecosocial or ecological challenge simply summons all humanist traditions to save the planet. If water brought us to life, the day it is over there will be no living room left. If the average temperature of the earth rises by five degrees, they say, this will be the day. What then would be the problem today? It will not be so much to extinguish ourselves, which will certainly be painful when it touches, and will touch, but to learn to live as if collective death were imparitable.
There in California and here in central Chile we are one step away from drying up. In Santiago, if I’m not mistaken, we currently have three good rains in the year. What if it only rained two? And one? Some santiaguinos want to take the water away from the Bío Bío: a water road… The santiaguinos wanted to intervene the Baker in Patagonia for electricity. (The Patagonians resisted. They did not want to be simpler settlers of the treasury. The deed of the bridge and the tear gas constituted them as a people). The foresters, owned by the santiaguinos, have sucked the napas to the Mapuche. The issue of water is an issue. The water is gone, something has to be done. What?
I return to the starting point. The challenge is mystical. We will be told that it is ethical. No, first of all it is mystical. I see it this way: what is appropriate is not to save water, turn off the faucets, shower once a week, tax avocado producers. Measures such as these, which obviously seem necessary, must be reached by making a longer journey.

The human being is an end, not a means. Water is a means, but something has an end. Let philosophers articulate differences and put humanity in its rightful place. In the most fundamental of planes, the mystical experience will make us know our unity, through water, with all living beings, starting with the self-awareness of belonging to water and belonging to us. Co-belonging, co-care, cooperation… Interdependence, Buddhism holds. As the Dalai Lama says, “to care for the environment we must develop an awareness of the interdependence that leads us to personal responsibility.”
We are water that thinks, that loves, that hates. Just as minerals combine and exchange molecules and colors, water makes us share among living beings. One day it’s cloud, another celery or little bitch. More important than using water as a means is to enjoy it as an end, as if we were to love ourselves in an aquatic way. You don’t have to be a believer to fulfill the same task that Jews and Christians have, for example, of loving the cosmos if it were the creation of a god. Without love of the cosmos one cannot love the God of Judeo-Christianity. Without enjoying the water, either.
Mysticism, not false mysticism, binds ethics and aesthetics, unites them to respect and custody of life. The experience of the beauty of water should motivate us to save it and prevent its contamination. Ethics, in turn, leads to seeing in water its beauty. The battle of environmentalists against those who waste water or degrade it has opened the eyes of our generation to admire its beauty, that of rivers and wetlands. Mysticism, ethics and aesthetics interpenetrate. It cannot happen without one without the other.
Is something missing? An epic. Come and help us philosophers and theologians. We have the thick work, let’s leave the finishes to them. We need the story that unites these three dimensions of the most fundamental of human experiences. At the moment the main task is the parents and guardians, the educators. To teach, they must be converted and baptized in the name of cosmic harmony. The destruction of the links between mysticism, ethics and aesthetics is killing us ahead of time. Humanity, not the stones, are entrusted with the same stones and waters.

The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.

Original source in Spanish

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