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- Nevada Desert Experience In The Nuclear Age -

20th Century Pix


21st Century Pix

From WWII to Nuclearism

The Northern Hemispheric nations on Earth were busy creating mega-conflicts in the first part of the 20th Century. They manifested outrageously as World War I and World War II (WWII). As human technology rapidly advanced in the industrial age, global spiritual maturity was NOT advancing comensurately, so the tools of mass destruction and the psychic devastation they created were outpacing the average industrialized peoples' ways of responsibly handling these ailments. In other words, as Albert Einstein said, "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." During WWII the most technologically advanced countries raced to create the most violent, horrific and dangerous weapons conceivable. The atom bomb (a.k.a. nuclear bomb) was the result, and the currency of power which it represents continues 70 years later. The U.S. created three such bombs by July 16th 1945, and used all three against human populations--sparsely in New Mexico and more viciously and intenesly in Japan. Thus, the nuclear age began, and the ideology soon developed to help U.S. Americans and others wrap their minds around the alleged need for nuclear weapons development to continue. This ideology (some say it's a religion) is called nuclearism, and it enables average people to not become engaged or outraged over the gross use of resources in homage to the nuclear industry.


From LDE to NDE

The Lenten Desert Experience (LDE) began in the early spring of 1982 to honor St. Francis of Asissi's love of nature, peacefulness, and opposition to governmental violence. The primarily Christian prayer-activists came to the Nevada National Security Site daily for six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, just prior to Easter 1982. This was an obvious, creative, and bold peaceful witness against nuclear weapons testing in Newe Sogobia. Soon these experiences in the Nevada desert were drawing more participants, of a greater variety in faith traditions and spiritual paths. The folks who organized the first LDE continued to help facilitate other events in the region near Las Vegas, NV as part of a larger movement. The people coming annually for LDE formally organized themselves into a group known as Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) and this group remains steadily organizing nuclear abolition events to carry on the peaceful witness against nuclear destruction. Participants joining the NDE and other abolitionist events care sincerely about protecting the air, water, soil and earthlings, and against the spiritual sickness of mega-violence in the history of the world. In 1991 Dom Helder Camara commented in a way that challenges North Americans to use our spiritual power to put an end to the Department of Energy's destructivity: "This is the scene of the greatest violence on Earth. It should be the place of the greatest greatest acts of nonviolence on the Earth."

The movement for nuclear abolition continues, and NDE continues to organize faith-based events helping people experience the beauty of the Nevada desert, while witnessing against the insanity of destroying this natural beauty and other realms of creation globally. One way to imagine a peaceful end to the troubles in Nevada and elsewhere regarding radioactive hazards and the accompanying spiritual ailments is to consider the LONG-TERM needs beyond the nuclear age...


Beyond NDE: A "Guardianship Project" For Nevada?
Joanna Macy gave this term to us to signify the long-term (thousands of years) stewardship needed at radioactive sites. Because humans enhanced the toxicity of nature, humans need to protect nature from the dangers created forever. Therefore, our planet may need the extended commitment of people to create systems of protection that last beyond governments, monetary systems, and current technologies. We need people to continue their practices of following the many spiritually healthy journeys while engaging in the interplaying reality of environmental stewardship and technology. This level of guardianship is a way for people to take personal responsibility for the poison fire that our generation has created.



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