In what sense am I and my writing Australian?
My writing is intensely anti-anti-authoritarian - a noted Australian character trait. It is rebellious and revolutionary - the wild colonial boy - I do have a tinge of red in my beard - but this is Irish - I have some Irish ancestors.
My writing is Christian with constant references to the Bible - Old and New Testaments - but this is British or European - ancestors again.
My writing is socialist with roots in the French Revolution and Marxism - I have some French ancestors.
My theology is universalist with relevance to any culture. The mind, the heart, the body all these things are universal.
But in what sense am I Australian?
Australia is an old country - the oldest place on earth - our mountains are rounded and worn down by millennia of wind and rain. Our land is flat and vast. Our rivers are old and slow. Our trees are evergreen. Our animals are marsupials - unique and strange.
But our society is new, post-enlightenment, modern. We live in cities where the earth is covered over and the trees are European - deciduous and colorful. Our culture was British, now it is American - a sit-com culture full of dark shadows and violence, superficial and glib.
The wattle is yellow - bright and profuse. Our wildflowers are small but abundant. Our trees are old and wizened, tall and strong, their roots go deep into the earth.
In Aboriginal spirituality the spirit sinks down into the ground in true Antipodean fashion.
European spirits rise up into the sky and God is above.
Aboriginal art shows the ground as seen from above with a strong inward dimension. This can be expressed as within - like the Hopi Indians of America.
Aboriginal spirituality goes deeper, deeper within, and deeper into the earth.
This is Australian spirituality of the land.
The only Biblical reference which might be of some help is when Moses encounters God on Mount Sinai. God tells him to take off his sandals because he is walking on holy ground.
"'Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'" Exodus 3:5 (NRSV)
This is closely related to Aboriginal spirituality - sacred sites.
The feet are also important to Aboriginal people - when dancing their sacred dances they stamp their feet on the earth, as if to penetrate deeper into the earth.
In post-modern Australia sinking into the earth is descending into the unconscious.
A strong sense of the bush and the sacredness of the wilderness is typically Australian.
Australia's sporting colors are gold and green - the colors of the wattle trees.
Gold is the color of the sun or light. Green is the chlorophyll which absorbs the light. So these national colors have something to do with light or enlightenment. They are solar and life-giving.
Yellow is a very positive color. Green is calming, healing.
The eucalyptus in the gum trees is an intoxicating drug. Koala bears, which eat the gum leaves, are very casual and slow. Australians are known for being laid back and casual "She'll be right mate, no worries."
It is the opposite of European angst and the British stiff upper lip - the Antipodes again.
Australians are very impatient with anyone who pussyfoots around or procrastinates "Have a go you mug" or of anyone who is not quite "true blue" (blue is the color of a working man's singlet).
But an Australian man and his mates can be quite intolerant of anyone who is different - homosexuals, immigrants, aboriginals.....and he can also be misogynistic.
The dominant western culture is male, secular, and materialist.
The media is violent, negative, and biased. Their language is brutal and glib. They win by violence and rule through fear. In this respect they resemble the old aristocracy.
Perhaps that is what they aspire to be :
The plutocrats, the multi-national corporations, the board of directors.
But their culture is cynical, pragmatic, and criminal (until they get caught, then they blame an underling and claim ignorance.)
And we all work for them.
They own everything.
But somethings gotta give.
We cannot continue like this.
A new idealism is appearing on the internet - organisations dedicated to social reform and international justice. They are independent and supported by thousands of anonymous donors.
This is the idealism of Aquarius beginning to manifest. It is bubbling up from the unconscious and no one can stop it.
It is international and immediate, fraternal and altruistic.
It challenges the plutocrats and politicians.
And it is growing quickly.
Every day there are more - more web sites, more supporters.
The plutocrats are powerless to stop it.
The politicians are almost relieved to bow to their ideals.
This is the beginning of revolutionary global change.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)