Killing Us Slowly by Judith Shaw


Judith Shaw photoKilling us slowly with your rules.
Killing us slowly with your technology.
Killing us slowly with your bureaucracy.
Killing us slowly…….


Killing us quietly with your drugs.
Killings us quietly with your poisons.
Killings us quietly with your foods.
Killing us quietly……

Killing us loudly with your guns.
Killing us loudly with your bombs.
Killing us loudly with your police.
Killing us loudly…..

It is said by many that we are safer today than ever before.  On one level that is true.  In many parts of the world one need not worry about being overrun by invaders on horseback wielding swords as they hack their way through your village raping, murdering and plundering. But then some parts of the world are not so lucky and must face the modern equivalent of invaders on horseback.  The modern equivalent is so much worse – men in tanks wielding rapid fire machine guns and throwing bombs.  Though dead by a sword or dead by a gun or a bomb is still dead.

And those opposed to the current political system need no longer fear that they will be drawn and quartered slowly, before being hung.  But now they might just find themselves rotting in solitary confinement with no access to any human comfort or decency or holed up in an embassy somewhere, never to feel the light of day again.

And there is the ever increasing speed by which we all must dance; the ever increasing requirements to get a job and then keep that job, the ever increasing mounds of paperwork involved in every aspect of life – coupled with the ever increasing inefficiency in public and private sectors.   We have become little wind-up dolls wound so tightly, turning round and round in circles never getting anywhere but never stopping. Even elders who are retired are stressed beyond what they can handle by the increasing speed of changing technologies and absurd inefficiencies, with no help for anyone anywhere.

She Protects painting by Judith Shaw

“She Protects” – gouache on paper by Judith shaw

The death blows already here and so many more to come from our changing environment are staggering. How can we be more peaceful today than in the past, more evolved than before, when our very system of existence, that which we all must plug into to survive is destroying the environment we depend on for our collective lives.

Has the human experiment failed?   Are we well down the road to human extinction?   Time will tell…..  In the face of infinity we are nothing, we are a mere blip in time.  But in the face of a human life we each matter.  We long to survive and more; we long to thrive.

Oh Goddess, I weep for us all, for the life that you have tried your best to nurture, to encourage, to protect.  We pray; we entreat; we beg.  But Goddess/God can not save us.  Only we can save ourselves. Will we?

Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life.  Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her artwork.  She continues to be inspired by the Divine Feminine in all of Her manifestations. Originally from New Orleans, Judith now makes her home in New Mexico where she paints and teaches part-time.  She is currently hard at work on a deck of Goddess cards. Give yourself the gift of one of Judith’s prints and paintings, priced from $25 – $3000.

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Categories: Abuse of Power, Climate Change, environment, Goddess, Goddess Spirituality, Power relations, War and Peace

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13 replies

  1. “We pray; we entreat; we beg. But Goddess/God can not save us. Only we can save ourselves.”

    Not She cannot save us, but She can inspire us to save ourselves and our world. She is as close to us as the air we breathe. And we do not forget…

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  2. Carol, you are so right. She can inspire us and she is there to lift us up when we despair. Thanks for the reminder…..

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  3. No one will save us, BUT our relationship with Nature can inspire us to keep trying.

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    • So right Sara – only we can save ourselves, not as separated individual units but as an inspired community led by love. For sure Nature/Goddess can be a great source of that inspiration and our connection to family and loved ones, who are of course all part of Nature.

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  4. Beautifully expressed, but very depressing. The depressing part isn’t the fault of your writing, of course–you’re simply telling us what we can see on any TV news anytime. All the time. My hope is that Our Mother will inspire us. All of us, of all religions and political bents. My hope (is it foolish??) is that people will pay attention and learn to be kind and accepting of others and use all that technology for good. Sigh.

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  5. What a sad, beautiful sentiment of clarity that rings true with my soul. It is healing for me to read this. It slows me down in answering, inviting me to sit and dwell with simply seeing reality, watching it, knowing that whatever answer I come up with (and I suppose we all have our answers), that transformation will be slow and so we will have to cope and also find solutions for our mindset while we work toward healing. Wonderful poem. Thank you.

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  6. Hi Judith,
    Good news is not news to the media, so we begin to think everything is on the decline. To balance that negativity, I began doing Google searches on interesting women in office, for instance, Theresa May, the current Prime Minister of Great Britain, or Elizabeth Warren, Senator of Massachusetts, or Hillary Clinton, possibly the next president of the USA, etc. I felt like I was wandering a new world when I began doing that, very exciting really. And I keep going with that on occasion. It really does help.

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  7. Hi Judith —

    Your beautiful paintings have been an inspiration and a comfort for many here at FAR. Even the one you included with this post inspires and comforts me. I hope your painting can comfort and inspire you.

    Sometimes it seems to me that we live with too much information, and that the information we receive is geared — especially the news — to frighten and depress us. If we’re depressed, we’ll have no energy to fight for what we need and want. And if we’re frightened, we’re more easily led by the nose by our leaders (or by our potential leaders, e.g. Trump). When I get overloaded by the bad news, I take a news break, and that helps. Then I can look at the beauty of the Earth and the joy I have in my communities, and let life re-energize me. Sometimes I remember Hermann Goering’s statement instead (the Nazi commander of the Luftwaffe), “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” That energizes me as a reaction. I won’t be part of the people always doing the bidding of their leaders when I know it’s wrong.

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    • Sarah and Nancy – great advice from both of you on ways to change the despair to hope. The news is definitely geared to frighten us and the “leaders” use that fear to separate us. I went on a camping trip to the Gila National Forest last week where I spent 3 days without cell service or any news at all. It was so wonderful and I came back refreshed and feeling much better – the beauty of the Earth does restores and balance. Sarah I love the idea of searching out good news. Sounds like a good daily practice. And of course we get so much nurturing and hope in our FAR community.

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  8. We live in a universe predicated on 3 processes: creation, continuity and cessation. Inherently these processes involve pleasure and pain responses for conscious beings. Human reactions to those have led to the most dominant factors determining our current state: comfort and cruelty. For the sake of comfort we engage daily in active and passive cruelty, today defined by the new religion of Consumerism. Consumerism is merely an off-shoot of Victorian Social Darwinianism, and these belief systems will undoubtedly “destroy” us.

    So how do you counter the culture? It is only and has only ever been about doing and saying what is right, whatever the outcome. Those who do will always be and have always been the minority because they are willing to live in an uncomfortable condition. What is “one” willing to do, what is “one” willing to give up? Ask John Woolman. Old questions, “there is nothing new under the sun,” including climate change and the human ability to withstand it. Ask the “Minoans.”

    Our modern history and philosophy has been created and predestined by Greek and Roman lies. Those proto-fascist patriarchs who engaged regularly in genocide, which also involved the eradication of the histories philosophies and technologies of many dead cultures from the ancient world. I think about those people daily in my meditations where they still live. We are going through nothing new, it is just that it has today been industrialised. It is just more people cannot ignore that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark.

    “The human experiment” – a very dark Victorian phrase, if ever there was one. We use it at our peril. It will drain our courage. Me must think in terms of consciousness and condition. There are many levels of consciousness and many conditions. I would recommend reading the wonderful work of Lynn Margulis, and that of Rupert Sheldrake to find a way beyond the Social Darwinian conditioning that we are prey to and that could lead a person to use a phrase like “the human experiment.”

    We *can* connect through our consciousness and it is vital that women train their minds to this. Compassion can be cultivated this way. Am I optimistic? It depends how you define optimism. My consciousness is not predicated on my condition, and that should be the first rule for courage. Love will follow. They cannot kill Love.

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    • Margaret, Thank you for your wise words. The reminder that “consciousness in not predicated on condition” is really an important thought to keep in our minds. Didn’t Nelson Mandela say something about that in terms of prison and that they could not imprison his mind, his soul. I have read both Lynn Margulis and Rupert Shelrake – always good to revisit when the suffering seems to overtake one’s consciousness.

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