New Criticals

All of that to say that the “star stuff” insight is a very poor basis for making value claims about one part of nature relative to another. On the other hand, it is an excellent basis for making value claim’s about the whole of nature, which, for me, is the proper role of a religious conviction. Explicitly pantheistic traditions have a long history of making this point. Chuang-tzu, for example, is said to have had no trouble affirming to a confused student-monk that dogshit had “buddha-nature.” This thought, however, is anathema to the anthropocentric worldview. There is holy and profane; man is made in the image of God. But what I’m trying to tell you is that to really accept the notion that there is anything significant at all about the fact that we are made from star stuff is to affirm that “dogshit was made in the image of God.” This is NOT an assault on the dignity of God or nature (whether you believe in one, both, or neither); it is a rejection of the artificial division of nature and an affirmation of the truth that we are at home in this, our evolving universe.