Eruption spurs religious and nonreligious views

For the religious-minded, the events on the Big Island appear to be the fulfillment of prophecy. When matter will be broken down, and worlds, hopes, forms and faith will be crushed. Not the beginning of the end, but the end of the wait. First rapturous nature, then the rapture of the righteous.

When early man looked down into an active volcano, however, it was not rapture that he felt, but awe, fear and a prompting to imagine a hell-realm awaiting the taboo-breakers he disliked.

But nature is simply nature. A community of interdependence, balance, life, energy, force, growth, decay, return and beauty. And when out of balance, capable of destruction, violence, calamity, counterblow and justice, which does not consider individual lives.

Nature represents the supreme example of harmonious relationship, when not provoked either by cyclical laws we don’t yet understand; or the actions of man.

Of course, interstellar activities play their part in the evolution, development and regulatory laws of nature, throughout our solar system, but we have yet to study even the composition of meteoric dust deposits.

Then too, there are nonreligious observers of catastrophes, who conclude that the being called God must rather be a comedian, a villain or an imperfect god.

Raphael O’Suna