My grandmother, Mabelle Irene Luthy Larter, died in her sleep last night just before midnight, a little over a week after her 99th birthday. Born in 1911, she was truly a member of what people are now calling the "greatest generation."
She lived through a time of tremendous change in our world. Just three years before she was born, the first Model T automobile was produced and true radio broadcasting did not yet exist. She watched as human flight was developed, spaceflight was achieved and mass communication using telephone, television and eventually the Internet all came into existence.
"Acting Up" - Mabelle, far right
Throughout all of this, she lived a remarkable personal life that included periods as frontier gal, flapper girl, ranch wife, mother, grandmother to me, my sisters and our cousins, and eventually even great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother to our various offspring.
Mabelle with her grandpa Thomas Bean
I saw her for the last time about six weeks ago and she greeted me as she always has: "Well, for goodness gracious! Look who's here!" I will miss you, grandma...your smile, your infectious laugh, your hugs. Rest in peace.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've started a new blog, Yoga Emergence. My attention has, thus, been somewhat diverted from this blog as my blogging persona has bifurcated again. Please check out my new blog if you have not yet done so.
One reason I chose the name Yoga Emergence for my new blog was to try to capture the way in which yoga has emerged as the central spiritual practice of my life, and continues to emerge in ways that surprise me every day.
I also chose this name because I think that the concept of Emergence as used by Phyllis Tickle in her book, "The Great Emergence," is necessary if we wish to understand how it is that so many people now say they are "spiritual but not religious," not to mention understanding those of us whose spiritual practices transcend boundaries that used to separate major faiths. I will have a bit more to say about that on my new blog, so keep an eye open there for more on this topic.
I reviewed Tickle's book last year, but was initially drawn to it by her use of the word "Emergence," one I had previously been familiar with in complexity science. There, it refers to a phenomenon or behavior that exists only at the system level, but one which cannot exist at the level of the parts of which the system is made. So, for example, we say that "wetness" emerges from a large collection of water molecules, since we know that one water molecule cannot be "wet."
Tickle makes brief mention, in her book, of the emergence concept as it is used in science circles, but not enough to satisfy a complexity scientist like me. Her short discussion did make me wonder, though, if what she has identified is the emergence of an entirely new religious landscape--one that comes about through interactions of different religious groups, and which cannot exist in one isolated group. If so, this would, in fact, be the type of emergence we talk about when we say that a drop of water is wet, but a molecule of water is not.