CLIFF CREGO | Dipper Falls, trajectories, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Dipper Falls, trajectories (VIII.25.08), Eagle Cap Wilderness
On the road in the Northwest of America.

Conservation is a way of dealing with

Nature’s basic asymmetry: that growth is slow,

and destruction fast.


One of the great fundamental insights of the U.S. Constitution, derived
from the traditions of ancient Roman law, is the idea of balance of
power. Of equal importance is the principle of the separation of reli-
gion and state. Now, it seems to me, that we would benefit greatly if
we were to in a similar spirit of balance and clear structure, separate
religion from ethics. Indeed, I would argue that a new set of demand-
ing moral problems makes such a division imperative.

Why? Because, in the view being roughly outlined here, the theater
of moral debate demands that we check our cloak of sectarian beliefs
at the door. For with moral questions, just as in a republic no one may
claim to be above the law, in democratic dialogue, no one or no argu-
ment may make claims to absolute authority.

How then are we to decide what is good, right and just? Well, I would
say by placing calmly the arguments, the evidence, or the competing
theories on either side of the scales of truth. And then weighing their
relative strengths and weaknesses within the widest contexts deemed
relevant. For if we really consider this process carefully, what is of
crucial importance—indeed, sacred, some would say—is the motion-
less, neutral center upon which the fair, unbiased balance of the scale


Religion seems lost in a prison of outmoded rigid hierarchies and abso-
lute belief;

Science seems lost in a reductionist labyrinth of inferences, driven not
by insight, or by the ethical imperatives of a deeply troubled contem-
porary world, but merely by exceedingly abstract, and / or profitable,
theoretical interests;

Art seems lost in a supermarket of entertainment, mistaking cheap
techno glitz for real passion, and quick thrills for spiritual uplift.

Like three vain goddesses lost in the walled garden of their own self
love, they gaze in their separate mirrors day after day, and fight and
bicker about mere trifles, and about who is the fairest among them.

If Truth were the judge, perhaps not one of the three, but the three as
would be found to be the most beautiful of all.

Camp Lost & Found,
Eagle Cap Wilderness,
Oregon, VIII.17.2008

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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999-2011
(created: VIII.28.2008)