Friday, April 11, 2014

Our Inner Universe

They believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere.  Like some humans of the past and present, they worshiped a deity. And they followed a man by the name 'Koresh' (or 'shepherd' in Hebrew). 

Koresh was the chosen one and had a godly vision. After his dream, he went forth and created his utopian city of "New Jerusalem". His real name was Dr. Cyrus Teed and led this group of 200 colonists to settle along the Estero River in Florida. And there they prospered for many years until his death in 1908. 

The Koreshan believed that their God was biune, or one that was both male and female. This belief led to the equality of men and women in their settlement. To the outside world, this was scandalous. Women should not think.  Women should be wives, cook and raise children. Therefore, the town leaders would not speak to the female leaders of their community.  A designated man became the "voice" of the Koreshan when dealing with business matters. The Koreshans built and operated a printing facility, boat works, cement works, sawmill, bakery, store and hostelry. They were also farmers selling some of the best vegetables and fruits to the outside community.  

But after Koresh's death, the membership began to decline and by 1961, the 4 remaining members deeded the property to Florida. Today it is a safe haven for many Gopher Turtles.  This endangered turtle is listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss and the human need to eat them or keep them as pets. 

Snap back to the present and here is what I had observed about the Koreshan Historic State Site. There are campsites, kayaking opportunities down the beautiful Esteros river, picnic areas, and wonderful historical and wildlife opportunities.  Most of all, the volunteers who work at this park are very kind and helpful. 

Humanity is a curious one.  We may judge this group as quirky or strange.  Some may have even called it a cult. I wonder if we took a closer look at our own inner worlds, how many people would judge us as strange?  Or perhaps even dismiss our beliefs as nonsense?  I have come to the conclusion that in this world there is no right or wrong.  There just is.  And somehow I have to learn how to navigate through it all. I kinda like it:)  

This is what I remember (in case I ever lose my marbles down the road:)

  1. It was a beautiful day outside with my friend.  
  2. I'm glad these Gopher Turtles have a place to live where they will be protected from the ever expanding human population. We observed several on this day around the park.  
  3. This park demonstrated a peaceful coexistence between humans, history and the wildlife.  
  4. And most importantly, I'll remember that lovely picnic with my friend Sydney under the shady tropical trees. 

And through it all, the mother and grandmother of all the Gopher Tortoises at this park sat in her burrow.  Her stories, like those of the Koreshan, will be shared for future generations to come. 

PS.  Dogs are loved here.  They had water bowls out on the porches for them. If you are dog aficionados looking for a place that smiles instead of frowns at your pooches then this State Park is the place. It was remarkable how many people stopped to talk. Living in Arizona, I forget how nice the outside world can be.  In Tucson, we lock our doors, don't say "hi" to people unless we know them, etc.  So it was refreshing to meet so many happy people again out on the trails.


  1. Hello on a gorgeous, spring day in TENNESSEE. Wow---after the long and bitter winter we had this year, Spring is even more inviting and lovely.

    Yes, we do need to look toward our Inner Selves when trying to 'explain' and 'live' life.. The sad thing is what has happened to humanity. We do have laws ---but why should we? Shouldn't we KNOW how to behave without the Govt. telling us how to? But we don't. We kill/we abuse/ we are mean to each other, etc. etc. etc.

    While on the Skyline Drive this past week, I loved to admire all of the beauty around me. It did grieve me though to see that some 'humans' had chipped off some of the big stones and stolen the stones, that were at the overlooks as railings for our safety... "Man/Woman" built those nice stone rails/walls for US... What did we do? Abused it.... Drives me nuts!!!!

    We are now home 'again' --after our 5th trip since the end of February.... Seems as if we visited five different states --although the trips weren't planned for that reason... ha... BUT--as I always say, it's great to be home... I did publish a blog post today--so check it out when you have time. Have a wonderful weekend.


  2. This is an excellent post Chris! The photos are beautiful. Especially like the ones of the turtle.

  3. Wonderful universe.. Hugs and happy weekend ..

  4. I have never heard of the Gopher Tortoise, very cool! You had a great outing, loved the photos. Being a dog lover, I am happy there have so many doggie friendly parks in Florida! Happy birding and have a great weekend!

  5. Oh I love this place already. I will be sure to visit. I am always happy to know that there are places like this to preserve wildlife and flora.
    Nice post Chris!!Very interesting.

  6. Thanks everyone! It's a great place to visit...especially if you need to get your pooch out for a walk. They have doggie bags as well.

    Betsy, I'm so sorry about that news. That's what I mean about today. We can't control the things that are happening around us. It's like it's all going to move with or without our thoughts. Therefore, I have to let it go and when I can do something about it, I will. And it's frustrating. That's part of the intrigue about travel. We are definitely observing the world in change.

  7. An interesting social experiment.

    I think there is a generally agreed upon "good & bad" but without judgement by others that list would be short.

    Happy the Gopher Tortoise is being protected there.

  8. A wonderful post Chris - very thought provoking and some wise words from you :) Great photos and good to hear the Gopher Tortoises have a safe haven :)

  9. The second life of this house is much more rewarding that the first one.

  10. Chris, I have never heard of this place or this "cult!" How very interesting! I wonder how it started and why it ended. You just make me curious-er and curious-er!

  11. What a fascinating post, who knew? So happy that my chelonian friends have a place to exist without being bothered, such enigmatic creatures :)

  12. Oh, Chris--what an interesting post! First of all, how wonderful that the Gopher Turtle has such a great sanctuary! Your description of the place and its history was also quite fascinating, particularly in light that there was another Koresh--David Koresh of Waco, Texas. There is apparently no connection between the two (David Koresh also "took" the name--he was born Vernon Wayne Howell. I would disagree on one things, though. It is dangerous not to know there is right and wrong. Belief in an acceptance of all systems of thought opens one up to all kinds of things. But I also believe that WE are not to judge what is right and wrong for anyone else...that is for God to decide. If one searches their own heart and seeks the truth, though it is there. I recommend the Bible for that source. All my best! By the way, your orange lily photo is SOOO much better than mine! :-)


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