- Religion and Philosophy»
- Exploring Religious Options
Random Ramblings: Man is an Animal. (Part One of a Paradigm Shift)
What is the value of life? Is an ant worth as much as an apple?
One thing in which human beings are greatly lacking is humility. We are born and raised thinking we are the most superior beings on the planet; that we have the right to make life and death decisions for all other life.
This is obviously our God given right. Our intelligence is boundless. We have the ability to create complex languages. We have the ability to make laws and organize. We understand mathematics and philosophy. We have mastered every surface; air, sea and land, and beyond the surfaces; under the ocean, and in outer space, both hostile places for human life; we are unable to even breathe. And yet, we have found ways to go there. Someday, when we figure out ways to live there, we will.
We conquer. This seems also to be a God given right. If you are smarter and stronger, it's yours to take. Because you are smarter, you make the rules and decide how all those who exist around you are to live. It's for their own good. We develop governments to do this - make things better for All Life. This is what governments are for - aren't they? They decide everything; what we are allowed to wear, what we may eat and drink, how we may raise our food and where we may keep our animals.
Truly, it is obvious. We are here as shepherds, to care for the earth, guide it in it's continued evolution. But that isn't what we are doing anymore. Now we are utilizing the earth and all it's life as resources, including human life. The animals are to feed and clothe us, and serve us in servant or ornamental roles. Where they become a nuisance to us, they are removed. The plants are here to feed and clothe us, or serve in servant or ornamental roles. Where they become a nuisance to us, they are removed. And humanity. Obviously, there are superior and inferior forms of humanity. Those that can't defend themselves against the strong serve us in servant or ornamental roles, and where they become a nuisance, they are removed.
God gave Humanity this right, some say. We are superior, and we have the right to make these decisions.
But, wait. Are we remembering what we are?
What is God?
Energy. It's what shaped matter.
God is the ethereal energy throughout the universe, and We, the ethereal, have managed to manifest inside a material form. We see, we think, we feel. We live. We are God. This would mean that we gave ourselves this right, since we are God.
A great piece of the truth is conveniently missing from this picture. Perhaps, when we became physical, we did remember what it is we are - but the power of being individuals was too heady a thing for a physical being to conquer. So we decided to forget that one very vital, very important thing: all life is God.
That bears repeating. ALL life is God. ALL of it. Not just humanity, and not just the humanity that thinks itself superior at this moment in time. ALL life is God.
We are very adaptable and intelligent, but we don't give this same credit to everything else that lives. In fact, we laugh at the idea of animals and plants having actual thoughts and feelings. Ridiculous. And though it's politically incorrect to say, we all know that humanity isn't equal. Some of us simply need to be controlled and cared for. We have the poor, we have third world countries, and we have reservations with people that simply haven't caught up with the rest of us yet. Eventually they will learn about the uses of technology, plastic, cement and international trade. Someday, they will become profitable.
Well, surprise. It's time for the ultimate in paradigm shifts. Your dog, your hamster, a spider, a mosquito, the grass - your steak and salad - these things are (or were) all alive. These things are all manifestations of God. All Life is God.
We ALL have the same right to be here. In fact, we are all one, and we are all trying to do the exact same thing. Every single living thing on this earth is trying to do the EXACT same thing. Evolve matter into something better, so that life can survive, live, die, and return to a world that is better than it was when we left it. We are here to evolve.
First, we have to look once again at life from the aspect of the universe. We open our eyes and realize that the little moist piece of dust we stand upon is a part of a much larger entity. We peer into the depths of this entity, as far as our intelligence will allow us to, and we see life.
So far, we see it only here. There is plenty of potential for more life out there, but for now, we appear to be alone.
When looking at life from a perspective that includes the entire universe, it's plain to see that it really is a very rare and precious thing. An absolute miracle! Even if there were other life out there, we are the only life we know of in our Milky Way. Life is a very tiny, very fragile thing.
Now, slam back down to street level; we must look at life from the surface of this planet. From this level, it is positively teeming; we are overrun with it. People and animals are starving; too many mouths to feed. Plants and animals are taking up space we need to build housing, and factories, and malls and car dealerships. Plants are a nuisance unless they are ornamental, or food. We have to rake leaves and cut grass, and the weeds! The weeds have to go. There are too many dogs and cats in shelters, too many people breeding animals for pets. Some animals we put down because there are just too many of them. We have to cull the wildlife around the cities and towns - deer, raccoons - in fact - although it's a shame to say - some animals aren't really necessary anymore. Oh, they are exotic and interesting, but better for them to be gone so that we can make more space to raise the animals we do use - cattle and pigs and chickens, crammed shoulder to shoulder to conserve even more space. We can keep a sampling of these animals in zoos, but what we really need is the space.
Land. That is a precious commodity to us, from street level.
Land. Who Gets It?
And there are also people sitting on that land, people who, to put it delicately, aren't utilizing it and developing it's resources into all that they could be. There is oil, gemstones, coal, and other resources where these people are sitting. And so we push these people off to the side, onto less desirable portions of land, and we develop these resources, because we have the intelligence and technology to do these things. They simply don't understand; but they will catch up someday. Someday they will decide to leave their reservations or their villages and go to college and learn the ways of technology and production, someday they will assimilate and join the rest of us. But for now, we will just take care of them as best we can; when we have time.
But we have very little time. We are very busy. Our rain forests are being stripped to make more space, we are mining the very nutrients of the earth out from underneath ourselves, and where we aren't doing that, we are building and covering all that is natural in plastic and cement. We are replacing sunlight with artificial light and living inside and working at very important activities that allow us to pay the bills. We stare fixedly at computer screens or cell phones and inhale our lunches without tasting them, because we have to get back to work on time. Everything we do requires money, and we spend a great chunk of our lives working to get it.
What, exactly, is All Life getting from all of this work we are doing? Because that is one thing we have done, is work, evolve, change the face of the earth into what we want it to be. Well, maybe not all of us want it to be this way, but that is only because the others are ignorant. Primitive. In time, they will learn to accept "progress" and they will come around.
Hold on - who is the one making the rules? We? One person thinks it's wrong to do these things; another person thinks it's right. Both are God. So; is it wrong to do these things? How do we know what is right and what is wrong? Who do we turn to? Each other? Do we look to the heavens, and beg for guidance?
You can, indeed, find answers when you ask your external, ethereal "self". We have a wealth of great knowledge there; we each add to this vast library with each life we live. You have to know how to listen. To "yourself".
But knowledge comes also from all types of lives lived. Birds, bees, flowers. Elephant, whale, praying mantis. Giant redwood, Lotus. Cockroach. All of these entities live in this world by a completely different set of rules than the ones humans have developed over time. Humans, with our weak defenses, big brains, and opposable thumbs, learned to think and use our brains to adapt to changing situations, changing environments.
Animals learned to think also. Not the way we do, but in a way that works for them, within their own society. They are just as intelligent as we are, in the respect that they know how to survive in their world. They have their own rules and laws which they follow.
It is said that Einstein once spoke of something along these lines; Everyone is a genius. But if you ask a fish to climb a tree, it's going to look like an idiot.
Who Taught Us About Technology?
Animals have genius; they are expert at living life. Over many millennium, they have developed and evolved and learned to live it. If we admit to it, and we are intelligent enough to know it is true; a lot of the technologies we have were developed from copying these natural adaptations. We have observed the animals, and we have learned from them.
We think intelligence alone is the deciding factor in superiority. By this, we feel some forms of humanity are superior to others, and therefore get to make the decisions. We feel all humanity is superior to all other forms of life.
The truth is, we are not. We are equal. We all have the right to be here. Man, woman, child, regardless of race, color or creed, and plants and animals, regardless of whether we think they are useful to us, or not. Every life has experiences and develops it's own unique knowledge and intelligence to add to the pool of All Knowledge.
We have manifested into physical form so that we can tweak and manipulate and evolve life. When we leave this life, we should be able to do so with the assurance that our next will be a better experience. We don't go to Heaven or Hell; we are creating it. We will be reborn into it. What are we ultimately going to create?
It has not seemed to occur to us that perhaps humans were not meant to be the ultimate life form. It would seem we are, with the power of our brains and our ability to realize the universe, and adapt to all climates and environments, including space; but, perhaps we are not. Perhaps the ultimate in evolution is living a peaceful life in the woods as a deer does, or swimming in the oceans, as the dolphins do. How much damage have these animals done to the earth? Do they create war? Do they pollute? Do they strip the earth of it's nutrients? Do they overpopulate?
(Ah. Yes they do overpopulate. But not until we humans interfered with the natural rules they lived by. That's another story.)
And what of these third world peoples? Is living in villages such a bad set up? Is living in harmony with nature around you really such a bad idea? Are they really ignorant and primitive, or are they really very intelligent, with an understanding for the environment around them that those of technological society cannot even begin to comprehend? Are they not, in fact, we?
I think we are starting to realize that perhaps these peoples we have pushed to the side might have been able to teach us a great deal about living. But we forgot what it was we were supposed to be doing, when we became a bunch of I's. Being able to dominate, power, became the goal. Money became the goal. We are looking around ourselves in dismay a bit, now. At his point in time, we have started to flounder, and wonder at ourselves and why we feel so empty and apathetic. We have come so far, we have done so much, and now we can look back and see all the life we simply trampled over to get here. We feel guilt and remorse, but we console ourselves by seeing this life as they, not we. They are lesser beings. They don't have souls. Most of us shrug and think there is no changing it now, and besides, it's not our fault. We weren't the ones who did that! We weren't alive, back then.
Technology Must Balance With Nature
Right now, right at this place in time, we have to stop! And make the paradigm shift. We are not living in an us/they situation. It is a WE situation. We ARE all one. And yes, WE are responsible. We did it, or we allowed it to happen. We all could have done things to change the outcome, but instead, we bought into the beliefs we held true at that time. We bought in to believing we were superior - or lesser - beings. And we acted the part. So there: now the blame is laid. On We.
So, does that mean we have to turn off all the electricity and build log cabins? Paint ourselves in clay to keep the bugs off? We can't kill the bugs - they are life! All life is one, and we must try to make it live forever! Right? Well, wait - if that's true - if we are all one - how can we eat ourselves?! That's barbaric. And now even vegetables are entities we must respect as part of All Life. I will never be able to look at a celery stalk the same way again. What are we supposed to do? Live on rocks and water?
Life Cannot Exist on Rocks and Water
What we need to do is regroup, revamp, decide what it is that has value to us all, as a whole. What is the rarest of all commodities in all of the universe? What is so completely rare that we have only found it to exist on this one tiny, moist, mote of dust?
Life. That is what we should be focused on. Not money, not power, not domination, not conquering, not controlling. Not just pleasant physical sensation, luxury, fancy cars and high tech items. Not making life so easy and convenient for humanity that we will evolve into weak, large-headed beings with very little muscle. Not making life good and rich and easy for just a select few.
We need to make life good, and rich, and filled with purpose; no starvation, no apathy, no depression, no hopelessness. For ALL life.
Everything we design and develop, we need to look at with new eyes and ask ourselves - what is this going to do for All Life? Will this give all life a sense of purpose and value?
You are a representative of all life, so ask yourself these questions.
Does working in an office all day give all life a sense of purpose and value?
Would it, if the work within that building was something that was going to help all life?
Still. How can we make things better for all life if we are still going to eat it? We can't kill anything that is alive! We have to make life last!
But that's another paradigm shift. Life is a cycle. We are born. We die. We are born again. We are all born with a purpose. And all of us, every living thing, has to eat to survive.
Big Fish Eat Little Fish
One of the weirdest rules about our natural world is that life must devour life to survive. Life cannot live on inanimate, inorganic matter. We can't live on rocks, or plastic, or metal, or minerals, or water. We have to eat organic matter; the matter life uses to manifest in.
It's not really that odd. We are energy. Energy needs fuel to run. We have to eat. With our big brains, we may one day find a way to survive without sacrificing Life to do it. But once again, it all comes back to basic balance. Life is a cycle. We live, we die, we live, we die. It would seem that the purpose of some life is to extend the lives of others.
Any life form that provides you sustenance should be given the deepest and utmost gratitude and respect. THAT is why we pray at mealtimes. God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our Food, because God grew this Food with his (our) own life energy. Amen.
Once again, the paradigm shift. Shift from the I to the We. Look through the eyes of God, because we are God.
Yes, God is great. We provided ourselves with this food. We existed inside this food while it was growing, and we deserve to be treated with respect and dignity while we are living there. We do not deserve to be stuffed in overcrowded barns and pens with no exercise and no sunlight. We do not deserve to be force-grown in hot-houses. We deserve to live what life we are allotted with dignity and respect, but most of all, with happiness. We deserve to die as painlessly as possible.
We are here to evolve and make this world better for All Life.
And happy food tastes really good.