Saturday Posts . . .

Last night after my wife went to bed, I began to watch the movie “Gladiator” again. I’ve seen it many times before, but in light of the book I’ve been recently reading, I was impressed by one very simple moment early in the story in a whole new way.

In that scene, the lead character “General Maximus” notices a small bird perched on a branch not far from him just before his final battle as a general of the Roman Army. The bird notices him, also, and they look at each other for several seconds without any comment or action before the bird flies away.

As I watched that scene, several ideas presented themselves to me.

  1. Wild animals do not care about nations, religions, or political ideologies. They go where they will, do what they will, and have survived for aeons despite our best efforts to ruin the planet. No bird has to apply for a visa to enter a new country. No wolf has to explain to a government why it won’t remarry after it’s 1st spouse is killed. No bear ever had to apply for a license to catch fish for it’s cubs.
  2. Modern society almost never thinks about the welfare of any part of nature, and even when it does it either over reacts or discounts it entirely. We should learn to view ourselves as participants in nature, not the masters of it. We cannot survive by destroying the natural resources that provide the elements of survival we require – earth, air, fire, water – and FOOD.
  3. I’m well aware that many liberals would denounce the consumption of meat on numerous different principles – but there are things they have never addressed which are more compelling than all other arguments (imho). The prevailing theories of evolution state that we would have never developed the brain capacity to solve problems at the level we have if we had not begun to eat meat long ago. Will we continue to have such mental capacity if we stop eating meats? Also, our dental development is uniquely suited to both eating meat and vegetables, and finally, NO animal with both a small and large intestine is a vegetarian.

Opens the door . . .

I recently posted about a book that my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita suggested I read. Last night my wife asked me to help write the review the seller asked us to write from the website where we bought the book. The last line of the book review was, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.”

Well, that may not be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me. I completely believe that the Toltec wisdom was on to something profound, but for me it presents a major challenge.

Until I was about 11 years old, I do not remember having any internal voice in my head. The book I’m reading (now for the 2nd time) calls that voice by a few different names, including “The Voice of Knowledge” and “The Prince of Lies”. Both are accurate – but as I was saying, I never heard that voice until I was about 11 years old. That was about the time I learned that I could use memory to replay music in my head without hearing it on a stereo or radio.

That was, for me, 48 years ago. Since then, that voice has progressed from being a jukebox to being an ever present companion. It is so constant that I never feel I’ve slept anymore. That voice presents dreams, illusions, fantasies, and evaluations of current events in my head during the hours I am trying to sleep. It never stops, and I never arise from trying to sleep feeling well rested. Plus, now that I’ve read this book, I have to ask myself one question – “How do I know the difference between truth and lies?”

Some things, with the help of the book, are almost easy. If a decision is based on fear or hate, it is based in a lie. However, there are other things that I consider that are harder to quantify. For example, I’ve seen X-ray and other evidence to support that my body’s bone tumor caused permanent damage. Is that true only because I believed the “medical professionals” who said it did that? What about the arthritis? The migraine headaches? Lies in our “Voice of Knowledge” can be inherited from others – so where do I draw the line? How do I go about proving what is real from what isn’t?

I’m starting to regret telling my wife to end the book review with the line, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.” It’s beginning to feel like a vast understatement.