silent animal

Silent Animal and it’s Message to Man

“In the twilight of a beautiful day, when fancy seized upon my mind, I passed by the edge of the city and tarried before the wreck on an abandoned house. …

In the rubble I saw a dog lying upon dirt and ashes. Sores covered his skin,and sickness racked his feeble body…

I walked slowly towards him … but my approach only terrified him. … He turned a look on me in which helpless wrath was mingled with supplication. In that glance was speech more than any man’s. …

‘Man I have suffered through illness caused by your brutality and persecution. I have run from your bruising foot and taken refuge here , for dust and ashes are gentler than man’s heart. … I am a miserable creature who served the sons of Adam with faith and loyalty. I was man’s faithful companion, I guarded him day and night… But when I grew old and ill, he drove me from his home.

‘Oh son of Adam, I see the similarity between me and your fellow-men when age disables them. There are soldiers who fought for their country, … But now that the winter of life has come and they are useful no longer, they are cast aside. … How oppressive you are, son of Adam, and how cruel’” ~Kahlil Gibran

The Dog Story

It is hard to believe that in a day of great of great technological advances such a thing as animal abuse still exists. And it really doesn’t matter what kind of animal it is, but abusing pets, your own or another persons, is worse in one way. It is worse because these animals have been bred for centuries to trust and rely on humans. It’s really only one small step from Hitler’s SS having recruits raise a puppy for six months, then requiring them to kill it to prove their loyalty. We were appalled when we learned of such things done by the Nazis. But more than fifty years later animal abuse is still happening. The good news, I guess, is that in some places, the culprits are being sentenced to jail or heavy fines when caught.

But the dog in Gibran’s story has suffered what maybe the worse kind of abuse. On a mental level, it is worse than physical abuse. This dog lived with a family that it thought appreciated it and loved it. It did its best to please them and be a good companion. But when it became old and ill,they abandoned it. I don’t know exactly when Gibran wrote this, but he died in 1931. More than eighty years ago, yet little has changed. We still here of people abandoning pets when they get old or sick. One thing that has changed is that now those people get ridiculed in social media. Perhaps that will help prevent others from doing the same.

Dogs are not the only animals we treat poorly. On the very day I started working on this post I say a news story about a cat that was given away by its owners. The cat walked from the new owners home back to its original owners home twelve miles away. Their response was to ask the shelter to euthanize the cat. Fortunately, they refused and found the cat another home. And we treat plants even worse than animals, but that is a story for another time.

The Human Story

The silent animal is not just telling us that we mistreat animals, but also other humans. Gibran starts with the example of the soldier send off in his youth to fight, and possibly die, for his country. But when he is old and feeble, he is shoved off into a nursing home and forgotten. When the governments needs to cut spending, or just wants to to make voters happy, one of the first places they look to cut is programs for the elderly. Another is programs for veterans. “We love our veterans,” they shout, but they don’t want to fund them.

And lets not forget the great health insurance scams where the big corporations that own the hospitals and make the drugs also own, or are heavily invested in, the insurance companies. So the hospitals and drug sellers artificially raise prices, then give you a big discount through the insurance companies they own. It’s just a variation of the old department store scam where the double the price of a product the week before they put it on sale for half off.

Not only have corporation in the United States been given the rights that are intended for people, but they actually now have more rights than people. They have limited liability, a right that real humans don’t have.  Continue reading “Silent Animal and it’s Message to Man”

Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl of Man’s Spirit and the Cure

“The Western land, nervous under the beginning change. The Western States, nervous as horses before a thunder storm. The great owners, nervous, sensing a change, knowing nothing of the nature of the change. The great owners, striking at the immediate thing, the widening government, the growing labor unity; striking at new taxes, at plans; not knowing these things are results, not causes. Results, not causes; results, not causes. The causes lie deep and simple—the causes are a hunger in a stomach, multiplied a million times; a hunger in a single soul, hunger for joy and some security, multiplied a million times; muscles and mind aching to grow, to work, to create, multiplied a million times. The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man. To build a wall, to build a house, a dam, and in the wall and house and dam to put something of Manself, and to Manself take back something of the wall, the house, the dam; to take hard muscles from the lifting, to take the clear lines and form from conceiving. For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic,grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall. The throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.” ~John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath)

Beginning Change in the Dust Bowl

Wow! Just Wow! I don’t think I have ever read a more powerful paragraph that this quote from The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. I usually wouldn’t use such a long quote to start a post, but I didn’t want to leave out any of it, even the parts that could be misconstrued as support for war (more on that later).

Steinbeck is writing about this mostly from a material sense, but it is equally powerful when we look at the spiritual side of it. And while Steinbeck was writing about the conditions during the Dust Bowl, he could have been writing about our time.

Nervous Owners, Nervous States

We get a better understanding of what this means if we replace Owners with Corporations and the Wealthy class, and States with governments at all levels. This also we see today.

The governments are “nervous” because they seem to, on one hand, be losing the ability to control some people, while on the other, being controlled by the wealthy individuals and corporations more than they are comfortable with. They are realizing that as people awaken to what is happening, they will turn against those in government who pretend to represent the people, when they really don’t.

The “Owners” are nervous because they too realize that there trickery for keeping people under control is not working as well as it used. The wealthy used to be able to prevent the “peasants” from turning on them by getting various peasant groups to turn against each others. The Jews against the Christians, Blacks against whites, North against South, and so on. While they are still having some success with such methods, more and more people are turning away from it and catching on to this form of manipulation.

They are also finding their ability to control governments fading. While there are still plenty of government officials who will gladly be owned by the highest bidder, some are not. While we are going through a horrendous period in the United States with a federal government where President Trump has created a cabinet of the most divisive and unqualified people he could find, it is serving to push this behavior into the limelight which will likely lead to its end. Continue reading “Dust Bowl of Man’s Spirit and the Cure”

poor woman harvesting

Caring for the Poor and Downtrodden

Scholar: How then will those subsist in the day of the last judgment, who afflict and vex the poor and distressed, and deprive them of their very sweat, necessitating and constraining them by force to submit to their wills, and trample upon them as their footstools? …
Master: Christ suffereth in the persecution of His members. Therefore all the wrong that such hard executors do to the poor wretches under their control is done to Christ Himself; and falleth under His severe sentence and judgment. And besides that by such oppression of the poor the draw them off from Christ and make them seek unlawful ways to fill their bellies. Nay, they work for and with the Devil himself, doing the very same thing which he doth.” ~Jacob Boehme

The Plight of the Poor and Middle Class

The scholar is smart in asking what punishment awaits those who mistreat, steal from, and suppress the rights of poor people. Today, perhaps even more than when Boehme wrote this, we have an institutionalized enslavement of the masses, not just those considered poor. We see people making millions of dollars a year for playing sports, singing, or acting in movies, but people who work hard every day digging ditches, paving roads, putting roofing on houses, and so on, get paid very little. Yet we have people who have the audacity to say that the poor are simply lazy, which implies that the zillionaire CEO of the corporations actually work 500 times as hard as that low-level employee getting paid very little. Yet the employees can do little about it or they will lose their jobs and get even less. We promote work as a virtue—which indeed it is—but ignore the idea that a worker should be paid a fair percentage of what he is earning for the company he works for and not have most of it going to the top. Continue reading “Caring for the Poor and Downtrodden”