Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Hybrid Post and A Diatribe

I'm stepping away from the Michael/Seth teachings here to post something that has been in my hopper for a number of years. As I've watched the flak Obama has been receiving for having the audacity to try to save our [and the world's] economy, I've begun seeing red—again. So I pulled this chestnut out.
I'm actually not sure which forum it belongs on—here or over at Preserve, Protect and Defend but it seems to fit in here slightly better. So, here it is.
I said in my first profile some years ago, back on Scattershot Thoughts, that the word ‘liberal’ has had a nasty connotation lately. Well, that’s no one’s fault but our own. We’ve allowed people who don’t like us very much [dare I say, hate us or want to destroy us?] to define us.

We’ve been defined by the ultra conservatives as non-religious. My experience is that liberals vary widely among themselves. Many have strong views on spiritual issues whether or not they attend a house of worship. Their views often remind me of the old joke: ‘my karma ran over your dogma.’
And other liberals don't believe in a higher being. It's all a matter of taste.
One thing you'll generally not find liberals doing [though there are certainly exceptions—defining liberals is like herding cats] is trying to force other people to agree with their views—religious or otherwise.

We’ve been defined as ‘humanists’ as if that’s a Bad Thing. Have any of those folks who have so labeled us been required to define their terms? What exactly does ‘Humanist’ mean? My interpretation is that Humanists are those who look out for other people rather than just going for what they can get for themselves. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what the Judeo-Christian-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Wicca views espouse?

And, we’ve been defined as ‘tree huggers’—as if wanting to leave a living planet to our children and their children is another Bad Thing. Well, SOMEONE has to notice what’s happening to the planet. The more we dump toxic waste, cut down the rain forest, leave less and less arable land in our wake and poison the atmosphere in our rush to worship the Bottom Line, the more we’ll have to clean up. The planet is our responsibility, like it or not

Now, I hope I don’t have the hubris to try to define all liberals. We’re just too widespread and heterogeneous for any one person to do that. What I CAN do is define myself—so here goes:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose an abortion. I hold this view because I don’t believe life begins at conception. I believe it began long, long ago for each of us. Certainly before the universe began. How long before or how many universes there have been before this one, I don’t have a clue.
I’ve read that this is the 3rd such experiment we’ve played with—but I don’t know that for sure. If truth be told, there’s going to be a lot in this post that I don’t know for sure because I’m outlining my religious belief here [you know—the one the conservatives say I don’t have] and—well—what do any of us know for sure, anyhow?

To move on, though, I believe that there is no US. We are not separate entities. We’ve splintered off from each other in order to have as wide an experience as possible—because ‘we’ are an adventurous lot. But we are not we. We are I—one being—that has seemingly split up because we/I want to. That’s all.
No one considers it a crime to cut our hair [well, some cultures HAVE considered it a crime—I think some still do—but that’s a matter for another post.] But, most folks don’t consider that a crime. The hair has no life of its own—so maybe it’s not the best analogy. But—since we are all splinters of a ‘larger’ entity—we are ALL hairs on God’s head, so to speak, right?

So, if a woman decides that now is not the time to have a child—well, that entity simply waits for the next available opportunity to get itself onto the physical plane. If it’s all that gung-ho to be born to this particular mom, [and that IS often the case] it may have a long wait ahead. If its primary objective is to get on with its next physical lifetime, it’ll just hunt around for someone else who’s going to get pregnant soon and hasn’t already been picked as a potential mom.
This isn’t to say that I take abortion lightly. I thank my lucky stars I was never faced with such a decision. Just because no one has the power to snuff out the life of ‘another’ doesn’t mean that karma might not be attached to such a decision. To be honest, I don’t know if it is or not. But, I do think no possible karmic decision should be taken lightly [though I’m certain I (and you, too) make such decisions every day without knowing we do it.]

[And, I’m sorry, I’m going to be talking in terms like ‘you’ and ‘I’ and ‘we’ here. And past, present and future, too. Our language being what it is, it’s just too difficult to talk in the terms of the reality that I believe is the truth of our existence—so please bear with me.]

Anyhow—so much for how we get to the planet and how birth and abortion are affected as a result.

So, what’s next?
What about another charge that has been leveled at us—that of being humanists? I guess I’d have to count myself among those folks. But, there’s more to it than that. I’m also a panda-ist. And a chimpanzee-ist. And a horse-ist. And a cow-ist [though I eat beef]. And a shrimp-ist [and any kind of seafood is one of my all-time favorites].

But beyond that—
When I say ‘we’ splintered off from the Is or the Tao or the All That Is or God or whatever—I don’t mean just we humans.
I mean that pandas and chimpanzees and horses, cows, shrimps, crabs, trees, daffodils, fleas, rocks, mushrooms, dust bunnies, the space between the planets, galaxies, and on and on and on also splintered off at the same ‘time’. And each of these entities is also living out its existence just and you and I are living out ours.
I’m not a transmigrationist. I don’t think that, if you live your life poorly, you’ll come back as a flea or some other life-form that humans perceive as ‘lower’ than our own [which is most of em, when all is said and done.] As a group, each species is evolving toward self-awareness. I don’t believe humans are head-and-shoulders above all other entities. Who knows what philosophical discussions cows and elephants, dolphins and whales, dust bunnies, chimpanzees, rocks, horses, fruit flies and mountains have among themselves? Not to mention entities on other planets or entities who live in the ‘emptiness of space’. Or those who never utilize the physical plane at all. If we don’t understand the languages of other entities, it doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

In any case, I believe that, once we’ve evolved to the human level—we park here till we master it. And then we move on. And so do fleas. And cows. And elephants. And daffodils. The universe is evolving in the largest sense possible and every element, every molecule, is moving toward self-awareness. And, probably, beyond the level that we currently call ‘self-awareness’. Who knows? In 100,000 or even 1,000 or 100 years we might look back on the people of this era and shake our heads at what primitive thinkers we were back then. In fact, I think that’s a pretty likely scenario—assuming we as a species survive long enough to get such a perspective.
And, if we don’t? We’ll move on to another planet—if this one is beyond reclamation—and start over. That’d be a major pain—but it wouldn’t be the end of us. We can’t get out from under the responsibility of our evolution that easily.
If, though, there is a way to stick around and rejuvenate the planet, we’ll be required to do so by the rules of the game we’ve set up. Again, we can’t get out of our responsibility to ourselves and the planet we’ve ravaged so easily as to just be allowed to move on after destroying this one. There truly is no reset button. . . .

And so on to the 3rd charge I mentioned at the beginning of this post—that of being tree huggers:
What I just mentioned above is a pretty good rationale for being a tree hugger, I think. If we have to stick around and clean up the mess we’ve made, isn’t that a pretty good incentive for putting our toys away neatly at the end of the day?
This part of the belief system I’ve developed reminds me of something from the Bible that I’ve pretty much left behind—still, there’s a lot to be said for what it teaches:
Remember the parable of the 3 stewards?
I remember Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior [what was his name? Was it Watt?] invoking it when he was pushing to use up as much of the planet as he possibly could during the 1980’s.
Well, his interpretation of that parable was different from mine—fwiw. I do believe we’re stewards of the planet. And remember who was the hero in that story? The one who returned MORE to his master than he was given at the beginning. Of the 3, no one gave back LESS. Giving back even the same amount was put forth as a failure. But, we [and Watt in particular] seem to be putting forth the idea that giving back less to the planet is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. The Bible seems to say otherwise and, this is a part of the Book I take quite seriously—if only because it’s a pretty pragmatic thing to do.
Well, as I warned you in my profile—
One of my interests is pontificating about politics.
And, for all my deeply held views about the separation of church and state [again—a matter for another post] I did mix em up here.
But—this IS a personal forum. I’m not gonna try to plaster this viewpoint on the courthouse steps. And I’m not gonna try to impose it on you. In fact, I’d love to hear from anyone who cares to discuss these or any other political or religious or other ideas. That’s why I put this blog out here in the first place.

Any takers?