A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘actions and consequences’ Category

Cute ~

Puppies and Kittens

As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, like big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.

A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.

Oh my! A study to explain why might show something that the wise ones have been saying for millenia. Genuine compassion is what is needed for this world to function better. Lol, I know that seems a bit simplistic, but it’s true. When we care, we are careful. Anything evoking that caring part of our personalities will function to bring us into a state of mind that will cross our “t”s and dot our “i”s with more precision. We can be as efficient in many ways as a surgical machine, but without compassion, we are just going about our tasks on automatic drive. That’s why we cannot find a way to make a computer surpass a good Doctor’s worth when it comes to patient care.

I love the very thought of this. It so completely shows that we are in need of compassion, even in the mundane tasks of the day. The more we care, the more careful we are, even when it comes to tying our shoes. I suspect that this was marketing research for anime that simply surprised those conducting the study regarding the deeper implications of it. But how magnificent is that? A simple market study about cuteness finds that we as humans are hardwired to function better when the caring part of our personalities is tapped! I dare say that you will find with deeper study that this is why those who can harm animals easily and without purpose are inclined to become serial criminals of a violent and harmful nature.

Compassion is teachable! It is important to begin the teaching in early childhood. If we do this, we will enhance our existence beyond our wildest imaginings, and find true happiness is something that can be unleashed here on Earth.

Consent ~

One of my greatest pet peeves with Old Testament law is that rapists and pedophiles get a free ride to victimize women and children. If the rapist attacks a virgin, and tells her not to scream, she is put to death, and her rapist goes free, or gets to marry her and harass her for the rest of her life, Yeesh!  There is nothing in the Torah about pedophilia in any form, so I guess it’s ok to rape children all you want. No THANK YOU! Below is a partial list of things that will earn you death in Old Testament Law.

Sacrifice children to Molek

Cursing father or mother

Adulterer and adulteress

A man having sexual relations with his father’s wife, both shall be put to death

Having sexual relations with daughter in law, both shall be put to death

Men having sex with each other

Man marrying a woman and her mother

A woman having sex with an animal, both are to be put to death

A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist

Fornication

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death

Murderers

A Rebellious Son

A woman who married with no proof of virginity, if her husband accuses her.

A raped virgin if she does not scream

Kidnapping a fellow Israelite

Working on the Sabbath

I have worked on the Sabbath, so I guess I have earned the death penalty, but rapists and pedophiles go unpunished. Does that sound like a set of laws you want to live with? I hope not, and it takes giving consent to have sexual relations completely out of the picture. If you are not married to a member of the opposite gender, you can’t have it, no way, no how. If you go ahead and have sex without the marriage license, you will be put to death. I, for one, am not prepared to live with such laws. I want serial rapists and pedophiles who rape children as part of their daily lives at least put in jail, if not put in the electric chair.

Oh, and just a thought, if you are a parent of a normal teen (rebellious, sometimes in the extreme), your child is under the death penalty. Do you want that? Think about that for a minute, it might be worth the trade off of letting rapists and pedophiles go unpunished to be able to have your child executed for telling you no consistently . . . . .no? I didn’t think so. Please consider what you are doing when you try to reinstate these laws in our society.

I prefer to live in a world where consent is the operative word, I hope you do as well, don’t try to force people to live with a law that does not even consider consent, or the ability to give it, as the primary reason something is considered right or wrong. We have grown as a people and have learned that if we value free will, there must be give and take, that should apply to everyone, not just a few.

Judging Gays ~

I have addressed this before, so I will try to keep my material fresh, but cannot promise that I won’t repeat myself. I have been doing a bit of a survey study of Old Testament Law. One of the things that struck me is that at the points where the Bible speaks of Gay sex as being detestable, it also says that unmarried sex of almost any kind, from simple fornication, as in two unweds fooling around, to adultery where both participants are married to other people, are detestable, and that the Ivrit were to remove the evil from among them, consequently putting to death those caught in the act.

I am blogging this because of the recent spate of fundamentalist Christians and even fundamentalist Catholics, (same thing, really, just clothed a bit differently) that have said that gays should be put to death. To quote Shakespeare, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” First, there are injunctions in both the Old and New Testament not to judge. You will be judged by the same measuring method you use to judge others. So, why the lists to begin with? Well, I suspect it has to do with showing us what holiness is all about. That living a normal life, with our normal proclivities, carries with it the implication of daily “sin”.

Now, keep in mind that to the Ivrit, “sinning” is falling short of God’s Glory. It is not always some dark and somber commission of an evil deed as we see evil, i.e. mass murder, orgies, serial rape, that sort of thing, but even just doing what we normally do in our daily rounds. We live life. In other words, if you live life in the trenches, you are bound to get a bit muddy. To the Ivrit, and to God in the Old Testament, “sin” was not always an act of commission, but was just as often an act of omission, not doing everything you can to be as good as you can be. Sins of omission, then, would include seeing someone in need and not lifting a hand to help them. Ouch! Doesn’t leave many folks out there, then, who haven’t sinned by these standards.

Now, here, the Evangelical would say that this is where you become a believer in Christ, and let him wash away your sin. But, I want to go one step further, for Jesus said that if we called ourselves by his name, but did not obey him, we were no better than anyone else on the planet. Ok, what is that obedience? It is living each day with as much compassion for your fellow humans as you can, full tilt, 1000%. Do you have that much energy? That’s what it takes, loving others as he loved us. That was his command, you know. His only command.  “Love God, love your fellow man.”

So, when you decide to withhold medication from a gay individual who is HIV positive, you are also going against God’s will. You have not loved you fellow humans with the same measure with which God loves us. When you say that all Gays should be put to death, you are also “sinning” by not being compassionate. Oh, and you are also saying we should put every man and woman who has had sex outside of marriage to death, that we should put rebellious children to death, and the list goes on and on. By not loving them as God loved you. You are just as guilty as the serial rapist in God’s eyes. That’s pretty heavy, but that’s the measuring rod you used. Be careful. That rod, when used on your backside, can hurt.

The Religious Fervor ~

Note ~ I am not speaking of spirituality here, those who follow the path of Y’shua, or of Buddha, make it a habit to be kind whenever possible, and as the Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “It is always possible”. This is NOT the group I am addressing. I am speaking to those folks who continually, deliberately, push people’s buttons just to see how far they can go. I was part of the fundamentalist  movement of the Christian Church, and stayed with it for nearly ten years, finally getting out when it became plain that there was no intention of obeying the Master, there was only the intention of filling followers with fear. Fear of what? Fear of persecution, pure and simple.

The problem, at least as I began to see it, is that, when you get in someone’s face continually, telling them that they are going to HELL for not going to your church, or that they are held accountable to God for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers, not just their own, well, eventually people do push back. They may be generally peace loving, and generally mind their own business, but when you intentionally get into their business, they cannot help but want to push you back over the boundary lines you have constantly made a practice of crossing. That’s just human nature. You all need to stop bullying people.

So, here we are, the fundies are waging war on the rights of women to control their bodies, conception being the key issue. There are many women who would choose to have a hysterectomy early on in their lives, or at least a tubal ligation, so that they were in no danger of adding more children to an already overcrowded planet. But most reputable Doctors will not perform such a procedure early if there is no overriding health issue to justify the procedure. Yet, it is becoming more apparent that fundies would like to make it harder and harder to get contraceptives, or abortions ( I prefer contraceptives, leaving abortions for when the mother or growing fetus are in danger anyway, but that’s another story.)

This isn’t the only issue that is on the table. Here is a list of the things that Republicans want to do to wage this war. Yet, those who follow this line of thinking want to scream that they are being persecuted if women fight back. I am not persecuting you. You are doing your darnedest to find ways of putting me in your own particular box. I am not going to go there, I am not going to live in a world governed by those who think they know what “God” says. I believe that God is compassionate to the utmost. I believe that what God wants of us in non-judgmental kindness, one toward another. Yes, I will fight for my right, and my sisters’ rights in this world and any other. If you leave us alone, and quit trying to force feed us your morality, you will find the persecution issue just fades away to nothing.

Blame and Shame ~

Just about the time I begin to think the human race has begun to mature as a whole, things start popping out in the news. The rape of children and women, the genocides of whites and blacks, by each other, and by groups where the color of the skin is the same, but the allegiance is to some religion or thought process that has poisoned the minds of the perpetrators toward those being ethnically “cleansed”. I am confused, sad, frustrated, I want to know what and why? Is the world so completely confused regarding love and hate? When an adult sexually penetrates a child, either male or female, this is not love, this is a power play. We need to clarify for all concerned that love will not choose to destroy the free will of another human being. You cannot tell a child or another human being that you love them and then overpower them with your own sexuality, that is wrong. Understand me, please! It is NOT love when the other party is not of an age to even make informed decisions regarding the actions of adults who are sexual with them. This “Man-boy” Love is NOT love. It is a glitch in your own personality if you think it is! This is not love.

On another vein, different crimes, a continent away, people are murdering other humans in the name of “Race” or “Ethnicity”. This is not in obedience to any “God”! This is human hatred, not to be disguised as love of one’s own race or group. Do not be confused, do not let others choose for you by poisoning your mind with rhetoric that this group or that group must be killed, when that is happening, it is not a love for one’s own “Group” . It is a hatred that is sparked toward another “Group” of humans, Don’t do it! This is not love.

I am going to presume that part of the problem is simply the lack of knowledge world-wide as to what Love really is! One of the best people to listen to at the current time regarding love of one’s fellow humans is HH the Dalai Lama. Tenzin Gyatso speaks fluently and well regarding what it is to love one’s fellow humans. He is not the first to try to teach this to us. The Buddha taught it, Jesus taught it. Even Paul, who has inadvertently caused such pain for those who choose alternative life-styles wrote well about what it is to love in First Corinthians chapter 13. Please, study the thoughts and words of wiser folk than I am regarding what it truly is to love.

I suspect that as long as we as humans retain the need to blame others, and put others to shame for their glitched thinking, we will find that it is impossible to love with the strength of the divine. This doesn’t mean that we allow the glitched thinkers to continue their actions, that is not compassion for their victims, it must be stopped. We must, however, learn to have compassion in how we treat those whose thinking is so completely glitched that they pursue a lifestyle of bringing harm to other humans. In fact, observers of lifetimes of cruelty are finding that those who willfully bring harm to other humans first showed cruelty to domestic and small wild animals. We must search out the reasons. Perhaps when small animals are being treated cruelly by a child, we need to look at the examples in their lives, is there an adult that is displaying cruelty toward them? This is not always the case, to be sure, but it often is.There is a strong truth in the saying that children learn by example.

We must look at the cause of the action, was it done to them, so they turn around and think it is right to do it to others? Is there a glitch in the person, can they feel love? This is not completely unknown as a precursor to cruelty toward animals and other humans, a person is born unable to feel love. This is not the same as Autism, where the person feels everything so strongly that they shut down their senses to protect themselves. This is a lack of response to human affection when all other responses are “normal”. These folks can still be taught to act in compassion toward others. It would be easier if they felt affection and good feelings from others, but it can be done. I feel very strongly that we must get away from the “blame and shame” game, if we are to find a way out of this morass as a society. Let us learn to Love. Let us learn to be compassionate toward all others, not just our closest associates.

Is Spanking Wrong?

I don’t know. I ask that question a lot. There doesn’t really seem to be an alternative that works with certain ages. I do feel that it should be a last resort, when you have tried all other avenues, as it should never feel like the first thing Mom or Dad will do if I make a mistake. In fact, it should not be an answer if it is truly a mistake. I did a little child rearing, with the daughter of a man I loved dearly, and was never certain that I did it “right”. So, this is not an article to give advice as much as raise the question. What I have seen in the generations since Spock first spoke against spanking is enough to make you wonder if that set of instructions was right for the children.

I don’t believe an actual “beating” ever does any good. The once or twice that I actually spanked the child I was helping with had more to do with what would happen if she repeated the actions for which she was spanked. The first was running across a busy road without looking. She nearly got run over at the point at which I spanked her, as much for running into the road when I told her not to,  and told her that had she gotten run over it would hurt much more than a spanking. The other time was when she kicked a playmate that was in her way. She had kicked her playmate in the eye, leaving a horrid bruise, and needed to know how much that hurt. I dare say the spanking hurt less than the bruised eye, but was enough to let her know that that was not acceptable behavior. At all other times, I preferred to use “time outs” or other means of expressing disapproval as I felt then, as I do now, that spankings were a last resort.

I do agree that violence often breeds violence, which is the argument against spanking to begin with, I simply felt that the only answer to her violence was to feel the consequences in a swift and effective way. One of my greatest concerns for this child that I loved as though she were my own, was that I wanted her to know that actions have consequences. I hope she learned that. And that is the rub, isn’t it? We never know that what we have tried to teach has actually been learned except with the living out of the life so affected. I know this hasn’t been an answer to the question, just a musing over what I did and whether it “worked”. I hope someday we will know the best and truest way to deal with each child so effectively that they will desire the way of love rather than the way of ruin.

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