Saturday, July 23, 2011

One Love

We were standing around the smoking area talking the other day. I honestly don't remember what brought us 'round to this but, we ended up touching on the slaughter of animals for consumption as food. We didn't go into very gory detail. Some of it was about the large corporations and how they don't care if animal dies in transport as long as it's alive when it gets on the truck. How you don't really want to know how you get some of the food you do. How one guy's father (I think) worked in a slaughter house years and years ago and still wakes up thinking about it. How slaughter has become so much more humane. If you call more quickly and more violently humane. Anyway, as he was explaining some of the advances in, well... you know... I blurted out "So much for the idea of the animal gladly sacrificing its life for us". He gave me this kind of funny look. Eyebrows raised, half a smile and a nod. I'll have to ask him some time but, I don't know if he was surprised I'd know of such a concept or if I said something he'd never thought of. It must be the former. I mean everybody has seen a movie or heard some tale about olden days where the hunter thanks the dying animal for its sacrifice. I mean, right? A sacrifice that the animal accepted freely.

How do we know the animal accepted this covenant with our ancestors so so long ago? Why would any creature accept such a fate? Would any concscious being volunteer for such a thing?

Hey, wait a minute; we made it up, didn't we? We created the idea to be able to cope with having to kill something in order to live ourselves.

So says Joseph Campbell anyway.

Ever hear of him?

Those of you who have can skip the next paragraphs. I've been lazy here and took this next bit from Wikipedia. Just for a taste of who he was.

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. It was his ultimate goal to demonstrate similarities between Eastern and Western religions. As a strong believer in the unity of human consciousness and its poetic expression through mythology, through the monomyth concept, Campbell expressed the idea that the whole of the human race could be seen as reciting a single story of great spiritual importance. As time evolves, this story gets broken down into local forms, taking on different guises (masks) depending on the necessities and social structure of the culture that interprets it. Its ultimate meaning relates to humanity's search for the same basic, unknown force from which everything came, within which everything currently exists, and into which everything will return and is considered to be “unknowable” because it existed before words and knowledge.

Wow. See he could take any belief system and show how it related to any other. He could show that even though the myths might be slightly different we are all searching for the same thing. In startlingly similar manners.

Christianity and Buddhism are miles apart right? Lets look briefly at Jesus and Buddha. Both Jesus and the Buddha were born of royal blood lines and of ritually pure and chaste women (Mary and Maya), who had conceived miraculously following heavenly nocturnal visitations and then gave birth while on a journey. Those births were celebrated by celestial beings and accompanied by unusual astronomical activity, and drew wise men from afar to behold both infants and bestow them with precious gifts. Within a week of each birth, an old seer beheld the infant at a naming ceremony, and predicted great things for him. Only one canonical story is told about the childhood of each Master, and in both cases, it is of a young boy showing amazing knowledge beyond his years.

Google the similarities between Jesus and the ancient Egyptian God Horus some time. The story of their lives is almost identical. Really.

Ok. I'm getting that itchy feeling now. Let's see if I can wrap this up.

We are all connected. It's as simple as that. We all strive for the same things. Really. Those things are wrapped in different guises sometimes but we are.

We are all one.

Right, I'm outta here. Go find Joseph Campbell's interview with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, on DVD or in print. Or get The Hero With a Thousand Faces. It influenced the likes of George Lucas while developing Star Wars and front man for The Doors Jim Morrison.

I wrote this and couldn't post it through Blogger on my phone. Then opened an account with another blogging site. Then I lost my phone. Now I'm at the library to at least post this. Funny it always seems so long on the writing on the phone.  Full screen here at the library I realize how puny it is.

Don't know when my next post will come along.

Probably in a month or so.

'Til then...

I'm pullin' for ya.


1 comment:

  1. My dog died last week, so I've been thinking a lot about the animal soul. If I have one, surely my dog did, too. Mine and his are probably from the same source. Connected. But somehow animals seem more intuitive than humans, akin to the way that the deaf or blind develop a sort of sixth sense. And they seem to have the unconditional love thing down pretty well. And living in the moment. And curiosity. And enthusiasm. You can learn a lot from a dog.