This morning I walked the dog to visit Hem, nickname for my tree friend. Enough snow remains that I could see blood drops on the snow where some small predator caught its small prey, the laws of nature to eat and be eaten satisfied. The tracks of the smaller animal, probably a squirrel, stopped just as suddenly as if some larger bird, perhaps a Great Horned Owl or a Cooper’s Hawk, had dropped out of the sky and lifted it away. I could only imagine.
Something has long bothered me in all of this. It is not the blood on the snow. I accept the needs of predators to eat; I love them as I love the entertainment of squirrels collecting their nuts or a rabbit’s slow hopping across the meadow as it samples the most delectable bites of grass. I believe what bothers me is how some human beings have removed themselves so far from Nature that the natural laws have become to them as fairy tales.
What this has translated to in my thought process, is how some human beings have now become so protective of the small and helpless as to hate other human beings for not feeling as they feel. There was a Facebook move for a while demonizing Oriental people for eating dogs and cats, an act which is abhorrent to Americans. We love dogs and cats as pets, and as pets they become part of our human families. Then there are the angry Vegans who hate me for enjoying my meat at mealtime, because they have taken their love of animals into the act of not eating anything of flesh.
These attitudes even follow into the outward image of spirituality. I was once ousted from a group of “spiritual” yoga women in part because I did not agree that my spirituality had to follow their outward path. To me the spiritual path is an inward journey. It can sometimes be shared in ceremony and in ritual with other like-minded human beings, but basically each one of us is on a solo spiritual journey in this event we call life. In the old indigenous way I give thanks to the animal whose flesh I eat even as I give thanks to the fruit, the grain and the leaf. All have contributed in some way to my life and my survival, and when I die I would really appreciate that my body become part of the forest floor for the trees and other woody plants that I love to nourish their being existence. This is my practice out of my honor for life.
In short, I think that much of the human longview has been perverted into seeking that which makes us feel good for the short term, as opposed to seeking that which is. If we are to become awakened to who we are through awareness of the vitality of the Spirit that animates me, animates you and every other being that has ever lived or died on this planet, and renews itself accordingly through the birth, death, and rebirth of beings, we need to seek the long view.
Whatever practice an individual takes to honor his or her own integrity, I can respect. I can respect the Vegan and the meat eater alike if these actions are in accord with their self-awareness and spiritual practice, but when someone criticizes me because they find my spiritual practice abhorrent to their idea of what is good, then I am aware we can find no connection in common. I believe that this is a manifestation of the shadow side of the “good,” which seeks control instead of allowing the other individual the freedom to find and to be themselves. The Balance of God is as Divine as the Goodness of God and the Shadow of God.
Creator, as humanity struggles with itself to evolve as the human collective, I want to pray for the mercy of understanding and the justice of self knowledge. Thank you.