Monday, August 22, 2011

Rescue and Redeem

Does it really say "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," in the bible? I don't know - people blame a lot of things on the bible. No matter where it came from, that idea has never worked well. Violence begets violence, hate begets hate. How about putting energy into healing those who lose an eye, work out some kind of agreement with whoever poked it out, to do public service or some other task, to make up for the crime? How about teaching the poker how NOT to poke? Well? Poking out the poker's eye is just revenge. It's not about justice.

In the name of the bible or honor or a bunch of other crap, we human beings have done many a terrible thing. It's mind boggling. Going to a worst-case scenario, the holocaust, the only way I can wrap my mind around it is to imagine that everyone - including the regular folks, the Jews, not just the SS - EVERYONE was psychotic. How could you not be, I mean really?

Denial is a major factor in the doing of heinous deeds, always has been. Sometimes denial spreads throughout a culture at which time it becomes a big problem. Culture-wide psychosis never brings happy times, oh yeah. It's OK to keep slaves, kill the Indians, put kids to work in the factories, it's OK. Oh man it is so NOT ok. People: the emperor has no clothes!

But that's not what I want to write about. I want to write about animal rescue, how widespread it is, how people are taking all kinds of terribly sick, injured and/or disturbed animals into their homes to care for them, to try and help them live a halfway decent life. I didn't welcome Jake into my life to take care of him, I had no intention of partnering with a special needs dog. However, through fate or destiny or coincidence, I inadvertently took on the work of animal rescue for fourteen years. It was a labor of love, but it was a labor!

What occurred to me recently is that animal rescue is redemptive. Animal rescue is our way of doing what Tibetan monks do every day: pray for peace, put their prayer flags out into the wind, make their mandalas. I tend to hold Buddhists to a higher standard, so it's nice to realize we non Buddhists, too, are good people, doing good things to counteract the deep debt we have incurred as an overly-successful, overly-clever species. The dogs, cats, birds and other animals are lucky, but we're lucky, too. They are helping us learn to be kind. I am so grateful.


glnroz said...

to me,,you have the most unique "reflective" vision,,,I think it helps others to see, reckon?

Washington Cube said...

Matthew Chapter 5
King James Version

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Washington Cube said...

Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Leave it to you, Reya, to have me quoting Scripture on a Monday morning. I've been thinking about revenge (in general) this past week. Such a powerful, negative thing.

steven said...

kabludgeon!!! wow! first read of washington cube's copy and paste is overwhelming but then a re-read offers insight.
you know and i know and so do many of the people who pass through this place that spiritual texts have a literal skin, a body, and then a spirit. people stop at their comfort level. if it's the skin then there's a learning but its about the skin of this experience. a literal experience. if it's the body, then they are able to immerse their life - all their lives - in the living of the experience of spirituality. if they experience the spirit of the text then they are in this world but not of it.
i am drawn to goodness and try to create what i can. i wish the same for others - as a place to begin. it adds value to this world. revenge takes value out of this world. peaceful days reya!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great post!

and gandhi did follow up the old testament eye for eye view of the world with the great remark that "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"

to sight and love and non-violence!!

and yes to animal rescue!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

To love and care for an animal is like nothing else. I must say I often reference the emperor and his lack of clothes so was tickled to see you use it too. I find it fits so many situations just perfectly :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Glenn - maybe.

Cube - whoa. Those words are so powerful - thank you! Really powerful.

Steven, what you said, exactly.

Jeanette, I love that story. Oh yeah.

Anonymous said...

I do believe there is some level of redemption in animal rescue. And the cliche about them rescuing and redeeming us more than we do the same for them has proven true for me.

There seems to be a lot of odd currents going on in the world this summer from Libya to London to Somalia. And even here in San Francisco we've had the BART protests/riots and a melt down at Candlestick Park. It's fitting that I've been studying the limbic part of the brain lately and its impact on actions.

Pam said...

Once again you read my thoughts. Australia is in the midst of animal rights protests as cruelty to our live sheep and cattle exports to Indonesia and the Middle East( on very large hot crowded ships across oceans to reach inhumane slaughtering conditions and outright cruelty) surface.
A recent release of secret film footage from these countries has most of the Australian population horrified and seriously questioning this practice.
As I drove to work today, I went past the docks here in South Australia where, due to mecahnical failure of the vessel,thousands of these poor sheep were recently unloaded again after only a few days out at sea, to go through the whole process again from Australia to the Middle East. Many will die on the voyage.
I also went past a tree decorated with memorial tokens in various stages of disrepair,obviously an accident site. While respecting the grief behind the tokanism I thought
"The trees, the animals, don't ask for this to happen to them".
Came home to read this, and agree with you entirely, adding though, that in any wars, there are obviously so many innocents that don't ask or deserve for any of the horrific outcomes that are forced upon them by the actions of psychotics and lunatics.
The Bible thing? Poor old trees come into it again in the crucifixion process, and animals? There in that book in force, along with killing the fatted calf and sacrifical offerings galore.
It's all a bit bloodthirsty for me. Can't get my head around the way people either think or choose their options for actions. Self-interest I guess figures strongly!
The Buddhists? Usually the monks get the nuns or community to prepare all their meals and cleaning-here in the South Australia that was the case anyway a while ago- call me a cynic but self interest again?
The day that priests and monks get down on their knees to clean for women mean we really will be enlightened!

Pam said...

Wow was my comment really that long?? Your eyeballs are getting lots of exercise with this comment page!

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam please! Always go on and on!! I love learning what you're thinking about.

In my experience, the green world is rather matter of fact about death. Easy come, easy go, is what I get from trees, grasses, flowers, food. Maybe I don't really understand the green world. This could definitely be true.

Junk thief? You can say THAT again!