I am loading big wooden crates that hold 1500 to 2000 lbs of potatoes onto a flatbed truck that runs on propane. I traded my 1989 dodge farm pick-up truck for the hulking propane truck. The loading is with a 1950’s era orchard forklift on a 1967 John Deere tractor…struggling a bit and thinking a lot.
I taught my young daughter that in everyone there is a little bit of good. Once when detained by police and being treated roughly as we explained our conscientious aversion to auto liability insurance, ‘no, we don’t have insurance and will not, for conscience sake be able to get it, but we still need to deliver our produce…’ …. ‘Daddy is there a little bit of good even in police?
In my mind I am mulling over a different conversation with her yesterday about why they put people in cages. I and nature had instilled in her such a pure idealism that she refuses to hold much of anything against anyone. I like this, but wondered about the real world. I tried to explain how society faces real problems with people who harass others, beat them, or worse because of prejudice or any other reason. I gave the example of the KKK throwing a brick through a black families window and in the morning ignoring the grievance because the officer had been part of the hooded mob himself the night before. It was a full and completely discouraging conversation trying to find the reasons to justify ever putting a person in a cage. I didn’t like it, my daughter didn’t like it, and even today I am discouraged thinking about it.
In our family we believe that “the animal” is a figment of human imagination—sort of a vision of a conjured monster that the creature we don’t understand must surely be. We don’t call any natural life “animal” for this reason. Our word is creature with the point that we are all in this together and understanding shows us all to be civilized—man and beast—if we stay attune to and in submission to nature. When we don’t, the word animal rightly describes both man and beast. We cringe at the modern atheist in the popular claim that we are all animals—we don’t even believe other creatures are animals, why should people strive to that attainment?
In the natural environment all creatures are quite civilized each in their own way. However in non-natural environments, especially bewildering or abusive ones, the animal in any can be cultivated. People can be both the most hardy of soul and resistant to corruption in this way and on the other side, the most horrendously corruptible and dangerous of animals. We are very powerful; good, evil or sublime. Who can keep us in check and who must keep us in check is us. Society comes in every shape and form. Currently, an environmentally disconnected and arrogantly obtrusive bunch of innocent criminals; we have formed ourselves into every type of unsuccessful exclusionary—toward nature—society. Why? We are in a massively perverted environment with erroneous information incubating our tired souls. The result is few of us are actually any degree of civilized and the rest are on a ranking of minimally messed up to totally deluded and ignorant. In this scheme of things, we have started caging up individuals on a whim in desperate attempts to fix an altogether different problem.
Now back to the reality that we are so totally disconnected from: People and all the creatures are inherently good. Good is the default position. Good is to be us in our natural environment. Good is not holy, sinless or any of that fantasy, it is simply to be un-perverted human beings who interact as a powerful yet beneficially contributing force in our ecosystem. We are all nature. Together with all creatures, and resources and the life force/spirit that rules all in whatever way is argued in every diverse religion… we are nature. We cannot disconnect ourselves without becoming animals. So… we are good, if not, it is our artificial environment that is creating the animal. Put someone in a cage because they are a worse degree of messed up, create a disciplinary environment and you won’t heal the animal. Believe in the good that is the reality, and fix the environment so that we can all grow up civilized. Then when a ‘roughian’ comes along who insists on tormenting other people or otherwise; seclude and heal if possible with every degree of love and compassion in a overtly natural environment. Certainly that is our future and it will take steps to get there… In old Turkey, literally the land of Aladdin, society had a very minimal problem of periodic degrees of insanity. In the 1300’s their particular society created the sanatorium or resort of ultra-extra-nature, peace and slow food where sufferers could regain their sanity if at all possible. Are we too much the animal to get back to that?
This was a musing based on my daughter’s word: ‘I think only an animal could put someone in a cage.’