Born Barefoot, with Brothers Made of Stone

Rock FernI have been considering writing this article for days.  Thought better of it.  Thought again.  This…what I am thinking of…is perhaps the crux of why I am doing much of what I am doing at this point in my life.  It is both complicated, and quite simple.

This has to do with foreign, primitive notions and concepts:  things like morality, integrity, honor, and quite frankly, a notion of what is, and conversely, what is not sacred.

What drives a person, at approximately middle age, to look around one’s life and to realize that everything that they’ve been taught to think and believe is not real or true?  That the constructs of society, culture, nation, government…that these things are but constructs manufactured, not to give a sense of liberation, growth and development, but as things utilized to enslave, diminish, disparage, degrade, and control.

Snowy Owlet--Charcoal on black
Snowy Owlet–Charcoal on black

Now I like the old-fashioned notion of not discussing politics and religion in public.  I didn’t used to, but I do now.  So, I will attempt, in this article, to appeal to a broader sense of Principle, because when one’s focus is constrained by definition, one’s perspective is often limited, and one’s potential unrealized.

So, I look around, many years ago now, and I begin to see an unfolding of the reasons why, despite moderate “success”, that I was somehow never happy or satisfied with the track my life was on.   The more I looked at different ways of being, the more I realized I was tragically destined for not a life, but some kind of place-holder for life; some kind of paper doll existence.  I say this because I walked away from everything I “had”, and found out that I don’t need anything.  I say this because there is no such thing as “having” things.  Material existence is transitory.  Living is not about having.  Living is about doing.Morning Glory

I am going forward in my life by going backwards:  back to where I think mankind went wrong.  Back before technology, back before “convenience.”  When people say the worst thing they can imagine, they say “you wouldn’t want to go back to the stone age.”  Well, yeah, I do.  And, with a lot of struggle, I am hoping to.

Okay, why?  The universal thing that people who say that they are aware of what is currently befalling the world and its “advanced” societies is this:  Technology will save us.  Bullshit.  Salvation does not come from that which caused the problems in the first place.

There was a time when there was no separation between life, living, religion, spirit, morality, integrity, honor.  There is a nobility in the living of life in the manner meant or destined for the nature of a thing.  This is easy to see when we look at the natural world, no matter how or why you believe it was created.  To see, for example, a deer walking majestically through the forest is universally appreciated or else there would not be so many attempts to capture the beauty in so many photographs. There are no colors more bright then the greens of the leaves of those trees.  There is no greater sense of dignity then the way that buck surveys his surroundings.  And then we gasp as the wolves take him down, yet we cannot look away, so efficient and amazing is the way in which the wolves work together to survive.

Wood's Shepherd
Wood’s Shepherd

Now let me contrast this feeling with that of this modern world.  Let’s see, what has technology brought to us here?  Miley Cyrus enacting child porn during an awards show?  And here we are, in an age so sticky and sickly that I have to second guess my inclination to write about something as base as morality.  So let me forge on ahead.  Let me do what we are no longer supposed to do and have an opinion.

It has become acceptable and mainstream for our children to live in a world that is basically pornography.  Sex sells, and children sell, and boy howdy, sex and children together is becoming more and more wed in the consciousness and the subconsciousness.  And why not?  Isn’t everywhere Vegas now?

And this is complicated, because our cultural morality is dictated by the board room of the corporation, whose nature was legalized as a personhood, whose soul is determined and bound by its sole purpose of generating profits for its shareholders.  That, my friends, is the god of this nation.  That is what deals out the morality of our society like cards on the poker table.  At all costs:  life is no longer sacred.  Life is commodity, and if you don’t see how you are being factory farmed the same way as all the other animals are, then you might want to take a look around while you still can. Ophidian Spring

So, being that I long ago rejected this imposed reality and instead chose a morality innate to my being, and yes, I’ll say it, a religious morality, I have found myself living in a way that horrifies most of my relations, and probably quite a few other people as well.  So be it.

You see, there is one thing that most religions have in common and it is this:  There is a destiny for a human being, and that destiny is tied to one thing that is crucial to existence, and that is that each human being must live for something greater than himself.  Simple, really.  To live for something greater than oneself, one is therefore allowed and able to partake in an existence that is, in no short order, miraculous.

This is, sadly, a concept almost forgotten in the modern world, and it does not matter whether a person claims religion or atheism.  I have met many people of different religions who live for themselves entirely.

I don’t think I need to go into the complete degradation of our modern society, and this will be a book if I do so.  If you have no idea what I am talking about I can only give so much advice:  turn off the tv, the cell phone, the car, the radio, and walk somewhere that you cannot see a building, cement, or other people.  Sit there until you know what I am talking about.  Ask yourself how you feel about yourself, your family, your life, your neighbor, your lover.  Ask yourself why you hurt, why you feel sick, why you are nervous, depressed, angry.  If you are none of these things, take your pulse…you may already be dead.

It is not the natural state of man to be sick, anxious, depressed, angry, in pain, always hungry, always tired, unable to love, unable to feel, unable to understand the concepts of inner peace and tranquility.  Did you know that?

Did you?

Really?

Did you know that there exists a place where harmony is the natural order of the world and life, that when you breathe you don’t feel a catch, that when you walk your body does not feel effort, but levity?  Do you know what it is like to really sleep?

Anyway, not a book, not a book.

Ophidian Spring 3How did we find ourselves, you and I…how did we find ourselves in a place where we have to whisper our disgust at what passes for normality?  Where we celebrate depravity and not beauty?  Morality IS about judgment, people.  We are supposed to judge.  When we do not judge ourselves and each other, we get things like NAMBLA, we get things like people calling themselves “scientists” to justify cutting things off of other living things while they scream in pain and terror all the while stating that the one screaming feels no pain.  (Look it up.)  We get the insanity of corporations making things that poison us and kill us and calling it food so that we eat it and wonder why we are sick.  (Cancer is not normal, and things didn’t used to get cancer.  Yes, it’s true.)

Why, we ask ourselves, does our government, I mean the corporations, I mean the military industrial complex, I mean our government normalize illness, despair, pain, and torment?  Oh, shoot.  No politics.  Sorry.

Did someone say profit?  Hey, good job.

Now, let’s talk about morality.  Let’s talk about silly things like the fact that life is sacred.  Life, and all that it creates, and all that created it is sacred.  Holy.  Divine.  (Is it weird to read words like that?  Does anyone say those words anymore?)  Now if life is sacred, then how can we put a number on it?  How can we say what it is worth?  What price tag do we put on it?  And if life is sacred, how can we own it?  How can we trademark it?  How can we sell it?

Chloris
Chloris

And, if life is sacred, then why are we, like everything else that exists on this manifest world, owned?

You know, when my grandmother was a child, people farmed because that was how one lived.  People raised their food, and provided for themselves and their families.  They shared what they had in abundance with others who had less, and traded with others who had more.  People lived.  There was a time before that when money was even less important.  There was even a time when money didn’t exist.  Hard to believe, huh?

I remember in the eighties when I was entering adulthood when there was a great stir because there was an assault happening on the family farm.  Terrible thing.  People were upset about it, because farming was the American way of life, and now family farms were being run out of business, and people were losing their land, their farms, their homesteads that had been in their families for generations.  Everything on that land was built by members of that family…ancestors.  That had a lot of meaning for people.

People were so upset by this that they got together to yell and scream with outrage.  They are killing the family farm, they said.  People like John Cougar Mellencamp, and Willie Nelson got together and made songs and held concerts to raise awareness and money to try and help hold these farms together, but there was an agenda, and the war was lost.  We lost that war, my fellow Americans.  But they didn’t want you to know that.  Somehow, something else happened, and people forgot, and that’s just progress anyhow, and that’s just what happens, and that’s just how things are.

The corporations became the farmers (they got to be people when the slaves got to be people—legally, because, they said, it was only fair.)  The corporations became the farmers, and then the corporations decided what food was, and who could eat what.  They also decided that it didn’t matter how they treated animals, or people, because profit was all that mattered.

Lily3I remember when I was a kid and I went to visit my grandmother’s farm how we would sometimes go to the county fair.  I didn’t know much about 4 H back then, but when I had kids, I got them involved with 4 H, and it struck me the other day how what started as a way to try to encourage kids to take pride in their families and their farms has become a way to indoctrinate kids into the corporate farm family.  Now it’s about profit—farms are a business.  I challenge you to find one child in 4 H who has the slightest idea about how to grow a seed without poison, or to raise an animal without grain.  Just for starters.

I go to a fair now and I see mutants.  Animals so deformed by chemicals and steroids and toxins and GMO, and humans who are basically the same way.  And we wonder why our little girls are getting periods at eight years old…don’t get me started.

Not a book.

So, I don’t support 4 H.  I tell you what—if you have a child in 4 H and you want to buy, say, a goat from me for your child to do 4 H, and you want a discount?  Have that child come to me and explain to me how to raise that goat naturally—with no antibiotic feed, with no coccidosis.  Have your child explain to me why they should leave its horns on.  Have your child tell me what to do if the goat needs to be wormed that does not involve buying poison at a store.  Have that child tell me about what it means to be a goat—what a goat wants in life, and what a goat thinks about.  Have your child tell me why we, as humans have goats, how that all came about, and ways to keep goats from turning a forest into a desert, which goats can do, have done, and will keep doing if they are allowed to.  For good measure, have your child tell me how to keep a goat from being killed by a predator without killing the predator.

Then I’ll give your child a goat for free (but they have to mean it.)

All right, this has probably gone on too long already, so it will have to be a “part 1” or else I’ll just go on and talk about something else next, we’ll have to see.

Grandma
Grandma

But to close, I’ll ask you this:  Where are the people who cried about the death of the family farm, and the family, and all of those kinds of things now?  Why, in 4 H, for example, doesn’t anybody seem to remember all of that, as they extol the virtues of GMO, and teach factory farm techniques and practices to the kids?  Oh, right.  Profit.

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