Recieved: 1999/11/28 18:31
Subject: Re: [K-list] carnivores/vegetarian
On 1999/11/28 18:31, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
In a message dated 11/27/1999 5:47:16 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> too busy measuring thier own "enlightenment" by thier
> resistance to nature's way... like the downhill slide El described getting
> into. Reflections of her own judgments.
Oh... I see, I've caused confusion about my junk mail revelation because I
wrote about it in a judgmental fashion! To call the mail "a pile of crap" is
a judgment my mind makes now, but it isn't how I was thinking when the
experience happened. There was no anger or disgust then. I didn't look at
the mail and go into some outraged ecologist-activist's frenzy (although I
don't think there's anything wrong with that).
Let me try again. Initially, when I saw the mail, I had a nonverbal,
non-intellectual response that began as a crushing awareness of loss. It was
as if I'd come in and seen the murdered body of one of my children laying on
the table. It sounds like a wild exaggeration, but the experience was truly
that devastating. My mind jumped in AFTER the tidal wave of grief hit me,
trying to think my way out of what was essentially an inescapable dilemma --
"nature's way," as Angelique put it.
This wasn't my first realization that life feeds on life in a seemingly
brutal system. It was a much deeper, much more personal and immediate
recognition from a heart-and-soul level that we are all agents of pain in
some way, and there's no getting around it. This was a tremendous
breakthrough for me in increasing my compassion for myself and for all other
It's possible to feel pity or sympathy or empathy without understanding that
we've all got blood on our hands, but without that awareness, a separation
occurs. Fully developed compassion doesn't stand at a distance and say,
"Poor you" or extend a helping hand and say, "Here, let me pull you out of
that hole you're stuck in" while reaching out to them from the safety of
higher ground. It doesn't even say, "I feel YOUR pain." It says, "We're one
in our pain, we're one in our grief, we're one in our fear, we're one in our
guilt, we're one in our shame, we're one in our vulnerability, we're one in
our suffering. We are one in our need for recognition and love and
acceptance. I can meet you anywhere you are, in anything you feel, in
anything you've done, because in some way, I am that too. We are all that
too. You are not alone and you are not less-than or worse-than anyone else
alive." Now that's a real opening of the heart when you are able to honestly
feel that -- not just mouth the words, but genuinely feel it to be true.
(I'm a long ways from being able to do this in all circumstances, but I'm
better at it now than I was before my revelation.)
The other post I made in reply to Hillary, about not comparing everything to
the "oneness" standard, was also not very well stated. What I meant was that
when we read or hear about or actually experience the sublime, blissful,
joyous, flowing peak-experiences, we tend to thereafter gauge everything
according to how closely it seems to correlate to that level of
feels-so-good-oneness. My revelation (triggered by the sight of the
slaughtered-trees-junk-mail) was simply excruciating. My mind hated it and
my heart felt shattered. Yet I emerged from the experience filled with
gratitude and an understanding that I had been given a piece of sacred
So I guess that what I was trying to say to Hillary is that there are many
ways of entering the temple of awareness. Any experience can take us there
if we follow it far enough, even an apparently negative or terrible one.
Being afraid or angry or despairing won't keep you out; those are just more
arduous routes to the holy land, and their eventual awakening-reward can be
more expansive than the gifts that are easier to accept. The youngest soul,
the newborn child -- nearly everyone can receive precious gifts that come
wrapped in peace, joy, laughter, pleasure. And anyone can suffer without
getting much out of it except misery, so we tend to judge suffering as
something wrong, destructive, and anti-spiritual. It takes a great deal of
experience and hard-won spiritual wisdom to receive precious gifts wrapped in
And while I'm on a roll here, I'd like speak in defense of the word
"judgement" (or "judge"), which often gets a bad rap in spiritual groups. To
be judgmental is generally understood as meaning condemning something, as in
"Toxic sludge hella stinks!" Agreed, it's best to avoid these kinds of
remarks, so we don't hurt the feelings of the toxic sludge. But judging
isn't hurtful in itself. My dictionary defines judgement as: "(1) the mental
ability to perceive and distinguish the relation between two objects; (2) the
capacity to form an opinion by distinguishing and evaluating; (3) the
capacity to make sound and reasonable decisions; good sense; discernment."
Saying "My foot itches" is a judgment. Maybe not a correct judgment. Maybe
my foot doesn't really itch but I just think it does. But even if I'm wrong
in my mental ability to perceive and distinguish the difference between
itching and not-really-itching, making my judgment faulty, it doesn't mean
ALL judgment anywhere is crap. Ninety-nine percent of everything said on
this list (or said/written anywhere) is judgment-based. If we were to
eliminate judgment altogether, the posts to the list would sound like this:
"Red gong underwear 764329 in the sunset."
"Doo wah ditty ditty doo ditty doo."
Hmmm, there's potential there... but I vote to allow judgements in our
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