Sunday, December 16, 2018

Negotiating a Blessing from a Tree

Forest Dwell (CAI 2018) 

Him. You hold yourself back. You don't do all you should. Maybe this isn't the right assignment for you.

Me. I am Being as best I can in this place, among these creatures, in this body. 

Him. That's what you're like. If you don't have to, you won't expose yourself to even the closest people. You hide and putter, it limits the reach of your effort.

Me. Yes. So?

Him. Why?

Me. Because if I show them who I am, I am vulnerable to them, and I don't trust them.

Him. What does that mean, trust them? How?

Me. If trust is about knowing someone well enough to predict how they are likely to respond to situations in which we are likely to find ourselves together, I guess I don't think I know anyone well enough to predict if they know me well enough to understand what I show in a context based in love and not in judgment or suspicion. 

Him. How will they know you if you don't show yourself?

Me. A little bit at a time. In small doses, quarter teaspoons, glimpses that let me gauge and determine what they are ready to see, what I am ready to show, case by case. And by referral. Someone I touch touches someone, moment by moment. 

Him. It's a slow way.

Me. Yes. 

Him. You don't have time to feed people quarter teaspoons, one at a time.

Me. When people see what you can be, they expect you to be that all the time. I prefer more quiet and contemplation, less doing, but if they see me, they will draw me into doing.

Him. All beside the point. It's Fear.

Me. Yes. This is Earth. Fear is one of the rulers here. 

Him. So, to stay comfortable and avoid the pain of engaging and subduing Fear, you will fail your mission?

Me. What is my mission?

Him. What is your mission?

Me. None of this is real.

Him. None of this is Real. 

Me. Am I failing?

Him: Are you failing?

Me.  ...

Him. What are you afraid of?

Me. The humans. I'm afraid of all the infected humans who are angry and looking from such limited views, with their souls so walled behind rock walls that empathy has dried up. I'm afraid that they might take that state of being out on me because I have come to their attention. That I won't have my peace if I'm seen. 

Him. That seems like a reasonable fear, actually.

Me. I feel like a slow and steady pace means I will only attract the most calibrated to my frequency. So I won't attract a bunch of noise, garbage attention. I will only attract attention in directions that help spread peace, quality attention. 

Him. That is your plan.

Me. ...that is my plan.

Him. And that is what you ask for blessing? Slow and steady, quality attention? Not fast and amazing, heaps of money? 

Me. I want heaps of money. Money motivates action. I don't mind if it comes slow and steady.

Him. Maybe, but these are package deals, sometimes. You have to pick, sometimes.

Me. I don't want to pick.

Him. Maybe you won't have to. Maybe Chance favours you. Certainly my blessing won't hurt your Chances. You want a blessing for...

Me. I want a blessing for... 

Him. You want a blessing for...

Me. I am not ready to accept your blessing.

Him. Yes you are. Or, maybe you're not. This is the moment.

Me. This is the moment. 

Him. Choose your blessing.

Me. I choose.

Him. You choose. And so it is blessed. 

Me. Thank you. 

Him. With love, child. 

(but who is this stranger you deal with?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Conscience taxes

Conscience tax - the extra we pay to make ethical buying choices. You want meat from animals humanely raised, it costs more. Organic? Biodegradable? From Living Wage employers? Costs more. But more than what? Cruelty, environmental damage, exploitation?

This only sets us on a downward spiral. From a policy perspective, we should be creating our laws and taxation to encourage the behaviours we want to see. If we want to move to a more sustainable food system that doesn't rely on abjectly cruel practices, for example, we should be taxing meat that doesn't meet a minimum standard for how the animals are treated. That would change practices in a hurry. Imagine if you had to pay more for cruelty and waste than for compassion and sustainability? A cruelty tax. An exploitation tax. Would it cost more? Yes. It would cost more. We would need to consume less to spend the same amount. That's true. Do I like it? Not particularly. But I don't like spending money to fix my roof, either. We need to fix the leaks.

What humanely raised meat costs now, that's what meat should cost. Anything else is unethical.

In our society, we get exactly what we pay for.