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Expedient Evil

It is readily observable in nature that animals with smaller and less complex brains are scarcely capable of compassion, or even anything that might appear to be compassionate. While one might think of dolphins as ‘the friendly dolphins’ or even occasionally, ‘guardians’ to mankind, you will never hear alligators referred to as, ‘those fun-loving alligators’, or, ‘the compassionate croc’. While it is true that reptiles often do possess some sort of a protective instinct towards their young, and this instinct may have been the beginnings of more complex possibilities we would rarely ever think of a komodo dragon giving of himself for the betterment of all.
Loyalty usually brings forward the image of a dog, and rightfully so. Dogs have been known to fiercely fend off intruders, both man and beast, even dying to protect their charge. Whether or not the idea that they might die comes into their mind, I don’t know. Whether or no they really have a mind, so to speak, I don’ know, but we certainly see the beginnings of selflessness there. Likewise, porpoises and other aquatic mammals have been known to protect their pods, or groups, or young, at the price of their own lives. Supposedly, many dolphins have brains with an average size of 68 ounces, about 4 ounces larger than a good sized male human brain. The sperm whale has the largest brain of any creature, weighing in at 25 pounds. We know that they can communicate using complex sounds and sonar. Whether or not they use less visible and audible means of communication, I don’t know. I do believe this, however. I believe that groups of creatures with higher intelligence are capable of a sort of collective thought, a sort of pool of compassion, and I’m not sure if pieces of it reside in each creature, or if the thought has residence elsewhere, but I do believe that we all, perhaps the quietest amongst us, may be the greatest influence on this. How? Prayer, perhaps?
This brings me to something that happened at least twice in History in connection with the dawn of a significant event. That something is ‘the slaughter of the innocents’. We are taught in ancient scriptures, (and I make reference to the Bible because I am not well schooled in other ancient writings), that the slaughter of the innocents preceded both the arrival of Moses and Jesus. No doubt, the intention of this tragic and devastating act, the killing of many many infants up to the age of two was to try to thwart the coming of a great prophet, in each case. Being mindful of this, I begin to consider, in a new way, the slaughter of innocents of a different sort: It’s the slaughter of many creatures with complex brains, aquatic creatures, some of them with huge brains, killed carelessly by a government that refused to contain oil-spills, and even more killed for expediency or out of fear, some of them with smaller, growing, but equally complex brains, as yet, unborn, but nonetheless, living. One wonders what great prophet, or two prophets if we are to believe the books of Revelations and Zephaniah, are the target of this uniquely timed decimation.
Furthermore, I wonder if that damage to the collective soul is what God refers to when he speaks of ‘coming to destroy those who destroy the earth’. Is there a collective soul? We hear in the ancient writings reference made to Ephraim, Manasseh, Israel, Judah, as though they were single individuals, and yet they were large tribes. We hear God saying, “I have heard Ephraim bemoaning himself.” {Jeremiah 31:18}. Is the collective soul simply figurative? I’m not sure. “We the people,” began James Madison in the Constitution of the United States. The great and underestimated Pre-amble seems, at least to me to make reference to that form of agreement which is certainly a part of collective thought, if there is or is not a collective soul.
I am sure of this, though: We choose to destroy. We choose to destroy life, and the only life that is capable of moments of compassion, thus effecting a geometric, almost nuclear destruction on the entity of compassion itself. We choose to ignore the idea that these beings, aquatic, swimming, or huddled, may in fact feel pain, whether or not they are human beings. Whether or not they are human, not yet human, or will never be human seems to me rather callous, rather not tapped into that area of the brain that allows us to appreciate that to cause pain, pain that we have never ourselves felt, on another being will have unforeseen consequences
Some religions, disciplines or studies help individuals explore the path to altruism, others care nothing for it. Most religions have statements and beliefs dedicated towards one’s self-realization of peace, godliness, or even union with God. Few of them have principals and ideas based in giving of oneself selflessly and compassionately. Even the religions that have such principals and beliefs expressed have not always inspired their constituents to do so. Has that evil and lofty author of the many slaughters of the innocents succeeded in killing the last great prophets of the age, or any great messengers that God in his infinity has provide for us?
I cannot say for sure, but I do believe that as the minute hand approaches the twelfth hour and the hour hand approaches the seventh hour, there will be a large collective sigh for all of the expedient evils done on the earth.

Copyright September 26th, 2010 By John P. Schumake


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