Sunday, August 26, 2012

Part 1 - A Spiritual Walk-About in My Spiritual Outback

It is critically important to me to understand my body and its needs has no more rights in this universe than a deer, rabbit, or hummingbird. I am not a body nor am I what I think.
I just finished reading the book, Mutant Message Down Under, by Marlo Morgan (aka Traveling Tongue), Harper Collins, 1994. It is a fictional account of the spiritual odyssey of an American woman in Australia. The author unexpectedly goes on a 4-month walk-about in Australia’s outback with a small group of Aborigines (who refer to themselves as The Real People). What happens and what she learns about the tribe and herself truly amazed me.
The first time I read it was about 15 years ago when the book was self-published. Several things kept jumping out at me – over and over – as I read the book this time. One concept that continues to tug at my heart was her numerous descriptions of the tribe’s understanding of the Earth, its resources and their relationship to those bounties.
Typically, we think of our relationship to the Earth’s bounties as the biblical concept of Dominion. There is a lot of misconception about this. The biblical understanding of dominion has been interpreted traditionally as God granting humankind with some status as an Overseer or Manager of the Earth’s resources. That understanding is simply untrue. Dominion, sometimes translated from the Hebrew as Lordship, was indeed shared with first Man/Woman, who were made in God’s image.
Then humankind fell and all bets were off!
Other than the Genesis stories of creation, Dominion/Lordship is ascribed to the Lord Himself, except where political (national) dominion is being discussed.
I have commented in earlier posts on my sense of connection to the environment rather than being a user of the environment. I do not believe the Earth and its bounty is simply a great smorgasbord that we humans get to “pig out” on at will. This bounty is not ours to rape and pillage as we see fit. It’s not ours to use as long as it is perceived as being profitable.
For example, I don’t eat veal anymore. Veal was initially a delicacy of very tender calf meat. The meat came from still-born calves or those born with terminal deformities. The meat was pure, sweet and devoid of fat or gristle. To maximize profits for a growing demand, producers began taking healthy new born calves and boxing them in a tight stall to prevent any movement. It would also allow for force-feeding. I find all that repugnant. This violation of natural law and natural bounty is not the biblical concept of “…having dominion…” over the Earth – doing whatever we want to or with God’s other creatures.
Continued in Part 2

No comments:

Post a Comment