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My Apologies To The Soil Mite.

Dianne's College biology professor thought that every organism had some important function, except for the onion.  He knew a lot more than most of us, but not what the onion's vital function is.  In this regard he was as ignorant as we all are, watching pieces of the web of life disappear without so much as a "good-bye" on our part.

I am reading Animal Wisdom: Learning From the Spiritual Lives of Animals by Linda Bender, DVM., a "new agey" and charming, but also very uplifing book on spirituality drawn from her experience with domestic and
wild animals.

One point she makes is that the special and unique qualities of each species, the ones that make that species vital to the whole of creation are also the qualities that make it most  vulnerable.  The Wolf's ferousity which helps maintains the balance of nature alarms the Cattle or Sheep Rancher who could wipe his species out.  Homo Sapiens intelligence and curiousity which have driven to such marvelous realities and nonrealities as we have created could  lead to our own extinction as we probe the unprobable.

That animals know some things that we don't is part of the perennial wisdom.  That we can't know everything is part of that same wisdom.  But that we shouldn't know everything goes against  the grain of  our imagination, intelligence, creativity and curiousity and the culture that we have built by obsessing on those traits.

Animals know what they know and they don't know what they don't know.  Humans, by trying to know everything have large  and dangerous gaps in their necessary knowledge and also "know" all kinds of things that are really not so.  We need to learn from the animals, not by dissecting them, but by listening and watching for what they have to say to us that pertains to our souls and spirits.

Some of my family and friends are bird watchers and i indulge their hobby, but i need to take them more seriously,  They are indeed considering "the birds of the air.".  And we ought to "consider the lilies of the field" in the same manner.  I have not even learned the species name of my favority tree.  Am i fit to "dominate and subdue' the earth?*

*Bender mentions that, according to the Koran, when the Angels protested against God for naming man the steward of the "garden" claiming superiority to man in all respects, God asked them to  name all the animals, which they could not do for "God had not told them what  their names should be."  God viewed this as the necessary and sufficient argument against the Angels' claim.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
I find the notion of "vital function" so odd and instrumental, and so apt to embody human perspectives and well-being as the Secret to the Universe. I remember, as a child, smugly thinking I knew what all creatures were "good for," aside from the wasp. I was, after all, raised in the United States. I'm glad I've got slightly better.
Mar. 8th, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Right! In Bender's defense she never uses that term. And while it is barely possible for me to get off a human perspective i don;t try to do it often enough. But when consciousness finally found ways to embody itself, it was the human bodies that took the biggest hit.
Mar. 8th, 2015 11:34 am (UTC)
I'm not even sure of that, because how could I be?
Mar. 8th, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
Right again. No Socratic wisdom here. I'm always insisting that i must be aware of something other than my own ignorance. It was actually people who said we were created in God(s)'s image.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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