07 October 2006

Our Self-inflicted Blindness

I couldn't help but wonder: If we're so great, then why is this world so messed up?

If we're so great, then why is the illiteracy rate steadily increasing? Doesn't that reflect on our ideals of formal education? And try to observe how "good" our communication skills are becoming.... *hoot*!

If we're so great, how in the name of Mother Earth have we managed to destroy our planet in such a systematic manner over the last 50 years-- so much more than our ancestors have done in the past centuries? Imagine this: We have been sucking up the planet of its oil, thrashing mountains and rivers for precious metals and cement, polluting our oceans, air and waterways, building megastructures called landfills, concocting toxic and hazardous materials, and the list goes on....

If we're so great, why are modern doctors the third leading cause of death in the US, as documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association? The specifics of which include, among others, unnecessary surgery and properly prescribed drugs. Only cancer and cardiovascualar disease outdo the doctors!

If we're so great, why then are there so many wars going on around us-- mostly religious ones at that!

If we're so great, then why are so many of the world's citizens either starving, malnoursihed or just plain poor, while the rest of humanity are either obese, overindulgent or in excess? The imbalance of it all! Horrors! People continue to get rich at the expense of the poor! People's salaries go to rent payments that make land owners and developers rich; cellphone loads that go to telecom firms; payments for food and water that go to conglomerates; tuition fees that go to school owners; transportation expenses that go to big oil companies; and anything left goes to the government who know more about making our lives difficult than any other organization in the world! Now tell me this, which is poorer, the consumers or the businesses and government? Well then, why?!

If we're so great, then why are there unemployed people still looking for jobs? Why don't they go into business? Because the larger companies have a firm foothold on almost every opportunity nowadays, you say? You bet!

If we're so great, why are so many families being destroyed by drugs, broken values and immorality?

If we're so great, why do we allow children to work instead of play?

If we're so great, why do allow women to degrade themselves in front of a camera, in front of the world? They could be our wives, or daughters even!

If we're so great, why does Hollywood succeed in imposing on us what is the new right and wrong, the new "in" or "out"?

If we're so great, why do we simply "study, find a job, work, retire, then die"? Such an existence wasn't even meant for lesser creatures!

If we're so great, why oh why don't we even see the injustice around us, the imbalance?

If we're so great, why do we need so much to survive? Other creatures need so much less to live!

No wonder people are starting to homeschool, eat free-range and organic, go earth-friendly, be more prudent and economical, socially responsible, resourceful, pragmatic, skeptical and basic.

That said, we should definitely start reassessing our methods and start thinking of better ways to do things, even if it means reinventing the wheel.

Don't you even want to start looking for answers? Begin by asking yourself deeply what you really are all about, what makes you-- YOU. Then, tell me if you like what you see. What then, are you going to do about it?

One thing is for sure, I may be a nocturnal creature, and I do live in darkness, but I am not blind!

If you're so great, then why are YOU blind?

02 October 2006

Our Nest

We moved nests last year, from the urban jungle to a much more serene place 100kms or so northwards. It is a place where the forest meets the sea and where Mother Earth's spirit remains strong. We chose a spot 300 feet above sea level, not too far to enjoy the sight of a beautiful ocean cove. It is a place good enough for our young to grow in love and beauty; a haven for cultivating the soul. Our old nest had grown too small for us, too limiting for one who needs to commune with the infinite. My owlets needed to see the world, from a point of view not one the urban ways could teach. They needed an education-- lessons from life itself.

As we spent our days and nights in its loving embrace, we began to see the evil left behind by centuries of ill practices. The daylight's darkness is not easily seen, except by one such as me. The force can be felt in its ways, seen in silent observation. Could we change it, or will it change us?

One thing is for sure, no matter how much I try to repress my inner darkness, this warrior spirit will vigilantly set aflame the evil force that will keep the light from shining always.

I See Ghosts

Everyday, I see ghosts lurking throughout the land. Creatures with no purpose for existing-- being, but not living. If you look hard enough, you will see them-- eveywhere, everyday, whatever you may be doing. They are part of our lives, their movements affect us, for we are all one.

They cloud our vision on what is, rather than what can be. Oh, these unknowing ghosts, how they can topple towers capable of kingly visions!

I, on the other hand, have long ago accepted my mortality and resolved to no longer live this life as a ghost. I will inject meaning in whatever I do, direct compassion to fellow my fellow creatures, strive for a higher purpose, enjoy the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth, live life to the fullest and spread my wings so wide that they may touch those my eyes will not reach.

01 October 2006

A Different Path

One day, I realized that what I was doing was wrong: I eat meat. In as much as Owls are natural predators, I decided six years ago that I would not kill for food anymore. Hence, I became a vegetarian.

Queer, you may say, but I resolved that I would not live in delight at the expense of another's life, whether it be a large mammal or a tiny fish.

Since then, I must admit that I would slip, as now. But I know heaven will smile upon me knowing that another one of her creatures has embraced the path to compassion, and no matter how many times I fall, I will always keep on pushing on. No more fish for me, pork or beef -- I would thrive on the bounty of the land, of legumes, leaves, nuts, fruits and grains.

An unusual Owl indeed. But then again, didn't another offbeat fellow say once that:

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

His name was Dr. Albert Einstein (1879-1955; Nobel Prize, 1921)

Those who have heard the preceding quote probably aren't aware he said the following too:

"So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore." (Letter written to Hans Muehsam dated March 30, 1954)

"I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience." (Letter to Max Kariel dated August3, 1953)

and my favorite:

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security." - Published in the New York Post, 28 November 1972

A Silly Attachment

Approximately seven years ago, my spouse and I went through a rather troubling experience. She was several months into her second pregnancy, and we were looking forward to welcome the newest member of the family. It had already been four years since our eldest hatched into our lives. I was away from the nest when it happened, occupied with building skills for bringing home food for my family, that the news came in across the air.

We had lost our baby. I was far from our nest. I felt guilty.

I immediately flew back home to my distraught wife. Upon reaching our nest, we decided to move in with our matriarch in the meantime. It was there, during this period of healing, that I found an unusual attachment to a material object, something I would keep with me during my resting hours to this very day. Call it what you may, but in that thing I found my security. Something that would keep my family close with me whenever I had to leave the nest. For years to come, it would serve as a constant reminder to me that whatever happened, I needed to find my way home.