If a Nail were driven by Spirit

This is a test. Have you ever had empathy for a small stone? When Mariner was in his pubescent years, he once replaced a stone atop a pile of dirt from which it became dislodged. He admits to a weird moment. How can the stone feel empathy? How will empathy interact or act in behalf of a stone? Will the stone pass it forward?

If the reader has a lifelong knack for easily evoking anthropomorphic sensitivity toward Earth’s inhabitants, animate or inanimate, the reader may have the ability to envelope themselves in a spiritual world of immense dimension and empathy, traveling to distant universes or conjuring different societies. Sometimes, for just an instant, a spiritual experience may reveal not only righteousness and salvation but empirical validation. Abraham had such a moment when he decided not to sacrifice his son Isaac.[1]

Spiritualism played a greater role in religious and cultural life six millennia ago. Homo sapiens existed within the realm of an environment they had not mastered through science and technology, socialized behavior, or specie dominance over the environment. It is true today that the seed for new plateaus of existence do not come from spiritual insights but from that which detracts from spiritual value – science and technology, socialized behavior (economics, government, prejudice) and human dominance over Earth’s rightful domain.

Recognition is given here to those who respond empathetically to others, to the environment and to the strange universe that operates around us – nothing more than a collection of giant stones.

Mariner has casually discussed what might be the very source of new anything – new inventions, new ideas, new feelings, perhaps new space and matter. What causes ‘new’? A pleasing ‘new’ has been the emergence of the phrase and gesture ‘pass it forward.’ The gesture of acting out a small benevolence to a stranger simply because one chooses to do so generates a longer lasting response for both than if they had to do without the benevolence. Is this lingering remembrance a created value?

Having received a hand, is the stranger primed to replicate benevolence to stranger #2? If so, could that benevolence to #2 be more than the benefit the stranger received in the first place? For those with superior empathetic skills: If money was benevolence, and benevolence can so easily be enlarged, that is, pay interest, what would the purpose of money be in society? In other words, mariner drives your son to college as a favor. Subsequently and perhaps causatively, you build a new basement storm door for an elderly person. How does the mariner’s drive to a college measure against you building a new storm door? Can that be dollar-added interest? Could that be economic creativity? The Universe suddenly has a new basement storm door in the Milky Way’s Solar System on Earth.

This post isn’t in the religion section; it’s in the musings section. The mariner simply muses about the power of spirit in general – how things may be different if the world, indeed the universe, may function with a different ‘transmission’. It isn’t difficult to see that mammalian dominance of our age has shaped its dynamics. We mammals are born to protect, defend and secure our surroundings. Non-mammalians like fish just spread their young like grass seed; turtles plant them like lily bulbs; birds raise their young as an instinctive gesture inherited from the dinosaurs but just as well may drop them on your head while in flight.

Mammals have within them the desire to own and secure their own space, their own property. A good model is the Silverback Gorilla. The male’s job is to defend his family and eating grounds even to deathly combat. So it is that Homo sapiens does the same thing but with far more intelligence and a more sophisticated desire to have the ‘largest family’. Even Elk want the largest herd. Seems like conflict is part of being a mammal.

What evolves is a pragmatic society. What works best, ten men having a good time being productive or a back hoe and a bulldozer? Best to stop here, mariner thinks.

Ancient Mariner

[1] Holy Bible, Genesis 22

4 thoughts on “If a Nail were driven by Spirit

  1. You’re up early today (or is it late?). I am too. Your last sentence prodded something loose in my memory …

    I remember reading an old lumberjack’s account of the small logging company he worked for transitioning from two-man crosscut saws to gasoline-powered chainsaws, sometime in the 1940s I believe. He said that before the change, a two-man crew with a misery whip could produce about 200 logs in a day. Afterwards, one man with a chainsaw and three gallons of gasoline could produce about 600 logs in a day.

    So are three gallons of gasoline worth five man-days of labor? If so, is the converse true as well? What about the man behind the chainsaw – the production of the chainsaw – the production and refining of the oil? The ‘worth’ of the chain-sawyer scales against the crosscut team fairly well, but how does either compare to a steam donkey? A cable skidder? A half-million-dollar harvester/forwarder in cut-to-length operation?

    All I can say for sure is that when I have to deal with trees, I am happy to have a chainsaw instead of a misery whip.

    Complexities, complexities … anthropomorphizing tendencies aside, I have great empathy for the little rock called Earth, which seems to positively radiate with solar-powered Gaia-benevolence and profound spiritual significance. Mountains are worshipped by some cultures. How small does a rock have to be before it is just a rock?

  2. So many ways I can reply to this interesting musing, First, I do not anthropomorphize. Second, I have elevated empathy to a new apathy. Example: I’m descending the stairs to the subway station and a woman is walking with her two-year old abreast across the entire stairwell and I hear the subway coming and I’m getting frustrated and press myself against the wall to work myself around the little girl–was I being apathetic or pragmatic?

    • Good to hear from you again, Jeff.
      Can there be any more threat to one’s survival than trying to catch a New York subway? Certainly not the time to ponder or solve humanity’s indiscretions. What a powerful conflict to feel adrenalin respond to defense, flight and attack all at once. Living in a compressed living space with eight million other humans mandates a pragmatic philosophy. Forget apathy; apathy is complete lack of motivation – something one doesn’t have racing down a subway stairway.
      To compensate and for sheer entertainment, try anthropomorphizing once in a while. Looking at your remote, imagine what it would say; what its general attitude would be; what it would ask of you as its employer to make its tasks easier. To practice empathy – the more important projection – how do you improve your relationship with your remote? There are easier objects than a remote; do you have a pet or plant? In a recent post, I referenced an URL about empathy between humans and dogs. Over 10,000 years of breeding, dogs are hyper empathetic. We have not done as good a job with ourselves.
      It is easier to anthropomorphize when you are surrounded by a terrain where it is obvious that several objects (trees, rocks, bugs, animals and sky) all seem to be cohabiting as if there were an organized conversation. Join the conversation to learn more about how the environment works.
      Exercises in projection are not popular today. That’s a shame. Projection keeps the self flexible, relaxed and improves the relationship between soul and reality.
      The actual objective is to improve one’s empathy. There are some who believe empathy is where reality exists. Anything other than empathy is a self centered façade. Things just feel easier when you feel you are part of reality. Mariner offers you literature:
      You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. Kahlil Gibran.
      Giving of self requires empathy.

      See “What is Empathy” July 21.
      Ancient Mariner

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