Having a Hog for Dinner

Or maybe a chicken, or leg of lamb or a steak tenderloin. It is the ritual of the farming life. Most of us remember the family farm. It was a good way of life. Farm operation was self-sustained. There was a balance between investment, byproducts (including environmental contamination), and lifestyle.

Those were the good old days. Farmers took pride in their individual efforts and products. The County Fair was big time and winners could boast of best livestock, best crop, and even best harness race horse. Children were encouraged to compete in future farmer contests that required intense engagement with animals, their health and even their happiness.

It isn’t that way anymore. The reader remembers it that way, but that farm is long gone. Even organic farms are run for profit, not for lifestyle. Largely, what exist today are corporate farms. Corporate farms disregard the environmental impact; corporate farms waste water in immense volumes; corporate farms physically torture livestock to increase profit.

And Iowa is the worst state in the United States.

The mariner mentioned once before that he is a member of Food and Water Watch (FWW), which concerns itself with abusive treatment of resources, livestock, pollution, or misrepresentation to the customer. Below is a website that will lead you to a map that shows the concentration of corporate farms in the US. Look at Iowa. The Koch brothers participate in more corporate farms than any other Iowa corporation. They are opposed across the board to humane treatment of livestock and disregard the gross impact of their waste on the environment.


 Screw the world, give me my dollars. Does this describe the American dream?

Ancient Mariner


Using Oneness in Family Life



Husband and Wife. Marriage starts as a state of togetherness – togetherness and the discovery of a new relationship that intertwines the psychological uniqueness of each person into singularity. Togetherness seems very much like oneness but it is not. Togetherness has an element of self gratification. The period of togetherness can last from months to years depending on personality compatibility but a time will come when sharing emerges and togetherness fades. Sharing is the time when each person is able to identify permanent differences between themselves and their partner. Unlike togetherness, sharing implies a responsibility to empathize more clearly who the other person is, their wants, needs, and overall character.

The marriage shifts to personal and greater realities, which requires that each partner (if oneness is an objective) use empathy and compassion to reconcile their realities. This does not imply that love has left the relationship; there still is an emotional bond and a permanent respect for each other.

Still, the fact is that there are two separate persons at the base of the marriage. Each personality is different and has different empathetic and compassionate abilities. Each person forms agendas to express their personal objectives in life. Conflicts are inevitable and oneness skills defined earlier must become part of the reconciliation. As in any situation of personal and greater reality, the rule says your reality is always the least important. This assumption provides space for empathetic sharing and will lead to a compassionate solution for each partner. At times, easier said than done.

Gradually, issues that actually are extraneous fall away over the years and skilled marriage partners are able to mitigate most conflicts under the umbrella of empathy and compassion – oneness. One must not simply yield their reality for the sake of avoidance or compliance. This is false compassion. Reconcilement is required.

Not to understate togetherness, which always is present to some extent, but oneness becomes the primary objective for satisfaction in married life.

Children. Parents have a genetic desire to care for their children. Unfortunately, how to parent is not in school curricula. Many parents – make certain you understand that parenting dysfunction is not class, culture, or wealth specific – have children for myriad reasons that have nothing to do with wanting to share love and oneness. The list of reasons is virtually endless but a few examples are provided: the genetic motivation to procreate; accidental result of sex; reinforce the sense of self worth; cultural influence from definition of ‘family’; keeping up with friends who have children; extend the family name to the next generation, etc. Every example is based on fulfillment of self importance.

Many people who become parents should not be parents. In the context of oneness, they are incapable, for whatever reason, to recognize the relationship as a personal and greater situation. Therefore empathy and compassion are distorted, unevenly applied or can’t exist in the first place. Were it not for the resiliency of children to adapt to all but the most egregious maltreatment, cultural civility would have its limits.

The rules for oneness are more important when raising children because in a subconscious way children learn the parenting style and will reflect it as they grow older. There are frequent television commercials about paper towels or household cleaners. In these commercials, the parent is cleaning a mess made by a child who has neither sympathy, nor empathy, nor responsibility for the mess that was made. Nevertheless, the mother smiles and reassures the child with a hug while cleaning the mess. The objective is to sell towels or cleaner by showing cleaning is so easy there is no need to be frustrated or act out against the child. The author has wondered on many occasions whether the advertisement agencies know they teach oneness. Other cleaner commercials show the parent engaging in the creativity of drawing on the walls, throwing food, or dropping things down the toilet. One must acquire understanding if only by watching cleaner commercials.

Raising children who have passed puberty and are under twenty-five is another complexity. Within these children, the buds of awareness are present that show sympathy, empathy and compassion are present but the judgment when and how to use them must be learned during those youthful years. Indeed, large mistakes may be made like marrying before they understand the complexity of marriage, choosing to ignore the responsibility for actions that will assure a better and less troublesome life, choosing improper sets of friends that will be harmful in the long run, etc.

A parent cannot clean immature decisions with paper towels. The parent is on their own, sans cleaners, to practice oneness. It is often hard because the parent can see the error of the child’s ways and agonizes in their behalf. Nevertheless, the ability to understand personal and greater realities enables the parent to have more influence than otherwise may be available.

Forgiveness plays a large role in performing oneness with children.

The exercise: Essentially, this is the same exercise posed earlier in the section about which personal or which greater reality:  You know that you have difficulty relating to your child because of your opinion of the child’s behavior. Common phrases used by a parent are, “As long as you live in this house, you live by my rules!” or “you’re grounded!” or “You can’t go out until you clean your room and do your homework”! Imagine the child without letting your opinion affect you. Try to raise empathy. What are the good characteristics of the child? What reality does the child perceive that is different from yours? Can you define a personal and greater reality? What would you do instead of each quote above?

Ancient Mariner