horse-mastTAKE A CLOSER LOOK
The American Holocaust Against The Animals - Article Series From The Caring Heart with Dr. Joyce from Spokane Washington

“And be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

There is a long-term, massive, horrific holocaust against all kinds of animals going on in these United States of America.  These innocent, defenseless miracles of God’s creation are neglected, injured, and killed in countless mind-boggling ways!  Terrible, terrible cruelty in our “great” country!

What goes on in the minds of such cruel, or even callously indifferent people, to commit or to allow such brutality?  Let’s start discussing this issue at a very basic level.  As the writer of the above Bible verse admonished, God requires us to change, to mature, to be more Holy. In order to be able to do the perfect will of God we need to be renewed by the transforming of our minds.  The state of our minds has everything to do with how we appraise the view around us.  Moreover, how we appraise the things in our view of the world around us has everything to do with what we do about the things in that world, for good or for bad.  Our mental status has everything to do with what we are even aware of, of what we notice, of what we pay attention to, and what we act on. 

Most of us live through most of our days sensing basically the same scenes around us.  Over and over again, what we see, what we touch, and what we hear are endlessly repeated.  There is an awareness that is much more complex and influential than mere sensing.  That deeper awareness is PERCEPTION.  When we perceive something, our brains are busy giving those sensations MEANING.  We know (usually) what the sensed object is.  We know its name.  We know what it is made of, how it was made, how it works, and etc.  Because of our brains’ broader knowledge base, and our memories of the object, including our feelings about it, we (usually) know the object’s moral status – whether it is good, or bad, or indifferent.  Especially as applied to very familiar objects, we know what the meaning of the object is FOR US.  How do we feel about it?  Should we seek it?  Ignore it?  Or avoid it?  Protect it or get rid of it?  We go on to make JUDGMENTS about it, and to PLAN COURSES OF ACTION, OR INACTION. 

In thinking about the usual casual habits of most of us human beings, it seems obvious that we need to TAKE A CLOSER LOOK at what crosses our field of vision.  If the sequence of instantaneous mental happenings is as follows: (1.) sensing, (2.) perceiving, (3.) judging, and (4.) type of action, or inaction, it is incredibly crucial we be extremely careful to pay close attention to what is going on.  In other words, how we end up affecting other beings in our world depends enormously upon how we perceive them, which depends upon our mental status at the time – whether our minds have been renewed through transformation or not.  For example, an individual with an unregenerated mind looks at a wolf and perceives a dangerous killer, to be killed as quickly as possible.  An individual with a transformed mind would look at that same wolf and see a smart animal who is very family oriented, who works well together with his pack, and who actually helps the balance of nature by killing the old and/or sick animals, who then provide a lot of food for birds and small mammals after the wolf has finished eating.  Wolves were savagely hunted and killed in this country by the millions. Now, extensive efforts are being made to reintroduce wolves and help them survive. 

All the objects in our environment have value.  So many have EXTRINSIC VALUE, in other words, they have a purpose outside of themselves.  For example, pigs and cattle have extrinsic value as food, unfortunately. Trees have extrinsic value as lumber for building.  To very self-oriented people, extrinsic value is the ONLY value other beings have.  If they aren’t useful somehow to man, then they have no value, so they might as well be killed if they are in the way.  I recall watching my neighbor, out there on another neighbor’s big lawn, with poison, killing moles so they wouldn’t come over to his place and damage his new lawn.  I’ve also learned that moles do a wonderful job of aerating the soil and eat up lots of pesky bugs, which helps us out.  When I’ve had mole hills in my lawn, I just let them be.  No sense killing an innocent animal!  Right?

Extremely importantly, all objects have INSTRINSIC VALUE.  They are valuable in and for themselves, irrespective of their purpose for anybody else.  “It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man.  On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes, and not for the sake of something else.” - Maimonides, The Guide For The Perplexed. 1:72, c 1190.  Their “essence,” or deeper identity, which has been created by the God of the Universe, has incredible value and significance.  It is imperative that we TAKE A CLOSER LOOK to perceive and get into contact with their essential values, especially in regards to all of nature.  Really look at them!  See in their eyes that they are very smart for their species.  They have awareness and personality, and are just trying to get along to live a comfortable, long life.  So many species have abilities far beyond what man can do, such as the echolocation of dolphins, or the migration of birds over thousands of miles, on the first trial, without any kind of machine vehicles (like planes).   

When we are able to apprehend such awesome contact, we experience joy, awe, and gratitude at the miraculous significance of God’s creation.  Whenever I look at, and cuddle, my darling little terrier dog “Lucy,” I experience that awe and wonder.  I can’t image how God could have made someone so utterly winsome and precious.  I’m so grateful she is here with me, and I thank God for her. 

I am reminded of what I learned about the American Indians.  Reportedly, they lived in close harmony with nature, believing themselves to be creatures among creatures.  They believed in a shared planet. They respectfully believed in the spiritual nature of the other beings around them.  They regretted killing other animals, but when they needed to for food, clothing, and shelter, they would ask the animals’ forgiveness.  They only took from nature what they needed, and returned the rest (were they the original recyclers?)  

Mind-developing influences can work both ways, I think. Perceiving the objects in our environment with transformed, renewed minds helps us incredibly to appreciate others’ essential values. On the other hand, every time we latch onto the wondrous essential value of other beings, our minds become a little bit more transformed, to the good side.  Interestingly, a felt sense of satisfaction comes to us along with this enhanced awareness.                                  

The final, and most important point of this whole discussion is that when we deeply perceive the precious, essential nature of other beings, WE DON’T WANT TO HURT THEM, WE DON’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HURT THEM, AND WE WOULD DO ANYTHING IN OUR POWER TO AID AND PROTECT THEM.  THEY SEEM SO VERY DEAR!! 

Copyright 2017 – Dr. Joyce – The Caring Heart

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