Life is too short for doubt. Whatever you doubt you either really want to do it, or you don’t. So do or don’t, and move on I say.
If kindness is a state of being that exists in the context of an uncaring machine, can it exist?
A kind machine is… a person? It is the modern person, yes, and the contradiction is why they break down.
If kindness is our sense of self in a world full of other self-beings that we can have relationships with, can it exist?
That’s the only way it CAN exist.
Let’s see if it gets in the way of practical matters. If the land you live on is a living thing that you can interact with, would it prevent you from farming?
It has not prevented me from doing so. Yes. Judging by its behaviour, it actually seems to want it. It does better when new life is brought into the land, the soil covered in wheat and planted with trees.
I would prefer a forest to the 150 acres of crop land, but taxes must be paid. Taxes are mechanical, and today a necessary evil.
If the sky is a living being that you can interact with, would it prevent you from breathing?
We’d breathe better.
So earth and sky. If animals were another kind of people, and you had to live with them, would that prevent you from preying on them? Is not part of the relationship between various species one of predation?
I don’t need animals to be other than they already are and I do NOT prey on them. They are my family. They do prey on each other. I also see them as my family, and I have had a very dark relationship with my human brothers and sisters as well.
There are realities we don’t seem able to escape. Sometimes we only go on if we kill, but yes, there is a natural constraint to killing. Kindness tells us that we should not kill without real reason. Kindness as an instinct tells us to leave life in place unless survival requires otherwise.
Ok. How this relates to more abstract things… The mind is no different than the earth, and the mind gives rise to forms that have their own character and nature, imaginings, feelings, thoughts, memories. How do we treat these things?
Ignore them. Even worse. If it was just as simple as not giving them attention, that wouldn’t be so bad, but we reject them. We try to cut them off from the very land that gave birth to them.
We call them nonsense but they have to be all sense. And we disrespect them as well, yes. This at times can have frightening consequences. What if we saw thoughts and imaginings as being their own people? Would it make us crazy?
I need to start listening to my imaginary friend then. They are still my friend.
Like dealing with out ‘inner child’ as a person. It would heal us.
Can you disrespect an imagining and respect a person who exists for you only as an imagining in your brain generated by your eyes? Functionally there is no separation between the two processes. Your brain uses the same parts of itself either way.
I have for a long time seen my various sub-personalities as “persons.” Even given them names, so as to honor them better.
What would we act like if we let our imagined beings have their own lives?
I feel that “I” am most sane when all of us come together around the same table and listen to each other.
To relate this back to the Scrooge story, one might think that treating imaginings as persons would put you out of touch with reality. Ever notice that other people often imagine more or less some of the same things you do? Don’t we get the experiences for our imagination from the same place? What if the reason two people can have the same imaginary character is because that character has its own existence? Is real? What would that do to our kindness? If we related to these shared characters as if they were persons?
To include everything as ‘real’ would open ourselves and we’d be kind.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.