CHOOSING Theosophical principles of Universal Unity and Harmony over brutality, the country of Bhutan has a developed “a unique way of judging the development of its society,” says the Humane Society International.
Bhutan accomplishes this, the Society reports, “by measuring its GNH (Gross National Happiness), rather than the more conventional GNP (Gross National Product).”
“In Bhutan the concept of GNH is based on the premise that, for human society, true progress takes place when material and spiritual advancement occur side by side, complementing and reinforcing each other.”
This is demonstrated in Bhutan’s policy of animal welfare. “Overpopulation of free-roaming dogs has been a major problem in Bhutan,” HSI reports — “but, for this Buddhist nation, controlling their numbers using fatal methods was never an option.”
Obeying the perennial Esoteric Doctrine, Mme. Blavatsky explained, “the adherents of two religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, now the oldest in the world, regard the animal world — from the huge quadruped down to the infinitesimally small insect — as their ‘younger brothers.'”
“Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, they are the only ones who ever have.” -Margaret Mead
Shielded even from the healing magnetism of Earth by the concrete and macadam of New York City, we worried we might have become head-doctrine theorists for animal welfare. Separated from our once and sacred connection to the natural world of fields, trees and stars, we needed a serious reality check.
It was thus we turned again for inspiration to Julia Butterfly Hill, whose painful and often dangerous vigil atop a giant Redwood she named “Luna,” to save it from being cut down, led her to an elevating moment of inner awakening and higher consciousness. Surviving a howling, 18-hour storm that nearly took her life, Julia recounts how she became aware of her own inner Buddha by letting go. “I had to have my attachments broken,” she said. In the process she discovered an inner spiritual resolve to serve all others, and sacred Nature.
“Buddha and the Big Fish”
Translated only last year, an ancient Buddhist Sutra reads:
“The death of one Taimen equals the souls of 999 people suffering.”
“When you talk to people about that particular sutra,” said Betsy Gaines Quammen, Executive Director of The Tributary Fund, “it’s pretty compelling.”
“What could a conservation organization, a group of Buddhist monks and a really big fish all have in common? They come together in a small part of Mongolia known as The Eg-Uur Watershed Area where some amazing things are happening.”
“The Tributary Fund” is an organization that protects ecosystems around the world by combining conservation and culture. In 2004 they started a project with the Eg-Uur Buddhist monks to both rebuild their monastery — which was destroyed during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s — and to help the community find ways of protecting their waterways and the endangered Taimen – the largest species of salmon in the world.
All this is achieved by finding a common ground between the teachings of Buddhism and environmentally sound conservation practices. Join Filmmaker Ian Kellett as he tells us the story of “Buddha and the Big Fish.”
What Society Needs Most
Angered first for lacking the courage to unexpurgatedly confront modern abuses of Nature, and second to deliver them unvarnished in our posts. But by our own estimate we failed immeasurably in W. Q. Judge fearlessly opined in What our Society Needs Most: to fearlessly preach the heart doctrine convictions at whatever cost to delicacy:
“We should do as Buddha taught his disciples, preach, practice, promulgate, and illustrate our doctrines. He spoke to the meanest of men with effect, although having a deeper doctrine for greater and more learned minds. Let us, then, acquire the art of practical exposition of ethics based on our theories and enforced by the fact of Universal Brotherhood.”
When the editors of TheosophyWatch see articles such as “Protected Whales Found in Japan’s Supermarkets”, we get a bit hot under the collar.
The full title of the article is “High Proportion of Protected Minke Whales Sold on Japanese Markets is Due to Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated Exploitation.”
Iceland Kills Endangered Fin Whale
Japan, Iceland, and other countries’ slaughter of whales is a perennial tragedy. We wonder what happened to the lawsuit former Governor Sarah Palin filed against the feds because she wanted the State of Alaska to kill whales.
And we also wait, eagerly, to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will confirm in US v. Stevens that it’s a crime to create, sell or possess videos and other depictions of animal cruelty for entertainment.
It is with the intent of following in the footsteps of the Buddha that we “illustrate our doctrines.” Below is an eye-opening, conscience-rending, investigative documentary produced by the Humane Society of the United States which speaks for itself:
Calves Abused at a Vermont Slaughter Plant
The video below is not for entertainment. Watching it for the first time, we were frankly shocked — then outraged.
This is the Humane Society’s undercover video that led authorities to shut down the Bushway Packing slaughter plant. The footage includes graphic images of inhumane handling and slaughter of days-old veal calves.
The Human Effect
”How much have you thought upon the effect of Karma upon the animals, the plants, the minerals, the elemental beings?,” asks Theosophy co-founder William Quan Judge.
Excerpts from Universal Applications of Doctrine:
“Have you been so selfish as to suppose that they are not affected by you? …as the Apostle of the Christians said, it is true that the whole of creation waits upon man and groans that he keeps back the enlightenment of all…
“The sum total of the effects of all these deaths of small things must be appreciable. If not, then our doctrines are wrong and there is no wrong in putting out the life of a human being.
“Every day in the shooting season in England vast quantities of birds are killed for sport, and in other places such intelligent and inoffensive animals as deer. These have a higher intelligence than insects, a wider scope of feeling. Is there no effect under Karma for all these deaths?
The Auction Block
“What a chimera is man! what a confused chaos, what a subject of contradiction! a professed judge of all things, and yet a feeble worm of the earth! the great depository and guardian of truth, and yet a mere huddle of uncertainty! the glory and the scandal of the universe!” – PASCAL
“Why is it, then, that even delicate ladies will enjoy the recital of a bird or deer hunt?,” asks W. Q. Judge, and concludes:
“It is their Karma that they are the descendants of long generations of Europeans who some centuries ago, with the aid of the church, decided that animals had no souls and therefore could be wantonly slaughtered.”
“The same Karma permits the grandson of the Queen of England who calls herself the defender of the faith — of Jesus — to have great preparations made for his forth-coming visit to India to the end that he shall enjoy several weeks of tiger-hunting, pig-sticking, and the destruction of any and every bird that may fly in his way.”
A leader in the biodynamic movement once told me that he doesn’t believe that global warming is caused by carbon emissions — that it’s caused by humanity’s own hatred and anger. That hatred and anger not only affects everything on the planet, but the sun as well and its functions, he said.
Perhaps if we could cool down our own hostilities, the planet would consequently cool off as well.
And as William Judge mentions above, our consciousness affects everything at all levels of existence. Would not a stance of blessing and gratitude have a profound transforming effect?
Children Meditating – A Beginning
The Meditation Initiative provides free meditation classes, training and community service outreach for children, adults and seniors to help prevent stress and anxiety, improve focus and attention, and share tools for anger management while improving overall health and well-being.
Shark Fin Soup
“For verily when the world feels convinced – and it cannot avoid coming one day to such a conviction – that animals are creatures as eternal as we ourselves,” Blavatsky writes:
“… vivisection and other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will, after calling forth an outburst of maledictions and threats from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.”
A Universe Within
“Every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote. And…
“If plants can be shown to have nerves and sensations and instinct (but another word for consciousness), why not allow the same in the cells of the human body?”
In addition, she wrote, “occultism tells us that every atom, like the monad of Leibnitz, is a little universe in itself,” and that
“Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”
Being the God of Your Universe
“If we believe in the doctrine of the One Life,” W. Q. Judge continues, “then every cell in these material bodies must be governed by the same laws.
“Each cell must be a life and have its karma, devachan, and reincarnation.”
“Everyone of these cells upon incarnating among the others in our frame must be affected by the character of those it meets and we make that character…. Therefore every hour of life is fraught with danger or with help ….”
An Independent Race of Thinkers
“Coming down to the man, we find that he is a collection of molecules or lives or cells, each stiving with the other,” Judge wrote,
“and all affected for either good or bad results by the spiritual aspirations or want of them in the man who is the guide or god, so to say, of his little universe.
“The whole body of man is composed of cells, and these cells are now being recognized as individual organisms,” Blavatsky wrote, “and — quien sabe —
“will come perhaps to be recognized some day as an independent race of thinkers inhabiting the globe, called man! It really looks like it.“
“When he is born, the molecules or cells or lives that are to compose his physical and astral forms are from that moment under his reign, and during the period of his smaller life they pass through a small manvantara [cycle] just as the lives in the universe do, and when he dies he leaves them all impressed with the force and color of his thoughts and aspirations, ready to be used in composing the houses of other egos.”
“Now here is a great responsibility revealed to us of a double character.
“The first is for effects produced on and left in what we call matter in the molecules, when they come to be used by other egos, for they must act upon the latter for benefit or the reverse.
“The second is for the effect on the molecules themselves in this, that there are lives or entities in all — or rather they are all lives — who are either aided or retarded in their evolution by reason of the proper or improper use man made of this matter that was placed in his charge.”
TreeFriends: An Evolving Story, asks:
How can I change my behavior to reflect my interconnection and interdependence to all life?
The core purpose of TreeFriends is to bring about urban behavioral change in response to multiple global crises.Using the arts—poetry, art, music, dance, theatre and deep dialogue — TreeFriends invites people to revisit our fundamental human story in order to change it radically so that it aligns with current scientific findings that confirm the interrelated and interdependent nature of all life on planet Earth. ( Read more……(.pdf) )
You can help save Buddha’s Big Fish of interconnectedness:
H. P. Blavatsky writes:
“… is the presence of an undeniable design in [the Cosmos].
“The silent and unreachable stars down to the humble lichen, from man to the invisible lives now called microbes…alone stand as an undying and ceaseless evidence and proof of the existence of that One Principle.”
On Lord Buddha’s Heart
“He was the only man who was ever ready to give up his life for animals to stop a sacrifice. He once said to a king, ‘If the sacrifice of a lamb helps you to go to heaven, sacrificing a man will help you better — so sacrifice me.’
“The king was astonished. And yet this man was without any motive power.
“He stands as the perfection of the active type, and the very height to which he attained shows that through the power of work we can also attain to the highest spirituality… I wish I had one infinitesimal part of Buddha’s heart.
“… he did not want to go to heaven, did not want money— he gave up his throne and everything else and went about begging his bread through the streets of India, preaching for the good of men and animals with a heart as wide as the ocean.
“…In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door.”