Monday, January 09, 2006

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness

So this guy says, “I believe that housing is a right. I believe that breathable air is a right. I believe that having drinkable water is a right. I believe that having edible food is a right. No one should have to produce to have these things.”

Whoa buddy. Where exactly do these things, this housing, this food, this drinkable water (ok, so he has a point on the air, and with water flowing through my property, I certainly have a property right for it to arrive here clean and a responsibility that it leaves here clean) come from? Our house didn’t appear from thin though breathable air. Even the rags we call clothes don’t come from nowhere although a great number of them are salvaged -- but even the salvaging takes some effort, some “production.”

And food? Goodness, today happened to be the day we had the first of the bacon we salted from that pig we killed a few weeks ago. For more than a year and a half he had food taken to him every day. And that food was most often milk, that was milked from the cow. Not to mention chasing him all over creation the day he came to live here, or those two days filled with slaughtering and processing him, or these last three weeks salting and checking how the meat was curing. It doesn’t come from nowhere.

As we ate that first fruits bacon, we discussed how something like that just can’t be bought. It is obviously bacon but it isn’t like any bacon you’ve ever had unless you produce your own, or you remember when your grandparents did. It is more delicious than you can imagine, and with none of the poisons put in regular bacon (and all other processed meat -- do you know how strongly nitrates are associated with various cancers?). Why in the world those people we slaughtered with take the time and effort to slaughter instead of just buying their bacon is because, it just can’t be bought. At any price.

But it ain’t free.

Now, I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Ah, but we are in fact having a human experience. And I think perhaps the highest human expression is simply procuring for oneself and one’s family food, clothing, and shelter. Cooking for you family every day need not be a dreaded chore, but an act of love. Cleaning is the same. Growing food. Procuring shelter and warmth. They need not be boughten things, but can be acts of love, acts of responsibility, acts of intention, meditations themselves.

It seems to me that the highest expression of being human is not some ascetic denial of humanness nor some gluttonous overindulgence bought, but rather a simple and direct path, walk through our humanness.

And here is another thing -- the real danger of not having enough shelter or enough food, that is also part of who we are as humans. With that danger ruled out, people mistake office politics and political correctness and what football team won and who’s got cute clothes and the like for things that matter. It is the lack of the reality of procuring the basics directly that gives religion the trump over spirituality.


madcapmum said...

Yeah, there seems to be a tremendous confusion between the right to pursue these things and the right to have them provided.

And you're making me very envious with all that bacon talk. I have yet to find a source for bacon that isn't full of nitrites, etc., but I think I might have a lead.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Nitrates, nitrites, I always forget which one is the posionous one! LOL! But it really IS good bacon, enough so that I was asking when we might be getting another pig or two!

sheila jo said...

"It is the lack of the reality of procuring the basics directly that gives religion the trump over spirituality."

GREAT COMMENT! Can I quote it when needed? It has been said that if a man doesn't want to work, he shouldn't have (the right) to eat. My guess would be that the one who believes food and shelter are "rights" is looking for a handout.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Of course. I've found the religion of anyone involved in anything real doesn't really matter. All or none.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh, and I often spell poisonous wrong too. Several other words.

thingfish23 said...

I've got to take baby steps towards my own bacon, but it sure sounds nice!

I'm thinking a few chickens'll be a good starting place. And an actual vegetable garden.

Goals for 2006.

Joe Tornatore said...

last time I filled my car tire at a gas station, the air wasn't free.

Eleutheros said...

Well, Joe, what can you say? That's inflation!

WonderSoul said...

OK, I'm finally getting the picture. The best place to keep in touch is by blogmobile! Miss you. See you next week I hope.