The Meaning of Life – Making Sense of Our Cosmic Insane Asylum

We need a new religion…

St. Peter - "Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled, and its meat defiles."

St. Peter – “Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled and its meat defiles.”

If souls are eternal, and I believe that’s so, God is all of us, every sentient life ever born to die on this planet, for all time. These unfathomable numbers of births and deaths must be endured by God to cleanse itself, to filter out the bad from the good and eventually to be pure bliss without the pain and misery of the disease called evil. As far as what “God” is, exactly, I don’t know…we’re all in the dark about that. As an infinitesimal part of said God while here as individuals, we’re all far too cut off to see the whole, out there, somewhere. Or everywhere. Where “there” is no place we can understand.

A huge part of the cleansing process would be to purify the marginal, as in good Germans or those who are conscious of the sources of their meat, and who only support necessary cruelty, or who remain ignorant and know not what they do. Those who enable evil but are basically good themselves, often amazingly good in other ways. The marginal must be made purely good somehow, to be welcome back to the self-perfecting “creator.” That would be what we think of as heaven. While pure evil, when it is at last firmly identified, is sent off to its own reward with only itself to prey upon. As in “reap what you sow.” The obvious goal is for goodness to be in real peace at last. Rest In Peace. God is to become pure goodness, pure love, joy, all things wonderful. But the process itself is terribly messy…hellish. Here we all are, in it.

The religion mankind instead teaches itself…

The angry, egotistical, vengeful, blood-lusting, cruel god of the bibles would be a manmade charlatan, in this way of looking at it all. A demiurge, as in the Gnostic Christian view. The demiurge is defined as a being subordinate to the Supreme Being (the pure goodness in all life and the universe). This “false god” is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual. The purpose of that, I guess, would be to keep us all in the dark, to keep our trials a total mystery to us and make them as difficult as possible. For many of us to act as mindless faithfuls, believing and attempting to live according to bible texts which rational minds see as madness.

Another purpose for said false god would be to prevent this purging and purification of the true Supreme Being, because this false god is evil itself (as in “devil”) and doesn’t want to be banished. That makes what’s behind the sadistic, brutal teachings of those bibles a lot clearer, to me anyways.

Earth as Purgatory…

In my estimation, the real God’s purging process is what we are all part of here. As in purgatory, where souls are being tested and sorted out, and where others are atoning for their sins before going to heaven. Purgatory, a state of mental anguish or suffering. Where those born as humans, possessing moral knowledge and judgment, are tested to the fullest extent by our treatment of supposedly “inferior” others, whether animal or human, but most significantly, animals.

I believe our suffering as humans also goes into account as far as our eternal fates, which would only be fair. And I believe those humans who die before they can learn and prove themselves get more chances as humans. One thing would be certain: Nothing but proven goodness would be going back “home.”

Hindu Elephant God

Hindu Elephant God

All animals everywhere would be housing God/human souls atoning for their sins before going to heaven. As in the person who regretfully supported animal abuse and killing who must endure life as a totally innocent pig or cow in a meat farm to be made to understand and become pure before being welcome back home, where evil is no longer tolerated or suffered. Some humans would require many lifetimes here as others…anyone from squirrels to cows to creatures like fleas (parasitic people?) who can be justifiably killed for being a health hazard, or whoever…before being welcome back.

Our past life(lives) seem to be obliterated from our minds while we’re here, for reasons unknown, but perhaps because the influences of the past might keep us from further learning and thus prevent our being purified, requiring more physical lives to sort us out.

The non-human (innocent and unknowing animal) existence must teach the soul a lesson that cannot be learned when one possesses human moral knowledge and judgment. Since when the individual had that great opportunity, that knowledge, he/she failed, but not to a hopeless extent. These marginal, benign but evil-enabling souls wouldn’t learn as fully functioning humans, so they have to learn as “other” (whether animals or desperately disadvantaged people, likely victims of unjust violence and undeserved deaths). Those souls clearly deemed hopelessly evil would go straight from being human to being forever banished to exist with only their kind, i.e., hell.

The Buddhists are right or mostly so?

phra_ajan_jerapunyo-abbot_of_watkungtaphaoI used to believe this was a fruitless, even counterproductive process because the evil required to “punish” those now innocent animals would be never-ending. So reincarnation seemed sadistic and pointless to me. But being born as animal is not actually punishment, it’s purification. Their having good lives knowing the love and care of good people teaches them just as much as their being in pain and fear from birth to death at the hands of the sadistic and/or foolish. Either way, they learn empathy from the viewpoint of the most vulnerable. They understand why evil must be identified and cast out forever.

The choices involved for humans regarding animals and the resulting actions we take are vital to judging us and sorting us out. So it must be done. As random as it all seems…and is…there is a method to the madness. Nature’s violence and predation are of course involved in the process as much as anything else…those animals, too, are God/human souls being purified.

In this purgatory, the incentive to put an end to people’s exploitation/abuse/killing of animals is as strong as ever, since that also serves to put and end to the evil, not to perpetuate it. This is the very good reason why animal advocates are more and more compelled speak up, to “preach” to everyone, as hated as we are for it. Those who know better, do better, and otherwise hopeless souls get “saved” in the bargain. Best of all, this world becomes far more beautiful, less violent, less frightening…far less hellish. No one loses from that. And soon this place of predators and prey, kill to eat, survival of the fittest, food chains, etc. …this place full of chaos, bloodshed and anguish…ceases to be necessary any longer. Everything will be sorted out and everything will be in perfection, forevermore.

pig_lactationDo I think my being vegan makes me close to perfect, heaven bound?

I don’t know. I don’t claim to know how the decisions are made about who gets to go where and when, but I’m more and more trusting that the system makes perfect sense and that justice prevails in the end, that everything works out for the best, despite what a miserable hell this world is for so many innocent ones, as well as for those of us who empathize and suffer continually for the most persecuted and suffering of others.

I of course don’t know for certain where I’ll go after this life, but certainly hope it’s heaven (who wouldn’t?), or if I’m not pure & good enough yet, to a human life here again but in an enlightened, healthy, secure family that is already reliably vegan for ethical reasons, so that I can more effectively help to get this extensive and excruciating process to completion. Or maybe I need to live an animal existence to perfect my soul…and I would certainly hope to be a companion animal for someone like myself or better, and never victimized by evil. Another (selfish) reason to fight for animal rights and human kindness everywhere.

Most importantly, I believe the animals and other innocent victims of evil here are in bliss, safe forever at the end of their “processing.” Back home. But a far, far better home. A perfect home.

A personal memory and hard-learned lesson…

chasing_ghosts_at_cha%cc%82teau_de_vianden_3940080719My grandma’s spirit somehow communicated all of this to me in brief seconds the night after she died in our home, although I was typically slow in catching on, all caught up in teen angst and a custom brand of misery. She was my first close family death and it was beyond sad, it was life-changing. On that strange night and afterward, she spiritually got through to me that animals are far more important than people realized and that everything will be made perfect in the end. She came to me as I lay in bed (scared the living daylights out of me) to get this message through, probably because she was soon to be reborn as an animal to be purified. After that brief appearance as a ghost in late 1973 and then for awhile as a part of my mind, grandma was then not heard from again, even though I needed much more guidance.

Guide yourself, young doofus, it all seemed to say.

I first went vegetarian for awhile in the year following grandma’s ethereal message, but it didn’t last and I was still somewhat of a malignant asshole for many years, interspersed with being the opposite (and vegetarian off & on), as if to compensate. But that important seed was firmly planted, and here I am, a far better person than ever possible before that. So, I’m one of these many obsessed vegans and animal liberation blatherers of today. But it is vital. Thank you, grandma, for that salvation.

So in conclusion…

516396125_1280x720The real God is good. Goodness is its own reward. Evil requires retribution as in banishment. Reap what you sow. Have faith and be kind and fight for it. Live by the Golden Rule. Clichés, yes, but meaningful and true. Earn your way back to our newly perfect…Home. Best of all, to be with all of your loved ones once again…perfectly devoid of evil, suffering and death.

May all the tortured become forever free as birds in flight

I find birds magical, of the world but free from it as well, as long as their wings are intact and they remain unharmed. So much easier to remain unharmed when you can simply fly into the sky and far away. Except for firearms, that is, used by envious people to totally unfairly bring down these amazing, beautiful creatures. And except for the pet trade and such, which puts them in little cages and leaves them there for life…which is too unspeakable for me to write about. What could I possibly say to make that go away?

Birds are an ancient life form still reminiscent of dinosaurs. Most birds are omnivores, but they range from strictly carnivorous to vegan (grain/seeds/fruit), and of course the carnivores must do so to avoid torturous deaths from starvation. Unlike people. Birds are amazingly tough and brave. Able to soar through the skies with that special view of this mad world, contemplating us all, thinking what, I can only guess at. A “bird’s eye view” I’d love to have…

Country House - Pesaro, Italy

Country House – Pesaro, Italy

I want such powerful wings owned forever-after by all who’ve suffered unjustly while trapped in this world. Of course, no one would be tearing apart and eating anyone else in this new sort of life, devoid of suffering and death. The way I’d have created if possessing such power.

Flightless birds like emus, ostriches and others (ratites), I feel terrible for. Such a cruel thing, to have too small wings (or too heavy bodies) which won’t let them fly. They deserve nothing less than compassion from us.

As for what cruel, abusive humans deserve…humans who should know much better? Simply whatever exacts justice for their deliberately, sadistically ruining existence for others. Certainly the opposite of magnificent wings. Away with them, to somewhere else entirely, to never inflict their awful hatred on others again. Yes I dream a lot. Why not?

Some lovely photos & thoughtful quotes:

american_robin

American Robin

“The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off – and they are nearly always doing it.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Red-Crowned Amazon Parrot – Olympus Digital Camera

rose_crowned_fruit_dove_m12

Rose-Crowned Fruit Dove

pigeon

Pigeon

“Birds were created to record everything. They were not designed just to be beautiful jewels in the sky, but to serve as the eyes of heaven.”  ~ Suzy Kassem, The Writings of – Rise Up and Salute the Sun

black-headed_gull_-_st_jamess_park_london_-_nov_2006

Black-Headed Gull – St. James’s Park, London, Nov. 2006

starling

Starling

prothonotary-warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

common_kingfisher

Common Kingfisher

two_gannets

Gannets

“Somewhere a bird sang, its chant hanging plaintive and melancholy in the still air…I think it’s a sort of lark or something. Our tradition has it that they sing with the voices of lost lovers. If the stars are smiling on them, you will hear its mate call back in a moment.” ~ Jane Johnson, The Tenth Gift

kittiwake-gulls

Kittiwake Gulls

vanellus

Vanellus

beautiful-firetail

Beautiful Firetail

curlew-sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

The sun’s rays have vision and give us vision. However, it is the birds’ eyes and the two invisible angels by your side that record everything. Nothing goes unnoticed throughout the universe. Wherever there is a vibration, there are eyes and ears. Some energies don’t need ears or vision to see or hear, they can feel what is in your heart and tap into all your sins and fears.” ~ Suzy Kassem, The Writings of – Rise Up and Salute the Sun

superb_fairy_wren2_liquidghoul

Superb Fairy Wren

allens_hummingbird

Allens Hummingbird

“I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.” ~ Terry Tempest Williama, Refuge, An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Male), Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon, Near Green Valley, Arizona

Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Male), Madera Canyon, Arizona

Glossy Ibis in Quintana Winters

Glossy Ibis in Quintana Winters

“The stork is voiceless because there is really nothing to say.” ~ Will Cuppy

egret_tasmania

Egret – Tasmania

atlantic-puffin

Atlantic Puffin

great_egret_on_morro_strand_state_beach_morro_bay_ca_great-egret-morro-strand-6-17-06036_324317356

Great Egret on Morro Strand State Beach, Morrow Bay, California

crested_tern_tasmania

Crested Tern – Tasmania

“Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.” ~ Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven

raven-ingrid-taylar-flickr

Raven – Ingrid Taylar, Flickr

[All images are public domain, free to reuse, or attributed to owner where required.]

My Little Lily is “Gone”

If you don’t adore dogs, or you find “much ado” about animals pointless or annoying, just move yourself right along, nothing to see here…

[Please see UPDATES at bottom!]

About six weeks back I noticed my nine-year-old dog Lily grunting a bit when out for her usual mile or two walk/hikes with me, as if she had something stuck in her windpipe or something. Progressively the coughing got more frequent and worse, exactly resembling what’s called “kennel cough.” So I assumed it was kennel cough, which is said to last anywhere from a week to three, or even six weeks or more in severe cases. Dogs with kennel cough are supposedly very contagious to other dogs, so everyone hates it when someone brings in a dog with kennel cough to the vet’s office. That’s one reason I avoided veterinary care and relied on hope and internet advice instead.

The kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine is admitted even by vaccine pushers to be very unreliable; vaccinated dogs often come down with kennel cough, of differing strains. The disease, which is a viral and/or bacterial infection of the respiratory tract, is supposed to just run its course and be done with, perhaps with some cough medicine to soothe things, and lots of rest and healthy food, fresh water, all that. So that’s what I did.

Here’s what kennel cough looks and sounds like in a much larger dog, still very similar:

But come to find out, that’s not what Lily had at all.

About five weeks later, after Lily’s coughing pretty much was over with, she stopped eating, gradually. I’d thought we were on our way back to normalcy, except for this new food refusal thing…so disheartening…she’d always been a huge food lover. (And yes, she was vegan except for occasional “free” meat treats.) Then things got steadily worse and worse. She began stopping on our walks and had to be carried home, out of breath and exhausted, in distress. After the worst instance of that, a week ago today, she never went on a walk again except to mosey around off-leash foraging for grass, which she must have thought would help her, towards the end.

The last few days were hellish, but I did everything I could to make her comfortable. Her breathing was very labored, short and quick, and by the end she was refusing to eat ANYTHING. But the sweet little angel she was, when she had to go potty (she was still drinking water) she’d hoist her poor weak little body up to get out to the patio, to not make a mess in the house. I’d thought the little movement could do her some good.

Where’d this little dog come from?

Back in 2007, my brother phoned me from his and my dad’s workplace and told me my dad had brought a puppy with him from home, for me. Egads! The last thing I needed was another dog. Our apartment complex’s limit was two and I already had two seriously beloved rescue dogs, Corky and Mattie. But how could I say no to Lily? Corky was about 18 so I figured I wouldn’t be breaking lease rules for too long, with three dogs, and Corky did die five months later. Lily’s story was that my dad’s next-door neighbors had moved away and simply left their four-month-old puppy behind to fend for herself all alone in the world. Here she is several years ago:

Lily (long-haired chihuahua & Jack Russell terrier mix)

Lily (long-haired chihuahua & Jack Russell terrier mix at about age 3)

My dad’s wife had wanted him to get rid of her and sent him off to work with Lily in the back seat (she’d had no name then). Well, he couldn’t just dump her somewhere, so of course there she was with my dad when my brother went into the office, snarling and barking at him suspiciously. She of course came to love him dearly as she did anyone close to me. But others had to beware of her sharp little teeth…she did not like or trust strangers and thought that she, all 15-20 pounds of her, could take on anyone no matter their size. So I just worked around it for the nine years and simply didn’t let her get her teeth into anyone…she never did actually bite anyone, thank goodness.

Lily was a great little dog and I’ll never forget her.

She was a holy terror when first living with me though, took six months to house-train her in which I almost lost my mind…really. I cleaned up so much urine from the carpet and so much shredded confetti which was once my books and such, that I can only smile now, looking back. At one point I’d decided to use a diaper on her when I went to work, so she showed me. I came home to a totally shredded diaper and pad and multiple pee puddles in the carpet, along with what looked like an exploded pile of magazine bits all over the living room, in every nook and cranny to boot. My hysterics at these instances eventually taught Lily what was and wasn’t approved of, and she became an absolutely sweet and precious, responsible, totally non-destructive girl who would almost rather die than pee or poop in the house, totally loved her doggy door. She would only play with toys or other dogs anymore, never again tore up any of my “valuable” (hah) belongings. As an aside, she liked and respected all cats…was so polite with them, must have been familiar with them (and those scary claws) from her puppyhood.

And this little dog had a bark from hell, lol. Her voice, when wanting to be alarming, was eardrum shredding, mind-numbing, like the mega amplified crowing of a giant rooster, and this dog loved her barking. Not that I let her disturb the neighbors, much, but I’m sure they’ve all heard her at one time or another, despite my diligent efforts to spare them. I have nice neighbors though, so never had any complaints.

Just two of Lily’s more adorable habits, for anyone who enjoys this sort of thing: I eat breakfast cereal regularly and Lily always expected the last crumbly bits in the bag when the cereal was almost gone. She seemed to know the bag sound at that point and would trot into the kitchen doing this cute little growl/howl. Then I’d put the ripped open bag down for her and she’d step on the edge with one foot and go to town on those crumbs as if they were the most delicious bits ever.

Mattie crop

Lily’s partner in crime, Mattie (rat terrier, rescued in 2005, now 15 yrs old)

Another one was, every time I did my little workout routine, she knew exactly when it was time for the crunches which I do sort of hanging partly off the bed. Every time, she’d trot into the bedroom before me, growl/howling again, and frisk around beneath my head with her partner in crime, Mattie, pictured here, until the crunches were over. Then all was back to normal. Every single time she did this, for years. But, sadly, not for this last week.

D-Day – I finally stopped being a coward and got her to the vet.

See, I didn’t know it, but Lily actually had lung cancer, not kennel cough, which my vet discovered today. I’d gone in hoping for some treatments that would get her back on the road to health, or to have her euthanized if it was hopeless. Realizing this “kennel cough” was not going to go away after all, that it was hopeless to keep on hoping, and that she may have developed pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or any number of horrible things.

She was in a lot of distress this morning, but too weak to even complain…yet still wagging that tireless little tail at me, with that loving expression on her face. My kennel cough “treatments” had done her no good at all. The lung cancer had to be fast growing and aggressive, because in about six weeks time (since the first bit of coughing), the vet said it had gotten quite huge, too advanced for any treatment to really do any good. And in case anyone wonders about the cause, so do I. I never smoke cigarettes and she’d only rarely been indoors with a smoker, and not for a couple of years, while some dogs live with chain smokers. Obviously, some unknown carcinogen had invaded poor Lily’s body.

So today, after finally finding out what was actually wrong with her, I made that gut wrenching decision to give her the lethal injection and end her life. This was after days of virtually no food…she was actually repulsed by food of any kind on the last day…and progressively more “painful” looking breathing, where she just lay limp and weak and miserable. The injection went well and she died within moments as I stroked her head and told her what a good girl she was. God I miss her. Life is strange and awkward with me and Mattie back at home now. But we’ll get through this.

If I’d have known from the beginning it was lung cancer, I would not have opted for surgery, chemo, radiation…so much pain and suffering for so doubtful an outcome. Would have gotten pain reliever for her and not let it go on so long. Believing it was kennel cough and that it would pass, well, that certainly did Lily no good. But she was still wagging her cute little tail when spoken to (often) and making every effort to appear “happy” and fight whatever was causing her pain. She wanted so much to go on her walks again and to play with Mattie, to enjoy her food, all her usual beloved routines. And so did I want that. Badly. But it wasn’t to be.

I, Mattie, my family, and anyone who got to know Lily (very few lucky souls, lol) will miss her adorable little presence in this world, dearly. When she did warm up to someone, she treated him like a rock star. One was a friend, David, whom Lily was always on the lookout for and would perk up and behave as if Elvis had been spotted whenever any tallish, bald tough guy with a goatee was within her view. The extreme elation upon actually seeing…HIM!…and conversely the obvious disappointment at seeing it wasn’t him, were equally adorable.

Lily, a.k.a., Ling-Ling, Lil-Lil, Lily Monster, Lilith, was a little gem of a dog. Rest in peace with the rest of them, little angel. Hope I deserve to be with you all again someday, in Heaven.

Entrance to Heaven by Wonderlane on flickr

Entrance to Heaven by Wonderlane on flickr

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 TylerUPDATE 5/28/2016: On the left is a dog (held by his heroic savior) I hoped to adopt to fill the sad vacancy Lily’s passing left behind. I’d seen a little dog like him (probably him) running up the street while I was walking Mattie last Sunday. He got away from me and I could not find him. On Wednesday I checked a local Lost Dog page on Facebook and saw the little guy to the left…he looked awfully similar to the dog I’d seen running a few days earlier. He’d been saved from the street a couple of miles away, by a car dealership worker. I emailed them. He called next morning to say the dog had gone to a new home with a customer, and I thought that was that. But that night he called again to say the people brought him back. He was too troubled for them…not neutered, not house-trained, very frightened and prone to running away, etc., and their animals did not like him. So, guess who took him in? Yep, me. And it is a challenge, but we will persevere and we will win! Best of all, Mattie likes him. Pray for me though, people, this is rough. An 8-pound little guy with a lot of emotional troubles…was likely very abused somewhere, probably due to house-training failure and frustration, which is no excuse. He’s catching on quickly here, although he has urinated quite a bit indoors, but it’s cleaned up thoroughly and he’s more and more using the doggy door and going potty on the patio. But he will not walk on a leash yet so can’t go for walks; stands trembling like he’s paralyzed and will not take a step, has to be carried. But we will overcome these problems, eventually. He’s about a year old, and Tyler is his name.

UPDATE 6/11/2016: Tyler is coming along amazingly well in little over two weeks (got him on May 26); he’s been on many walks, trots along high-stepping as if there was never any problem. It turns out he’s a purebred chihuahua, not mixed with min pin; the picture distorts him a little. He’s just under nine pounds. Not that breed matters to me, not at all…I despise dog breeders. But this just shows how purebreds end up running the streets same as mixed dogs…being purebred is certainly no protection against abuse or any other terrible fate. My Mattie is a purebred rat terrier who was also found running the streets, apparently left behind after her “owners” moved away. Her obvious and desperate search for them for months afterward was heartbreaking.

Tyler’s almost totally house-trained now, only rarely still pees in the house, only pooped in the house once in the beginning. His fear of me is completely gone except for when he’s being shamed for a puddle on the carpet. His terror of any, even only verbal scolding is very sad; obviously someone…likely a woman…had abused him badly (he’s much more wary of women). Today he peed in the house again, only because it was sprinkling outside and he didn’t want to get his perfect little pelt wet, lol. But he’s sharp, sensitive, and really wants to be a good boy, as all dogs want to make us happy, they just need to know what’s the right thing to do. They’re confused and not knowing at all why they can’t just go potty whenever they need to and wherever they are. They also learn from other dogs, and my old girl Mattie has taught him a lot, but unfortunately he’s also learned to go nuts and bark at other dogs due to her doing that. So I plan to walk them separately as much as possible, to teach him calmness regarding other animals. It’s too late for Mattie, she’s nuts, but much better when by herself. They feed off each other’s nuttiness, as is pretty common with dogs.

So, Tyler has gone from a sad, petrified dog desperately looking for an escape who would tremble and act paralyzed when on leash, to a joyful, playful guy who loves positive attention and feels like a boss and totally loves his home and his walks, even jumps into the car on his own now. Shows the power of love 😌

And every day I think of Lily and how amazing she was, how very much she’s missed. Lung cancer, of all the freaking things! Dogs use their noses almost obsessively when out, so they do sniff a lot of unknown stuff into their lungs. Living kills us all. So enjoy what you can, and be kind.