Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dismissing Life: The Michael Vick Story.

I like to look at an issue in the national papers from time to time in order to flush out a few underlying aspects that may be missed in the rush to form our opinions. The Michael Vick story to me highlights our often times blatant dismissal of life. In fact, it points to not holding anything sacred anymore, basically desecrating life on Earth. Now before you agree with me, hear me out, because from my point of view, if we're fighting someone in order to protect something else we're desecrating life just as those we condemn are. 'Anti-this' and 'anti-that' is no different than the 'this' and 'that' we fight against! We've simply lost the way! We've become unconscious participants in the desecration of life.

Which brings me to Michael Vick. For all of those who have been living in a cave the last few weeks, or do not live in America, Michael was a star quarterback sitting at the very top of the sports juggernaut know as the N.F.L. With advertising endorsements he was easily worth several hundred million dollars. And yet, having it all, he got busted in an extremely ugly dog-fighting ring and in a matter of days is now a federal felon staring down the possibility of several years in prison and a lifetime ban from football. His endorsements, gone, colleagues, gone, hundreds of millions of dollars, gone, integrity and respect, gone. I remember first hearing about this situation surrounding Michael and immediately thinking, 'good, he deserves it.' I mean the reported abuse, torture, and death of so many dogs was absolutely appalling and the ignorance of someone taking part in such heinous crimes seemed worthy of harsh punishment. And yet, feeling the way I did, thinking the thoughts I did, having the angry impulse to strike out as I did, all such internal movement was simply suspended. Do you know what I mean by suspended? I mean I witnessed the arising of all of these thoughts, feelings, and impulses and that was it. They led to no action, they led to no conversation, they led to no believable opinion or judgment, they were simply experienced as 'internal phenomena,' and impartial ones at that. In other words, there was no belief driving them into action. And then as a few more days went by Michael held his press conference to express his regret and remorse for his actions. I listened to him, I saw him, I felt him, we had a connection as he spoke because both he and I are human beings and I forgave him. Forgiveness is not the right word. I understood.

Michael Vick,abuse,dogs
You see, Michael and his friends obviously dismissed the life of so many dogs. They dismissed the dignity of so many people, they desecrated the sacredness of life by thoughtlessly abusing it, but so do all the hate mongers who wanted him burned at the stake. So do all the human beings who act upon their internal impulses of hate, aggression, righteousness and violence. So did all the humans who voiced their judgment, reacted from impartial emotions, and stepped out to dismiss yet another life, Michael's, without understanding it first. Now don't get me wrong, understanding someone does not mean hearing their life story, processing their psychological jargon, or rationalizing their past behavior. It means knowing yourself! It means paying attention to the actual, moment to moment, movement of life.

All action that is driven by unconscious, impartial, and reactive internal phenomena is the manifested perpetuation of the dismissal of life. That holds true for me and you just as much as it does for Michael. It shows an immaturity, an inability to face life as it is so that one fully understands its indivisible movement. The hate I act upon is only different than the hate you act upon when perceived through a delusional construct in my mind. Without the delusional construct there is only hate. I hope Michael can find his own personal redemption. I hope those who hate Michael can find their own personal redemption. I hope those who defend Michael can find their own personal redemption. As for the many dogs lost in this hideous circumstance, I promise you they are free from the pain and torture inflicted upon them. How about you? Are you free or are you a slave to your thoughts, feelings, impulses, and past experiences that continually beckon you to dismiss the sacredness of life?