April 2, 2018
From a physical point of view we are mammals called Homo Sapiens. We are warm blooded and suckle our young. We are unique in that we walk upright and our knees bend forward . If one takes this a bit further into the detail, we discover that we are quite specific in our physicality even though we have many common features with other earthly bound living creatures. The relationship of our physical makeup to animals is quite different. Going another step forward, a horse, that looks much like an enlarged German Shephard, cannot behave like the dog or eat what the dog eats, or vice versa. One cannot expect a dog to whinny or eat carrots with relish. Somehow there is a very fixed relationship between dog form and dog nature and horse form and horse nature. It is impossible to implant snake in mosquito or tortoise in antelope. So what is there in us that makes the difference? We can be stubborn as a donkey, sly as a fox, sing like canaries, be as poisonous as snakes and so on. In fact, we take it as an art to play other personalities. Each of us are different.
I am going to put forward a list, as crude as it may be, of what I think is a practical list of human qualities in an effort to give people a stepping stone into understanding their humanity. When I talk about the liberty sphere, I am talking about the qualities of our humanity, not our animality. What I include therefore in my list are qualities that animals do not have. This is a critical point to be clear on if we want to understand and differentiate out what our humanity is. Human beings have the quality of knowing good versus evil. They can pull things apart in their thinking and put them back together – analyse and synthesise. They also know the difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow – or consequence.
These are enhanced as a consequence of the practice of the following qualities:
Distinguishing human qualities Dehumanising qualities
(Lens openers) (Lens closers)
Love, compassion, empathy Hate
Skill Limited skill
Experience Reduced experience
Ownership of self Blame
Both of the qualities in the above lists are totally available to us at any time. We have a choice as to which quality we want to be. We are free in this regard. All of us know that if we were strong enough, we could be courageous or patient. It is nothing but ourselves that keep any of these qualities from us. There is no security code to getting access to love or openness. We simply need to decide whether we want it or not. The lens closers are our default position and lead us to being less human, less desired in circles where the good is sought.
All that one needs to do is test the concepts in any situation. For example, wash the dishes with lens closers living in you and then with lens openers. Which dishes will you prefer to use after washing them with the two different lists of qualities living in you? Now, try washing the dog or drafting a law or preparing a bank reconciliation.
If one starts to experiment with these qualities, you will discover that if you have strength in one lens opener quality, it provides the base for the development of all the others. Diligence and follow through gives one the possibility to get clarity more easily or more experience, and so on.
There is the famous Red Indian story of the Grandfather and the Grandson walking along the beach and the Grandfather says to the Grandson, ‘My boy, there are two wolves within us that are always fighting each other. The one is the list of distinguishing human qualities above, and the other is the list of dehumanising qualities.’ There is silence as they walk along the beach for a while. Then the boy asks his Grandfather, ‘So which wolf wins Grandfather?’ The Grandfather replies, ‘The one that you feed.’