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Old 10-10-2010, 08:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

Good at what?

Just kidding. Sort of.

This has been a most amusing thread to read. I tend to think less of goodness and more about harmony. If there is a harmony, a balance. This might look or feel very bad in a moment, but cosmically be for the best. Or an action might look or feel very good in the moment, but cosmically be lousy.

I'll share examples from horse training, just for the heck of it. Horses are generally happy when they have no pressure and don't feel like they have to lead. It's a prey herd thing- built into them. Now, in horse training, if you have a snapshot moment of when I'm correcting a horse for being naughty, I may look quite "bad." And it doesn't feel that pleasant to me or the horse, either. I have to overcome my fear that taking hold of the horse will escalate to a fight, and I also have to overcome my desire to avoid difficult situations, leadership, and so on. And the horse doesn't usually like a correction much either. But in a larger, long-term horizon, correcting a horse consistently results usually in only a few skirmishes, and then the horse learns I am the leader and can be quiet, happy, and calm. Knowing that I am the alpha and on the lookout for predators, the horse can be stress-free. Furthermore, the horse then becomes safer and more respectful, and we can be in partnership as I look after his needs and he respects mine.

Conversely, a horse owner who just always gives her horse pets and kisses and cubes of sugar might look "good." The snapshot of loving, nurturing behavior is good. But if that person never balances that with discipline, and returns a bite or buck with sugar cubes, that person is creating a fearful, dominant, unhappy horse. A dangerous horse. Horses that end up in slaughterhouses are often those that were spoiled until they harmed people. So in a more global sense, a long-term sense, that good act of giving snuggles rather than correction is doing no one a favor. I've seen many horse owners wind up with broken bones and a horse sold because of taking what feels and looks good rather than what is best and most harmonious with how horses work.

And, as Sam pointed out, something can look good in the moment but really have no underlying good motivation. Whether or not the motivation matters is a point of contention. I think it does, and in fact is the primary thing that matters, but many others could disagree and have very solid logic for doing so.

For me, goodness, if you want to call it that, is really harmonious-ness. This arises from cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness of the moment, careful and critical thinking, openness, creativity, and then the self-discipline to act on it.

Sinful (wow, there really is no way to shorten that name nicely! ) pointed out what s/he feels makes him/her feel bad- failure to act according to what is right/best and the issue of self-discipline. But even knowing how one should act in a given situation is a profoundly demanding and challenging prospect when one contemplates the complexity. Even commandments like "thou shalt not murder" demand that we define murder. This process of self-knowing, awareness and mindfulness, of connecting to that cosmic, global trajectory of our actions- of the ripple effect- this in itself takes tremendous self-discipline and openness to growth. For me at least, it is this first step that is most difficult. Once I really am connected to the Divine and therefore to this cosmic understanding, I feel an enormous internal pressure to follow it, both in terms of what I should do and avoiding what I shouldn't do. When I fail, it is more often because of lack of alignment with this connection than sheer avoidance of action. Not sure if that's just me or what, but there you have it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Conversely, a horse owner who just always gives her horse pets and kisses and cubes of sugar might look "good." The snapshot of loving, nurturing behavior is good. But if that person never balances that with discipline, and returns a bite or buck with sugar cubes, that person is creating a fearful, dominant, unhappy horse. A dangerous horse. Horses that end up in slaughterhouses are often those that were spoiled until they harmed people. So in a more global sense, a long-term sense, that good act of giving snuggles rather than correction is doing no one a favor. I've seen many horse owners wind up with broken bones and a horse sold because of taking what feels and looks good rather than what is best and most harmonious with how horses work.
Cesar Milan is that you?
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:51 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Cesar Milan is that you?
No, no- 17th... that would be you. You're the dog-dude, I'm the horse-chick.

Though my dogs are pretty happy too. I must confess, though, I'm better at being alpha mare than pack leader. My Rottie sees it as his job to protect me, so he mostly listens, but if he thinks I really need protection, he doesn't.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

Well, I think that PoO's response gets pretty close to my point. I'm being treated like a dog or horse in some sort of social training exercise. I'm being trained to be docile, to buy things based on learned sexual response, to WANT things I don't necessarily NEED. And if I respond correctly to the alpha leader I'm rewarded in ways that reinforce my emasculation. But is that good? Is it good for me, or just good in the sense that I don't cause problems for the power structure? Am I just a good slave? Horses and dogs are slaves, what about humans? What would a horse or dog actually want if freed to respond to their own natural instincts? To kick, and bark, and chase prey or run free on the prairie, maybe. The functionalism of slavery to cultural mores dictates certain behavior, but can we honestly say that is even to the benefit of persons in general, or just to the aims of the task masters? I want to kick up my heals and run free. Maybe I won't go in through the In Door, or exit through the Out Door. Maybe I'll do whatever the hell I want and piss on you for trying to stop me. Maybe that's what's Good.

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Old 10-13-2010, 03:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Originally Posted by Sinful Hypocrite View Post
I am the worst bad person.

Why?

1.Because I know what is good and do not do it .

2.Because I know what is bad and still do it..

3. Because I do not even try most times.
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I may present you with some competition....

I'll give you both a run for your money
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:38 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Horses and dogs are slaves, what about humans? What would a horse or dog actually want if freed to respond to their own natural instincts?
I don't think of my horses or dogs as slaves. They are inherently pack/herd animals that will elect a leader and are happiest when it is not themselves. They don't think like we do. They don't respond with happiness or longevity when they have control.

Horses, when free to respond to their own natural instincts, want to do nothing. They greatly enjoy standing around doing nothing. And eating. That's pretty much what they do. This is also mostly what they do if they're kept as pleasure animals. The thing is, horses when they're treated well often like to be ridden and be around people. My horses nudge the gate when I come and call to me. They're happy to work with me. But I respect what they are, and we spend a lot of our time hanging out doing nothing together.

But conversely, a human is not like a horse or dog, and while we have the need to be social, we also have the need to have control. We "tick" differently.

For me, my whole point in what is good is that it doesn't have much to do with society directly. I'm trying to be freed of my shackles so I can see my life more clearly, and my place in the cosmic flow, if you will, in every moment. This is entwined with liberation. If I'm being driven by social conditioning, I can't be free enough to open to the cosmic flow, so the first part of the process is to come to know who and what I really am and to learn strong boundaries so that I am not being pushed around by the dominant social order (or another other order, for that matter).
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:14 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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I don't think of my horses or dogs as slaves.
Then tear down their fences and let them come and go as they please.

Then let's see how long your slaves remain on the plantation.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Then tear down their fences and let them come and go as they please.

Then let's see how long your slaves remain on the plantation.
First, it wouldn't be legal.

Second, there is a difference between enslavement and protection. We as human beings have altered the environment, building highways, train-tracks, and other such technology that kill animals.

People (I hope) don't consider their children to be slaves, but neither do they let them run across the road.

Furthermore, unless you are suggesting that horses and dogs enslave each other in their natural social order (as they both do have heirarchical natural social orders), then enslavement is something different from leadership.

Finally, I will put forth that on the occasion that one of my horses got loose, years ago, he went to the hay and ate, then went back to his corral. And the few times our dogs have escaped, they chased bears then returned to the front porch to wait for us. I did research on cattle ranches for several years, and many let their extra horses run free with the herds during gathering/driving. They didn't run off into the Sierra Nevadas, never to be seen again. They hung out with the horses being ridden. Apparently, they like the plantation.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Originally Posted by path_of_one View Post
First, it wouldn't be legal.
I'll bet that's the same excuse the plantation owners used in the old south.


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People (I hope) don't consider their children to be slaves, but neither do they let them run across the road.
Okay. Wait until your horse reaches adulthood, then tear down the fences.


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Finally, I will put forth that on the occasion that one of my horses got loose, years ago, he went to the hay and ate, then went back to his corral. Apparently, they like the plantation.
See? No need for the fences.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

I think you know as well as I do that your logic is absurd.

There are "fence-in" states and "fence-out" states. California is a "fence-in" state in which a livestock owner is legally responsible for fencing their livestock in.

It was always legal to release slaves. Since cities sprung up, it has never been legal to release livestock. I sort of find it appalling that you even compare the two, which hearkens back to a rather disturbing way of viewing humans.

And I'm pretty sure you know as well as I do that a dog or horse never reaches the cognitive capacity of an adult human being. But perhaps you really think it would be most kind to simply turn all of our domesticated animals out into the wild and let them starve, be hit by cars, and otherwise injure themselves (as well as endangering the lives of people in the process).

Then again, I think you are just bored and nit-picking with unsuitable analogies.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:04 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Then again, I think you are just bored and nit-picking with unsuitable analogies.
I'd say, just poking you with a stick.

But you do show a prickly side in your attempt to defend yourself.

I think that stick hit a tender spot.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:34 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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I'd say, just poking you with a stick.
That's what I figured. Thanks for the honesty. Now I am confirmed in my suspicion that your posts are not serious, and I should take some or most of what you have to say with a heap of salt.

Quote:
But you do show a prickly side in your attempt to defend yourself.

I think that stick hit a tender spot.
I have my prickly sides like anyone.

There are people who use these analogies and mean it. I've read PETA tracts, for example, that propose all sorts of rubbish about domesticated animals that are entirely ungrounded in biological reality. Considering that I've seen feral horses that were emaciated, crippled due to lack of hoof care, and with poor conformation making them unadoptable... I've seen people who let their dogs run wild, leaving them to be hit on the highways... yeah, it does hit a tender spot to suggest that lack of care of the animals we've domesticated is "kind" or "good."

I've worked with horses that were neglected to the point that they became dangerous and were nearly sent to the slaughterhouse. Dogs that were neglected until they were dangerous to the point of being put down. I've picked up a lot of starving animals who were left to run free and I've picked up animals who had been run over and were dying so they'd at least die with someone to care about them, in a space where they wouldn't be repeatedly injured.

My own animals are rescues. My Rottie was 50 lbs underweight when he came to us because someone thought it a good idea to dump him out somewhere and let him fend for himself. It took him years to fully recover trust. So, yeah, discussions about how it's "enslaving" domesticates when we make sure they can live healthy and happy lives rather than abandoning them to a world to which they are no longer evolutionarily suitable touches a nerve.

I'm a sensitive gal. I've seen a lot of animal suffering, and I've on occasion put myself in harm's way to try to restore broken animals to wellness. There are real ignorant people out there who aren't just trying to goad someone on a message board- people who really do believe that it's acceptable to let animals take their chances in a world of freeways and county animal shelters that will euthanize them for being "free." There is a real world of overpopulation of cats and dogs, and on the ranges, of mustangs. There is a real world of animals who are starving, who are hurt, who are unadoptable because they were not properly taken care of.

So... yes, you did hit a tender spot. I consider animal neglect and suffering to be a serious topic.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:20 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

Since I started this I should probably say something. An analogy never stands on two legs, unless you're Glenn Beck, LOL! In a world altered and controlled by humans, humans have a responsibility to care for animals, especially domesticated animals which they have bent to their will. I spent a number of years training horses so I understand and agree with what Path is saying. My point wasn't about animals, it was about humans being treated like animals in service of a so called common "good" which deprives them of personal choice. Children need boundaries to feel secure within the functionalism of how the world of humans works, but are those boundaries themselves intrinsically good, or are they a protection against the intrinsic evil of the social model? Is teaching children to do as they are told, line up just so, refrain from speaking unless they are spoken to and so forth an exercise in goodness, or is it simply to make them manageable for the institutional power structures to which they are subjugated? This is the question I'm asking.

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Old 10-19-2010, 11:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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Well are you?

I am going to make it easy and ask you to describe only 3 events that would define you as a good person. Or for any resident recidivists and lawyers in the house the 3 things that would define you as 'bad'.

I am not going to answer it myself before before giving it some thought...

Why the philosophy section? Well hopefully this will steer in this direction.
1. To act in a manner that best benefits another, despite how one feels.
2. To know you are no better than others, but could be much worse, so you strive to improve self.
3. To look to the higher power (that which is greater than us), for guidance, enlightenment, encouragement, and forgiveness for not always making the grade.

Or as someone else once said:

Charity/Love
Hope
Faith

Faith, Hope, Love...these three, define thee...but of these, the greatest is Love.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:01 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Are You Good?

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No, no- 17th... that would be you. You're the dog-dude, I'm the horse-chick.

Though my dogs are pretty happy too. I must confess, though, I'm better at being alpha mare than pack leader. My Rottie sees it as his job to protect me, so he mostly listens, but if he thinks I really need protection, he doesn't.
lol But you are acting in a manner which would be seen as in harmony with that Realising from the said disciplines and actions you take as a leader are in the big picture for the good of the rest. That is commendable.

As for your Rottie taking on the protection role in non needed situations you should make sure you claim leadership clearly in those situations, just dealing with my sisters dog now who also thought it was his job to do so, bit the postman :O lol... That needs fixing.
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