Rosicrucian Writings Online
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
By THE IMPERATOR
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest September 1932]
THE other night my brief period of recreation at a moving picture house was greatly disturbed by a so-called "sport" picture of men hunting for quail.
As I looked at the picture and watched the men prepare to go on their great "hunt," I saw that each of them possessed a very modern gun representing the ingenuity and cleverness of scores of individuals who have given years of time to the inventing and planning of an instrument that would be susceptible to the lightest touch, extremely accurate in its aim, highly destructive to the object at which it was pointed and certainly safe for the one doing the shooting. Then I watched them selecting from among many, a few dogs, those called "pointers," who had been trained and bred for a number of generations so that every one of their God-given faculties of scenting and seeing what humans cannot scent or see might be applied and limited exclusively to the search for innocent victims. I also noticed that specially bred horses, specially arranged harnesses and equipment, and specially made costumes for the men were essential parts of the outfit needed to enter into this great "sport." Then I watched and saw how these "brave" men rode out into the wilds of the country and stopped short of their goal, dismounted from their horses and stood in waiting while they released their dogs from the leashes and permitted them to go scouting for the little creatures that were resting in peace and goodness in the tall grass. When the dogs scented these little living things and stood still, pointing to the men the location of their hiding place, the men approached and waited for the birds to fly and then with all of the bravado of a strong man matching his strength against a terrific lion or wild animal of his own size these men lifted their guns and shot the birds on the wing and then sent their dogs to pick them up and carry the bruised and bleeding body to them so that they might hold the little victims up in the air by their legs and proudly display the results of their sportsmanship.
Is such a thing as this an accomplishment for boastfulness on the part of any man or woman? Think of it! It took carefully invented rifles, well trained and carefully bred horses, four or five men with higher faculties than any other animals possess, suits of clothes, exploding powder and all kinds of equipment, in order that one man might be able to match his wits against a peaceful little creature not much larger than a human hand. From my way of thinking, as a human being, real sportsmanship would consist in a human being matching his wits, his power, his prowess with a creature of equal intelligence, equal strength, and equal prowess. When a great, big, strong man, or a healthy, normal woman calls to their aid all of the products of modern invention and science and then marches forth with this divine, plus man-made equipment, to overcome a little creature, I feel that it is one of the most cruel, inhuman, and unGodly displays of lack of sportsmanship that can be made manifest in human civilization.
I have seen pictures of the so-called lion hunts and tiger chases in Africa. Dozens of men on fine horses or elephants with malicious mechanical equipment, accompanied by a score or more natives, going forth into the wilderness to surround and corner one creature of the wilds. Talk of bravery! Each one of these hunters knows that the guns he has supplied to the natives are pointed on the poor creature and that if his one shot fails to stay the onrush of the infuriated animal, the shots from the many guns held by the natives will do the work. Bravely he stands aloft on his elephant or high on some rock and aims at the animal that does not have a ghost of a chance to reach him before it is slain by a score of bullets. If his one shot causes the animal to topple over, a second shot ends its life and then after the natives have stripped the hide from the animal and left its body to the vultures he proudly exhibits his trophy and asks the world to acclaim him a brave hunter.
If such a man were challenged to go into the wilds of the jungle alone with naught but his hands and his physical power, with only God-given abilities like the animal has and no man-made accessories, then he would have an opportunity of demonstrating his superiority. What real sportsmanship is there in such unnecessary slaying when there is not the least test of either mental or physical abilities?
I have seen that most horrifying and cruel pastime of the whole of Europe, the pigeon shooting at Monte Carlo. Hundreds of beautiful birds held entrapped within a small area where man may indulge in vain boasts of marksmanship and shoot at birds that do not have a chance to escape nor an even break in protecting themselves against, not the skill of the mind of the shooter but the scientific device that he holds in his hand, and into which actions of many men for many years have been centered in bringing about a perfect device of destruction.
I wonder whether these men and those who associate with them in such pastimes and who provide the means for them are ever conscious of the Karma they are creating for themselves. The destruction of life in order to preserve life is a fundamental law of earthly processes. The destruction of living matter in order to provide food is another earthly law. Both of these we can tolerate with some degree of quietude to our consciences but no thinking man or woman can truly tolerate this unnecessary and wholly unsportsmanlike destruction of animal life, described above.
Here in California the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is inhabited by mountain lions. They destroy property and life and are a danger and menace to the ranchmen and farmers. The State of California is anxious to eliminate these animals. It offers a reward for every mountain lion skin that is brought to the government's proper department. One man is engaged officially in constant search for these lions and has to his credit the shooting of a score of them. He goes out in his automobile into the highest mountain places and the most isolated districts and alone with his gun he challenges these ferocious animals and outwits them. I have talked with him many times and he does not look upon his work as a sport but as a duty, yet from the sportsman's point of view he more nearly approaches the ideal hunter, for, after all, he is attacking a ferocious animal single-handed. Yet he shudders at the thought of the animals he has killed and he is constantly aware of their blood upon his hands, even when he realizes that they have been responsible in killing many deer and that he has saved the lives of these more gentle animals through the elimination of the ferocious ones.
We cannot destroy a single thing that God created without taking into our hands arbitrarily and without divine warrant the power to disrupt the creative processes of this earth plane. The more unnecessary, wanton, and cruel that destruction is the more severe and sure will be our punishment. Karma considers the motive as well as the act itself. From the Karmic point of view, the "sport" of destroying animal life is one of the greatest sins against God and the universe and the automatic reaction in Karma is sure to be profound and impressive.
I have talked with individuals in this life whose daily affairs seem at great odds and whose desire and wishes are frustrated and who seem to reap in the daily course of events, more suffering and sorrow than any other individual. They cannot help but wonder at their predicament and they seek an answer, a solution, an explanation, and, of course, a relief. "Why, oh why?" is what they ask. Very often in talking to them I can see by the color of the aura and in looking into their eyes, the windows of the soul, I can see the cruelty, the indifference, and the cunning destructiveness that was once the dominating passion of their hearts and minds either early in this incarnation or in a past one. But I cannot tell them what I see! They laugh, or they smile with ridicule, and generally blame their predicament and their suffering upon luck, chance, world politics, local enmities, friendly indifferences, business diplomacy and many other things.
It is not merely a matter of sowing what we reap but of creating for ourselves, attracting to ourselves, and even forcing into our own life arbitrarily and of our own volition wilfully and with determination a course of events, a series of situations and a gross result of true cause and effect that constitutes our cross, our burden, and a part of our very nature and existence.
Jesus created for Himself by His fight against evil, the cross that He eventually had to carry--but it was a cross of honor as well as crucifixion. All of the crosses that mankind carries, however, are neither honorable nor desirable and most of them wholly unnecessary.
Watch for the child who in youth displays this destructive tendency. At first it destroys toys and tears pages from books and batters the faces of its dolls. It tears mechanical things apart not for the sake of investigation but for the pleasure of casting them aside. Later in life it seeks to pinch the flesh of its living pets. It likes to throw stones at the little sparrows and see them fly in fright. When it can do so it will step upon or crush other living things. As it grows older and can think in terms of cruelty it will find a pleasure in such sarcastic and unkind remarks as cut deeply into the heart of human beings and causes others to sense a shock of emotional pain. Such children represent the destructive forces of life. If not properly trained, guarded, and guided they become the bullies of the school and later on the gangsters of the youthful underworld.
Teach your children sportsmanship if you will, but teach them that the real sport is one who would rather suffer himself than see the least degree of suffering brought to the smallest living thing. Prize-fighting is but the outgrowth of the destructive desire that manifests itself in the bosom of the unevolved primitive being. Sportsmanship that centers upon or expresses itself through the destruction of animal life is but another form of primitive emotionalism having no place in modern civilization. Let all Rosicrucians unite in waging a war against cruel sports. Do not let your children see such pictures without pointing out the horrible lesson. Tell them that when it comes to contests of human strength the greatest hero would be one who could match his wits and intelligence against the wits and intelligence of some of these animals that man considers lower than himself. To unite in destroying an unprotected creature is just as much of a manifestation of the bull nature of a human being as would be the taking of a candy away from a crying baby and then boasting of one's superior prowess and power. But also teach your children the law of Karma that their lives may be free of the suffering and the sins, the trials and tribulations that they create for themselves unknowingly.
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