"METAPHYSICS: A Branch of Philosophy That Deals With 'First Cause' and 'The Nature of Being'"



Before that promise, and its deliverance by a worldly manifestation of The Father Himself––in the form of each way-shower’s embodiment in every religion––the most we dared expect of ourselves and our plight was to survive until the next dawn. Despera-tion––commensurate with relying on our own wits––and those who would use the cover of darkness to shroud the misdeeds of their own agendas, had engendered night time to become the milieu of evil and terror, the personal domain of the worst our imaginations could fabricate, or be convinced to obsess on. Too many had learned to take advantage of the weaknesses of others for their own gain and without the rule of established law, found little reason to waste time with any attempted cultivation of deceptions. Aside from the self-preservation of original instinct, personal survival had assumed few other forms, of those, less than a handful had evolved to resemble legitimate business practices. Before society became civilized (and whose to say it has yet earned that distinction), heralded in large part by our introduction to the options offered through the teachings delivered from incarnating Masters, carnality indwelled every facet of life, representing conditions void of any hope or, for that matter, any future. Every turn presented a new threat. Every hour of every day was rarely anything more (for the average person) than fleeing the prospect of being victimized, again!

During these earliest socially formative generations, people, especially those who were alone or members of small family groups unable to effectively defend themselves, migrated toward established centers of commerce, if at first only for the protection in numbers that favored the increased odds of not being singled out of a crowd. Survival, or what ever measure of security might have been gleaned by such anonymity––and in the interest of not becoming the quarry of every malevolence––had its own price; i.e. the loss of freedom inherent with maintaining of a low profile. Given the alternative––exposure and vulnerability––adapting to “city life” could at least be tolerated, and once undertaken with some commitment, could be further eased by the prospect of new associations formed through commonality. It has always seemed, whatever our surroundings and circumstances, we are drawn to others of like ilk. This of course is never a matter of chance, but Divinely scripted when it’s time for ego’s singularity to be broken––for the sake of reestablishing some semblance of group identity––in order to promote the kind of tolerance and patience that would, with diligence, grow into the nonjudgmental open mindedness borne only through social interaction.

Spiritual and physical growth is more easily groomed among people we have something in common with, hence the ennobled characteristic of raising our offspring “close to the breast” and their need for the prolonged nurturing uniquely instrumental in humankind's evolution. By Divine Design, our young are totally dependent and necessitate being raised in an atmosphere indulgent of sociability. Even if we tend to retaliate against that indulgence during our personal pubescent quest to “find ourselves”. Where better to do that, after all, but in the safety of those who love us? The real tests of tolerance though, come when we interact with one or more of the multitude with differing customs, practices or beliefs. Practicing a nonjudgmental open mind, avoids potentially hostile dialogue, while conveying an attitude of acceptance and inclusiveness. Our path continually offers a myriad of opportunities to grow in that attitude, but doing so always remains a choice and as we begin to recognize those opportunities as beneficial, when compared to the alternatives identified with strife, our choice becomes progressively clearer.

Very large clans, on the other hand, who had the numbers to translate into a defensive (or offensive) force, purposefully avoided affiliation with the growing attraction to settlements and their arbitrary rules of conduct, so were set upon a very different yet analogous path of social growth. Clan leaders forsake the nomadic lifestyle, staking claim to fertile land abundant in the wildlife needed to support their own growing numbers for generations to come. The traditional rules and pecking order of the “group spirit” quickly evolved into the class or caste system that proved equally effective in segregating the leader’s ruling family from those whose talents served to protect, or hunt, or raise food crops, not to mention any number of important services, the least of which would lend themselves to the continued function of the group as a whole and its leaders in particular. Being among established familial associations and knowing our place with regard to the whole, as it were, at least in the beginning, made acceptance and commitment a surrogate for the tolerance and patience prescribed for those whose path brought interactions with strangers. Additionally, the kinship common to this societal group made personal threats less of a concern. Even the victimization of the land-holder's collusion, in order to assure his needs were met first, was tempered by the fact that what ever remained as one’s due, was usually enough to sustain one’s needs. For the most part, the obligation to serve his liege in return for the protection that comes with being identified as part of the whole was, in reality, no more than an extension of the original pecking order anyhow.

The purely physical historical record is replete with examples that lands under claim eventually prove difficult to hold on to, giving rise to fortifications. Timber fences intended to protect from the occasional marauder, both four legged and two legged kinds, grew into ever higher and thicker walls designed to repel progressively sophisticated assaults, most often from like-minded land holders seeking to expand their holdings which, among other things, might include subjects of the realm, as well as a desire to eliminate competition for resources. The specialized task of assembling, outfitting and training a force capable of successfully defending against an assault, and when called to do so, “do unto others”, fell to the most experienced and tested of what had long been the clan leading “neo-land lord’s” personal guard.

Over the course of many generations, as circumstances dictate, the tendency of a free thinking culture is to seek a balance or equanimity, even when their bodies are subjugated. The higher the status of a ruling family, regardless of the standard of measurement, the less consideration given those whose labors served to provide every necessity, apart from a minimal portion of their production they were allowed to keep in the form of a stipend, that is. As should be expected, if not for the obvious reasons, the passage of time widened the gap between the lord of the land and his subjects. Initially by disassociation, because it only made sense for the farmer or the herdsman to live near the fields they worked or the flocks they tended, rather than within the protection of the walled community. Eventually that divisiveness assumed new dimensions among those who were finally recognizing their worth as individuals, freeing the ego to ideate, which in turn made much clearer whom was dependent on whom.

The same might have applied to the hunter whose prey grew scarcer, extending his forays into days and weeks, as the demand among his growing family, his peers and his “lord” rose, but his talents as a primary provider were undergoing a transformation of their own. With the exception of those families who had chosen to remain independent of the socialization represented in settlements of every description, hunting was becoming a sport of the ruling class, at least where domestication began supplanting the demand for meat. The hunters found themselves being mustered into the newest class of citizenry as a soldier / archer and from there, conscripted to defend the expanding holdings of the nobility. With that came some stability, if not improvement in their lifestyle, as well as a camaraderie that in time would give kinship––already associated with other social atmospheres as “like-minded”––a deeper and farther reaching intimacy. Intrinsically however, their new path was one of complete dependence, where ego had little encouragement to think of Self. It suited a wide variety of people whose lives might otherwise lack direction, especially any who had not yet reached the point on their path ascribed to breaking away from a group. The “pecking order tribal / clan mind-set”, is the precise formula for keeping the military machine so well oiled. Meanwhile the “kingdom” was stretching far and wide beyond the buttressed perimeter whose confines were becoming less accessible except by the privileged closest personal servants, advisors and elite guard, compelling the “royals” to grow unfamiliar with and hence furtively suspicious of the common culture. In contrast, that culture’s identities and relationships, whose refinement precluded separating from the “whole” of the clan mind-set, made the certainty of what was a pecking order or caste boundary obligation, blur into social systems relying more on business or trading relationships among peers.

As the permanence of settlement impacted every aspect of our lives, the most conspicuous had to be the increase in population. We were no longer required to pick up and move in conjunction with migrating herds or seasonal forage. Permanence, in concert with the onset of agriculture and domestication, gave us the foundation on which to build a history replete with roots we could relate a place-name to. Tradition and lore held more meaning and could be passed down because places and names would become proverbial for generations, instead of indistinct in their absence through the passage of time.

Where roots grow, so grows the tree, whether it’s an apple tree or a family tree. Essentially, of course, the first product from domesticating heretofore wild food sources, whether they be plant or animal, was offspring. Though the challenges inherent with animal and agricultural husbandry were usually less traumatic than their earlier incarna-tions––as gatherer-hunter nomads––they none the less had demands of their own, both unique to and resolved by the very parameters that have defined domestication since its earliest days. Under the new and comparatively stable surroundings proffered by settlements, crops and livestock were encouraged––as much as our limited experience could induce––to flourish. The same stability was also conducive to a flourishing population. No longer giving so much of their life to making and breaking encampments, loading and unloading pack animals, dealing with all the daily rigors of a nomadic subsistence, the attendant opportunities for intimacy afforded by staying in one place were not overlooked. Naturally, that led to more mouths to feed, but those mouths were often accompanied by hands that would soon enough prove useful in the fields, among the herds and on the trap lines, not just relied upon by the immediate family any longer––but given the inroads commerce was making as everyone adjusted to the practice of trade––the community at large. In those instances involving a land lord, imposed taxation met the demand for his share, in exchange for living in the shadow of his protection. Most importantly however, dimly reflected in this first flicker of prosperity––especially to a people who had little or no experience with it––was the visage of hope offered up by a reward garnered from being productive. For them, the prospects of what the future might hold, given the relatively agreeable security of seasonal and annual gainfulness, as opposed to the trepidation associated with eking out a daily subsistence, promoted the emergence of planning for the long term.