Elephants have one of the most sophisticated social units on Earth: the matriarchy.
Everyone stays with Grandma, who takes care of the herd. Except for the males that are of mating age, who go off by themselves. The lifespan is similar to ours. The 'elephant graveyard' and the grieving process are like what we do when there is loss of a loved one. These mammals have a system of life that offers them advantage in the African and Asian (as shown here) environments.
Man has conditioned the Asian elephant to do work. To harness its power. I have seen a film by National Geographic where it shows them 'breaking' a young one. It is tied down, it screams, and after beatings and lack of sleep, its spirit is broken, and the men reward it for giving its power to them. I cry when I see that footage. It displays the darker side of mankind. This is no different from breaking in horses, I suppose, but in an elephant you can feel the youngster's distress and calling for its family to protect it.
The human family has developed Religion. Having been raised in the Roman Catholic Church, I did not know any other way. Except our family did a stint at a local community church when I was small. The pastor said something political that upset Dad. He chose not to go. Then mom stopped taking us. And we stayed home most Sundays for seven years. We prayed at night before bedtime. But it was not until my younger sibling's friends started catechism, and her wanting to go, that we became regulars at mass.
I always thought of church as a gymnasium for my soul. Where you could get a workout. Yeah, you could exercise at home. But it was nice to have a place to go for that too. I am big on lighting candles. And the incense is really nice. Rosaries are meditative. But catholics do not 'socialize' the way other megachurches do. They also help in world 'hotspots' and 'disasters' on a regular basis. You kind of pay your money to help the others help the needy for you.
Yesterday I had some time to kill. I walked into a bookstore I had been meaning to go into for some time. It had a funny name that did not sound religious, but I noticed there were christian items in the store.
When I walked in I was not welcomed. That was creepy thing number one.
There was no one else in the store but the clerk. That was creepy thing number two.
And once I walked to the back of the store, I felt a strong urge to turn to my right. I did. And there were books and books on Joseph Smith and Mormonism. I grounded myself and took a look at the rest of the store. I thought perhaps I would buy a calendar to be kind. There were two, and both were of the Temples.
Mormonism puzzles me.
In Utah, on vacation, everyone at the Great Salt Lake conference seemed so nice. All throughout Utah, in fact. Dad signed up for people to come to our house to talk to us, after. And they did. Those Elders in their little white shirts, black pants, and black skinny ties.
Two by two. The prophets went out two by two, in biblical times.
Avoid stimulants (alcohol and caffeine).
The architecture of the temples looks like what I have 'seen' of Heaven in my psychic mind.
And I know the steeple thing is a 'trumpet', something that helps pass energy from the other world into ours.
Acknowledgement of a female god, in addition to a male.
Being Sealed and Latter day saint may be something important. But maybe not.
The incredible push to convert everybody? All that time spent at church? All that money?
Why is it that a sect that once embraced polygamy now is defining the family and marriage?
I don't know. I don't understand why the tablets found by Joseph Smith are of such importance. And why the angel Moroni is such a big thing that a mother on the playground struck up a friendship and invited us to lunch at her house in order to give me a copy of the book of Mormon for free.
The only truth I have found is in my heart. A friend grew up Mormon, and her dad, a high-ranking member of the church, abused her something awful. His role was so high that no one would believe her if she said what he did was true. She strayed, and went back to the church. And although the friendship was many years, I ended it, because I realized deep down she was trying to convert me.
I went to luncheons as her guest. Big ones. With entertainment and prizes. And I noticed some things about the women there: not educated, high-achievers (big awards to role models in the church), overweight, and not that happy. It was as if their happiness was used up by making the family work. I felt no dreams alive in them outside of family. It felt good to know I had my freedom. To make mistakes and to learn.
I love my Mormon brothers and sisters. Possibly more so than my Jehovah Witness brothers and sisters, who I find somewhat annoying through their blood practices at my work. The mega-churches like Joel Osteen and the Crystal Cathedral I find pleasant but somewhat lacking in substance. And the Fire-and-Brimstone Baptists kind of scare me.
Spirit teaches that there is no church. That man has harnessed the power of man to serve. That there is no requirement to go through another man (a pastor, a priest) to access the Almighty. The connection is meant to be direct. Things are going to change for the better.
In the meantime, I follow the advice of the Dalai Lama, who says, 'my religion is kindness.'
And I try my best to understand what is going on with all the rest. Especially those that say Reiki is not good. And I have had a high-school friend rebuke me for communicating a message from her dead son to her. She said it didn't sound like him, and chose not to believe it. It hurt. But I know in my heart, who was who, and I felt how hard he was asking me to let her know his truth. One day they will figure it out.
In the meantime, Reiki works for me. And I go to mass when I feel like it. For auld lang syne.