George W. Bellows Massacre at Dinant

I have some religiously oriented and nonreligious friends who are absolutely willing to lay their lives on the line for others. In relation, the religiously oriented ones think that they may go up with God after death and thereby find continuance of themselves or think that there is reincarnation, which is somewhat the same orientation (a continuation of consciousness of the self).

More interesting to me are my atheist and agnostic friends who step out to protect life with willingness (not liking it, but all the same a strong willingness) to serve life at their personal own sacrifice of life. Indeed, the atheists think that it is the end of ALL for them in terms of consciousness when they move forward to serve in such a way that they can be killed in the process. The agnostics think that there is probably nothing after they die, but aren’t as firmly sure as the agnostics.

Yet people in both of these nonreligious groups, AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE, will step up with the full force of their little individual beings to serve causes that they believe from a moral standpoint are more important than their singular lives. Now this shows great conviction in my view for doing whatever is right and good regardless of the way that it personally turns out in the end for the self.

I’ll be honest. It may seem a tremendous act of courage when someone goes to that place to serve life forward by risking his or her own life. Often, though, it isn’t so. It is because one’s self gets so focused on the task at hand that s/he is unable to see anything else at the moment. Put another way, only the details of what you are doing, everything and everyone around you and a plan forward exists in those life-on-the-line moments.

Put another way, you do not think about afterlife, death or anything else. You are totally in the here and now, and totally focused in your mindset to be doing whatever you must (NOT choose, but MUST) do.

Put another way, you are a slave to your values, ethics, morals, principles and standards. You know nothing than these positions. You know nothing other than the stance that you willingly and HAVE TO subsume in that present time, and regardless of the outcome for it. (I know this place since I have been there twice and you don’t give a darn about anything except the effort on which you are focused because you must be serving whether successfully or not the aim that has captured you out of your core-self — the who-you-are part of your being.)

This is the place in which I live. I’m always on the ready.

This is the place where my sister, my brother-in-law and others who I know live. They are always on the ready.

As I indicated, there is clearly no choice involved. It is intrinsic to our sense of selves to be this way of being. We gladly embrace ourselves to be this way of being because on a simplistic level, we know nothing else than to be ourselves in the ways that we are configured.

It is not sanctimonious. It is not filled with hubris or any sort of self-glorification and self back-pats. It just is as is in a matter of fact way — and nothing more than that acceptance of fate or the current conditions being faced.

The good news in such a stance is that with absolute clarity, you know exactly who you are. The bad news is that sometimes you walk or crawl forward alone. Who cares? You do it anyway out of  conviction and quiet power despite fear that one may harbor, too.

The following verse by R. Tagore shows a piece of the place wherein we go:

If they answer not your call, walk alone;
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing
the wall,
O thou of evil luck,
Open the mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away and desert you when
crossing the wilderness,
O thou of evil luck,
Trample the thorns under the tread,
And along the blood-lined track
travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light when the
night is troubled with storm,
O thou of evil luck,
With the thunder-flame of pain ignite
thine own heart
And let it burn alone.

As the USA quip goes: “We have your back, Jack.” Some of us here in the USA and in other lands always will through no choice of our own.

The people who are always available in generation after generation of us, who wish to stand to preserve life, are always available. We always fight such abominations as:

DAPL-style protesters could face jail under new ‘critical infrastructure’ protection laws |  New laws introducing harsher penalties against protesters who target “critical infrastructure” such as oil and gas pipelines are now pending in half a dozen states in the US. The legislation is aimed at deterring protests similar to the one that delayed operations at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota in 2016. Bills have been ushered through state legislatures in Minnesota and Louisiana, states that host parts of the Bakken system, a underground network of pipelines which includes the DAPL and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil system which links oil fields in North Dakota and the Mexican Gulf Coast. The laws ban protesters from trespassing into territories through which “critical” oil and gas pipelines run.

Some day I shall pass into death as we all do. One of my major comforts is that there will always be after me always more of us taking a stance to protect life. In fact, we come in a long stream of those long before us, those with us now and those after us in times to come. This state of affairs is always the case, thankfully.

Put another way, we will not ever be stopped in our efforts to serve the world even when dying of natural causes, jailed or murdered! Others WILL rise up and take our places! In this sense, we shall prevail no matter the outcomes!

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.



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