Saturday, October 04, 2014

Some thoughts post-Yom HaKippurim on 
the subject of Punishment.

Thing is with Punishment, it is, more often than not, paid in advance.
So, those who call for Punishment are so bloodthirsty that they are demanding double (or more) payment.

Not only is Punishment usually paid in advance; it's usually paid by Children.
How can it be that Punishment is exacted from innocent children? As the Talmud says: Once the Destroyer is loosed on the world, there is no limitation put on it.
If we are one of the many people in this world who are of the mind that torture, ostracism and isolation are the means to teach someone to be compassionate we have loosed the Destroyer on the world and we are not in control of how far the idea will go.
All ideas, good and bad, go much further than we ever anticipated and this is beyond our control. So, if we don't like nasty surprises that are beyond our comprehension; we need to be careful what we call for.

And speaking of worlds: No single phenomenon exists without an entire world to support its existence. That's just the way things are. Everything that comes into existence comes into existence with a history and it is an organic being. It grows, it develops, it makes connections and it has a built-in survival mechanism. If it is a nasty thing, it will have a nasty survival mechanism.
We can't simply call for Punishment, in isolation, without the world that supports it. That includes, but is not limited to: The Prison System - which, having the potential to be very lucrative, is now a largely Private Prison System in the US. So, lots of innocent, docile people are jailed instead of criminals who are harder to make into slaves. And the Prison System is connected to nasty Private Militias - like Xe. And Xe is connected to Monsanto and other Corporations that we would prefer didn't exist. Those, in turn, are in the Weapons Industry, naturally, which is the War Industry. So, you have stuff like Drugs, Child Slavery, Adult Slavery and the Draft in some countries and the poor not being able to get a College Education without "volunteering" for "service" even where there isn't a Draft.

So, the next time you call for Punishment of some miscreant, think before you demand Revenge, because that is what Punishment is. Maybe think how that person can be rehabilitated, especially if the person is a Youngster.

Oh, and one more point: "Otherness" is an optical illusion/moral delusion. Do You really want a part of you stinking in Prison? - because that is just what You're calling for when you scream for Revenge.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

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