One day when i was a young child, i had an experience that taught me something that remains relevant even to this day. It was one of those moments of revelation about a fundamental and profound principle of existence that roots itself firmly in the essence of consciousness.. where its lesson extends, rippling through time, touching all future behavior.
It was a warm day good for playing in the backyard, which we often did while at my grandparents house. For some reason my dad got the idea to bring outside the large magnifying glass my Nana kept on her kitchen countertop for reading mail or the newspaper. Curious, i watched with fascination as he used the sun, angled carefully through the glass, to make a fiery pinpoint of smoldering dirt on the ground. Poof! a crinkly dried leaf when up in a brief smoky flash of flame and turned to ash.. then he started chasing a nearby ant on its way somewhere.. poof! the ant smoked and burned for a second or two, and was gone.
i remember being pretty interested at this point, when he handed me the magnifying glass. Concentrating, i lowered and raised the glass up and down adjusting the angle ever so slightly this way and that, practicing a bit until i too got the circular beam of sunlight to shrink into it's red-hot burning pinpoint. Soon i was able to hold the point steady and i started chasing another nearby ant with it, halting him in his final scramble, watching him succumb, curl up and burn. It only took a couple of seconds, and i could smell the faintest hint of burned something in the air.
Instantly a sick feeling rose in the pit of my stomach. Despite the fact i was shown how to do this by my dad, in whom i found safety, and my authority figure, i knew without a trace of doubt that what i had just done was somehow wrong. A new sense of justice was awakened and i knew in the deepest part of my being that torturing anything, even a little ant, was wrong. It wasn't as fun as it had looked; i hated it, i never wanted to and never did it again.
i understand some may say that putting out an ant trap and letting the critters take poison back to their nests so they and all their relatives can die a slow, possibly painful, death is no different.. but i think there is something different about it. Not so much a physical difference as a spiritual one. Using the magnifying glass and zeroing in on the little guy as it frantically tried to escape the burning was a form of torture, and it was for entertainment, for a sheer demonstration of power over something, because i was bigger and i could.
|image credit: Aideon|
The idea that the Creator will keep some of His creatures alive (conscious) for all eternity (endless time) in a place of agony and fiery torture, to endure infinite punishing for a finite life where they refused to love Him, is insanity at its core.