Mikhail Naimy

Is It Lawful To Kill To Eat ?

When Shamadam and the butcher had departed, Micayon asked the Master, saying:

MICAYON : Master, is it not lawful to kill to eat? 

MIRDAD : To feed on death is to become food for death. To live by others' pain is to become a prey for pain. So has decreed the omni-will. Know that and choose your course, Micayon.

MICAYON : If I had my choice, I would choose to live, like a phoenix, on the aroma of things, not on their flesh! 

MIRDAD : An excellent choice, indeed! Believe, Micayon, that the day is coming in which men shall live by the aroma of things, which is their spirit, and not by their flesh and blood! And that day is not far off for the yearners! 

For the yearners know that the life of flesh is but the bridge to the fleshless Life.

And the yearners know that the coarse and inadequate senses are but the peep-holes into the world of the infinitely fine and adequate sense.

And the yearners know that every flesh they tear they must inevitably repair, sooner or later, with their own flesh; and every bone they crush they must rebuild with their own bone; and every drop of blood they spill they must replenish with their own blood. For, that is the law of flesh.

And the yearners would be free of bondage to this law. Therefore, do they reduce their bodily wants to the lowest minimum, reducing thereby their debt to the flesh which is, in truth, a debt to pain and death.

The yearner is inhibited by his own will and yearning; while the non –yearner waits on others to prohibit him. A multitude of things which are, to the non-yearner, lawful, .. the yearner makes unlawful for himself.

While the non-yearner grasps for more and yet more things to put away in his pocket or belly, the yearner walks his way without a pocket, and with a belly clean of any creature's blood and convulsions.

What the non-yearner gains or thinks he gains in bulk .. the yearner gains in lightness of spirit and sweetness of understanding.

Of two men looking at a green field one estimates its yield in bushels and calculates the price of the bushels in silver and in gold. The other drinks the greenness of the field with his eye, and kisses every blade with his thought, and fraternizes in his Soul with every rootlet and pebble, and every clod of Earth.

I say to you, the latter is the rightful owner of that field, although the other owns it in free simple.

Of two men sharing with a calf the milk of that calf's mother one eyes the calf with the thought that his tender flesh would provide good meat for him and his friends to feast upon at his approaching birthday. The other thinks of the calf as his brother of the teat and is filled with affection for the young beast and his mother.

I say to you, the latter is truly nourished by that calf's meat; while the first is poisoned thereby.

Aye, many things are put in the belly that should be put in the heart ! Many things are shut in the pocket and the larder that should be shut in the eye and the nose!

Many things are crushed with the teeth that should be crushed with the mind!

Very little does the body need to sustain it ! The less you give it, the more it gives you in return! The more you give it, the less it gives you in return !

Verily, things outside your larder and belly sustain you more than when in the larder and the belly!

But, since you are unable yet, to live by the fragrance alone of things, take unafraid your need but no more than your need of this generous heart of the Earth. For the Earth is so hospitable and loving that her heart is ever spread before her children.

How else can the Earth be, and where could she go outside of herself to feed herself? The Earth must feed the Earth, and the Earth is not a miserly hostess, but her board is ever spread and full for all.

In the same manner as the Earth invites you to her board, withholding nothing from your reach, in that same manner must you invite the Earth to your board and say to her in utmost love and sincerity:

" Oh mother inexpressible ! As you have laid your heart before me to take of it my need, so do I lay my heart before you to take of it your need ".

If that be your guiding spirit in eating of the heart of the earth, then little does it matter what you eat.

But if that be, indeed, your guiding spirit, then should you have the wisdom and the love not to bereave the Earth of any of her children, especially those which have come to feel the pleasure of living and the pain of dying those that have arrived at the segment of duality! For they, too, have their road to wend, slowly and laboriously, towards unity! And their road is longer than yours. Delay them in their march, and they shall delay you in your march!

ABIMAR: Since all living things are doomed to die, through one cause or another, why should I have any scruples if I be the cause of any animal's death?

MIRDAD : While it is true that all the living are condemned to die, yet woe to him who is the cause of death of any living thing!

As you would not commission me to kill Naronda, Knowing that I love him much and that no blood lust is in my heart, likewise the omni-will would commission no man to kill a fellowman, or an animal, except it find him fit as an instrument for killing.

So long as men are what they are, so long shall there be thefts and robberies among them, and lies and wars and murders and every kind of dark and evil passions.

But woe to the thief and the robber; and woe to the liar and the warlord, and to murderer and every man who harbours dark and evil passions in his heart. For they, being full of woe, are used by the omni-will as messengers of woe.

But you, my companions, must cleanse your hearts of every dark and evil passion that the omni-will may find you fit to carry to the suffering world the joyful message of relief from suffering; the message of overcoming; the message of freedom through love and understanding.

So taught I Noah ! .. So I teach you!

(Source: " The Book of Mirdad " by Mikhail Naimy)

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