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HomeBeginning Wicca, Classes, Witch Ethics: We all need them.


Ethics: We all need them.

Erin

Message: Before we go further,
Author: Contemplative – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 26, 2000 00:41

I would like to pontificate on Magick.

As this class progresses, I shall be introducing you all to rituals and to spells. Now, before we get too far along, I want to speak on what Magick is and is not.

I should refer you all to a long article I wrote over in The Home School, called “The Path of the Magician” but I will give you a brief synopsis here.

Magick is not what you think it is, based on current pop culture. You can’t move things through the air with the wave of a hand, nor can you stop time, call GODS to be your personal servant, light a roomful of candles with a single match.

Magick is none of that.

Magick is a process, undertaken with need, to bring about changes in yourself.

Doesn’t sound too thrilling now, huh?

Tied up in magick is ethics. I could hold a gun to your head to make you love me, but that’s wrong. How is casting a spell to do the same thing any different?

The one, basic, fundamental moral code that most pagans follow is a variant on “Do whatever you need to, so long as no one is violated by it.”. In Wicca, it translates to “An it harm none, do as you will”. In Christianity, it’s “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” In other magickal paths it’s “Do as you will shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law and love is the bond.”

Basically what it boils down to is “so long as no one gets their free will taken from them, and are not hurt, do what you decide to do, but be prepared to pay the consequences.”

It’s ethics.

Spells, such as most know them, take away that free will from others. It can make you directly responsible for their actions, and as such, you have to pay a penalty for that. Remember the first lessons I gave in this class? The one about consequences? Well, here is where that lesson hits home.

If, for an example, I cast a spell to make a person fall in love with me, and that person is so in love with me that they want to get something really nice and expensive to impress me, so they go rob a bank to get the money, and shoot a bank teller, a guard and four bystanders before getting killed by the police, then I am responsible for everyone that was killed, just as surely as if I pulled the trigger.

Not too attractive now, is it?

Seven people dead, and I am responsible for it, and it will come back on me three fold. Hmmmmm, let’s not cast that spell just yet.

And some of you are saying, “That’s exaggerated” and you are right. Take one cardboard cookie out of petty cash. It is exaggerated for shock value. But Love has done stranger things than this. I bet most of the sensational news stories that you read about in the papers have some kind of emotion like this fueling them. And what if you tire of this deathless love? How do you get away from them?

And what if they are the kind of personality that decides that “If I can’t have you, no one will” and kills you? What do you do then?

Is Magick looking less attractive? Oh, LOVE spells are looking less attractive. Let’s look at money spells then.

I cast a spell for money. I get paid my paycheck. Spell worked. And by the definitions set down, the spell is fulfilled.

Oh, you wanted the LOTTO numbers? Oh, well in that case….

You hit three out of 7, you get one dollar. And I could go on like this all night. But let’s say, for argument, that you specify that you win the LOTTO when it’s at $80 million. And it works. First off, you will only see about half that money. The Government will get the rest, and of what is left, It’s paid out over 25 years. Which means you get a net of about 1.5 mil every year.

You can’t spend one and a half million in one year? What about all the leaches that will come out of the closet to cash in? Your relatives, the cracks, the charities, and all the other people who will have their hands out for that money? And remember, if you spend it all in the first few weeks, no more for about another 45 weeks or so.

Stick it in the bank and clip coupons, you say? Okay, who guards your finances at that point? The managers, the tax lawyers, the trustees, all have a slice of this, and through simple mismanagement, you can wind up owing money to everyone. And who keeps your relatives safe from the truly greedy who would kidnap them to get your money?

Not too attractive now, huh? Spells are like lighting a long fuse on a keg of powder. Can you get the fuse out of the keg before it goes off? And can you deal with the consequences of your actions before it blows up in your face? Because for every problem you can think of, be assured that there are three problems that you didn’t think of.

So what good are spells? Spells are for transforming yourself. That’s it. Others use spells for other things, but most of those of us who can wield magick find that just by having that ability, that we are changed internally. There is a metamorphosis that takes place that makes a magician a better person and more capable of dealing with problems.

It can be used to make qualities in yourself better or to make others go away. If you want to quit smoking, then magick may offer a solution. But you have to cooperate with the magick too.

All the Magick that Wiccans and Pagans do is to “nudge” things into the way we want them to go. If something is near impossible, then it becomes less likely, if less likely, then it becomes more likely. And so on. It can’t make earth-shattering changes, all it can do is make something more probable that it will happen.

I like analogies and parables, so here is another.

I want to have a river in my back yard. Since I live near the Mississippi, I decide to go out and divert a section of the river to flow through my backyard. I dig and dig, and I give it an outlet, and eventually, I have a small trickle in my backyard.

But if I go out and do all that digging, AND I go upstream of the Mississippi River, and divert a section of it, I get more water in my stream. I get a larger effect or a more likely effect by diverting part of the River.

All Magick is is the diverting of the river. You still have to dig and do what is necessary to get the change to happen, but the spell can make a difference.

I heard a joke a while back, that I feel is apt for this article.

A very pious man prayed to God every night. Each night, he would get on his knees and say “Lord, I love you in all things, PLEASE let me win the lottery.” He did this every night for years. And he never won.

Fifty years past, and the man is getting old. Finally, he prayed one night, “Lord, I’m getting old, and I don’t have much time left, please, for my children, let me win the lottery.”

And the Lord answered, “So meet me halfway already, buy a ticket…”

And that is what a spell is. It’s a lot to think about.

Here’s a few links you may like.

The Path of the Magician
On Druidic Powers
Ethics and Morals
The Ethics of Love Spells By Mike Nichols

Message: On Magick
Author: Answering questions… – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 26, 2000 14:40

Dannan Durotages writes:

Hello Daven
Well you anticipated my first question with your posting on the Pagan teaching thread!! (but that seems to happen a lot lately…*S*)

I have a question in that area, which may not really have an answer but I am very inquisitive and always want to know what if and why.

I have made friends with some healers who practice magic and who said that any spell you do comes back on you, both saying “be very careful when you perform dark spells” I had no intention of doing so, but it made me wonder:
if people are aware that the spell they perform will ultimately be either their responsibility should something bad be the result, or will have similar repercussions in their own life, why do it? Is it that they don’t care, or do they then have to go further and do something to protect themselves from the repercussions? I don’t like the sound of either but am curious about this. I didn’t know who to ask as it’s a difficult area and was so glad when you brought up the subject.

Don’t get me wrong, my intentions with magic are purely for the benefit of others and I wouldn’t attempt anything that would mean harming another.

Danann
Danann Durotriges

Okay, once getting back to the ethics thing. This kind of “catch 22” situation is a hard one.

When one works magick, one does take the consequences of all that comes from it. But a consequence can be a good thing. Take for example something that is near and dear to my heart.

I have a wisdom tooth that was becoming impacted and going into an infection. I went to the dentist and they caused great amounts of pain to me, and I really didn’t want to go through it, so why did I? For the greater good of a little temporary pain, to get rid of the long term pain.

Can you see the corollary here? It’s the long term good that one must work for. If you endure the short term negative consequences, you may be able to accomplish a long term goal. It’s the same for magick.

One undertakes it with the attitude of either changing oneself, or accomplishing something that is long term good, and one acknowledges the fact that there may be long or short term negative consequences one must pay.

But even when they are weighed and balanced, and the negative consequences outweigh the positive consequences, one may still decide that the goal is a worthy one. In that case, they acknowledge that they will be paying and paying for a while, and most are mature enough not to complain when that happens.

It’s all in the balancing. Is the goal you wish to accomplish worth the price you pay to get it? Some say yes, and others say no.

Let’s look at another example. Mountain climbing. An insane sport, one where the threat of death looms large for the practitioners (especially in a free-belay situation, meaning no ropes to catch you.) Climbers go through months and years of conditioning their bodies, buying some expensive supplies with money they may not have. They train and train and train, just so they can spend one day, climbing up the rock formations near Angle Falls in Argentina. Why?

They feel the goal is worth it. They can say “I Free rappelled up Angel falls. I did that.” To them, the goal was worth all the price they paid.

But you have to be careful. It can get close to “the ends justify the means.” And this is also where I start worrying. There are very few times that this statement is true, and it is usually being used to justify atrocities. But remember, YOU are the one that will pay the price for it.

This is not a game. There will be a test, there are always tests. Think before acting, weigh the good against the bad, see who it will affect besides yourself, and then do it if you feel that you must. Usually you will come out alright in the end.

But justifying things because you want to do them and deluding yourself is never good. In this series of actions and thoughts, don’t lie. To yourself or anyone else. It’s a sure way to get into trouble. Honesty, to yourself, is best.

And remember something. In the end, we are all selfish people. We will never do anything that we don’t want to do, or that will bring us pleasure. The most martyred person on the planet is there because they wanted to be there. They had choices to get out before things got out of hand, but they didn’t. So keep that selfishness in mind when thinking on these deep thoughts.

This is usually why magick doesn’t get used much. And if it is, it’s to make the practitioner a better person, or to heal someone close to them. But even a healing can backfire. What if it is the person you are healing’s time to die? And by your spell it keeps them in a shell that is no longer able to help them live and learn what they need to do.

You will hear in most spells a list of constraints to the spell so that it only does what is good and right for all. Usually it’s something like “If it be right and necessary….” to limit the spell and to allow fate or destiny or the life lessons that the person has learned to take precedence over the desires of the caster.

And so I hope I answered your question Dannan. LOL

Message: Danann’s next question
Author: Teacher – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 27, 2000 11:49

Hi Daven,
Thanks for your answers to my last question. *S*

I don’t even know if this is the kind of question to ask you, but it is an ethical/moral question concerning the occult so I hope you don’t mind.

How would you advise someone with this problem?
A healer friend of mine has been asked to heal (or at least treat) an 8 month old baby who has severe epilepsy and doesn’t have long to live. The baby already seems to have moved onto a different level of consciousness and is constantly smiling and content, with no signs of awareness of her surroundings (though she has sight)
My friend’s dilemma is, should she try and ground this baby, bring it temporarily into awareness of its surroundings, however briefly, or would it be better/kinder to leave it in the realm it already seems to have found peace in?

My friend has decided to treat the baby, whereas I can’t decide which I would do!

Danann
Danann Durotriges

Okay, I have read this and thought on it. I won’t answer it. Right now that is….

What I want is for each of you, excepting Danann, to think of what you would do in this situation. This exercise includes the Lurkers…. Post them here, and we will have an open discussion on this topic, while I finish the holidays lesson. I would like to see statements of what you would do, why you would do it, and groundwork to defend your position. I’ll be playing “Devil’s Advocate” and attacking those positions.

Others are encouraged to put in their two cents worth on any of the comments posted, but I do not want this to devolve into a flame war. Attacks on a person will not be tolerated. Attack their position, attack the statement, but do not attack the person. The AS Code of Conduct is still in effect in this debate.

And remember, the purpose of this is to learn, not to get offended and upset. If you start taking this too seriously, we will terminate the discussion. Let’s have fun with this one, in the spirit of learning and expanding our minds, our thoughts and possibly our ethics and morals.

Lurkers can post their positions on my domus and I’ll post their stances here for them, along with any other applicable material that comes out of this.

Happy debating.

Message: I suppose I’ll go first…
Author: hesitant – Fleury CuChulainn

Date: Sep 27, 2000 13:11

In my humble opinion, this debate sounds potentially explosive. I’ll offer my thoughts but I’m not going to leap on anyone else for their views. Personal opinions are just that, opinions. I have no healing skills and will never be in the situation in real life, for this reason I will participate…

Now, all of that being said, I don’t think I would try to treat the baby in question. I have an uncle who is epileptic and the seizures are very confusing, anxiety ridden and exhausting both mentally and physically, and he understands what is happening to him. I would not want to bring un uncomprehending baby out of a comfortable spot in order for it to experience the seizures in their full force. That would almost seem cruel. If the child is going to die anyway, I would leave its last memories as pleasant ones and enjoy the time I had left with a happy baby rather than going through the torture of watching my the child become conscious of its suffering. As Daven has taught me, we bring our experiences with us even if we are not conscious of them. If we do in fact have souls/spirits/essences that make the journey back, it may become jaded and bitter which not a good way to begin another life even if it is in a physically healthy body. Who knows, it could later create a healthy but angry or resentful person.

Message: Of another opinion…
Author: Thinks it’s worth it – Gazesby Ordovices

Date: Sep 27, 2000 15:20

I would do everything in my power to save him…
In real life I work as a president and CEO of a medical company, this probably affects my opinion a lot.
But I am totally convinced that all who shares my values and my moral point of view agrees that all are to be done to save a persons life…

Saying that it is not is to say active euthanasia ( killing brain dead peoples and etc.) is ok.

If there is one chance in a million the child will survive of course you should help it.

Why help old people to do things they like?
Why treat a 70 year old man with cancer?
They are going to die soon anyway…
Do you hear how that sounds?
Quite awful huh?

This is my opinion, feel free to criticize it, I won’t mind. But I’ll defend it to the last drop of blood! LOL

Daven, Good thinking a discussion brings us all out from the dark corners. *S*

Message: Some questions about this situation
Author: The long-lost – Rona Cumhaill
Date: Sep 27, 2000 16:40

It was said that the baby is not going to live long anyway. Is this because of the epilepsy or something else? And what is this person intending to do to “ground” the child? My instincts tell me to leave well enough alone. If the baby seems happy, let it rest in peace. Or as my grandfather always said – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Unhappily, I have seen a lot of harm done by well-intentioned “healers” who feel the need to tamper with situations that would better be left in the hands of the Goddess. It is a hard decision to make, but this is just my humble opinion, and I don’t know all the facts behind the story.

Message: Rona, in answer to your questions
Author: Being the GM – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 27, 2000 22:57

I won’t ask Danann to reveal anymore about the true situation to us, to preserve the anonymity of the real people in question. So I shall answer your questions.

It was said that the baby is not going to live long anyway. Is this because of the epilepsy or something else? And what is this person intending to do to “ground” the child?

The child will die from the epilepsy, and the strangulation of the blood to the brain during the seizures. The death will, in effect, be caused by the epilepsy.

Grounding the child is to bring it back to awareness of this reality and to keep the child’s soul in the body while the doctors work to fix the problem. Basically it makes a shield around the child that they cannot penetrate from the inside. I will stipulate in this case that this shield will dissipate upon the cessation of function of the child’s body.

Now, before anyone accuses me of being a ghoul, when I heard of this situation, I started trying to help the family of this child, even though I know nothing of them or the situation, spiritually. This will do no harm in my opinion to any of them. And in this case the family is the child as well.

This is despite the fact that I need this energy just as badly as they need it.

Message: A dying child
Author:Ciaran Iceni

Date: Sep 27, 2000 23:16

is always a difficult situation. Although I have no children of my own, I worked for almost 3 years with severely and profoundly retarded and multiply physically handicapped children. While I was there over a dozen of the children died. It was always hard because we all loved the children dearly. This child has been diagnosed as terminal. There is serious damage being done to it’s brain by the lack of blood. Even if it’s life can be prolonged, who does it serve? Does it truly serve the child, or does it speak more to our own fears and uncertainties about death. Sending the child warm, positive supportive energy probably won’t hurt. Trying to force a soul to stay in a body past it’s appropriate time can be very damaging. I would try to help the parents come to accept the probable outcome, to find a sense of peace and love for the time that their child has left, just because the gift of life for their child is short one, it doesn’t make it any less valuable. Would I try to ‘heal’ this child and bring it to awareness of it’s condition? No, I wouldn’t. It doesn’t serve the child, it serves the adults. I have spent too much time around children with IQ’s lower than my cat’s to think that it would be a good idea to trap a soul in such a place. Let the child return to The Mother if that is Her will, death isn’t an end, it’s just another beginning.

Message: Okay, first challenge to the positions!
Author: The Devil’s Advocate – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 27, 2000 23:26

This is where it gets messy. I will be attacking the positions of those who posted. This is not personal and I do not want anyone to get offended by this. I still respect you all. And shall continue to do so.

Fleury wrote:

I don’t think I would try to treat the baby in question…

The Advocate speaks: So, you are stating that you would stand by and watch this innocent child suffer and die simply to coddle your conscience? This child could be another Mozart or Einstein, or have great things to contribute to the world. Your help in this case could make the difference between this child living until the doctors find a solution and this child never having a chance at life. Is that what you want? Make no mistake about it, healing powers often wake at the touch and practice of what Daven has been teaching you, so you may have to make a choice like this. Don’t weasel out of it by saying “I don’t have the ability to do this, so I will never have to make this choice”. This is just the kind of choice you may be forced to make.

Have you ever seen a puppy die? I have. It’s a hundred times worse with a baby, especially with their parents watching. And it’s not right that you not at least try to help it. Even if you fail, you will have done something.

(Personal note: Well done Fleury. Good stand, but you may want to look at the real reasons behind what you are talking about. Some of it may be tied up with your Uncle, and all that confusion that goes along with it. Keep going.)

Gazesby wrote:

I would do everything in my power to save him…

The Advocate speaks: So, you would trap an uncomprehending innocent in a body that may be unable to support it, simply because you equate this to euthanasia? It’s not you know. The child is alive, and the doctors are working on finding something to cure the child. What you are advocating in your position is similar to wanting to do open heart surgery on a person with no anesthetics, and who is fully conscious. That is what is going on. The child is feeling no pain, and those who are in a position to know a lot more about the situation are working to find a fix for it.

Plus, if it is the child’s time, and you prevent it with your meddling, you wind up with a body that is alive, but with no soul in it, making it dependant on others for the rest of it’s life. Institutionalizing a vegetative body for the next 70 or so years, putting an enormous drain on the parental resources, and possibly pauperizing them, as well as the emotional burden that goes with it.

But that aside, just the here and now, if you bring the child out of the haven it seems to have created for itself, you could be doing untold damage to the soul of that child, and bringing a lot of grief to the child and the parents as they realize what went wrong. A cooing and laughing baby is much more palatable than a screaming and crying one, seizures aside. That is the position you just took.

(Personal note: Interesting position. But you too should look deeper. Is some of the motivation coming from you as a CEO and wanting to sell the cure to the hospital, or you as the humanitarian? Think about it a little. Other than that, good post.)

*********************

Okay, those aside. Well done so far. Just the kinds of things I was looking for. And this treatment will continue, and I will be merciless in my attacks on the position, but remember, please, I am not disapproving of you, only the thoughts and position.

I am proud of all of you. It is a wonderful thing to watch a mind and soul mature, and from what I have seen and felt, you all are doing so.

Just don’t loose sight of this during this discussion: This is a real child, with real parents with real emotions. It’s not only the child that will be affected by this, but the parents as well, and their relatives too. Keep that in mind, and I will see you next time.

Message: Thank you all
Author: amazed – Danann Durotriges

Date: Sep 28, 2000 07:29

I was so surprised to see these responses, and even to see that Daven had chosen to post this question, as it is such a delicate matter.

I personally had thought I would choose NOT to treat the baby, as it seemed to me that the baby had already left us and was safely in the arms of the Goddess, but when the healer told me she was going to try to ground and heal/treat the baby, that was when I started to dither about my decision.

Part of me felt that the child should be given a chance to be conscious of the beauty of this life, although I don’t know how kind this would be if the life was very short. There are a few other “mitigating circumstances about the baby which I didn’t go into in my first post, but when we’ve all finished mulling this over, it would be interesting to see if anyone changes their mind as a result (I personally don’t think they should but it will be interesting)

I don’t think I would treat the baby but I’ll wait until I have learned from you all before making a final decision.

In case you want to know, the healer will be using crystals, colors, herbs and a form of healing pronounced “Seichem” or something (I’ll find out the correct spelling) which is very, very effective, and she is a very capable healer, though she has never attempted anything like this before.

Message: I find it interesting
Author:Ciaran Iceni

Date: Sep 28, 2000 10:46

that you seem to think that the child hasn’t experienced the beauty of this world. That’s a very subjective thing. Perhaps the child is showing us that dying isn’t such a frightening and terrible thing. Perhaps the purpose of the child’s brief life is to help it’s parents resolve their issues with dying. There are two interpretations for the calm and smiling countenance- the child has found peace and comfort with the Mother or the child’s brain is already so damaged that it is no longer capable of perceiving the world around it. Once again I ask the question: Who does this healing serve?

Message: I can see that Ciaran…
Author:Danann Durotriges

Date: Sep 28, 2000 13:00

..and I agree with you, that was my original point of view. It was when my colleague told me that she had chosen to treat the baby that I started to dig deep within myself to try to understand why she made this choice.

I think you are right, in that she is familiar with the parents of the baby, so that must have some, even if only a tiny influence on her decision. She was asked for her help at such a late stage that she didn’t think she would have enough time to effect some kind of cure. You are also of course correct about there being more than one reason for the child being in it’s “happy” state, it’s brain probably is severely damaged now, though I don’t know for certain.

But then I saw my friend today and she seemed so confident about her decision.

I suppose this illustrates that whatever decisions we make, there’ll be someone to support us and others who disagree with our decisions.

Message: Okay….
Author: – Fleury CuChulainn

Date: Sep 28, 2000 16:22

So, Daven wrote:
So, you are stating that you would stand by and watch this innocent child suffer and die simply to coddle your conscience? …

First and foremost, I was not weenie-ing or weaseling out, thank you very much. :p pthhtpt
I was trying to maintain from the start that I do not intend to get involved in any mudslinging or flaming. It was my disclaimer that I don’t claim to be a healer and am only going by my own thoughts and feelings.

Now, to the debate at hand… No! I’m certainly not coddling my own conscience! It takes more courage to watch a child die that work frantically to try to gain an extra week or two out of their life. Yes perhaps the child could have been another Mozart or Einstein, but if blood is being cut off to the brain chances are that possibility is no more, but they still can be in their next life if given the chance to move on. I agree with Ciaran, to prolong the life is the will of the parents, not the child. If the child is in a happy place despite what its body is going through, the child’s spirit is ready to go even if the parents are not. If kept alive longer at the will of the parents the child may lose their happy place and spend its last few weeks in pain. Is that for the benefit of the child? I think not, it is for the parents who cannot let go.

I have not watched a puppy die but I’ve had a few kittens die in my arms on different occasions (I was a country girl). I agree its a horrible thing to have to watch and a it would be a million times worse to watch a child die but it would be easier to watch it die in peace rather than agony.

Message: The Advocate speaks again!
Author: Thinking – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 28, 2000 17:22

Please, as you read through these, remember one thing if nothing else, I DO NOT SUPPORT ANY OF THE STANCES THE ADVOCATE TAKES. I am being adversarial about this because I must. I WILL post my own views on this when we wrap this debate up. So don’t hate me, please?

Ciaran wrote:
A dying child is always a difficult situation….
The advocate: This stance is running rampant in the medical community these days. “I can’t do anything to improve the condition, so I won’t even try… I won’t even put the child out of it’s misery because that’s immoral”.

Most times to this, all I can say is make up my mind. Either work to save the child, or give up and put the child down. One or the other, but don’t fence sit. My great aunt suffered from this. It was hell on most of the family. Grief counseling for the parents is all well and good, but there comes a time when the parents have begged and pleaded to let the child die, but the doctors refuse to do so. In many cases the parents have to get a court order mandating that the machines be turned off, but the doctors still won’t. To my mind, this kind of actions is reprehensible, and against all the oaths the Healer took when starting the practice of medicine.

Flurey wrote:
Now, to the debate at hand… No! I’m certainly not coddling my own conscience! …

The Advocate: And I still maintain that if this is the case, put the child to sleep. Euthanasia. No more wondering if the child is suffering, no more unresolved issues, no more work to try to find something ANYTHING that will work to make the child “magically” better. When everything has been tried, stop trying and let the poor child go, at least that way the parents have closure.

And failing that, how can you know that the child is in a better place? All you see are it’s reactions to the environment, not what is going on in it’s head, or with it’s spirit. It could be, even with the brain damage, that it is feeling no pain from the seizures, and that it reacts to the parents….

If someone were laying in the street, and you did not have the tools at hand to fix them, would you still stand there, and do nothing?

Until next time….

Message: Back again
Author: not as irked as I sounded – Fleury CuChulainn

Date: Sep 28, 2000 18:47

The Advocate: And I still maintain that if this is the case, put the child to sleep. Euthanasia. …

Okay, that puts it into a different perspective… are you saying that if nothing else is to be done, just put it out of its misery and kill it? Well I may not be able to help it but I couldn’t be the implement of death. There are some things that should be left to the natural order. I feel guilty if I flush a spider so there is no way I could euthanise a child. Letting it die naturally would be hard enough but it could never die by my hand or my order. The time it would take for nature to take its course would give me time to prepare for the inevitable, spend what quality time I can and to say goodbye.

I suppose no one could ever really know if it is truly happy or not, that too would be for the benefit of the parents to believe that it was in a better place and comfortable in its final days.

As for someone lying the street, I would not stand there, watching and doing nothing *rolling my eyes disgustedly* I would do what I could, such as talking to them and trying to comfort them until help arrives. The only tool I really have is my voice…

Message: Okay,
Author: Advocate: – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 28, 2000 21:47

I’ll direct my comments at Fleury, but this goes for anyone advocating the “I can’t help the child, but I won’t let it out of it’s misery” argument.

The Advocate: Okay, well, I didn’t truly believe that you would stand around with the man in the street. That was a low blow, and for that I apologize.

However, keeping the child alive past the time it is supposed to live is cruel and inhumane. Let me give you this situation.

This child, instead of epilepsy, has a tentacular brain tumor. Terminal. It will race through the brain in a matter of months and the child will be dead at the end of that time. However, radical surgery will remove most of the tumor, and most of the child’s brain. There is little chance the child will have anything approaching a normal life after that, being that something like 20% of it’s brain is gone, along with the tumor, but the body will live. There will be no soul in the child, and everyone who has the ability to sense the soul of the child will freak.

What you have now is basically a zombie. It can’t care for itself, it can’t think or do anything of value, but the child is alive. Had nature taken it’s course, the child would be dead, but the doctors said that this surgery would save the child.

The parents opt for the surgery. They now have basically a shell, and one that needs to be on life support for oxygen and food, but the heart still beats. There is NO brain activity.

Using your argument, letting nature take it’s course would leave this child in the hospital or a private nursing home for the next 50-70 years. However, turning off the respirator will let the body go back into the Earth, where it should be. The soul won’t feel compelled to stick around a barely living body on the off chance that it might decide to take up residence again.

What do you do now? Life support is only preventing the inevitable, and it would be kinder to let the body die.

And let’s apply this to the case we are looking at, the child with epilepsy. There is no saving this child, granted. But the doctors really don’t know how long it will take for the brain to cease function, and even when all brain activity is absent, it’s not the higher brain that will keep the heart beating, but the brainstem.

So, the brain dies, the child goes on, but here you have this living shell, with fully functional parts, but no one home. Heart beating, digestion taking place, bodily functions occurring, lungs breathing, and so on. With no soul. Isn’t it kinder to let this body pass on and go back to be reused rather than to allow it to continue to function when THERE IS NO HOPE?

This is a really good discussion so far. Please keep it up.

The rest of you out there, if I don’t see a post on your position by the beginning of October, I will assume that you are sitting this discussion out, and move on from there.

Well done everyone who is posting…. And keep thinking good thoughts for the real life people who are going through this. It helps.

Message: Hmmm..
Author:Draconis CuChulainn

Date: Sep 29, 2000 01:05

Since I’m not a student of Daven, I feel that I shouldn’t speak. But this subject is a very sore one for me, being a resident of the only state where the voters twice overwhelmingly support assisted suicide. If I didn’t support assisted suicide, I would still be pissed off because everyone else in the country is doing their darnest to overrule what the Oregon voters decided to put into state law.

Other than that, I do support assisted suicide. In my opinion, I’d say kill it now so it would not go through life in pain.

Message: Well……..
Author:dolphina Aedui

Date: Sep 29, 2000 02:19

I can not say that I would do this for sure, cus to be asked what you would do, and what you end up doing is often to entirely different things. Based on what I do know of the problem though, I would be inclined to leave the baby alone. One what harm is it doing to the baby, that we know?? None.
Two, One could do harm with out realizing it or wanting to by messing with the baby. And three, this may sound weird, but my gut says not to, and I have found that my gut is often more right, than my mind could ever be. I know this sounds really weird I don’t know how to explain though, I do hope some of you at least can figure out what I mean.

Message: Cultural differences perhaps….
Author:Gazesby Ordovices

Date: Sep 29, 2000 05:17

I wonder what makes us think so different, I wonder…..

Daven, I’m not sure I have the scenario straight…
It sounds in one post that the child could become a new Mozart or Einstein, on another that the child will die certainly anyway…
This I must have cleared out before I can continue…

Message: The child
Author: Being GM – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 29, 2000 07:29

will die, Gaz. The stuff in red are me arguing the opposite side of the stance the student has taken. I use it to present what you, as the “healers” in this situation may not have thought of, trying to talk you out of whatever stance you have chosen.

The child is having seizures. The child is terminal due to brain damage. The doctors don’t know how long it will take for the child to die in the natural course of events. The parents are there to watch the events unfolding.

These are the facts of the situation. All else is opinion and supposition.

Daven

Message: But….
Author:Gazesby Ordovices

Date: Sep 29, 2000 08:20

Hmmm, yes but in my opinion there is a large difference whether it’s a week or 20 years…

Message: Gaz,
Author: As the GM – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 29, 2000 09:23

assume that you have no idea. The child could die tomorrow, or could last the rest of your life. You can’t see into the future, and you have no idea how much longer this child has. The best “guestimate” the doctors can give is 2 weeks, and that was two weeks ago that they gave that. But they honestly don’t know.

Does that help?

Message: Thanks Daven…
Author:Gazesby Ordovices

Date: Sep 29, 2000 11:02

In my point of view there is still no question about it… All has to be sacrificed to save a human life… Maybe it is the Goddess will not to let this baby live, but maybe it is her will to let it live, thru our efforts…

And Daven, when I mentioned my job I did not refer to my will to make money of those who suffer, but to say my mission in this life is to save lives….

Message: Another Lurker Comes to Comment. *S*
Author: Posting for a lurker: – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 29, 2000 23:04

I have been reading the on going discussion regarding the baby with epilepsy, and feel compelled to put my two cents in as is my wont. *S* As you point out the child is not living in a vacuum, there is a family around this child who likely would benefit from some extra energy to help cope with the on going situation. I would certainly be willing to try and help the parents, to send them the strength to deal with what they face. However, I would not interfere with the baby short of “praying”, for lack of a better term, for the best possible outcome from the elemental spirits, or Goddess, choose your deity. *S*
Like dolphina, and Mary, I get a gut reaction which says do not interfere.

That would be my take, GREAT discussion, thanks. *S*
p.s. If you wish you may post this to the thread.

Nymue Cumhaill

Message: Once more into the breech, dear friends….
Author: The Advocate: – Daven Iceni

Date: Sep 29, 2000 23:51

Gazesby wrote:
In my point of view there is still no question about it… All has to be sacrificed to save a human life… Maybe it is the Goddess will not to let this baby live, but maybe it is her will to let it live, thru our efforts…

The Advocate: So, with this stance you are telling me that to save one human life, you would sacrifice 500 animal lives, and by extension, 500 human lives as well. Perhaps the Goddess does want this child to live through our actions, but this seems a little harsh. And with the experimentation on animals and humans, that is what is happening.

And you are right, the job crack was a low blow. I apologize.

dolphina wrote:
I can not say that I would do this for sure, ‘cus to be asked what you would do, and what you end up doing is often to entirely different things. Based on what I do know of the problem though, I would be inclined to leave the baby alone. One, what harm is it doing to the baby, that we know?? None. Two, a person could do harm with out realizing it or wanting to by messing with the baby. And three, this may sound weird, but my gut says not to, and I have found that my gut is often more right, than my mind could ever be. I know this sounds really weird I don’t know how to explain though, I do hope some of you at least can figure out what I mean.

The Advocate: By this stance, you are telling me that you would do nothing to help the child. Because you don’t know what kind of repercussions might come out of it, and your “feelings” tell you not to. And if you can’t be sure that you can help, you won’t take the chance that a little short term harm may help in the long run. Correct?

You would make no attempt to help either the child or the family of the child? Well, that is good for your guts, but that doesn’t help the family at all. They will still get to suffer through watching their child possibly suffer and die. (And this is addressed to all those who are proponents of this stance too.) [sarcastically] Good for you.

Draconis wrote
Other than that, I do support assisted suicide. In my opinion, I’d say kill it now so it would not go through life in pain.

The Advocate: Okay, boiled down to basics, this is murder. The child can’t give it’s consent to this, and can’t help push the plunger on the needle, so no matter how you want to justify it, it’s still murder. Plain and simple.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m glad to see everyone participating in this. Drac, you are welcome to post here as you wish, student or no.

I have noted that some are confused by the contradictory positions the Advocate takes. It’s representing the opinions of the public in general, and some of the opinions that you will hear should this ever happen to you. Disregard the other Advocacy stances in other posts, concentrate on responding to the response that is directed at your position. Make comments on the other positions not in red.

It is appearing that we are coming to a consensus. The majority of the positions are “do nothing”. Well and good. We have one who is stating “do everything” and one that states “help it die”. But mostly I am seeing variants on “do nothing”. Interesting. And there are a variety of reasons too.
1) Gut feeling
2) Not sure it will help
3) Withholding help will not harm
4) Do nothing for the child, but help the parents.
5) Let nature take it’s course.

This is turning into a good discussion. Keep going everyone.

Message: Posting while I can… *G*
Author: wheeee (glad to be back) – Fleury CuChulainn, Patron

Date: Oct 3, 2000 00:05

Okay, now since I’ve had lots of time to think… *eg*

I have discussed the issue at hand with a couple of friends and one had a very interesting point, that of free will. If the individual in question was an adult, it would be their choice and no one could (or perhaps should) contest it legally (I just know Daven will jump on that one *rolling my eyes*) If I were going through it, I’d probably just want it to end… or I would want to fight like there was no tomorrow (please know there are no puns intended) Either way, it would be by my will what was done. A child has no say one way or another, not only by age but a lack of cognizance of the situation and of speech for that matter. But whether its a child or not, does the parent have the right to determine the child’s fate? I know I’m not even taking a stance at this point in time but I found my friends point interesting and thought I’d throw it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

By the gods, I’m just glad I actually remembered something from last Thursday night… *grin*

Message: Okay wait…
Author: an addendum – Fleury CuChulainn, Patron

Date: Oct 3, 2000 00:12

I realise I’m virtually asking the same question all over again… but in some ways, what I’m curious about is what if it were you? What would you do if you knew you had only a short time to live, days even. You knew that it would be agony but that there was an overwhelming chance that you could possibly slip away without feeling the pain at the end… would you end it before it got any worse or wait until the peacefulness took hold and could take you to a better place?

Message: Hmmm well….
Author:Gazesby Ordovices

Date: Oct 3, 2000 03:45

Sorry, Maybe I was expressing myself unclear…
When I say everything I mean that if it were up to a healer who had been asked to do what he can for this baby he had to get over his “gut-feelings”. And one life is not worth 500 others of course not!
But all should be done to keep the soul in the body. The medical science is already in the future, we can accomplish miracles, believe me I know!

Thank you….

Message: Why she’s doing it…
Author:Danann Durotriges

Date: Oct 3, 2000 09:19

I found the right way to probe the healer a little more (you must understand it is very difficult to ask someone you hardly know to justify their actions in a situation as delicate and important as this)
I asked her, if the parents know there is no cure for their baby, and if they know the condition will never improve, why do they want her to try to prolong it’s life here? And why does she try to do so given these circumstances? She feels that the baby has, for some reason, chosen to stay here. She wants to do everything she can to help it, if that is it’s choice. She believes the baby HAS a will and wants to be here for its own reasons.
And she’s still holding on.

I thought I’d share this with you as you may want to hear the reasons for her choice.

Someone else suggested that the parents may be living in hope of a medical breakthrough.

Message: Okay, this discussion seems to have petered out
Author: Being the teacher again. – Daven Iceni

Date: Oct 13, 2000 10:44

so now I will tell you all what you just learned.

Get ready, you have all been the victim of another patented Daven “What you learned is not what you think you learned” lesson.

What you learned in this discussion was not that one choice was right or wrong, but rather to make a decision. You learned to look at all sides of an issue, and make an informed decision based on your morals and your ethics as to what you thought was right, and to stick by that decision no matter what.

Admit it, if anyone can make you feel like you made the wrong decision, it’s your teacher. That is the reason that I came down so hard on all of you on the positions you took.

Make no mistake about it, as you go into these studies more in depth, you will be called upon to make these kinds of moral decisions more and more frequently. You will have people coming at you who will second-guess you, call you horrid names because of your stance, and you will have to stand firm in your decision. You may even have to explain your decision to some, and an explanation of “it feels right” is not good enough for most people.

I’m proud of all of you. Really and truly. You all took a hard decision, one that had a lot of murkiness in it, clarified it for yourself and stood by your decision. Good job.

This is real life folks, not some philosopher’s perfect sphere of supposition. Some of the attitudes you will be presented with are hard line and idiotic, but more often, the decisions you will face in this area are gray and shades of gray. There is little black and white in the world.

Take for example people who live on the street because they have no home. They come up to you and ask for money, look through garbage cans for food, and search for dropped coins near the drive-thrus of the local hamburger stand.

Most would think they are lazy. But I was in that position less than three years ago with my wife and daughter, and have the potential of being back there again tomorrow. I know just what it is like to live like that, the terror at every closing door, the coldness in your heart, the lack of emotion when you ask for money from a stranger, and how your heart shatters when they tell you that you are a bum and will never amount to anything. Had this happen to me. Lived it.

So, you can’t EVER jump to conclusions in this world. Nothing out there is clear cut or definite from any perspective. So, the ability to look at an issue and take a stand after considering all the options is a plus. At least you will have a direction that you can go in rather than letting circumstances dictate what actions you will take. You will become an acter, rather than a reactor.

For the record, my own personal stance on this whole discussion is similar to what Cairan would take given these circumstances. It’s hard to watch a child die, but sometimes it’s better to allow them to die. I would be there to support the parents, but I would do nothing for the child, other than alleviate it’s pain. I would do rites and rituals that the energy I raised would be used for the child’s best interest, but I would not specify what those best interests would be. If the child would live, so be it, if it was to die, so be that too. I have no right to monkey around in the karma or life lessons of someone else. So I would help the child and the parents by being there to support them and make the transition as painless as possible for all of them.

And yes, I have been in this position before. I had to stand by and watch while my wife’s father died and while my grandfather died as well. I refused to do anything for them, other than to ease their passing and help them realize that they had actually died. I believe I made the right decision.

You are all Priest/esses of the Gods. You represent the Gods and Goddesses, or you will be closer to that goal as you progress through this course. Because of this, you will need to have a strong moral base to start from.

One of the strongest I have ever encountered is summed up in a few words “An’ it harm none, do as you will”. This moral statement recurs in just about EVERY philosophy and religion out there. It’s a good starting point for study, but it is NOT an iron clad rule.

“Be excellent to each other” ~Bill and Ted “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” ~Jesus “And if you mix your affairs with them, they are your brothers” ~The Koran and so many other similar statements, it makes me wonder why hardly anyone follows these statements.

Each of these try to boil down a large concept into a small, easily remembered, “sound byte”. None of these statements say it all, nor are they supposed to. The statements are supposed to get you remembering the rest of what is implied, but not stated. It’s sad to see that there are many out there who have decided these rules are iron clad in and of themselves, to the exclusion of common sense.

So, here we go again….

Assignment: Get those notebooks out again. I want you to take your favorite statement that equates to the Golden Rule and write a letter to yourself on what you think it means. You can pick any statement from anywhere, so long as it “fits” with the statement “Harm none/do as you wish” or “Do to others how you wish to be treated” or so on….

Once you write that letter, date it and sign it. Then think of ways to improve upon that statement. Expand it until you have a philosophy and a “code of ethics” for yourself. Talk about situations in which this moral code would not cover something and write your feelings about that.

I would like to see the code of ethics part of this. The philosophy you create from the “root” statement. Post that code here with the statement this comes from and we will discuss them in a forum discussion again. No attacks this time, but a real discussion, Q&A and so on.

Every now and then, I would like you to go back and look at that code again and add to it or subtract from it. Put any new insights that you have into that code and date the additions. You will see that this code is an evolving thing, just as you are.

So that’s it for this section of our class. As to the last part of the holidays, we may not get to it. All my research has been packed as I just moved out of my grandfather’s house and I am now living in a week to week place with my family until I find a permanent house or apartment to move into. So, for the foreseeable future, don’t hold your breath on the holidays. I’ll finish them if I can, and post the results here.

Stars light your path.

Originally posted 2009-11-03 16:49:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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