Frame for sweat lodge at Lake Superior Provincial Park, Wawa, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I always thought he was guilty of disrespecting the ceremony in many ways but is he really guilty of manslaughter?
The people went in freely, signed a written lease form of what will happen and where warned that the lodge will be really hot.
I agree that he conducted the ceremony poorly and should have done a lot of things differently.
But just cuz people paid for this and seemed to follow this guru blindly doesn’t make him a murderer.
A small story:
[I recently led a sweat lodge]. It was done with all the precautions that was required and I added to it.
I actually only heated 6 grandfathers [rocks]. The lodge was incredibly hot, I checked in with the men over and over and
The doors both front and back were open last 2 rounds. Passing water and checking in with the man next to me
Who may have some macho attitude he kept saying he was good.
After the lodge he was not good. It took quite some time, oxygen and a lot of attention to get him back to reality.
He could have sat there till he died because he chose to…….
In this context, I feel that the people where totally ignorant to their own safety. When you go on to a retreat like that, does that mean that now you don’t have any responsibility for your self. What if you are allergic to peanuts, but now you are on this great spiritual retreat and are not responsible? Perhaps on some level the whole retreat is about self-responsibility?
What is your views and opinions my friend??
On a spiritual level they probably chose to go at that time [the people who died related to the manslaughter case] but how could you take that to court- lol
Blessings of Love and peace,
Michael, thanks for your question. I am sure that you will find my answer provocative, alarming, insightful, disturbing, and funny, but maybe not in that order.
Responsibility is always individual, but also always mutual. I declare responsibility into being. There is no such thing as inherent responsibility, but only in language.
The isolating of responsibility is arbitrary, like saying “the firing of neurons is what typed this message” or “I typed it” or “Michael made me do it by asking me a question” or “it is God‘s Will.” All of those are equally valid. There is no single cause of any effect, but a series of catalysts and causes.
This spiritual principle is the essence of pratītyasamutpāda (“dependent origination“), which is often only understood in relation to the arising of the experience of suffering, such as the practice of agonizing. To fully understand that principle not only dissolves the habit of the practice of agonizing, but also of reactively blaming and scapegoating and justifying and other actions which obscure the inherent peace and freedom and grace of consciousness.
The point is that there can be understood to be a single cause of all catalysts and all effects, with that causal factor labeled Divinity or God and so on. So, if someone asks me what is causing the probable collapse of western civilization, I could say that it is of course the rioting, which is in turn caused by the scandalous behavior of those in power, but those scandals have been going on all along and “the real reason” that people are even paying attention to them is because they are suddenly terrified. Further, the reason they are so terrified now is that the economy has shifted. But the shifting of the economy is merely a shift in the other behaviors of humans.
So the real cause is the shift in the economic activities of borrowing, lending, buying and selling, but then again the trend shift in those behaviors are caused in large part by the supply and demand issues of the depletion of scarce resources, especially oil. We can go further and say that people are behaving unsustainably which is only because they are idiotic or apathetic or greedy or reactive, which led to the unsustainable over-use of resources.
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We could blame Jimmy Carter for being ineffective in his warnings and political will. We could blame J.P. Morgan and the Rothschilds for advancing the use of fossil fuels through their own little empire called Standard Oil. We could blame the involved microbes and neurons or the sun and the earth. All of that would be our own activity… of blaming.
So, the real reason for any effect is… the actual activity of isolating a cause. The one isolating a cause will select, from among all possible catalysts and conditions, a cause that fits with their motives or motivations AKA karma. The particular isolated and identified cause or allegedly responsible party will always reflect the self-image and self-interest of the one isolating causation or isolating blame. The evidence will be obvious, as it always is, and then various people with various conflicting self-interests may argue or even kill each other over which version of “the only obvious truth” is the most true, which is sometimes called a jury deliberation.
As for the particular manslaughter case, if the accused will be held criminally responsible or civilly responsible (like OJ Simpson), that is a legal question. In many cases, the innocent are convicted, sentenced, and punished, while well-connected conspirators may be protected by the legal system. The laws of men and their enforcement vary from place to place and time to time and even case to case.
For instance, a famous rapist in Arizona named Miranda was not released because of lack of evidence to convict him and establish his actions, but because of a technicality in how that evidence was gathered. To the very best of my knowledge, there is absolutely no doubt that he criminally raped someone. However, the legal system can be considered an operation of organized violence that favors the monopolizing of criminal activity only by those “licensed by the state,” whether officially and openly or covertly as in the case of spies and secrets and so on. Only some criminals are prosecuted, only some convicted, and so on- plus many innocent people. That reminds me of the TV series “Dexter,” among others.
(See also the transcript I recently sent of the radio interview about swine flu and AIDS and AZT and so on. Here is the audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbFxV_C8Yw4 )
Now, obviously any accusation at all of conspiracy made against any government in the world, especially the USSR or Nazi Germany, is clearly just the result of paranoid delusions- probably from way too many sweat lodges of way too high temperatures. For instance, the idea that a group of people within the US government recently embezzled huge amounts of money and stole huge amounts of resources, then covered up their actions by blowing up the offices in the pentagon where certain records were kept and where certain individuals were working, plus blew up 3 other world trade center buildings and another plane to distract attention from the main target at the pentagon- that is clearly the foolish rambling of someone who lacks respect for the natural consequences of too widely voicing such a ridiculous speculation: assignment to a mental institution for corrective interventions to treat their tragic biochemical dysfunction. Or, they may just get offered a pay-off to keep silent.
So are the people who personally experience the results of a sweat lodge responsible? Yes. What if they take allopathic “medications” that kill them? Yes. And are the involved MDs and propagandists of mass media and public schools also responsible? Of course! And the taxpayers and citizenry is also responsible.
Everything is the work of Satan, who of course is the primary agent of God, the creator of all things from the heavens to the earth. Satan is my pawn, my false flag puppet.
Like Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones said in the song “Sympathy for the Devil,” you and me are the ones who killed Kennedy. Just because we were not exactly born at the time is no excuse.
I also crucified Jesus, but only to help make him famous and influential. I staged the whole thing. He did not really die and neither will any of us.
Incidentally, the man who ran that sweat lodge that Michael referenced (James Ray?) was eventually convicted by a jury, to the best of my knowledge.
Have you noticed that every government in the world was started by heroes, at least according to the people who started any particular government? However, anyone who is trying to overthrow an existing government is a criminal, at least according to that existing government.
So, how does that work exactly? Anyone who is in the process of overthrowing a government is a criminal, but if they succeed then they grant themselves amnesty or a presidential pardon or their conviction is overturned by the supreme court and then everyone else labels them heroes. Isn’t that right?
Let’s take Nelson Mandela. To the government he was trying to overthrow, he was a terrorist, right? Then, eventually he was made in to a hero, right?
English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the US, there were a bunch of colonists who were terrorists to the British, who the colonists were trying to overthrow, and then when the colonists succeeded in overthrowing the British, the colonists were labeled heroes. Then, in the civil war in the US, the Confederate soldiers were either heroic or criminal, depending on who you asked and when you asked them.
If some Native Americans were fighting against the colonists in America, the Natives were obviously terrorists, at least to the colonists. To the Native Americans, the invading colonists were the terrorists.
So, basically, all governments are formed by criminal terrorists who eventually are considered heroes. Anyone who is trying to overthrow an existing government is not a hero, unless they succeed. However, heroes are only heroes as long as no one overthrows them.
People who are trying to overthrow governments never actually call themselves criminal terrorists. That is just what the existing government calls them.
They call themselves things like freedom fighters and revolutionaries. Then, if they win, they call themselves heroes.
Every existing government is called corrupt by some people who call themselves freedom fighters and revolutionaries. If you call a government corrupt, especially if you also call yourself a freedom fighter or a revolutionary, then there is probably some existing government somewhere calling you a criminal terrorist or at least a thought criminal.
If some slaves are trying to escape slavery, they are criminals. If they fight for their freedom, they are terrorists, unless they win. If they win, then they are heroes. Of course, before long, someone may come along to call them corrupt and try to overthrow them or at least escape from their rule.
Now, what does justice mean? Justice is whatever rules that the existing government uses, when referenced by them.
However, when revolutionaries talk about justice, they mean some other rules or patterns besides the popular patterns of an existing government. So, justice means different patterns to different people. However, no matter who is using the word justice, justice is whatever pattern that those people want to promote.
So, if opposing sides in a war or in a political debate are both calling for justice, that would be predictable, right? One side says “our side should win because that is the only way to promote justice.” The other side says something very similar: “our side should win because that is the only way to promote justice.” Every side in every political conflict in human history has said: “our side should win because that is the only way to promote justice.”
In other words, justice always means “the reason that our side should win.” Justice is the justification for our side winning. Justice is justification.
For the revolutionaries, they want to promote justice by replacing the corrupt leaders of the existing government. For the existing government, they want to promote justice by preventing the revolutionaries from competing with the heroes of the existing government.
To an existing government, justice means keeping the old heroes as heroes and preventing any new heroes from overthrowing the old heroes. To a revolutionary competing with an existing government, justice means replacing the old victorious criminal terrorists with some new victors.
The victors are the heroes. The losers are the villains.
Maybe you have noticed that the good guys always win. Now you know why. The good guys always win because the winners get to tell the stories about who won and about why the victorious good guys defeated the bad guys.
It does not really matter if the bad guys were still revolutionary terrorist criminals or were an existing government of corrupt former heroes. As long as the bad guys lost, that guarantees that they will be labeled as the bad guys. The winners label themselves the heroic good guys and the winners label their competition the corrupt criminal villain bad guys.
So, in summary, the good guys always win. Why? Because they have justice on their side.
What’s justice again? Justice is the justification that the victors give for why the bad guys were bad and corrupt, as in why some heroes would have ever competed with them. In other words, justice is the word at end of the following slogan used by all politicians everywhere: ”our side should win because that is the only way to promote justice.”
Maybe you want proof for the idea that the winners define who were the heroic good guys and get to tell their story of which kind of justice motivated them to compete and win. Great! How about this?
Imagine the following campaign speech: “I am an extremely corrupt aspiring politician, in fact, a criminal terrorist. Why? Well, my justification is that the existing government is extremely heroic and good. Therefore, I seek to overthrow them in order to promote injustice.”
Did you notice that there was something unusual about that campaign speech? Yes, right? Further, you may notice whether or not you have ever heard any politician say the following: ”our side should lose because the other side winning is the only way to promote justice.”
Want more proof for the idea that the winners define who were the heroic good guys and get to tell their story of which kind of justice motivated them to compete and to win? Well, here it is. This is the final and conclusive proof. This will convince you.
When there is a sports championship, before the competition, both sides may get nearly equal media attention, right? There is at least some degree of balance, right? However, after the event is over, who gets more attention from the media, like more publicity, like almost of all of the publicity: is it the loser or… the winner?
I am complete with sin and “maya” and injustice and other similar words, like “incurable illness.” Instead, I may use “inconsistent” and “mistaken” and “inapplicable” and “imprecise” and “ineffective.”
Yes, the second set are adjectives, not nouns. However, that is the point!
Consider that there is simply no such thing as “a sin,” or not until someone says so. There is even no such thing as a crime, or not until someone “criminalizes” something and then enforces their declaration of the existence of a crime.
Image via Wikipedia
For instance, in the US during the early 20th century, the production of alcoholic beverages was criminalized by an Amendment to the US Constitution, then de-criminalized by a later Amendment. So, is it inherently criminal to brew alcohol or not?
Alcohol may ferment naturally from fruits. If an apple falls from a tree and begins to ferment, producing alcohol, has someone committed a crime or not? Aha, but what about a grape!
In other words, is the natural biochemical process of the fermentation of fruit, which produces alcoholic liquid, inherently criminal or evil or sinful or shameful or bad or dangerous? Consider that there is nothing inherently criminal in any inaction (such as failure to join a national military) or in any action (such as dropping a bomb and killing thousands of people in the name of freedom or equality or retribution or terrorism or peace-keeping, etc…).
Governments criminalize certain activities as part of their normal functioning of regulating (governing) the behavior of the territories they occupy. Punishments (and rewards) are invented and enforced by certain people against others. All governments are occupation governments, operations of organized coercion or violence or intimidation, AKA military governments.
This is not a condemnation of any or all governments. They are not inherently evil. Nothing is inherently evil. Evil is a category in language that is invented and applied and later redefined, like the terms “crime, sin, and injustice.”
Even the definitions of what is an illness change over time. You may have heard of an incurable illness called scurvy. You may have at least heard that, at one time, certain medical professionals may have referenced an “outbreak” of incurable scurvy among sailors who were all on a long sailing voyage together. Perhaps the ignorant medical professionals simply misunderstood innocently that what they called scurvy was just the name for some symptoms of a certain level of Vitamin C.
When we identify something as “the symptoms of a relatively low level of vitamin C,” we are not creating an illness or performing a curse in black magic. A particular level of Vitamin C cannot be labeled an “incurable illness.”
Of course, there is really no such thing as an incurable illness or even an illness at all. Every so-called “illness” is declared into being (perhaps as distinct from such things as an injury or bio-chemical toxicity). An “illness” is fundamentally an activity in language, a process of categorization, a “social construction” of so-called “agreement reality.”
There are any number of actions that are inconsistent with a statement of intent or ineffective for producing a certain result, but the belief that there is something inherently wrong with anything in life – any of “God‘s Creation(s)” – is what I would call diabolical (from the roots dia-bolos, meaning accusational or villifying) as in Satanic or shaming or cursing. I did not come to condemn the world, but to remove the sin of the world, to free the humble from shame with a truth that many people may ridicule as foolishness…. or simply dismiss.
The humble will be innocent and curious and peaceful, like children, and experience what we might call the state of “heaven.” Those who worship vanity and wickedness and evil and illness may continue to burn with envy and animosity and condemnation and guilt and contempt and antagonism and belligerence.
Now, when a linguistic model fits well with a particular circumstance or context, then it is useful. When it does not fit, it is inconsistent with the circumstances, irrelevant, ineffective, inapplicable. Using an inapplicable model, especially obsessively or stubbornly, can produce surprises, frustrations, confusions, conflicts, and exhaustions.
So, the use of words like sin and crime and evil and injustice are simply for the influencing of behavior, for governing, for herding. So is the use of the words “our enemy.”
When we are taught by commercial media and public schools and governments that certain purchases are safe, such as because they are government-regulated or government-operated, consider that such teachings are what we might call a “sales pitch.” State lotteries and casinos and the FDIC and the FDA and the insurance industry and the mortgage industry and the Social Security Administration have something in common. What they are have in common is that some people have faith in them, some people value them particularly, some people regularly invest in them, and some people might even get insulted and argumentative or even violent at a reference to the reality of the extent of sustainability or wisdom or integrity in certain operations or trends of changing behaviors.
For instance, people may complain about the TARP program as a bail-out program for the banks redistributing wealth from the US taxpayers to the least responsible gamblers among the banks. However, the FDIC is also a very similar program for attracting business to the qualifying banks (and thus benefiting those who own shares of ownership in the banks). Previously, deposit accounts were insured by the US government for up to the amount of $2,500 (as shown in the image below), but that number has incrementally been increased 100-fold to $250,000.
Why should the US government be co-signer for billions or trillions of dollars of debt owed by all of these banks? Perhaps because the banks saw the benefit of that and lobbied for it. Whether it is FDIC or TARP, it is clearly a huge advantage for the banks at the expense of taxpayers.
Image via Wikipedia
Beware of those who worship a particular linguistic model for reality as if one particular linguistic model is inherently more sacred or moral or applicable than all other models. They may be fools who do not understand the function of language. Language, by the way, may be a tool for influencing the behavior of others, for organizing behavior, for governing.
Again, I am complete with sin and “maya” and injustice and other similar words, like “incurable illness.” Instead, I may use “inconsistent” and “mistaken” and “inapplicable” and “imprecise” and “ineffective.”
Yes, the second set are adjectives, not nouns. However, that is the point!
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