I named this site Cradle of The Universe. I did so, because I am viscerally passionate about what I think of as the sanctity of sentience. I came to this feeling after years of being an Amnesty International Urgent Action letter writer and a human rights and anti-war activist. In short, I came to be increasingly appalled at how human beings treat one another and other species. When one considers the complexity, beauty, and near-miraculous reality of life–specifically of the “higher” organisms and of their states of mind and social interaction… finally, of the quality of their minds, one realizes that it takes a religious abandon not to love life and sanctify it such that we should never want to cause the unnecessary death or pain of another creature–most especially of a sentient one.
We take life with abandon. Governments and Religions on this planet–even today–look at life as if it is but a possession to be deposited into, debited from… and a dress-rehearsal–for some after-life in a heavenly realm. And life is cheap. As Dr. Daniel Dennett says, ‘humans are the the only species that has developed ideas worth dying for.’
The inspiration for these thoughts was my deep displeasure and extreme aversion to the death penalty–especially as it is carried out in Muslim countries–over ancient and totalitarian interpretations of consciousness (although no devout Muslim would see it as that; they would tell you it is a matter of law–the law of a totalitarian god they believe exists).
We, in the West, are little better; despite being direct cultural descendants and benefactors of the Greek Age of Reason, the Renaissance, the French and British Enlightenment and the Wars of Independence–all of which gave us the Egalitarian Democracies of the modern Republics we have today, in the United States of America, we still dip our blood-soaked lying hands into the dark oily vat of human fabulism, torture, Biblical revenge–with execution… with our horrendous and heinous use of Capital Punishment. And what a ghoulish and shameful nightmare the history of that practice continues to be, to this day–mostly in the dark labyrinthine depths of the Middle American States–where Bronze Age religion still poisons politics and the average mind.
Since naming this site, in 2008, in Korea, I have come to look at ways of seeing the sanctity of life more important than I had at that time. Then, I had a deep respect for all living things, but now, with the Dark Age Insanity of ISIS, the ever-increasing mean-spiritedness of American politics, and the legendary level of childish affinities for violence in entertainment that worships the living dead and the barbarism of the ancient world, I feel this requires more than vegetarianism and liberal politics; it requires changing my mind and advocating the same in others–by the using of different words.
So, I made some changes in my vocabulary: I no longer use the following words (the reasons for which you can find among my poems and essays and in the climate of ethnic hysteria in the US–at the present time.):
- ‘race’ (and all its derivatives)
- ‘animal’ (I prefer ‘species’)
- human rights (I prefer ‘species rights’)
Each and every sentient being deserves respect (perhaps not everything one does), and the most horrendous crime is the robbing of the life of a sentient being, be it human or otherwise. If we could really establish this beyond polite, political and religious platitude, life would not be taken so easily and ridiculously.
Coming up with The Name of This Site
I thought that the way to drive this point home would be to expound on the notion that no two sentient beings see the world around it or the whole of the universe quite the same; indeed, were we able to really communicate, among humans, (without religious people asking us accusatory questions when we really become abstract), and were we able to fully communicate with other species, I think we would find in fact that every one being’s perceptions are quite amazingly and beautifully different from every other’s. I think this is true for whales, dolphins, and even for our fellows in other mammalian species on the land.
Each mind sees the universe so very differently that it could be said that the universe is different in each of us — to the extent that there is a different universe in us all. Thus our heads are cradles — cradles of a universe. The one you are in or cradling, right now, is yours, and to some degree, mine — insofar as you may or may not be seeing through my words and my mind.
The cradle of the universe is the place from which we experience everything — or, most things. Please respect that — and get others to, as well — when you can. Protect all life to the best of your ability, because of it. A life carelessly lost, neglected or snuffed out, is a lost universe.
(Carl Atteniese Jr.)