The Total Prepper

 The Total Prepper

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by J.D.

Most of those who live providentially (a.k.a. preppers) have gone to some lengths to stock up on food, water, and other essential supplies and equipment. However, one thing I believe most preppers may be neglecting is proper spiritual provision.

Let me be very clear: I am NOT talking about denominational religious structures; and I’m not talking about new age religion. I am talking about recognizing potentials and adopting attitudes and actions that manifest those potentials – those which separate us from all other mammals.

In order to fully examine these differences, you must be willing to look outside any religious box you may be in and look into others. That’s step one. No single belief system has all the truth and no single belief system is a total lie. So, exercising discernment is the second step in spiritual prepping.

For many of you who would consider yourselves conservative and who would label yourselves as Christians, I sound like a raving liberal. However, I would like to point out that according the original translation from the oldest manuscripts of the Peshitta, the Bereans were some of the first “liberals”. (Acts 17:11) If they had not been “more liberal that the Jews who were in Thessalonica” then they would not have “gladly heard the word daily and searched the scriptures (the Torah,) to find out if these things were so.” (II Corin. 8:2 & 9:9 put in more good plugs for being liberal.) So, if by “liberal” you mean broad-minded and generous, then you would be correct. I am a liberal. I am willing to consider and analyze all new information and share what I have with others who are in more need than myself.

If you’re going to be conservative, you need to carefully consider if what you want to conserve is really true and right. And conversely, if you’re going to be liberal, you need to carefully consider whether or not changing a view or belief is the right and best thing to do. There are times to be conservative and times to be liberal. It is up to you to decide when that is. That is part of your spirituality and part of what separates us from other mammals.

What We Share With and How we Differ From Other Mammals

For insight on this, ancient eastern philosophy has some merit. Far and Near Eastern medicinal religions identify six centers of energy in the human body, which they call Chakras, arranged vertically through the center of the trunk. Starting with the bottom three, reproductive organs, bowels, and navel, there is virtually no difference functionally between us and other mammals.

The key differences lie with the top three: the gut (stomach), heart, and brain. While other mammals share these same organs, the functions and potential differ.

The gut is sometimes referred to as “the second brain.” There are as many neurons surrounding the gut as there are surrounding the brain. The expressions “gut feeling” and “go with your gut” both reflect this fact. The difference between human gut and animal is the difference between intuition in humans and mere instinct in animals.

The heart of an animal pumps blood, as does ours, but the human heart is capable of love and compassion, while the animal heart is not. The term “heartless” reflects an attitude of lovelessness, not an absence of the actual organ. I risk offending animal lovers, but the truth is, animals do not love. They only respond in ways that best guarantee their survival, and we tend to interpret that through our own heart as love.

In nature, unless it’s their own young, you don’t see other mammals sacrificing their individual lives to save another individual, especially one from another family group or herd even of the same specie. On the other hand, stories of a policeman, fireman, or bystander risking their own lives to save the lives of people they don’t even know are not uncommon. When such people are asked what motivated them to risk their lives for strangers, they inevitably reply that they couldn’t have lived with themselves if they had stood by and done nothing, and insist that they are not heroes. Only a heart that loves is capable of feeling guilty for neglecting to act to save another.

Animals and humans alike have brains, but they function in different ways. Humans can use their brains to reason and make choices that go far beyond just preservation of their race. While many species of animals have the ability to analyze, learn, and adapt, those efforts are dedicated to survival. Animals do not produce art or pursue fun for the sake of fun. Animal play serves to develop skills for survival not for sheer entertainment.

Yes, I am aware of the elephant that paints recognizable and interpretive images. I know that dolphins have inexplicably interacted with and come to the aid of humans. However, we still assign human emotional motivations to these actions. The truth is, we have no idea what their motives are. These are isolated incidents and not typical behaviors by any stretch.

Why Prepare?

Other than the basic instinct to survive that all animals share, why should we prepare? Most spiritual disciplines promote a higher plane of existence after this life. Why not just let it come then? If everything will be vaporized or changed beyond our ability to counter it, why bother? True enough; but that assumes you will be at ground zero in the case of a cataclysmic event. While passing on in the “twinkling of an eye” would certainly be preferable, what if you’re not at ground zero? What if you actually survive the initial crisis? Then what?

What is it that makes life worth preserving if not love and compassion? Without those aspects that are the essence of humanity, what is the point?

Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst assumes the likelihood (and statistically, it’s still quite high,) that you will survive the initial crisis. If you are well trained and prepared to survive physically, what are you doing to preserve your humanity – your spiritual nature? Have you really thought about what comes after this physical earthly life? Have you given any thought to or study of how you might prepare for whatever transitions you believe might be coming?

These are intensely personal questions that you must answer for yourself. While you’re working through those answers, you must also be aware that other people’s answers may be vastly different from yours and you’d best prepare for how you will deal with them. How will you recognize and deal appropriately with people who have lost their humanity – whose love and compassion are dead – without jeopardizing your family and in the process losing your own humanity?

Amid concerted efforts to prepare for you and your family’s physical needs, don’t neglect emotional and spiritual needs. Balance is essential for a life worth living after survival.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com   A total prize value of over $600.

Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Essentials Kit courtesy of LPC Survival and an EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves.. A value of over $300.

Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” A total prize value of $28.

Contest ends on June 5 2012.

Comments

  1. Going to have to disagree with you on your animal philosophy. For example, a good, loyal dog is and can be essential to the human spirit. When and if SHTF my dog will be treated equally among my family. I include her in my prepping plans and her loss will be an emotional blow to us all. Plus, she’s great at catching small game. Certain animals are key – your lizard, goldfish or even budgie won’t love you but certain higher functioning mammals such as dogs, I believe have a similar capacity for emotion that we do. Which again is why a good loyal animal can help with your spiritual well being as well as your physical survival.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I too disagree with the notion that creatures such as dogs are incapable of love. I am no expert but I understand the concept that many animal behaviors are instinctual and learned behaviors that help with their own survival as individuals and as a species. However I have had dogs and a horse who exhibited affection and in a few cases did extraordinary things at risk to themselves for my benefit. They are capable of love. I hope you get to experience that one day. As you say….have an open mind. I may sound like a cruel and thoughtless bastard for saying this but I grieved more over the death of one extraordinary dog than most people I have known and lost. Enough with the animal lover’s protestations….but, you expected that. :)

      I absolutely agree that the prepper must prepare for his/her survival without overlooking his spiritual needs. In my case I have several bibles as I am a Christian and I know the comfort and guidance contained therein ….at least for me. I don’t need to have copies of the Torah or Koran as those are to be preserved by their own adherents. I will have as much an open mind after any Collapse as I do now. My own faith is solid and I will have no need to examine and consider the beliefs of others. I consider that to be the mark of those who are still searching and that is fine….for them. I think the separation of church and state is a good concept that I will take with me into any Collapse. I will separate the character of a man from the faith he espouses. Whatever blows your skirt up is ok with me as long as you do not ever attempt to abrogate any of my freedoms, especially my right to worship as I choose. I will respect the rights of others to believe in something else or nothing at all. As long as you are not a zombie……. ;)

      Not sure what you are driving at with this….”How will you recognize and deal appropriately with people who have lost their humanity – whose love and compassion are dead – without jeopardizing your family and in the process losing your own humanity?” In a Post Collapse society there will be only a handful; of ways to deal with Those who have lost their humanity. None of them PC, some downright ugly. I believe in reason and compassion but I have been a soldier and a law enforcement officer and have been in the middle of folks who have lost their humanity. Hope you are not implying that there is a gentler and kinder way to deal with THOSE who have lost their humanity and threaten vi0lence upon the surviving prepper, other than a show of strength or the use of force by said prepper. To most such Lost souls,an appeal to reason and conscience will not prevail, kindness will be seen as weakness. I have seen it first hand more times than I care to think about. I will still show mercy to such….. but only once. I will live with the risk to my losing some of my own humanity. I have and will continue to live with doing the right thing. Hope you are just tweaking our old noodles. Attempting to stimulate the collective WolfPack gray matter, as it were.
      Either way…..good stimulating article JD. Thanks for sharing. Hope you meet an extraordinary dog one day. S.D.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Wow! A bit wordy, but in my defense, I just got back from three days of fishin’! Fishing was good but the only other stimulation was my aching back from the hard ground!
        Must have been jones-ing for the ol’ blog. It’s addicting MD!

      • SD,
        If you’re a “cruel and thoughtless bastard” then I’m a cynical and sardonic B@*%#. I, too, feel the loss of one precious dog and dread the inevitable the death of my living pets moreso than some people I’ve known. Don’t feel bad for speaking the truth.

        • worrisome says:

          Scout and SD, you are both great for speaking your truth and maintaining some good old common sense!

    • There were separate studies conducted done a while back regarding pets and religion. In both studies, those with pets and those holding religious beliefs were found to be happier on the whole and live longer than those people lacking either of those.

  2. J.D. and Wolf Pack,

    Animals and others communicate telepathically. I have taken an animal communication class, and spoken with animals. They do love, and they have a better grasp on spirituality than humans do for the most part. J.D., you claim to be liberal in thought, please consider, for your own growth, taking an animal communication class.

    We all have the ability to communicate telepathically, we’ve just forgotten how to listen. It starts when we tell our mom (or dad) “Mommy, the dog said she has a sliver in her paw, and it hurts” (or something else), to which mommy replies “honey, dogs don’t talk.”

    If you like, before you go out on a limb and actually take an animal communication class, look up animal communicators on the web. Talk to Shamans. There are more ‘crazy people’ out there than you can imagine.

    Sent in love, Michele

  3. You must be one of the few. Or older than I.

    ” I am a liberal. I am willing to consider and analyze all new information and share what I have with others who are in more need than myself.”

    does NOT apply to your typical person-on-the-street liberal these days. Perhaps to a generation older (50s and above) it meant that, but not now.

    These days a liberal thinks like you, *except* they don’t want to pay a penny towards those others in need. They want *someone else* to pay for it, and nobody seems to have the common sense to realize that **it (money) has to come from somewhere**.

    Your heart and your intentions might be in the right place (and I have no reason to doubt that, especially if you live in California) but you most certainly are NOT a liberal in its current definition, and having a heart for a dolphin’s heart isn’t feeding me and my family.

  4. Well thought out and written. I agree.

  5. Interesting position.

  6. tommy2rs says:

    I’ve read the Bible, The Koran, The Talmud. I’ve looked at Buddhism, Wicca, Protestant, Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Hindu, Shinto, vodun, and others. I’d trade any or all of them for another case of ammo or beans or medical supplies based on how much good religion/spirituality will do in helping me survive. As George Carlin said “pray to a big ball of cheese or pray to god, your chances are 50 – 50 either way.”

    • Old Hillbilly says:

      When you come to know Jesus as your savior, your viewpoint will change. Give me a choice between Christ and my “ammo, beans, and medical supplies” and I will trade them all for Him. The hope those things provides is only temporary on this earth. The hope He provides is eternal.

    • I can’t believe I am going to say this, but it needs to be said. Never, ever, underestimate the power of faith.

      A case of ammo, beans, or medical supplies can’t give you what religion/spirituality (or rather faith) can – HOPE.

      Having served in Iraq, I’ve seen faith lift a soldier’s spirits from the ashes of despair. I’ve seen faith help a soldier cope with the loss of a friend and brother in arms. I’ve seen faith comfort, heal, and reinforce a soldier’s resolve as they put themselves in harm’s way over and over again. When all looks lost, faith has led many a soldier to face the insurmountable and win. In many ways, faith is a combat multiplier.

      Faith is where we draw our values from. To determine what is right and what is wrong. It is the basis for which our laws were created on when our country was founded. There seems like there is an awful lot of people in today’s age hell bent on eliminating faith from all corners of our society. I honestly believe that without faith, we would be no better than a pack of rabid dogs vying for the alpha role.

    • tommy2rs – I agree 100%. Religion is nothing but a imaginary emotional crutch that some people need. I was raised in a holy roller family and was indoctrinated for the first 18 years of my life, but I remember being 4 years old and thinking how stupid religion was, and I’ve never changed my mind.

  7. Carl in W.V. says:

    Interesting view

  8. A very interesting read, and well written, I don’t agree with you in regards to the animals, given what I have seen on my own farm, I have seen some pretty indepth things that would pass that line from coded genes over to the side of having spirit, perhaps not the same as us, but a form of it none the less.

    However from what I am reading, it would appear that you have given time and thought to your postion, which I give full respect for, as many folks go though life never taking the time to do that..

  9. You lost me when you started talking about no absolute truth. Of course we have absolute truth! Without it the physical universe could not exist. Your “all roads lead to enlightenment” model only serves to confuse.

    • Novice,
      I think at some level all truth is relative to our understanding of nature. 1000 years ago the absolute truth was that the earth was flat and the universe revolved around it. 200 years ago Newtonian physics pretty well described the physics of everything we did. We then discovered the atom and defined the periodic table in terms of neutrons, protons, and electrons, right up to the point where we discovered quarks that are the basic building blocks of what we used to think of as those atomic building blocks. Now we look at quantum physics, with its quantum entanglement (aka, spooky action at a distance). Keeping an open mind allows us to imagine and discover new truth, sometimes forcing us to eschew those old “absolute” truths. Absolute is merely a point in time where we’ve stuck a stick in the dirt and marked a position. Unless we are observant and sometimes willing to move that stick, even if ever so slightly, then the only thing that is absolute will be our ignorance.

      • axelsteve says:

        The Bible states that the earth is like a shape of a sphere and hangs on nothing. Now that is absolute truth.

        • axelsteve,
          It actually depends on definitions again, and in this case, your definition of nothing. From the physics point of view, the earth is in the general shape of a sphere, but actually orbits within the gravity well of the sun. From the naked eye perspective, that gravity well does indeed look like nothing; from the mathematics point of view we can define the behavior; but in the pure physics point of view we’re still trying to understand it. So in this case we have multiple points of perspective, none of which are absolute truth, but all of which contain a part of that truth.

          • axelsteve says:

            it is absolute truth that the world is not flat

          • village idiot says:

            When I was a young man, I gave this a lot of thought, Ohio Prepper. I observed water running downhill, the sun evaporating water off the asphalt, the sun coming up in the east and going down in the west, the action of the waves while sitting on the beach, etc. I was sure the processes that are going on today were the same processes that went on yesterday, 100 years before, etc., and that the same processes would be going on tomorrow and far into the future barring some astronomical catastrophe. I’ve always operated with the premise that natural processes can be understood, and that there is an absolute to the universe. That we don’t understand it doesn’t make it not so. We truly may never understand it. A few nights ago I sit on a dock at my grandfather’s old farm and looked up at a conjunction of heavenly bodies. Jupiter, Venus and the moon were all right there together, so close I could touch them it seemed. I felt small, large, significant, and insignificant all at the same time. And never felt so close to God in my entire life. Call it a paradox, call it anything you like, but I reached out and touched the face of God. There just has to be more than ashes and dust. I think this is the difference between animal and man. jm2c.

      • Truth and God are timeless. Obviously people who believed the world was flat were believing a lie. Some did believe the truth of it being round at that time. What anyone believes at any time does not change truth nor does it mean that it doesn’t exist because it hasn’t been found. Moving a stick in the dirt will not change the absolute fact of gravity, it is not based in some belief, if you jump off a building because you do not believe in the truth of gravity you will learn the hard way of you ignorance. Truth does not change.

  10. Old Hillbilly says:

    Animals don’t love? You have never met my beagle.

  11. Well written, but too esoteric for me. The Golden Rule sums it all up nice and easy in my mind.

  12. Please explain to my about Jesus Christ. He lived, a fact. He was killed by the Romans, a fact. His life and teachings were written down by His followers and have been accepted as fact for 2,000 years by countless students of Theology.
    Over 500 people who knew Him saw Him after His resurection. His close followers all died violent deaths and NOT ONE recanted their stories. (No one suffers or dies for a lie)
    Jesus claimed to be “The Son of God”, he was killed because of this claim. If he was not who He claimed to be, the easy thing to do was to renounce Himself and walk away from His crucifiction. HE DID NOT!
    He has risen, He has risen indeed.

  13. charlie (NC) says:

    I have to take issue with your definition of conservative. A conservative, at least in my definition, is not one who “conserves” but rather one who is not given to hasty action or waste.

    I’ll not venture into your religeous beliefs or lack there of. I’ll just wish you peace and tell you that I find great peace and comfort from my Christian belief.

  14. JedRebel says:

    Sorry dude, but that was probably the least relevant piece of writing I have ever read on a survival site. Chakras and elephant painting? ROFLMAO

  15. Ohio Surveyor says:

    I try to follow this philosophy when it comes to religion/God…….…Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.

  16. Animals do Love! I have more animal friends than people friends. People will stab you in the back while the animal friends will watch your back. Have had horses save my behind out riding the range and have had horses who express love or hate towards people. Dogs too. I have a chicken who is smarter than the average and thinks she is a dog and sleeps with the German Shepherds and takes food out of your hand. Even a chicken doesn’t want to die!

    • R,
      I don’t know if an animal loves us, or just becomes accustomed to our company for mutual benefit, but I think that Mark Twain was on to something when he said, “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”

  17. I would respectfully disagree with much of what you are saying, particularly in regards to animals and other species on earth. Many religious people may not believe in evolution, but nobody with a basic understanding of biology can deny that genes exist. Every day, scientists are discovering more about what functions genes control, what genes all species have in common, etc. If you delve deeply into genetics, you will discover that there are many genetic “programs,” such as altruism (behavior where species help each other, mainly because it offers benefits to the participating individuals), and almost every species on earth practices some form of altruism among its own members and with other species, right up to and including the type of self-sacrificing behavior you are describing with firemen, etc. For example, bees regularly “commit suicide” by stinging creatures that come near the hive, sacrificing their individual lives for the benefit of the group. Crows and bluejays and other members of the corvid family will actively team up to harass and chase hawks out of areas to the benefit of all the birds who live there (they don’t do it consciously, it’s part of the genetic program). Humans practiced altruistic behavior such as sharing, trading, and cooperating long before religion was born, because a huge part of our brain development was caused by and created for social interaction. As for humans creating art, music, etc. being some type of behavior that we do just for fun, many scientists believe (and may ultimately prove), that all those behaviors have developed for one purpose only — to attract the opposite sex and therefore procreate (haven’t you ever noticed that 9 of every 10 songs are about love?). Our extensive repetoire of artistic and creative behavior may be no more than our own extravagant peacock tail!

    It is also a mistake to confuse political philosophies such as liberal and conservative with religous beliefs. I am an atheist, so most people would assume I am a liberal, but I am not. I am a conservative because, after years of studying science, nature, and genetics, I have seen only 3 creatures on earth that successfully practice socialism, and they are termites, ants, and bees. These creatures have, over eons, completely given up the self in service to the group, and are so dominated by groupthink that if by some genetic malfunction one of them starts to act independently, the others will generally kill him. Even herd animals are not actually acting as a group, as the whole strategy of a herd is for individuals to keep pushing to get into the center of the group away from the predators, and let the weaker animals linger on the outside where the tigers can eat them. Nature’s way is largely that 1) individual comes first, 2) reciprocate altruism in groups so long as you get some benefit from it, and 3) conserve resources. That’s conservatism. Liberalism says 1) group comes first, 2) one-way altruism from the haves to the have-nots, and 3) only the haves should have to conserve resources.

  18. I do agree we need to ask ourselves if we are prepared spiritually as well as physically. It will definitely take more than food to sustain us.

  19. What bunch of scatter brain BS. Liberal should mean Freedom, freedom to not being robbed at gun point that penny by a bureaucracy to give to whom ever they please.
    Truth is God, God is truth, it is absolute, unchanging and eternal. God’s name is Yaweh. Keep you opinions of conservatives being in a religious box to your self. I think most of us are still wondering what you are, at least a raving Liberal has an argument of some kind, and can state a case. You go from ranting about animals to Chakras and on to dozen more subjects and no point is really ever made other than don’t forget about your spirit. I say you should seek some help and get off the meth or whatever it is that has your mind is such a state.

  20. Hunker-Down says:

    You said;”
    No single belief system has all the truth and no single belief system is a total lie.”
    That statement summarizes your tome into just two words; moral relativism.

    One word defines why I prep.; responsibility.

    re: The first commandment.

  21. worrisome says:

    Hmmmmmm, the present form of liberals are all but “liberal” as they are forever trying to find new ways to control nearly everything we do! From how many gallons of water to flush the toilet, to telling McDonald’s they can’t sell a happy meal, to dictating to businesses how many forklifts they can have. Aint nothing liberal about it at all. I could give you as many crazy dichotomies with “conservatives” as well.
    As far as animals “saving” other animals, you have never ever opened your eyes to the wonders! I had a German Shorthair that was forever saving the house puppy from drowning in the swimming pool. I had a big male tomcat that brought home any baby he found, from baby rabbits and mice to kittens and puppies. You know not of what you speak. As the rest of this, not much in this article has a thing to do with being prepared for an emergency in all honesty.

    • worrisome,
      Keep in mind that the term liberal was hijacked in the early 20th century, where it actually meant accepting of others, more like the modern day libertarians. Back then the “progressives”, who brought us constitutional amendments 16 & 17 AND the Federal Reserve, and finally the more broadly interpreted interstate commerce clause were finally exposed and the citizens and voters didn’t much like what they did; so, they hijacked the name liberal, keeping their same old progressive attitude of larger government controlling all of us peasants. Finally, the word liberal started to take on its own big government stench, and you now see those folks re-declaring themselves as progressives. The bottom line is that they have to keep their agenda hidden, because we would (and hopefully will) throw out all of them once we know what they really want to do to us. Unfortunately, even “conservative” was hijacked by the progressive wing of the republican party, which is why we now have new designations like tea party, meaning for the most part a coalition of groups and people who want that small fiscally conservative federal government back, with power delegated to the states where it truly belongs.

      • worrisome says:

        You are right on the history lesson, but my point, which I didn’t make very well, is that labels are just labels and ridiculous to boot. When people are willing to “label” themselves it signifies to me the stupidity of following along, being a sheeple, believing dogma because you have labeled yourself something. It is stupid. Everyone needs to be thinking for themselves, thinking about the consequences of allowing yourself to be led along in one direction or another.

        • That is true; however, sometimes labels are useful in the short term as a binding agent for some particular purpose. Looking at the group here I see a plethora of different backgrounds, skill sets, religions, and vocations; however, we all identify ourselves with the label “prepper”, because we all have that one thing in common, even if we may not all agree completely on exactly what the term means.
          Also be aware that many here who have been doing this for a long time, used to be called survivalists. The main stream media turned that term into a pejorative by lumping all of the survivalists in with the racist militias and other obnoxious groups. At that point it is prudent to abandon the label for another, pretty much like the early progressives were forced to do.

  22. axelsteve says:

    I read this article a couple of times and I still do not understand it.

  23. Heartland Cindy says:

    JD, I’ve no idea what your motivation behind this article was, but it’s the most condescending piece of authorship I’ve ever read on a survivalist / prepper site. Were / Are you serious?

    “However, one thing I believe most preppers may be neglecting is proper spiritual provision.”

    Why do you pretend to know the souls of people you have never met? You don’t know how well or how poorly I’ve been growing or wounding my spiritually any more than you know what I ate for supper two nights ago. That comment was nothing short of pure arrogance and ignorance. (Note: Ignorance does not equal stupidity. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, while stupidity is the refusal of a healthy mind to accept learned and verifiable knowledge.)

    “The heart of an animal pumps blood, as does ours, but the human heart is capable of love and compassion, while the animal heart is not.”

    Again . . . and you claim this as proof with WHAT empirical evidence? Animals help each other in moments of compassion all of the time. Have you not seen dozens and dozens of videos with female cats nursing puppies, dogs recusing cats, dogs and deers playing?

    Just in case you don’t believe “video” evidence, let me offer you a primary source observation: We once found a nest of rabbits in our back yard. Worried that the big dogs might accidentally trample the nest, we surrounded the area with an extra large, spare, tomato plant wire hoop. Of course this alarmed the mother rabbit and we noticed she had relocated the babies outside of the fenced yard by the next day. What we did not notice, and one of our dogs did, that the mother had abandoned one of them in the nest. One of our giant breed dogs picked up the little one, held the little one in the cavity of his huge mouth, brought the baby rabbit to my side, and ever so gently placed the helpless (and uninjured by teeth marks from the dog) animal at my feet. The dog could have chomped and swallowed the rabbit in three bites, but instead, he wanted to me to help him, help the baby. No compassion, you say? I beg to differ.

    “So, if by “liberal” you mean broad-minded and generous, then you would be correct. I am a liberal. I am willing to consider and analyze all new information and share what I have with others who are in more need than myself.”

    So . . . if I’m politically and religiously conservative I’m automatically deemed a simple, closed minded and selfish individual? Where were you educated? Maybe you best read about Winston Churchill as you continue to broaden your generous mind. One of his many brilliant observations is a well known quote, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

    I honestly wish you well, JD, but you truly do need to consider how self serving, and stereotyped your own words were. Inadvertently, (assuming it was not intentional) your message was condescending, at best and therefore, nothing more than bully preaching.

    As well, please consider your own advice: “While you’re working through those answers, you must also be aware that other people’s answers may be vastly different from yours and you’d best prepare for how you will deal with them.” Just sayin’!

  24. village idiot says:

    Interesting article, JD, and some interesting responces as well. Some of these things, such as telepathic communication between animal and human, have never crossed my mind.

    As for the spiritual, I’m a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. All my spiritual needs have been met. Faith in Him has kept me going many times in my life when I didn’t feel like I could take the next step. Pretty neat feeling.

  25. Yadkin Girl says:

    I don’t want to sound harsh, but this article does not seem well thought out and, although I agree a strong spiritual connection helps people when times are tough, I do not hear any real spirituality in this article or a strong connection to anything above and beyond oneself.

    Personally, I have a very strong spiritual life and this has helped me through rough spots in my life and in the good times I am able to stay connected and be thankful for this amazing world we live in.

    As for animals, I totally disagree with this article. I have had horses that have shown compassion (yes, compassion!). I had an Appoloosa who use to care for a sick kitten she found in her barn. One day, she alerted me to this kitten’s presence by raising her head up and down near the area the kitten was. I took the kitten in the house to care for it. The next day when I went to the barn to feed and care for the horses, she could smell the kitten on my hands and got very excited. This happened for several days. Finally, after I felt the kitten was strong enough, I returned the kitten to the barn. This horse looked after the kitten and they were inseparable from that day on. The horse would stand near an area in the barn where the cat could jump on her back and they would “ride” together every day. I have no doubt my horse knew this kitten was sick and needed her help.

    I have also had other animal friends show compassion, kindness and love..and…..play for the sake of play!

    My final thoughts, this world is amazing and offers much wonder and things we will never fully understand. Being connected to something bigger than ourselves and being open to possibilities and wonder can help us stay spiritually connected.

    • Yadkin Girl,
      We’ve had similar connections with horses, goats, and cats. The first time the DW saw a cat with a litter of kittens in one of the horse stalls, she quite literally freaked. After moving the cat and kittens several times to no avail, we simply crossed our fingers and kept an eye out. Those kittens wandered underfoot of that 1500+ pound quarter horse, and never once did any of them get stepped on. We have a similar situation right now with a momma cat and her litter in the goats stall, and some years ago had a large yellow tom cat who was friends with one of the other horses that would give the cat a bath at least once a week. The cat would get licked from one end to the other and ended up looking like it had been watered down with a hose. I don’t know the animal psychology here, or even the neuroscience, but I’m pretty sure that the horse and cat were “friends”, since neither one gave any particular advantage to the other, besides companionship.

  26. michael c says:

    Your brain controls your heart – not the other way around. People with pig heart transplants still are happy to be alive. You can get a heart transplant from a cold hearted killer (happens in China all the time) and never see your emotions change.

    Dogs do have emotion, according to “all About Dogs” (NOVA) they READ (facial and body gestures) our emotions. Dogs know when you are sad (they will try and comfort you), mad (they hide) or happy (want part of your happiness). Dogs have had to live with (emotional) people for the last 100,000 years (genetic testing) and “developed” the ability to “read” (their eyes scan from left to right) peoples faces. The dog must know these emotions (for survival) since they need a reference to figure out what a human would do. Did you train your dog to put its head in your lap, or hide? The simple reason is because they have a “higher power of reasoning” which over rides instinct. A human can learn to jump through a burning hoop – ignoring the fire risk and so can a dog. Dogs do not have telepathy – they are just very observant of people, in fact, the only animal.

  27. recoveringidiot says:

    I did not get the balance of what was said. I have really enjoyed the responses. On the animal thing, I have owned (or been owned by) a bunch of dogs and do believe they are all in Valhalla or whatever passes for dog heaven. I don’t know that I might not see some of them again when I go to my maker so I have always tried to treat them all as well I could and every one was as loyal as any human friend I’ve had. I don’t have a dog now because my circumstances don’t allow but the first chance I get I’ll get another. I can remember them all even all the hunting hounds and bird dogs, I found them to be a lot like people in that each had it’s own personality and ways.

  28. FemaleUrbanPrepper says:

    I really enjoyed this article. It is rare that I find articles like this while browsing prepper websites. I appreciate all walks of faith but it is rare that I read of preppers who are not christian based believers. I am an athiestic agnostic (I do not follow or believe in a higher power…however I do not deny the possibility one exists). I am a huge believer in living right and true to oneself and finding peace and balance within that life. Christianity for me was never peaceful but this was my own personal experience and journey which led me to the life I have today. A life that brings reflection and appreciation every day for all I have and all the love I give and recieve. It was this peace and balance that lead me to preparing my life for what may come. It was the exact idea that I depend on my own detemination that pushed me here. My will to survive is part of my nature as a human being. I do not try to explain why I have this will to survive when the SHTF. I just accept it is what I feel. I tend to stay quiet on many forums because my political and religious views seem to be very different from many in the prepper community. This may not be true but either way…I appreciate this article because when the SHTF…I would hope we are no longer black/white/asian/hispanic or christian/hindu/muslim but that we are those who survive to begin again in peace against those who would hurt us. To be honest…I wish that is how we lived today.

  29. I’ve read your article three times now and have yet to take anything away from this positive in nature. I’ve picked up more that the responses to the article than the article itself. There are three topics of conversation that are guaranteed to upset someone, money, religion, and politics. Your article has managed to hit two of those three. Your article starts off wanting to examine the philosophical aspect and importance of spirituality, but quickly gets lost in the weeds. I can only conclude this article ultimately was written to reaffirm your reason for prepping as your message appears to others as an argument for versus informative.

  30. Just my opinion, but a persons spiritual side or place in life is an extremely personal issue. I think this blog and others is best to leave that alone and exist to help each other in this world, not the next. God will take care of his end, he’s already shown us that. Peace and love to the Pack.

  31. Very often it is the animals that teach us to love.