Cooperation: Necessity and Idealization

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Cooperation: Necessity and Idealization

 cooperation necessity and idealizationCOOPERATION: NECESSITY and IDEALIZATION

Uncle hollered to me as I ran terrified from the corral, “Quick, go get your aunt!”

I took off and ran toward the ranch house as fast as I could and called loudly to Mangie, the name her grandchildren had given my aunt, “Quick Uncle needs you to come to the corral where all the cattle are…fast.” I waited a long second to be sure she heard me. She ran through the dining room doorway toward the nearest door to the corral. We ran together toward the corral as she asked, “What happened?”

As a city kid I didn’t know what was happening except that I saw eight or so cattle lying on the ground and bawling in agony. I saw Uncle with a pitch fork. He called out to Mangie, “Hurry, get a pitchfork. It’s the bloat.” I stood there horrified as I watched him impale the pitchfork into a downed yearling and then run around scaring those still standing, hoping that if the cattle ran they would expel some of the gas that was causing them to go down, never to get up again.

Danger of Uncured Hay

I found out later that the cattle had gotten into some hay that was still uncured from the harvest. When they eat uncured hay, they swell up with gas and once they fall down, they rarely get up. The cure is both simple and difficult. Keep them moving so they expel the gas, or, at least some of it—enough that they don’t go down.

The next hour was terrifying as I had to stay out of Uncle and Mangie’s way, so they could do what had to be done to save as many of the cattle as possible. It was a shocking and horrible period, because I had never seen anything like it, my aunt and uncle, were gently and loving people and here I had to see them mercilessly kill downed cattle.

Higher Nature

Something of a higher nature was inevitably going on in that corral that day long ago. Many years later an answer came to me about the incident that in hindsight was about creative activity not wanton cruelty. Not only were Uncle and Mangie trying to save the cattle for their livelihood, goaded by their desire nature, but at a higher level they had to face the need for sacrifice. To do that they unconsciously had a united higher purpose to save as many of the cattle’s lives as possible to bring their ideals of respect for life and right compensation into their own living experience.

By responding to the cattle’s need in the moment, hard as it was, Mangie and Uncle became a formidable united force for preserving animal life through their mutual cooperation in sacrificing a few animal lives so that many of the cattle survived.

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All rights reserved 2018 Rebecca Field

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