Flashes – The Law of the Harvest

Exclamation MarkConsider a well-known truth that never appears to be fully understood, does a man sow thistles and reap strawberries?  Leo J. Muir’s book, “Flashes from the Eternal Semaphore,” lists this as the fifth semaphore, and of the six semaphores, this one is probably my favorite to discuss.  Not because I am sowing rocks and reaping corn and beans, but because I often sow rancid vegetables and reap garbage, then wonder why I cannot improve my harvest.  As the writings on flash four stated, “Thy speech betrayeth thee,” I am a slow learned and generally only really grasp things after experiencing some consequences that would kill others.  As we discuss the Law of the Harvest, please note I am not here to convince or convert, merely to help myself.  If you find value in this topic, join me, teach me, that we may both then learn more perfectly.

The law of the harvest is straightforward; many farmers know this law cold, “You reap what you sow.”  If you sow lima beans, you do not raise grapes.  If you are sowing carrots, you cannot harvest apples.  No matter how many times you plant them, Cheerios do not sprout a doughnut tree; I know as I planted a LOT of Cheerios.  Bubble gum, when planted, never grows into a bubble gum tree; my mother lied!

Yet, with this mindset, many people, myself included, become depressed, disconnected from reality, and mentally unstable.  Thinking, oh, I can sow gossip and truth, and equity and justice will be shown to me.  I can tell lies, cheat, steal, then become rich, famous, and never have any negative consequences.  I can take and plant some cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, etc., in my body and remain healthy, strong, active, and never suffer mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.  The law of the harvest doesn’t work like this, yet, this remains the greatest living lie.Quotes About Reaping What You Sow. QuotesGram

From the eternal semaphore comes the following:

Be NOT Deceived!  [emphasis mine]”

Now, consider how many people drink alcohol and expect not to suffer a hangover.  Consider the people consuming vast amounts of sugar, in all its various forms, who think they will never suffer diabetes, become overweight, or suffer any consequences from all that sugar.  My aunt is a great woman, fantastic artist, amazingly kind and generous person, and a chocoholic.  She never thought about the consequences of consuming chocolate because the research shows chocolate is healthy; she never could overcome the mental illness she suffered from that the chocolate was a comforting influence.  Her family mourns her passing!

The law of the harvest is a stern warning and an incredible promise.

He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

The pattern is evident for those struggling who sow goodness, kindness, and happiness.  Hold on; your harvest WILL come, and it will be glorious.  In the same breath, those sowing hate, envy, strife, malice, greed, and so much more, your harvest is also coming, and I feel awful for what your harvest will be.  For the law of the harvest comes with a profound sentiment:

God will not be mocked.”Frederick William Robertson Quote: "You reap what you sow - not something else, but that. An act ...

I promise, there is a God, an atonement IS available through His Son, and the Holy Ghost is real and powerful.  The enclosed sentiment in the Law of the Harvest remains my comfort when harvesting the bitter fruits my heart grows.  Yes, many times, I quake for the thought that I desperately need to find a way to raise a better crop on the stony ground of my heart.  Long have I prayed for a change of heart, for a line from Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” rings forever in my mind:

The soil of a man’s heart is stony ground.  A man grows what he can, and he tends it.  ‘Cause, what you buy is what you own.  And what you own… always comes home to you.”

If you get nothing more out of this flash than the need to change fertilizers and seeds, all with an eye to improving your harvest, I have accomplished my goal.  Confucius is quoted as saying, “Our headstrong passions shut the doors of our souls against God.”  What great counsel, our passions are the seeds, the consequences are the fruit, and the law of the harvest governs whether we will have a harvest to enjoy or curse, and we choose how to value that harvest.

Bear with me a moment; I might have lost a few of you.  Let me explain.  As a kid, we often had gardens, and I was regularly on the working end of a hoe killing weeds.  I cursed those weeds; I despised every second I wielded that hoe in the garden.  My cherub-like demeanor was nowhere to be found working those garden rows!  Then came the endless days of harvesting, canning, storing, and eating that which could not be stored; I still was NOT a happy person.  Ever eat zucchini for weeks on end because that horrible stuff reproduces like rabbits in perpetual heat whose water is full of Viagra?You reap what you sow. #bible #liveBigly #life #affiliate #quote #inspiration #message #world # ...

That is the point; when the harvest comes, and a harvest always comes, we choose how we value that which is being harvested.  My father tried hard to teach me this lesson, but all I ever saw were the endless hours sweating in a kitchen preparing jars for canning, the blisters from hoeing the weeds, and the time spent doing that which we would eventually purchase in cans as winter dragged on and on.  I could not see any value in gardening, so the blessings of the harvest were lost on me.  Headstrong passions blinded my eyes to the blessings of the harvest, and I cursed the day I was conceived.  Confucius is correct, and I have witnessed the problems with headstrong passions interfering with the Law of the Harvest many times since.

I am also experiencing the truth from Cicero:

A youth of sensuality and intemperance delivers over to old age a worn-out body.”

I would add, an intemperate youth also yields a worn-out mind!  Having observed this as a youth, I thought I could escape the problems of being intemperate, and I can honestly proclaim, I was wrong!  Since my youth, I lifted objects heavier than practical; I gloried in the strength of my body and pushed it to the absolute limit many times.  What am I reaping; I was disabled by the time I was 30.  I am now older but not wiser.  I still want to push my boundaries without regard for consequences and wind up on the floor, in hospital, or mentally unable to think properly for weeks on end.  As a kid, when my parents were told of one of their kids being punished (a not infrequent occurrence), they regularly said, “Well, he brought that on himself.”  To quote Ray Stevens, “Yeah, I Did!”  I did bring on myself the harvest of intemperance and am delivering a worn-out body and mind to old-age.  There are lots of seeds we plant and many different types of harvests we reap.  When valuing the harvest, choose wisely how you evaluate the crop.#everything #you #do #say #choice #soon #later #quote #lessons #learned #life | Lessons learned ...

Pliny, more famously known as Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as Pliny, the Elder,” was a Roman author, naturalist, philosopher, and naval and army commander.  He is quoted as saying:

Lust is an enemy to the purse, a foe to the person, [a] canker to the mind, a corrosive to the conscience, a weakness of the wit, a besotter of the senses, and finally a mortal bane to all of the body.”

Lust is regularly only thought of as an intense sexual desire.  This type of lust definitely fits what Pliny is warning about; however, lust is also an overwhelming craving, unassailable desire, and intense eagerness or enthusiasm.  Yet, many might not fully grasp the semaphore Pliny is flashing; Henry Wordsworth Longfellow might be easier to understand:

The blossoms of passion, gay and luxuriant flowers, are bright and full of fragrance, but they beguile us and lead us astray, and their odor is deadly.”

Henry Giles and John Howe are both flashing the same message, trying to capture our attention and teach the same lesson:

The passions are at once tempters and chastisers.  As tempters, they come with garlands of flowers on brows of youth; as chastisers, they appear with wreaths of snakes on the forehead of deformity.  They are angels of light in their delusions; they are fiends of torment in their afflictions.”

Sensual delights soon end in loathing, quickly bring a glutting surfeit, and degenerate into torment.”

What do you regret from your youth as the first tastes of passion’s deadly fruits?  Let me speak plainer; of course, you remember your first time in love, the rush of passions start, and the heartbreak of closure.  Do you see the seeds of passion and the harvested fruits as beneficial or deadly?  I know my answers to this question and understand more fully why modesty, chastity, and virtue are to be honored, respected, and cherished.  You choose how you evaluate your experiences.You reap what you sow | Everyday quotes, Peace quotes, One word inspiration

I currently work with a person who curses their ex-wife in the vilest language imaginable, yet, they praise their child in the same breath and bless the day they came into their life.  What seeds are being planted in the child, the co-workers, and society?  Will the bitter fruit be understood and evaluated as good?  Time will tell.  Byron summed this semaphore perfectly:

Vice digs her own voluptuous tomb.”

Of all the advice given, I wish I had observed the following more perfectly, and while I do not know the author, many have semaphored the following message in one form or another:

Shun the obscene!”

A long time back, exactly when escaped me, I watched a comedian who told some off-color stories for the audience’s amusement.  Those seeds bore some of the most pernicious weeds in my mind, choking out life and pleasure, goodness, and all things clean and kind.  Killing those weeds is a constant exercise, some would classify as futile.  But, I have chosen differently and fought those weeds desiring something better, and the fight continues.  I do not find swearing, debauchery, lewdness, immorality, perversion, and such amusing anymore.  When I came to myself, I cleaned out a LOT of entertainment, removing books, magazines, music, movies, and more in an effort to cling to the good and shun the obscene.  I had to re-learn lessons from childhood.

Now I look back on those mistakes, those seeds planted carelessly, and the bitter and thorny weeds I now fight and wish I could help others understand the same lesson I learned.  Not shunning the obscene leads to problems immeasurable.  In the US Navy, I had a good acquaintance who went to a party, was slipped a mickey, and woke up having been raped by another female.  I counseled my friend to report this event and get tested.  My friend declined because she “did not know if she liked it or not.”  I mourned my friend that day and many days after as she experienced what happened after not shunning the obscene.  Before she revealed her true self, her rapist was a person I respected and who was removed from military service for other actions.  But the crime of rape went unreported, a sad commentary indeed!  John Howe was absolutely correct:

Sensual delights soon end in loathing, quickly bring a glutting surfeit, and degenerate into torment.”

Quotes You Reap What You SowMy friend’s experience in the US Navy always brings a poem to mind courtesy of Alexander Pope:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
as to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace
.”

The truth of the matter remains permanently etched upon our souls or consciousness, “You reap what you sow.”  We inherently know this truth, and then become sidetracked by temptation, which comes in the forms of misery, depression, beauty, emotions, and more; wrapped in shiny foil, the fruit inside is always bitter, but the first bite is a temptation that over time becomes that which we would have died to avoid.  Robert Southey, the English poet, semaphored this message thusly:

They who engage in iniquitous designs deceive themselves into thinking that they will go so far and no farther.  One fault begets another; one crime makes another necessary.  Thus downward they go into the depths of guilt, which at the commencement of their career they would have died rather than incurred.”

QuestionCan you relate to your experiences with planting and harvesting?  What are you teaching and semaphoring?  Dr. Johnson adds a comment worth remembering: “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”  While Dr. Johnson is correct, there is a “Balm in Gilead,” there are chain cutters available through repentance and a path back.  There is a reason to hope!  Not speaking religiously, nor am I here to convert anyone to any religious flavor, merely to alert those needing it that there is a way to clean your mind and heart, that your future may produce a better harvest.  Even if you might have to harvest garbage for a while as the ground cleans itself of the impurities dumped into it.  Mr. Muir quotes Simons, a reference unknown, regarding the path:

Impure thoughts awaken impure feelings, lead to impure expressions, and beget impure actions, and these lead to imbecility both of body and of mind, and to the ruin of all that is noble and pure in character.”

We who have survived youthful transgressions understand this path perfectly.  Note, we live in an age of severe iconoclasm, where every day, we are bombarded by attacks on established beliefs by institutions built for the sole purpose of tearing down others.  Who cannot replace their depravity and destruction with anything wholesome, good, pure, or worthwhile.  Where beliefs of religion, societal norms, and institutions representing the living and breathing were destroyed for the wanton pleasure of the iconoclasts.  The age of the iconoclasts began with the 1960s, and nothing built since is worth the pain and suffering we are experiencing now.  Worse, those iconoclasts from the 1960s are now teachers and professors, elected leaders, and their legacy of destruction stares them in the face while they laugh and take pleasure at your suffering.Quotes About Reaping What You Sow. QuotesGram

With each successive generation of iconoclastic behavior, the succeeding generations are a factor of 10 worse than their parents.  Think of how many generations have come and multiplied this abhorrent behavior into society.  Is it any wonder as a society we are in the mess we are in, where criminals get off, the victims are repeatedly punished, good is heralded as evil and evil for good.  But, I promise there is a “Balm in Gilead,” there is a path forward that leads back to life, growth, happiness, goodness, and a morally upright society.  Shunning the obscene is the first step!

Knowledge Check!We must be the generation that begins the repair job from the iconoclast’s destruction.  The ravages inflicted upon us will require re-learning, embracing hope, building faith, and acting charitably through faith and hope to act charitably first to ourselves, then to our families and friends, and then to the broader societies we all live in.  Whether you embrace a religious community or not, the imperative to “Shun the obscene:” the need to sow better crops to reap a more desirable harvest valued by others is universal.  Not to create fervor and fanaticism, but to create a people dedicated to improving ourselves and after improving ourselves to improve the world around us.

May we all enjoy a better harvest is my hope!

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

NO MORE BS: Hypocrites, Liars, and Thieves Edition

Boris & NatashaThe pattern left to the reader in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of foremost importance to what we are witnessing in democratically governed societies the world over.  If ever a time was presented when the people need to know and then act, that time is now.  I intend to start the conversation on liars, thieves, and hypocrites with clarity, example and offer for your consideration patterns that spot the deceit.  Once deceit is spotted, it is as glaring as a bloodstain on a white satin dress.  You cannot look past that mark!

What is a Hypocrite?

Hypocrites are those who wear masks of decency and outward morality, but live lives of deception, believing that, like Dr. Jekyll, they can live a double life and never be discovered.  From James’s New Testament writings, we find that “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).  According to Webster, a hypocrite is one who practices hypocrisy.  According to Webster, those who practice hypocrisy are living, “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.”  To Nathaniel Hawthorne goes the last word on hypocrites, “No man (person) for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

What is a Liar?

DetectiveAccording to Webster, a liar is a person who tells lies.  Lying is defined by Webster as, “an intentionally false statement.”  Is the distinction clear; the liar knows the truth and intentionally misleads the audience, always for personal gain.  From William Shenstone, we find an eternal truth, “A liar begins with making falsehoods appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like a falsehood.”  The pattern detailed by William Shenstone is precise and speaks to one of the most deceitful practices of all, making truth appear as a falsehood to sell a bunch of lies.  As a kid, I was often told that the devil will tell you one truth to help you believe a thousand lies.

What is a thief?

According to Webster, a thief is “a person who steals, especially secretly or without open force; one guilty of theft or larceny.”  During my undergraduate degree program, another student would regularly plagiarize my weekly posts as their own work, then had the temerity to try and claim I was plagiarizing them.  I had a habit of posting the weekly posts the first day of the new week, the timestamps on my posts proved my work was mine, and the student eventually disappeared from my cohort.  Plagiarism is a fancy word for intellectual property theft.  Plagiarism used to get politicians kicked out of politics, except the current Commander in Chief is a well-known plagiarizer. He is being honored with keeping his job and getting promoted beyond his maximum level of incompetence.  The fraudulent president, Biden’s first act in office, was to plagiarize President Trump on COVID response, vaccine response and belittled President Trump for doing the right thing.

LookWhy is this important?

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde speaks volumes on issues being combatted right now.  Dr. Jekyll had conquered himself; his person was morally upright, had integrity, and had a worthy reputation.  But, then drugs came along, and the drugs made Mr. Hyde, who was evil incarnate.  Eventually, the drugs would no longer bring back Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde conquered, and Dr. Jekyll was destroyed.

All my life, I have been told, “Honorable people do not get into politics, and politicians never work at honest labor.”  Yet, I cannot help but ask, “Why are people who lie, thieve, and practice hypocrisy allowed to represent anyone?”  It was 1987-1988, while watching the presidential race get whittled down to Bush I and Dukakis, I heard Jesse Jackson and Al Gore one night talking, and thought I would not invite these people into my home, why are they allowed to run for president?  Over time this thought has returned, in one election between two particularly vile election choices (Obama and Romney) I was told to “Hold my nose, lift my skirts, and vote for Romney as the ‘lesser of two evils.”  I am happy to report, I voted for Donald Duck!

I will not give my permission to represent me, e.g., my vote, to someone I would never invite into my home as a guest.  I have had to learn to research candidates, research issues, use critical thinking, and even then, make mistakes.  Yet, I know that when we, the electorate, stand together and refuse the thieves, liars, and hypocrites a political office, we are better as a nation, a state, a county, a city, and a community.

Andragogy - LEARNExamples:

New York City Mayor De Blasio ordered COVID, infected patients, into long-term care facilities (nursing homes). The numbers are finally coming to light that 13,197 additional COVID patients were created, where 4080 died!  The mayor has refused responsibility for these deaths, pain, suffering, and increased medical costs.  The mayor of New York City has consistently lied throughout the COVID/Government Panic; people have died, resources wasted, and the person most responsible refuses accountability.  Thus showing Mayor De Blasio is a liar, a thief, and a hypocrite!

Big Tech, for several years now, has been actively engaged in intentionally misleading consumers.  When Facebook’s thought police remove data that asks honest questions as misleading, the consumer is being lied to.  When LinkedIn edits posts arbitrarily and refuses First Amendment rights to everyone, all consumers using LinkedIn are being stolen from, lied to, and LinkedIn proves it is a hypocrite.  Due to political leanings, Twitter illegally suppressing First Amendment rights to President Trump over a trumped-up charge is lying, stealing, and acting as a hypocrite!

November 2009, the Climate Research Unit became “Climategate,” ripped the scab off the festering wounds called Climate Change.  The emails released showed how statistics were employed to lie, cheat, steal, and then the hypocritical scientists claimed that their lies were truth.  Except, a lie cannot be a truth, and making a truth appear as a lie, does not change the lie into a truth.  By gaming the peer-review process, climate science lies have been peddled, and politicians have gotten rich off climate lies and climate lawfare.  I am not claiming that humans could not be better stewards of resources.  I am arguing that draconian government mandates are never the answer to changing behaviors of individuals.

The Duty of AmericansThe hinge upon which the lies, thieves, and hypocrites will eventually hang.

How does a person tell a liar from a truth-teller; the person’s intent.  How do you know a person’s intent; observe them.  Are their actions producing good results, or are they producing poisoned fruit and hurting others?  Intent is a legal term, and the following is essential as we observe for consequences of actions, words, and results.

What are the 3 types of intent?

The three common-law intents ranked in order of culpability are malice aforethought, specific intent, and general intent.  Malice aforethought is a special common-law intent designated for only one crime: murder.  The definition of malice aforethought is “intent to kill.”  Specific intent is the intent to bring about a particular result, do something other than the criminal act.  General intent is simply the intent to perform the criminal action.

Consider the following, Bill Engvall tells a story of his little toddler boy walking over to the sleeping cat and kicking the cat.  When questioned, the little boy claims, “It was an accident.”  Yet, the keen observer watched him walk across the room and intentionally kick the cat.  Last summer, Speaker Pelosi (D) deliberately refused, for political gain, to collaborate with other lawmakers and pass COVID Relief legislation.  Essentially refusing to perform her most basic job as a Congressional Representative.  Speaker Paul Ryan (R) intentionally refused to pass a budget, and the government was shutdown.  Intentions are the actions we take, regardless of our words, that prove where our priorities are and how we think about our jobs.

Detective 4Consider the following headline from NPR, “After Record 2020 Turnout, State Republicans Weigh Making it Harder to Vote.”  The title itself is misleading, the article is very biased, and voting problems go deeper than the fraud and misfeasance witnessed in November 2020.  The 2020 primaries were a disaster!  The 2018 election cycle was a farrago.  The 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000 elections cycles have steadily worsened in fraud, idiocy in counting, technological blunders, and intentional theft of elections.  Hence, NPR’s intent is to employ smoke screens and mirrors to obfuscate and denigrate, lie, cheat, steal, and be hypocrites of the fact that the only people who receive help from poorly performed election processes are Democrats!  As a media channel, NPR’s job is to keep people confused so the charade of elections can continue. They are proving intent to harm and be hypocritical.

How does a person fight back?

  1. Learn the candidates, look past the makeup, the façade, and the media representations.
  2. Ask tougher questions. In order to learn, we must ask questions and never be satisfied with answers.
  3. When we teach others, we learn more perfectly.  As we learn more perfectly, we are inspired to teach more.
    • Who do we teach, ourselves, our families, discussions with friends, and writing down your thoughts on a blog are all good and useful methods for teaching, to power better learning.
  4. Start locally, clean up local politics first. Thus, get involved with the city council, the mayor, the county board, the school board.  Demand to be heard.
  5. Support good people around you, support the efforts to learn, support your neighbors as they begin to explore that which is familiar to you.
  6. Stop allowing the media and politicians to separate, classify, divide, and name. I am an American!  That title is sufficient!

Image - Eagle & FlagAmerican – A(h) Me I Can!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.