Butterflies Farting In Kenya

Article describes the unpredictability of life, and how seemingly unimportant things affect the whole planet

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Butterflies Farting In Kenya


Posted by: WebPastor David Todeschini
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... Can cause a tornado in Kansas. Quantum Mechanics, Particle Physics, Parallel Universes, the symbiosis of free will and pre-destination, the sound of one hand clapping, and Seemingly Unimportant Decisions. One can see (observe) the effect(s) of the cause(s) he puts into motion, or he can know the effect of an action by logic and reason. For example:

A man observes the effect of firing a bullet at a target; he can see the effect of a batter hitting a ball that flies over the outfield fence. One is taught from infancy, that he is responsible for his actions or for his failure to act. He is “at cause” for the effects that are the result of his actions or inactions, whether or not he had intended to cause what ultimately happened.

Responsibility, however, is a human judgment. Responsibility requires that an effect is intended, and could be reasonably foreseen by the person initiating the cause. It therefore follows, that it is possible to be “at cause”, without being responsible.

People in general, have problems with the terminology, and thereby do not have a firm grasp of the concepts. I think it would be safe to say that if most of us could foresee the long-range effects of what we do without much thought, it would be a much different world, indeed!

There are seeds here for endless discussions. However, some very important axioms must be taken into account, in order to speak with any authority here. There are natural laws involved, that must be known, and must be known as laws - not “rules” or “guidelines”. In the physical universe, the laws of the sciences: physics, mathematics, gravity, momentum, etc., cannot be violated; they are immutable, and self-enforcing. For instance, the effect of an action always follows the cause, and a “cause” itself, is dependant on prior effects, some of which may seem to be irrelevant.

Just because we cannot make the connection to remotely related causes, or see into the future, in order to decide whether or not we should take some action or withhold it, does not mean that these cause-effect relationships do not exist. It is a true datum that good (or pro-survival) causes for the most part, go un-noticed, while evil (contra-survival) causes, create an effect that is noticed (or manifested) almost immediately. For example:

Firing a bullet at a person's head (cause), creates the intended death of an enemy (effect). Everybody takes notice of a dead body; it is in the way at first, and then begins to stink. Upon an even cursory examination of the Corpus Delecti [1] in this example, there is no doubt as to what the cause was (a bullet), and if the perpetrator was not observed in flagrante delicto,[2] then the person responsible can be determined by forensic science.

A person who would mediate such a dispute before it came to gunplay, is “at cause” for an “effect” also - the effect is that the bullet is caused to never be fired. The parties to the dispute may thank the mediator, but you're not likely to see his action reported on the 6-O'clock news. The good we do, is most-often unseen, and un-noticed.

One may argue that both the good and the bad in the foregoing examples are of equal magnitude; one results in a life taken, and the other in a life saved. One can postulate far enough into the future to know that a .357 Magnum bullet fired at a man's head will (most probably) kill him; one cannot have foreseen that a dispute would, if NOT mediated, result in a murder. Therefore, the good - the unwitting prevention of evil, goes wholly un-noticed.

There are natural laws, which are largely unknown (or at least ignored) that determine what can or cannot happen in our universe:

LAW# 1 Like begets like - most of the time, evil acts bring about evil acts (or undesirable consequences of one sort or another). Religion, Biblical admonitions, and “Golden Rules” notwithstanding, this is the primary reason that we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

LAW #2 You reap what you sow - only in abundance. I like to call this “The Law of The Harvest”. Even more reason to keep Law #1 in mind. “Reaping” and “sowing” are farming terms. One sows a seed and gets fruit (or crops) after a while. We know it is “cause and effect” with plants, trees, and crops, and so it is with actions. We don't see the results right away, but when the crops start sprouting, we know that our planting the seeds caused it.'

LAW #3 Where there is an apparency[3] of an exception, there is really no exception, only a misunderstanding, or a delay in the harvest. The single valid exception could be a test from God, designed to bring one to an understanding of these principles.

Psychology and Psychiatry do not normally concern themselves with anything outside of immediately observable (or postulated) cause and effect. No quarter is given to the physical sciences in this context, and spirituality, which is becoming increasingly relevant to the physical sciences, is ignored altogether. However, one should keep this thought in mind when dealing with psychology:

Physical sciences - or the laws of the physical sciences cannot be disputed. Psychology is theory upon theory, which is in turn, based upon fundamental misconceptions. There is cause for every effect, and since causes are inter-dependant, there is no such thing as a decision that is NOT important, no matter how “seemingly unimportant” it seems.

“Data is only as important as it is evaluated”, is one of the axioms of Scientology. In the scheme of the universe, what may seem to be insignificant in present time may become significant as the “crop” we've sown nears harvest time. In retrospect, perhaps Adolf Hitler's parents had wished they had been more careful; if they had been, perhaps the world would be a much different place today. Who could have predicted what would arise down-the-road? The effects of Nazi Germany are still with us today! So is the effect caused by the fireman who saved a child's life 100 years ago - only we don't see it, because we never noticed it to begin with.

Cause and effect is an infinitely intricate and complex web that extends from the beginning of time to the end. Each event in that web has a vital part to play. Although a butterfly farting in Kenya is not likely to immediately cause twisters in Kansas and fantastic unforeseen forays into the land of Oz, it could be a vital contributing factor, in that in the absence of “the last straw” as-it-were, of a molecule or two of methane, this hypothetical tornado could be caused or prevented; the problem lies in how much methane comprises “the last straw”. But you can rest-assured that there is a purpose for that butterfly, and a reason behind the reason that it farts when it has to.

God is present not only in physical space, but also in every moment of time as we understand it; past, present, and future. Prophecy is only the history of the future from our point-of-view. Free will and pre-destination exists simultaneously, as we can make the choices in the physical universe that take us where we are, and lead us to where we are going, which God knew before the beginning of time.

God, the spiritual being that so many deny, is, and has always been extant in the universe.

God exists outside our concept of linear time. Quantum Mechanics has proven that other time and spatial dimensions DO exist, and since God created the universe, he controls those dimensions, and the laws that govern them. God IS; he never changes. An axiom of Scientology states:

“There is BEING-ness, but man believes there is only BECOMING-ness” (emphasis mine).

There IS, because there MUST BE, a state of existence in which all points of linear time exist at the same “instant”, and I must use the word “instant” which implies the passage of time, since man has no concept of existence outside the constructs of MEST (Matter, Energy, Space, and linear Time).

Creation, whatever one conceives it to be, is a fact. The fact that there is an immutable set of laws that govern MEST is the evidence and the proof of intelligent intent; design is obvious, and design requires a designer. We cannot hold two conflicting beliefs; that a God who created the universe, would set it all in motion, and then turn away, allowing it to “evolve” by the whims of random chance. Therefore, we must conclude that the primal cause - the Creation event; that postulate that created all there is, and “The Word” that caused it all to BE and to BECOME, contained the intent of the Creator, with (at least) the knowingness of the outcome, as surely as it could be known, and as completely as it could be known.

Since the universe and we continue to exist, we must say, “it is good”, even by a secular definition. And although there are what we call “evil” or “bad” (contra-survival) events within this world, we can look at evil and destruction as simply “a creation against a creation”. “Bad” is an action we vilify, because it opposes or un-creates that for which we have developed an affinity. “Good” cannot exist without “Evil”; the condition is a point-of-reference. One cannot create total goodness in the universe without counter-creating (destroying) all evil. Such a state would negate the free will of sentient beings to choose to love God or not.

Our choices, and our actions, are part of the ripple effect of the singular, primal cause. No matter how very insignificant it may seem, there is certainly no such thing as an unimportant decision. What results from intent of action is not random, but “The road to Hell”, as they say, is often “paved with good intentions.” However, more often than not, to a degree that cannot be reliably known, the good certainly outweighs the evil, even by its secular (survive / succumb) definition. If it didn't, we wouldn't be here to discuss it.

While a butterfly fart cannot be said to be bad or good, because its long-term effects cannot be known, certainly, it can be postulated that the butterfly feels better for having farted, or at least was prevented from exploding in mid-air, should it have decided to withhold the fart for fear of triggering twisters in Kansas. In either case, the fart was inevitable; the choice was either to permit the fart to pass, or attempt to restrain it from happening. The control of the fart is an apparency. A law of nature must say: “A fart must be farted”, or “Farts are inevitable”. Decisions are like farts; they MUST be made. As one can only with a certainty, predict the immediate effect of farts, it is no different with anything else. One may think that discussing flatulence and the Creator in the same article, or even under the same set of covers is irreverent at best, but they fail to realize that God has a sense of humor, for even one butterfly must say to another, “Did you fart?”

Of course, the one who farted has the right, as we all do, guaranteed by the 1st and 5th Amendments - to admit, deny, or refuse to answer. The first is unabashed honesty, the second is not denial, but an inability to confront an embarrassing truth, and the latter is an invocation of the 5th Amendment, which in most people's eyes, is tacit admission of guilt.

Admitted, denied, or left in the hands of a finder of fact to place blame, a fart still has its effect, even if it is only a comment, “...damn, shorty! That's enough to knock a buzzard off a shit wagon!”, and the decision to go “rub antennas” (or however butterflies mate) with someone who doesn't eat burritos for breakfast.

As with all things in this life, our actions, and even our intentions return to us at “harvest time”. The English poet John Donne wrote, “... Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

In the context of cause and effect, paraphrasing, L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his book “A new Slant on Life”, “... One never sends to find for whom the bell tolls, without full willingness to have tolled it, and to have been the cause of the cause of its tolling.”

Any decision, any action or action withheld, has its effect, no matter how “seemingly unimportant” it is at the moment. A fart or a bullet released into the universe, or withheld from the universe, has an effect upon the whole by its very existence. What we are responsible for is another thing entirely.

We are the effects of cause, as well as the cause of effects. We can intend to initiate beneficial effects, or harmful effects. We reap what we sow; and where there seems to be an exception, it is merely an apparency due to our short-sightedness, and the mourning over things lost, that we had an affinity for. We BECOME (change); God IS (He never changes).

In order to BECOME what the Creator wants us to BE, we “go to school” in the physical universe. You and I are NOT only body and mind - we are souls (or Thetans). You are you - in a body. The entity that is our beingness is NOT our physical body; it is (something) intangible, indestructible, and immortal. All of us - good or bad - have eternal life.... We choose where we “end-up”, by the intent of our actions, and we choose to love God (admit), hate God (deny he exists), or attempt to avoid a decision.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

You'll note that the scripture says “all things” - not “some things”, or “only the good things”. Even BAD things, then, according to God's Word, work together for the ultimate good of those who love Him. (See also: Genesis 50:20)

“I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” - Isaiah 45:0

What are we to make of this? Evil exists for a purpose. It has been created for our choosing; that we might have a choice so that our love of God would be given with the free and unfettered exercise of our free will:

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” - Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16 (KJV)

If one believes there is a God, and that there is more to our existence than the instant of time we occupy in the eternity of “beingness”, then that person must eventually come to an awareness of himself as part of the Divine will. However, even this is not sufficient, it seems, to cause intent towards good: another force or forces; other effects are in play here.

If one cannot postulate that one's actions or actions withheld will affect the world forever, one limits his intent only to the immediate “good” effect on himself. Intent and motive always arise from the good it performs or is perceived to perform for the individual. One who commits suicide, ultimately perceives that a “good” will arise from the taking of his own life, for afterwards there is believed to be a relief or escape from (some) irresolvable problem, pain, or situation. Even a crime that is committed brings a short-term “good” - real or perceived, to the perpetrator. A man seeking revenge, intends to harm his target, not so much for the intent to cause harm per se'; he is motivated towards the balance of what he perceives that “justice” should be. Another redirects or channels all of the effects on him, onto inanimate objects, other people, or cats who happen to be there at the instant moment.

The reader may think it strange that I chose to pick on the flatulence of butterflies to make my point, but it DID get your attention if you've read this far, did it not? The intent had the desired effect then; it used your curiosity or your “sick” sense of humor to get you to start reading, and then, like a bullet in flight, the action or motion tends to stay in motion until other effects (gravity, wind resistance, potentially dead bodies or boredom) act against it. The fact that you’ve read this, no matter what you think of the article, has had its effect. You will always, henceforth, think of butterflies in Kenya and twisters in Kansas, whenever something happens that you cannot explain or control.

When you act, or withhold yourself from acting, you will know that an effect - good or bad - is inevitable, and so when you formulate an intent, hopefully, the intent is towards a greater good, and your harvest will be plentiful. If that happens to one person out of the many who will read this, then a greater good will have been done by my writing it, than just the immediate effect of making you laugh and think a bit. If so, then I'll consider it “Mission Accomplished”. It could also be that because of someone else's reaction, I will have set in motion a persecution of Kenyan butterflies because of their potential to adversely affect weather patterns with their “silent, but deadlies”. (Perhaps I shouldn't publish this after all!).

Therefore, when your (bad) harvest arises out of your (good) intent, it does not mean that the natural, God-ordained laws are not working:

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the firey trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you...” - 1 Peter 4:12

So you see, there are things that happen which are “unjust”, or “not fair”, because our faith - our willingness to put ourselves in our Father's arms, is tested thereby. So we should not think it is “strange” when the exception to the laws occur - the exception is an illusion; an apparency, and it is tantamount to saying that because the crop failed this year, that nothing will ever grow from the ground again. Paul continues:

“... But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” - 1 Peter 4:13

Even “trials” are seen as good things, because they work to strengthen the faith and develop the patience of one who believes in, and loves the God of the universe. So because “seemingly” unimportant decisions (“SUDS”) are important by their very definition; that their importance is not noticed for lack of data, or foresight, or erroneous evaluations that do not properly appraise the importance of the data because of the inability to view all the variables in context, work on your intentions and do everything in love; leave SUDS to the psycho-analysts who will drive themselves insane with it, and don't feed Bean-O™ to the butterflies!

Peace and Godspeed † WebPastor David Todeschini



[1] Corpus Delecti (Latin) – A dead body.
[2] In flagrante delicto (Latin” – In the very act.
[3] Apparency – That which appears to be, but is not what it appears to be.