In the Yummish tradition the source of ultimate good is known as the YUM. Each person experiences the power of the YUM through their own set of filters – the sum of their life's experience and expectations. This is a person's individual Yum, which is so singular and unique as to make snowflakes seem derivative.
As we have learned from Taoist scholars and the Wachowski Brothers, there must be a balance to this equation – an Anti-YUM.
The effects of the Anti-YUM at work in the world are many and can, at times, seem to overshadow those of the YUM. They are as varied as their Yummish counterparts, since, like the YUM, the Anti-YUM, works through the actions of individuals. The effects of this Anti-YUM are known by many names – Deception, Theft, Neglect, Abuse, Violence, etc.
Many traditions teach that these are the symptoms of a single destructive force. Some say it is the work of a self-aware being – Beelzebub, Angra Mainyu, Cheney -- who is the embodiment of this evil power. Others say it is an aspect of society, like money, drugs or Dancing with the Stars.
However compelling they are, neither of these explanations is complete. In most traditions this destructive force is the dark twin of the creative force – a necessary element in the cycle of death and birth. Before the Christ could be born and die so that all mankind might live, Lucifer had to fall from the grace of God. Kali dances in her garland of skulls, devouring life, but, in the guise of Shakti, she is also the consort of Shiva, the creative force of the universe. The seed of death is planted in birth, with each death the birth cycle begins anew and the wheel in the sky keeps on turning and yin-yang earrings will never go out of style.*
Most aspects of life have his dual nature. The same drugs that heal can kill in different circumstances. The things themselves are neutral – the details of daily life. The application determines how they are viewed in any given circumstance. The Yummish, however, do believe in a single destructive source, from which, if not all suffering, all man-made suffering can be attributed – Greed.
The Yummish Council defines Greed as “the pathological belief that an individual's needs or desires are greater or more important than those of all others.” For the Yummish “greed” and “sin” and synonymous.
How much human suffering can be traced back to simple greed, to a person or group of people who feel that their “rights” outstrip those of others? The planetary environmental crisis, the destruction of the world financial markets, the mutilation of children as a result of the international diamond trade... How much misery is caused by the gluttony of a few?
In recognition of the dualistic nature of the universe, the Yummish tradition teaches a two part response to this creeping evil. First, the Yummish must always be mindful of both their real and relative value in the world. All people have the same real value – 1.6666666666666666666666666666667e-10 – essentially one of 6 billion equally valued components. A person's relative value is more complex – the ratio of creative and healing acts divided by the acts of greed and destruction. Value can only be built, to borrow a trite phrase, through acts of kindness and beauty. The dividends they pay are greater than any CD or mutual fund you are likely to find. Trust me. I've been looking.
Today's Yummish Exercise:
Invest in your human value.
*For more information on mythological symbols, see “Masks of God” by Joseph Campbell. For more information on Taoism, see “The Watercourse Way” by Alan Watts. For cute illustrations of teddy bears and piglets, see “The Tao of Pooh” and for yinyang earrings, see Bodyjewelry.com.
Next: Maybe something about Spring and rebirth and baby bunnies and marshmallow peeps.