The world does not belong to people; we belong to Her. She was not created for us, nor was the Universe around Her. Creation is an eternally ongoing process that did not end with people.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with people, something that makes them inherently evil or "sinful". The problem is ONE culture of people, one among thousands, that gave itself the title Rulers of the World. This culture--the practitioners of which I will call the Despots--has succeeded in conquering almost all other cultures of people. The Despots span the globe and number more than six billion. But they cannot rule the World. They keep trying, for they must--their religions demand it--but they merely bring harm and devestation to Her. Continuing their delusional quest to conquer Her, the Despots are destroying the World. And, in destroying Her, they destroy themselves; She will live on, but we will not.

There are laws that govern the World. These are not laws voted upon or repealed; these are the Laws of Life. All the creatures of the World are bound by the Laws of Life, as they are bound by the Laws of Motion. We cannot exempt ourselves from Lifelaw anymore than we can exempt ourselves from Gravitylaw. Yet, the Despots have tried to do just that.

The Despot weltanshauung, fueled by their mythology, places them above all other creatures and above the Laws of Life. Indeed, the Despots have been enacting their weltanschauung for so long now that they've forgotten there are Lifelaws. For, as a part of their need for domination, the Despots have almost completely erased from this planet any human culture that still adheres to the Laws of Life.

The Despots scoff at the notion of Laws of Life. The presumed success of their way of life is direct and irrefutable evidence against such a law. "We have lived this long and prospered and thrived," they argue. "If what you say is true, we would have died out. All those other cultures have disappeared, but we thrive," they say proudly. "How could our way of life be against your so-called law?" But the Despots are like...


Badsel was a forest animal who lived many years ago. He was friends with many other animals, particularily his cousins, Badger and Weasel. Badsel envied another of his friends, Eagle, because she could fly. So one day Badsel climbed the High Cliff and announced that he would jump off the edge and fly. "The problem is I am heavier than Eagle, so I need to leap from a higher spot, and then I too will fly."

His friends, whom he'd invited to come witness his glorious day, tried to talk him out of it. "No!" cried Coyote. "You will die."

"Baa," scoffed Badsel. He knew Coyote was just jealous that she had not thought of it first. "And you're supposed to be the clever one," he sneered.

"There are laws that govern flight..." Coyote explained. "Aerodynamics, gravity..."

"Laws?" Badsel interrupted derisively. "Aerody-whatics?" He laughed sarcastically and turned to Eagle. "Do you know of these laws?" Eagle shrugged her wings, not one to take a side when two of her friends were arguing. "See" cried Badsel incredulously, "Eagle doesn't know of these laws, and she flies!"

"It doesn't matter if you know of them, or even believe in them. There are laws that govern motion whether you like it or not." Coyote noticed some confused looks from some of the other animals, so she paused and thought. "Just like the sun will rise in the East and set in the West whether you believe it or accept it or not," she added. "Whether Eagle knows it or not, her body is in accord with these laws; it is aerodynamic, and her wings give her lift."

"I can flap my arms very fast!" interrupted Badsel.

"That's not what I mean," Coyote cried in exasperation. "It takes more than that."

"Enough!" Badsel yelled. "I am going to fly off this cliff, and you are just going to stand here and watch. I'll be flying, and you..." Badsel pointed an angry claw at Coyote, "you with your laws will be on the ground." With that, while his friends watched, Badsel ran and hurled himself off the cliff. "See you at the bottom," he taunted, as he disappeared over the cliff's edge.

"You see," cried Coyote, looking at each of the animals. "He's falling. He's going to die!" Coyote looked at Weasel and Badger and repeated his prediction: "your cousin is going to die."

"I'll get him," Eagle cried, jumping off the cliff's edge and diving toward her stubborn friend.

"I'm flying! I'm flying!" Badsel was screaming, flapping his arms languidly as his body plummeted toward the ground at increasing speed.

"No you're not," Eagle yelled at him, diving straight down in order to catch up with her friend. "You're falling!"

"That's Coyote talking," Badsel snapped. "What does she know about flight. She's still standing up there on the cliff. I'm the one flying...just like you." Badsel stretched his arms out, savoring the wind in his face. "Coyote just can't stand that I'm right this time."

Eagle flew back to join her friends, not wanting to watch Badsel splatter on the ground at the foot of High Cliff.

As Badsel fell and fell, he became more and more sure of himself. There was simply no disputing it: he was flying. Had Coyote been there--and the fact that she wasn't was further proof that she didn't know what it took to fly--she would have had to admit that Badsel was right. He could fly indeed. Sure, the wind was buffeting him more and more violently in the face, and he was having to squint to see, but that was just a consequence of flight. Better to have a little wind in your eyes than to be stuck on the ground, unable to fly. So much easier and more satisfying was life when you could fly.

After a while, Badsel noticed that things on the ground were appearing larger and larger below him. "The ground is getting closer," he thought to himself. "I better flap my arms a little harder. I was thinking too much about Coyote and not enough about the task at hand, flying. Damn Coyote and her negative talk." Before long Badsel blacked out for several moments, coming to groggily with the wind still smacking him in the face. "Hmm," he thought to himself. "That's odd, I wonder why I blacked out. I've never done that before." He heard Coyote's voice in the back of his head cockily chiding, "you can't fly. There are laws to flying. You're blacking out because you're going against the law."

"Nonesense," Badsel told himself defiantly. "I've flown this long without any problems. Coyote doesn't know what she's talking about. If there were her so-called laws, then how have I flown this far already? She's stuck on the ground, and I'm flying. Periodic blackouts must just be a natural product of flying. Certainly they're more desirable than a life stuck on the ground." That decided, Badsel returned his mind to the task of flapping his arms, which he decided he'd better do harder to make up for the time he'd lost while he was blacked out.

"Another blackout," Badsel thought several minutes later, as he woke up and saw the ground rushing up to meet him. He flapped his arms with all his might to resume flight now that he'd once again regained consciousness. "You know," he thought to himself, "I need to develop a more efficient method of flying. My arms are getting tired, and the ground is still coming toward me too quickly. Plus, I'd like to be able to soar like Eagle does. Perhaps if I kick my legs like I do when I swim, I will be able to fly better." So Badsel pumped his legs and kicked and kicked. Before long he was able to relax his arms a bit, though he still kept flapping. "Ah yes. Now I'm really going good. I'm flying more efficiently than ever now. You know, I don't think I can even remember what it was like to not be able to fly."

Several minutes later, while Badsel was furiously kicking and flapping to make up for time lost in yet another blackout, a tree branch smacked him in the face. "Ow! That hurt." Badsel rubbed a paw against his furry cheek, the pain making him angry. He quickly decided that he was going to have to come up with a way to protect himself from tree branches in the future, but he couldn't think of anything right away. Just then he saw another branch whizzing toward him and crossed his arms in front of his face. There was a loud crack, as his forearms took the brunt of the blow, and the branch snapped off from the impact. It hurt his arms, but Badsel decided it was a preferable alternative to being smacked in the face. "Until I think of a way to avoid branches, I'll have to fend them off with my arms. At least I broke that one off, so it won't hit me the next time I fly by."

"Poor Badsel," Badger was saying, as the forest animals made their way down the gradual slope on the back of High Cliff.

"I tried to reason with him," Coyote said mournfully.

"So did I," added Eagle, as she flew overhead.

Weasel, always looking for a fight--or at least a tease--looked at Badger and said, "His stubbornness did him in. He get's that from your side of the family tree."

"You be quiet, or I'll make a belt out of you," Badger retorted, ducking under a shrub as he scampered along.

"How can you two joke like that?" Deer asked, her wide eyes sad. "Poor Badsel is dead." The two rodents shrugged and looked at the forest floor sheepishly.

"Actually," Coyote began, "as high as the cliff is, Badsel should still be falling. But he'll hit the ground soon enough...long before we get down."

"I'm sure he's regretting that he went against you by now," Rabbit added, hopping up obsequiously beside the loping Coyote.

"Boy, this is so much better than walking," Badsel was telling himself, rubbing his paws from another painful collision with a tree limb. "Sure, I've got to navigate these obstacles, but I'm going to reach the bottom of High Cliff so much faster than the others. Flying is definitely the way to go." He shook his head from side to side, trying to avoid another blackout that suddenly threatened his consciousness. "They're crashing through brier patches and having to cross streams, and I know their feet must be tired by now. And I'm just flying down. I'll be able to take a nap when I land, and they still won't have made it down."

The more Badsel thought about it, between blackouts and branch crashing, the more he realized how superior flight was to terrestrial locomotion. "I can't believe everyone else is on the ground," he thought incredulously. "Now that I know how to fly, I'm hardly ever going to stay on the ground again. Once I get better and more efficient at it, I'll fly all the time. I might never come down again." Then Badsel wondered why Eagle associated with the silly foot-walkers at all. "From now on, it's flying and flyers only for Badsel," he told himself before blacking out again.

When Badsel came to this time, his head hurt and his arms ached. "Wow," he thought groggily, "that one really took something out of me. My body is still getting used to the advanced life of flight." Blocking a branch from his face and then another, Badsel reasoned that he should stay aloft for a while longer, maybe even forever. "Now that I've achieved flight, I don't want to go back to living on the ground. And every time I land and climb to the top of High Cliff, I'll just have to reacclimate my body to flight. Yes," he decided, "I'll just stay aloft for good. Life was unbearable on the ground, anyway." A branch he hadn't seen smacked Badsel in the face just then, and another followed close behind it. The second narrowly missed his nose, and Badsel shook his head to stay conscious a little longer. Another blackout was coming, but there was a thick patch of branches that Badsel wanted to deal with first.

Upon awakening this time, Badsel saw that the ground was getting very close now. "I've got to stop lollygagging and get to flying," he told himself earnestly. "I've been flying this long, with this much success, so I can't quit now. I just have to try a little bit harder, and I will have mastered flight." He pumped his feet and flapped his arms, ignoring the branch that clobbered his ribs as it went by. There wasn't time to worry about the branches now; he had to concentrate completely on flying. Success was just a little more effort away, and then no branch would ever touch him again. The ground was closer still, though, and Badsel's legs and arms were really hurting. "Come on muscles," Badsel pushed. "Just a little harder for a little longer."

Below him now, on the fast approaching ground, Badsel made out the bodies of several other animals. They were animals he'd never seen before, but their arms and legs were stretched out in a position he recognized. These were other flying animals, Badsel realized with a grin. But then the smile faded as he realized the animals were not flying anymore. They were just lying on the ground, not moving. "Why aren't they flying," he thought to himself, flapping his arms and kicking his feet. "Don't they know that flying is the best?" But the animals--and the ground--were getting closer still, and Badsel realized he didn't have time to worry about flight-failures like those stupid animals below him. "They're as foolish as Coyote and the others," he told himself, reapplying his attention to flapping and kicking.

Moments before his body smashed into the ground next to the other flattened corpses, a thought flashed through Badsel's mind that perhaps he'd made a mistake. Those animals looked like they were dead, like maybe they had jumped off the cliff and crashed into the ground. Perhaps Coyote had been right and there was a Law at hand here. But Badsel pushed those foolish thoughts aside, saying "I've flown this far. I've just got to try harder. If there were a law I was breaking, then how could I have flown for this--"

Hylo Bates

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this fable after reading Daniel Quinn's Ishmael and The Story of B. I freely acknowledge that the theme and message expressed in it comes from him and his writings; I am in no way trying to steal his message or plagarize. I merely wish to pass his message along to others. I wanted to try to translate his "man trying to fly" analogy in Ishmael into a native-americanesque fable.

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