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April 7, 2013



Empathy in the human psyche is based on a dual level understanding by the individual of the role-function-of the weaker part within in a dichotomy of violence; and the superiority of force turns the weaker side into a “victim” as object of the superior strength of the other actor who becomes, because of his/her advantage, an “abuser”.

But the base of empathy and eventually, also, of moral judgment on the part of the contemplating individual-and eventually, society-is tied directly to the adult’s vision of children as vulnerable and natural “underdogs”-which is of course probably genetic in origin, to one degree or another.

But the duality involved and the image of the vulnerability of the child is in regards to the individual’s experience of having been him/her self a child-of one’s own perennial childhood self-and its projection outward on the human realty one is confronted with.

And your own childhood-that you continue to carry the rest of your life as the foundation of your psychological configuration-is really that child you see in other children as an adult; and you feel towards children the tenderness of hope you refuse to let go of in your own understanding of yourself, even at the heights of low self-esteem and self-degradation.

To the point that it can be said-it should be understood-that the heart of your individual humanity as humanness and kindness is the child in a dual manifestation of self and the real children or child figures you see and relate to in life.

And it is the vulnerability and the weakness of the child, and its presence in the core of you-of your psyche-that makes empathy possible in the individual.

And empathy, in this sense, is the foundation of all human moral contemplation in the confrontation with the use of force-originally physical violence-on the part of a stronger individual with regards to a weaker being.

And the law grew to progressively broader and more abstract levels originally out of the mammalian perception on the part of the cognizant biological organism that is man and his contemplation of the most animal like violence he originally lived in among his fellows.

For the underlying basis for the law-and for morality itself-is the individual’s empathy towards the weaker party of the human confrontation he/she witnesses-and it is our empathy that leads us to make judgments about fairness, and what, in this sense, is right or wrong, and even the notion of “error” or infraction-of going too far-and the need to correct wrongs as an aggressor and to compensate “victims”-to allow transgressors admittance once again to the fold of the collective family, and finally, to forgive.

At a crypto-non intellectualized-level there was first taboo.

But the law as we understand it is necessarily rational, as a set of collectively understood rules that are etched in stone, so to speak.

And origin of the law in its rational form is a rational understanding of ones relationship with the existential context in which one’s society is part of.

And a rational understanding of the law is only possible through religion as rational mythology-as a rational narrative based on cause and effect of divine forces, of the gods, or of god himself and your relationship with him.

For who rises up before you as the great and all-powerful Father figure; who is the wielder of the greatest force, in the form of storms, earthquakes, floods and tidal waves; who is the master of light and darkness in the world; who is potentially the greatest abuser in terms of his power and his predictable unpredictability with regards to how he uses it?

If you look from this standpoint to historical forms of rational law, in the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and to some of the civilizations that preceded them, it is clear that the contemplation of human force is closely related to how the force of nature is understood by human collective groups.

And of course, the greatest potential victim of the power of God-the gods, or the creator-is man himself.

And you better hope he has some form of empathy, too!

But-obviously-God’s empathy is also based on his contemplation of the child, of the weaker party in this relationship, which is you-man himself and the collective groups who saw themselves as subject to this greater-most awesome and destructive-force of nature.

And the position or role assigned to you is that of a basic prostration-to a more or lesser degree- before this power, in whatever from you rationally assign to it.

And given that you now live in agriculture and the sedentary life of cultivating the land and raising livestock, your connection to the forces of nature is truly a complex thing to understand, because as well as being subjected to its powers of destruction, you also vitally depend on it for food.

And this is why an approximation to what is our contemporary understanding of rational law would become suddenly imperative, also, given that people have to curtail their own nastiness and feeble individual power of viciousness in regards to their fellows.

And to understand the evolution of contemporary Western law, it is necessary to take into account the history of Christianity-even though the term “Roman law” is used-and to fully understand Christianity, it is necessary to understand Judaism-the Tanakh-and most especially the figure of Job, who appears, of course, in the book by the same name (or the name Christians use when they refer to the story of Job).

And the first Harvard law school graduate-some 2,300 years before Harvard ever existed-was Job; or more accurately the writer (or writers) behind Job.

And Job is the union of religion and the law, and the individual’s sense of fairness based on being the object himself of a most brutal violence as force.

And the story of Job is a contractual dispute with regards to terms of the contract-The Covenant-between Yahweh and his children.

And even though the term Children is never-I believe-used, or at least not consistently in Job, clearly it is at the crypto or psychological level what is going on-that Job is questioning-judicially challenging-Father and his rules of relating to him as had been understood by Jewish society since Eden-or even before the final historical formulation of the book of Genesis.

And Job, in his own defense, points to the fact that he is above all a non violent man; that he does not resolve his differences through violence and that his basic moral configuration is how he sees society as well in his effort to provide for those who are less fortunate around him, for those in Jewish society who were seen as weaker and vulnerable-most especially beyond his own family.

And finally, at the height of his challenge (which is really its very primary foundation) it is not Job’s personal suffering that he brings before the court-contrary to what is historically associated with the figure of Job-but the question, ultimately, as to why all of us-not just I-must perish-must become a corpse, even when we live lives of industry and essential love and care of our fellow man.

Why, even then, must we descend to the grave?

I am, of course, not a lawyer, but I consider this the greatest legal brief known to man.

And it is really Job-or the writer(s) behind Job-who respond now as the character of God himself.

And God-like Job himself-went to Harvard Law School-this is obvious, for the question is of the greatest importance to all of us-it is the only true question, in a certain sense-it is the question all other possible questions descend from!

And God’s answer, ultimately, is a kind of re-configuring of the terms of Job’s original interpellation.

And God as judge, now, rules that it is not really the answer that is so important-for I am God and I am inscrutable, such is my nature-and my power; what is important is the fact that you ask-that you never cease to ask-for this is what makes you a man, in opposition to all other living beings.

And the nature of your relationship with me-what establishes the both of us-is your questioning of me.

This is our true union!

For I am what I am.

And I am essentially awe; what you perceive as the power and majesty of the natural world.

You are the one who must follow the rules and show your love of man the way you know how and that is “judicially” required of you.

But my love for you is of never-ending mystery!

And I will always love you.


Of course there were more lawyers involved in these proceedings on that day long ago.

And one of them was a lawyer who had just passed the bar exam, so to speak-but he did not go to Harvard Law.

His name was Elihu, and he presented the argument that Job’s questions-his stubbornness in constantly questioning God-was wrong, and that instead of questioning, Job should believe in God’s love and ignore, therefore, the reality of the grave-of our own corpse.

And he claimed-it is unclear on what real basis-that there would be a day when God would come (come again?) and “make us all light”, all those who had descended to the hole of putrefaction that is the grave-all of us-would be “of the light”.

The verse is 33.30.

His argument was completely ignored, although he was the last to speak, before God himself finally spoke.

But the fact that Elihu had graduated from the Jerry Falwell school of law and not from Harvard, probably had something to do with his being ignored.

But you know what they say about Jewish lawyers-probably even at that time; but Elihu was clearly on his way to being something else, if you get my meaning.

But it is not the proverbial intelligence of the Jewish lawyer that makes him what he is-although you can see that this does make him a different breed of cat in comparison to Elihu, for example!

It is rather his ingrained contemplation of Issac at the mercy of Abraham, and the moral plight of man-the cultural elevation of the judgment of the treatment of others and the individual’s moral backbone in this sense-in our understanding of fairness, retribution and the very possibility of the humanness of people.

This is the original substance of the Jewish lawyer.

But Ariel Sharon and the Shabak high command went to the Jerry Falwell (Billy Graham) school of law-not Harvard.

Just like young Elihu-the naïve and the simple-the frivolous Elihu.

And this is what explains the frivolousness of an important part of the State of Israel now and the people who run it.

Even if they take out their frustrations and viciousness on people who are never Christians.

See you in court.


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