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  1. #31
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default The Wild Wood

    You people, you people, have never been lost in the Wild Wood, and have never been scared out of your skin by the Weasels and the Stoats, otherwise you would feel the same as I do.

    So read and shiver in your boots -

    It was a cold, still afternoon with a hard, steely sky overhead, when Mole slipped out of the warm parlour into the open air. The country lay bare and entirely leafless around him, and he thought that he had never seen so far and so intimately into the insides of things as on that winter day when Nature was deep in her annual slumber and seemed to have kicked the clothes off. Copses, dells, quarries, and all hidden places, which had been mysterious mines for exploration in leafy summer, now exposed themselves and their secrets pathetically, and seemed to ask him to overlook their shabby poverty for a while, till they could riot in rich masquerade as before, and trick and entice him with the old deceptions. It was pitiful in a way, and yet cheering—even exhilarating. He was glad that he liked the country undecorated, hard, and stripped of its finery. He had got down to the bare bones of it, and they were fine and strong and simple. He did not want the warm clover and the play of seeding grasses; the screens of quickset, the billowy drapery of beech and elm seemed best away; and with great cheerfulness of spirit he pushed on towards the Wild Wood, which lay before him low and threatening, like a black reef in some still southern sea.

    There was nothing to alarm him at first entry. Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps resembled caricatures, and startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting. It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side.

    Everything was very still now. The dusk advanced on him steadily, rapidly, gathering in behind and before; and the light seemed to be draining away like flood-water.

    Then the faces began.

    It was over his shoulder, and indistinctly, that he first thought he saw a face, a little, evil, wedge-shaped face, looking out at him from a hole. When he turned and confronted it, the thing had vanished.

    He quickened his pace, telling himself cheerfully not to begin imagining things or there would be simply no end to it. He passed another hole, and another, and another; and then—yes!—no!—yes! certainly a little, narrow face, with hard eyes, had flashed up for an instant from a hole, and was gone. He hesitated—braced himself up for an effort and strode on. Then suddenly, and as if it had been so all the time, every hole, far and near, and there were hundreds of them, seemed to possess its face, coming and going rapidly, all fixing on him glances of malice and hatred: all hard-eyed and evil and sharp.

    If he could only get away from the holes in the banks, he thought, there would be no more faces. He swung off the path and plunged into the untrodden places of the wood.

    Then the whistling began.

    Very faint and shrill it was, and far behind him, when first he heard it; but somehow it made him hurry forward. Then, still very faint and shrill, it sounded far ahead of him, and made him hesitate and want to go back. As he halted in indecision it broke out on either side, and seemed to be caught up and passed on throughout the whole length of the wood to its farthest limit. They were up and alert and ready, evidently, whoever they were! And he—he was alone, and unarmed, and far from any help; and the night was closing in.

    Then the pattering began.

    He thought it was only falling leaves at first, so slight and delicate was the sound of it. Then as it grew it took a regular rhythm, and he knew it for nothing else but the pat-pat-pat of little feet still a very long way off. Was it in front or behind? It seemed to be first one, and then the other, then both. It grew and it multiplied, till from every quarter as he listened anxiously, leaning this way and that, it seemed to be closing in on him. As he stood still to hearken, a rabbit came running hard towards him through the trees. He waited, expecting it to slacken pace or to swerve from him into a different course. Instead, the animal almost brushed him as it dashed past, his face set and hard, his eyes staring. "Get out of this, you fool, get out!" the Mole heard him mutter as he swung round a stump and disappeared down a friendly burrow.

    The pattering increased till it sounded like sudden hail on the dry leaf-carpet spread around him. The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or—somebody? In panic, he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither. He ran up against things, he fell over things and into things, he darted under things and dodged round things. At last he took refuge in the deep, dark hollow of an old beech tree, which offered shelter, concealment—perhaps even safety, but who could tell? Anyhow, he was too tired to run any further, and could only snuggle down into the dry leaves which had drifted into the hollow and hope he was safe for a time. And as he lay there panting and trembling, and listened to the whistlings and the patterings outside, he knew it at last, in all its fulness, that dread thing which other little dwellers in field and hedgerow had encountered here, and known as their darkest moment—that thing which the Rat had vainly tried to shield him from—the Terror of the Wild Wood!

  2. #32
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    The issue with this position is the depth to which one chooses to take the edict and the potential unintended consequences of these choices. The "butterfly effect" basically ensures that no matter what we do on a small scale, there's no way to know what larger scale changes we're effecting down the line. And that's breath-takingly scary to me sometimes.

    "Harm none" ...

    When someone drives their car on a summer night, there will be hundreds of small bugs stuck dead on the grill.

    When someone is kind to a person in a public way, another person viewing that may experience hurt or jealousy.

    When you don't recycle, you pollute and waste resources, but when you do recycle, you cause other contaminants to enter the environment from the pick-up and reprocessing of that material.

    and so on ...


    It's just a very complex thing.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  3. #33
    Ginkgo
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    I think "Only harm as a measure of defense" is a faaaaaar more feasible rule.

  4. #34
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    I think "Only harm as a measure of defense" is a faaaaaar more feasible rule.
    This.
    Jarlaxle: fact checking this thread makes me want to go all INFP on my wrists

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  5. #35
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post

    In the terms of an unconscious we can hardly know what harm we have or have not done.

    Yeah.


    Or, "People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does." While there's still something admirable about someone being attached to this quality as part of their identity (it's a good first step, imo), I think it's probably a very rare thing for a person to know how well they actually adhere to the value of 'do no harm'. At least, especially when it comes to extending this precept to people they aren't especially impressed by, maybe don't like or to people who don't make them feel good.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  6. #36
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post
    In the terms of an unconscious we can hardly know what harm we have or have not done.
    Jesus said, Forgive them, they know not what they do.

    And Sigmund Freud said, Make the unconscious, conscious.

    And by making the unconscious, conscious we discover the harm that has been done to us, and then repressed from consciousness.

    And once the our repressed harm has become conscious, we no longer have a need to act it out on surrogate others, particularly on our children.

  7. #37
    garbage
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    Well, it's certainly ingrained in us that it's the right and virtuous thing to do. It is what it is.

    Maliciousness sucks hardcore. But also, some people have very loose and unreasonable definitions of "being harmed"--such as, say, not receiving a phone call from their oh-so-best-friend every day. I used to cater to even the most ridiculous demands, but the pendulum's swung, the band broke loose, etc. and I don't any more. I'm a recovering people-pleaser.

    So, it all washed out in the end; and now I'm kinda neutral with respect to the whole shebang.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Spiders are good - they go after the other bugs. So leave them all alone, and they will take care of themselves.
    Didn't you ever see Arachnophobia? Little fuckers are trying to kill us all!

  9. #39
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inventor View Post
    Didn't you ever see Arachnophobia? Little fuckers are trying to kill us all!
    Nope. Popular culture and I don't generally get along.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #40
    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on how strictly you feel the need to pursue "values" of this sort... I wouldn't consider this a real value in any proper sense; it could be considered a tenant of some code, or perhaps a rule of thumb as something to briefly touch on as one deliberates certain decisions where such a consideration becomes pertinent.

    It does seem like rather terrible intellectual propaganda, which could ruin an unsuspecting person's life if they were to devote themselves to enshrining this principle above a more common sense approach (common sense approach being: reasonableness is applied to the appropriateness of a maxim, and the maxim on conduct doesn't dictate the application of reason).

    In conclusion: if "harm none" is but one value weighed among others, which can needs be tempered or limited as required for the sake of other values; then this doesn't seem like such a problematic position.

    follow up point: "none" would presumably also have to include the self, which would prevent self-sacrifice, and the grace it can afford. (And possibly the potential for personal development (which can only come from the loss of something- depending on how deeply you wish to take this follow up point toward it's far reaching implications).
    Last edited by Zangetshumody; 03-06-2014 at 02:53 PM. Reason: towards became toward*
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

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