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Today is my Birthday, and here’s a little, true story concerning it (that you can unbelieve). Two Photos…

33 comments

[First, a few quick notes: 1. Albert Einstein, a vegetarian, and pacifist, had some of the best ideas about how to end all wars. For instance, he advocated countries systematically, in an intelligent and coordinated fashion, exchanging military personal on an equal basis, thereby making invasions into other countries (because of nefarious goals) rather impossible. But people don’t tend to listen to pacifists.
2. Most people just do not see the gravity of certain things, the seriousness of certain important things; they are oblivious, conform and fall in line, and life passes them by… and the many miracles never happen.]
3. This may not have much to do with anything, but here are what i hear as lyrics in the YouTube video of the Dharma for One song, as sung by Jethro Tull (live) at the Isle of Wright Festival. (This song, played in their first album, did not originally have any words/lyrics.)

Dharma, seek and you will find
Truth within your mind, Dharma.
Dharma, each to his own we say,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
Dharma, mad-time confusion burns,
Seek-money never learns, Dharma.
Truth is like freedom, it doesn’t fool me,
Being true to yourself, never think that you’re free.
Dharma will come eventually, Tao.
Dharma, Dharma…
Dharma, each to his own we sing,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
_________________________________________________________________________

Today is my birthday. I was born on November 4th, 1951. When i was the age to be eligible to be drafted (or not) concerning the Vietnam war, i was very concerned about what my draft number — according to the U.S.A. Draft Lottery — would be. I was (and still am) a pacifist and was not at all interested in going to war; i am a vegetarian; i don’t even care to contribute to the killing of animals. The lower the draft number that one is assigned, out of 365 (366), the higher the chances of you being drafted. Draft numbers were selected and assigned, via a Draft Lottery, according to your date of birth; the Draft Lottery, which was held to determine the draft status for my age-group, was held on December 1, 1970. So what was my draft number — assigned to my date of birth — after the Draft Lottery was completed? It was 39. I detested that number. I still detest it. It, being a very low number, meant that i definitely would be selected to go to the war. I was very disquieted about my “very draftable” draft number of 39. Circumstances being what they were, i went to college, where a student deferment was applicable. Later, when student deferments were terminated, i had to — because of my low 39 daft number — submit extensive paperwork requesting conscientious objector status.

So, while in college, around the time that i was becoming a vegetarian, i was visiting a friend of mine in his dormitory room. He and i were both avid fishermen; we would often go fishing together (on the weekends). On that particular day, my friend was not feeling well, so he could not go fishing with me (after i had invited him to). Right before i left his room, he gave me — following our brief discussion about music — a large Jethro Tull LP record album that i had never heard or seen before; it was the first album that the group had ever made. Since i liked the group, i thanked him for lending me the album; i left his dormitory room, and put the album on my bed, face up. (I did not look at the back of the album cover.) I went fishing.

I went fishing, alone, at the campus lake. As i fished, i began feeling immensely connected with the fish. One began seeing them as not being separate from what one was. I began seeing their pain as my pain… (or, rather, the “I” was absent and one was everything that was around). Around the same time at the lake, i began feeling like someone or something was watching the fishing; it was a very definite feeling, and i felt very embarrassed to be “seen” fishing (although no one was physically around).

I went back to my dormitory room, without any fish. After a short while, after relaxing a bit, i went over to the record album, that was on my bed, that my friend had given to me, looked at it and (when about to play it) turned it around to look at the back cover. The following is a picture of the album’s back cover. The album, released in the U.S. in February of 1969, is titled “This Was.”

This Was … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

33 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. First of all, Happy Birthday! And thank you for sharing your story. You are an awesome gift to this world and I am grateful for your life.

    Reply

  2. Firstly I wish you a Very Happy Birthday! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Secondly, thank you for sharing this story, which is a fascinating read. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  3. Happy Birthday, and thanks for the view back – myself sharing some the concerns and fears of the Viet Nam draft. Some will win, some will lose, and if you lose you’ll only lose your life…. sentiments of the time, vaguely recalled. M !

    Reply

  4. Happy Birthday! I loved the part of the story when you went fishing and got it – what happens to them happens to us…. I evidently came in with it – never recall a time when I couldn’t identify with animal suffering.

    Reply

  5. happy birthday, dear. hope it will be special and meaningful. your stories are amazing like you and thank you for refreshing my memory. hope you continue to find peace and allow your big, generous heart time to rest. love you with all my heart,

    Reply

  6. Like you, I was part of that generation that lived with the anxiety of the draft lottery, and all that went with it. I’m happy that you went fishing, didn’t go to war, and are with us now to celebrate another birthday. I’ve been thinking of you and hoping all is going well. Here’s to many, many more years of caring for the earth and sharing your experiences.

    Reply

  7. Happy Birthday Tom and many more! I did not understand how the draft lottery worked, so thank you for the explanation and I understand your loathing of the number 39. I am glad you were able to thwart being drafted due to having a legitimate conscientious objector status.

    Reply

  8. Happy birthday Tom, I was in a very similar state of mind and feeling very concerned that day in 1970 … I was born in 1951 too and was-am a pacifist and was very much anti war, anti draft and anti violence of any sort. My number that day was 329 and any good luck I felt was clouded by the reality that so many were not lucky.

    Reply

  9. Have a great birthday! I really enjoyed your story. I think Albert Einstein had the right idea and as a pacifist it saddens me more efforts for peace are not made โ˜ฎ๏ธ

    Reply

  10. Happy Belated Birthday, Tom. There was a bit of synchronicity with the album cover. I think it’s crazy that we try to teach our children not to hit one another then send them out to kill one another. I want it to stop.

    Reply

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