All animals feel pain. So why do only humans live in dread of suffering?


 
 
 
 
Paul Gauguin, Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889 Paul Gauguin, Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889

Catholicism carries a sense of measure, of balance and proportion. This is evident in the very existence of the church’s liturgical year. We do not land upon this or that mystery of our salvation, of the Lord’s life, on the whim and wit of the preacher. No, in the course of the calendar, we solemnly make our way from expectation to nativity, from mission and preaching to cross and resurrection, and then beyond, to the glory that awaits the final revelation.

Yet, because the liturgical year unfolds within the Eucharist, we know that we are never apart from the whole of Christ. The infant in the manger has come to suffer. The one of the cross is still the innocent child of the virgin. And every moment of Christ’s life is understood in the light of his resurrection and glorification.

When Cardinal Newman preached his noted sermon on the mental sufferings of Christ, he took some comfort knowing that, whatever the result of his efforts, that season had arrived in which “the religious usage of the Church requires it.” But today, that season has not arrived. Lent isn’t yet come.

Yet with a wisdom that outpaces planning committees, the church cycles her readings in themes, so that the first reading and the Gospel dialogue. Today, they both ask us to let go of something fundamental to human life as we know it: fear.

Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?Even should she forget,
I will never forget you (Is 49:14-15).

Humans feel pain, as all animals do. Like all animals, we seek to avoid it. But other creatures do not suffer the mental anguish that accompanies human life. Lacking a consciousness that can imagine (that which is not the case), they do not live in dread. They do not have to beat back the specters, which our creative minds, alone, can summon.

For example, animals do not know that they will someday die. We do, even when we refuse to acknowledge that truth. Many animals suffer pain in birthing, but only a precious few moments pass between the end of pain and a new, more pressing problem for a human mother: presentiment. Handed her newborn infant, she is given something else: care and concern. What will become of my child? What does the future hold? Please God, keep it safe; bring it securely to yourself someday.

Only we humans live in fear of losing our jobs, of seeing our relationships end, of losing our health and independence and, with it, our homes, of losing those whom we love. On the most bitterly cold of days, or deprived for long periods of water, animals do indeed ache, but they do not live with the anxiety that tomorrow will only be more of the same. All animals suffer. Only humans live in dread of suffering.

All animals suffer. Only humans live in dread of suffering.

Whatever efforts we expend to ignore it, human suffering is born of the knowledge that everything that is must give way to what is not. We know that youth will pass, that health will decline, that all, which we call our own, will fall from our hands; that we ourselves will die. Whatever was before me will continue after me, only without me. I do not possess the world; no, I am awash in it. Human presentiment leave us with only two options: faith or psychosis. Either we reach to a surety beyond ourselves or we expend every possible effort ignoring our fate.

Newman’s great insight was that our Lord suffered as any man would suffer, which is to say, that Jesus could, and did, dread his own death. How can this be, since Christ was God, and God cannot fear annihilation? Because, the night before he died, Christ willingly chose his death, chose to embrace sin on our behalf. And what is sin, Newman asks, but the absence, the annihilation of God?

When we sin, only a small portion of God’s good creation turns in upon itself, erodes itself. When Christ, who was God and man, embraced sin on our behalf, the utter fullness of goodness and being did something truly inconceivable. It embraced its own annihilation.

Newman probes the meaning of our Lord’s avowal in the garden, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death.”

There, then, in that most awful hour, knelt the Savior of the world, putting off the defenses of His divinity, dismissing His reluctant Angels, who in myriads were ready at His call, and opening His arms, baring His breast, sinless as He was, to the assault of His foe,—of a foe whose breath was a pestilence, and whose embrace was an agony.

In primordial innocence Christ had preached:

Do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they? (Mt 6:25-26).

Now, in the garden, Newman suggests that Christ opened his mind, as God and man, to the horror that is sin. Christ embraced the most alienated region of human life: our fear. He drank our dread to the dregs.

It is the long history of a world, and God alone can bear the load of it. Hopes blighted, vows broken, lights quenched, warnings scorned, opportunities lost; the innocent betrayed, the young hardened, the penitent relapsing, the just overcome, the aged failing; the sophistry of misbelief, the willfulness of passion, the obduracy of pride, the tyranny of habit, the canker of remorse, the wasting fever of care, the anguish of shame, the pining of disappointment, the sickness of despair; such cruel, such pitiable spectacles, such heartrending, revolting, detestable, maddening scenes; nay, the haggard faces, the convulsed lips, the flushed cheek, the dark brow of the willing slaves of evil, they are all before Him now; they are upon Him and in Him.

Fear is the first fruit of sin. Animals, who have never sinned, do not live in dread. We do. And that is why so much of our life, our God-given potential, is forever cut off from us. Because we cannot believe in the sheer goodness of God.

Sin is what separates our lives from those of Christ and his saints. Within us sin and dread swirl in such a vortex, it is impossible to identify which gave birth to the other. Yet this much we know. The courage Christ preached and the courage with which Christ suffered—even before his torturers arrived—that same courage can and must be ours, because simply to live is to push back against the dread of nothingness, which our faith tells us is…nothing at all.

Readings: Isaiah 49:14-15 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Matthew 6: 24-34

all rights: americamagazine.org …..

via Study: Light from energy saving LED’s may be giving us cancer — Watts Up With That?


From the “law of unintended consequences” department comes this finding, suggesting that the push for eco-friendly energy savings may be doing more harm to us than good. Study links night exposure to blue light with breast and prostate cancer Researchers used images taken by astronauts to evaluate outdoor lighting in Madrid and Barcelona A study […]

via Study: Light from energy saving LED’s may be giving us cancer — Watts Up With That?

via Private Livestock grazing on federal public lands is a privilege — not a right — Straight from the Horse’s Heart


By Erik Molvar as published on The Hill Welfare Ranching is EXACTLY that!!! Recently, the Hage family of central Nevada has become the poster boy for ranchers supposedly victimized by federal law enforcement. But far from being victims of a repressive federal bureaucracy, the Hage family demonstrates the vulnerability of our western public lands to […]

via Private Livestock grazing on federal public lands is a privilege — not a right — Straight from the Horse’s Heart

PETITIONEN UND VIELE LINKS! Stopp dem Hundetöten für Fußball-WM 18 in Russland – RespekTiere-Protest vor dem Konsulat in Salzburg Bitte schreiben auch Sie den russischen Vertretungen in Ihrem Land und bitten Sie sie, sich für eine sofortige Beendigung des Hundetötens einzusetzen


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Stopp dem Hundetöten für Fußball-WM 18 in Russland – RespekTiere-Protest vor dem Konsulat in Salzburg

Noch sind es rund 2 Monate bis zur Fußball-WM 2018; doch unfassbare Grausamkeiten gegen die in den Austragungsorten beheimateten Straßenhunde passieren jetzt gerade; obwohl gut versteckt vor den Augen der Öffentlichkeit dringen immer wieder wahre Horrormeldungen über den Umgang mit den Mitgeschöpfen nach außen! So sollen, ähnlich wie bei den allermeisten Sport-Großereignissen im Osten der letzten Perioden, auch in Russland ganze Schwadrone von Hundefängern ausgesandt worden sein, mit Millionenbeträgen ausgestattet, um ‚dem Problem‘ Herr zu werden (bei der Fußball-EM in der Ukraine, 2012, wurden laut Schätzungen von Peta, www.peta.de, alleine in der Region Donzek rund 7000 Hunde pro Monat ermordet). Warum? Weil sich die Spielorte auf den Besucheransturm der Fußballfans vorbereiten, und hierfür sollen die Städte im neuen Glanz erstrahlen – nie ist die Chance wohl größer für Werbung in eigener Sache als nun…

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Ihre Welpen liegen im Brutkasten Bulldoggen-Mama besucht ihre Babys


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Ihre Welpen liegen im BrutkastenBulldoggen-Mama besucht ihre Babys

Hunde-MamaFoto: ViralPress The Yuta Family

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Beim Anblick des Fotos kann man das Bangen und Sorgen von Kuma spüren. Sie ist eine echte MutterFoto: ViralPress The Yuta Family …..

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Eine Wespe töten kann 5000 Euro kosten Wespen stehen unter Naturschutz, manche sogar unter Artenschutz – sie zu erschlagen kann richtig teuer werden


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Teurer Schlag! Eine Wespe töten kann
5000 Euro kosten

Eine Wespe töten kann 5000 Euro kosten Foto: Shutterstock / irin-k

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Wespen stehen unter Naturschutz, manche sogar unter Artenschutz – sie zu erschlagen kann richtig teuer werden Foto: Shutterstock / irin-k

 

Berlin –  Nach den ersten heißen Tagen sind die Wespen wieder da. Sie fangen an, sich an verwittertem Holz ihre Nester zu bauen. Ihre Königinnen gründen nun neue Staaten.

Diese steht unter Artenschutz, da sie vom Aussterben bedroht ist, sie ist auf der „Roten Liste“.

Auch die in Deutschland am meisten verbreiteten Arten, die „Gemeine“ und die „Deutsche Wespe“, die gern an Kuchen und Gegrilltem mitessen wollen, stehen unter Naturschutz. Tötet man sie ohne Grund, kann das 5000 Euro kosten.der Bußgeldzahlung sind Allergiker, die aus gesundheitlichen Gründen oder gar Lebensgefahr töten….https://www.bild.de/regional/berlin/wespen/toeten-kostet-bis-fuenf-tausend-euro-55482944.bild.html

Reaktionen auf Chicos Tod: Grenze überschritten?


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Hund Chico: Am Montag wurde der Stafforshire-Terrier eingeschläfert.

Hund Chico: Am Montag wurde der Stafforshire-Terrier eingeschläfert. Quelle: Dröse

Hannover

Chico ist tot. Und Wut, Hass und Entrüstung der selbsternannten Tierschützer scheint keine Grenzen mehr zu kennen. Doch haben die Racherufe nach der Einschläferung des Staffordshire-Mischlings überhaupt noch etwas mit Tierliebe zu tun oder ist die Grenze zum Wahn längst überschritten? Die NP suchte Antworten bei Experten.

Die Tierethikerin Ursula Wolf erklärt sich die immer größer werdende Aufmerksamkeit, die Tieren heute zuteil wird, mit einem schlechten Gewissen. Dieses könne bei einigen durch tierisches Elend, etwa in Massentierhaltung, ausgelöst werden. Und das werde durch die Vermenschlichung einzelner Exemplare wettgemacht, so Wolf. Darin zeige sich zudem die immer größer werdende Entfremdung von Mensch und…

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Many heavy pot users suffer severe nausea—and they’ve all landed on the same weird solution | Popular Science


Many heavy pot users suffer severe nausea—and they’ve all landed on the same weird solution
But there’s got to be a better way.

 

By Neel V. Patel April 11, 2018

CHS sufferers almost all wind up taking hot showers.
DepositPhotos
Marijuana is developing quite the reputation for relieving pain without the negative aspects of opioids and other medications, such as addiction or death by overdose. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. A New York Times report last week brings to light one particularly painful and debilitating set of consequences associated too much pot use.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition where heavy marijuana users (those who smoke 20 times a month or more) are frequently wracked with bouts of intense abdominal pain, along with severe nausea and vomiting. And the vast majority of people who experience these symptoms all mysteriously arrive at the same solution.
CHS is still poorly understood, but researchers are making strides in identifying and characterizing its origins. A new study by Joseph Habboushe, an emergency medicine professor at New York University Langone/Bellevue Medical Center, suggests that perhaps one-third of the 8.3 million heavy users in the U.S. who present with nausea experience CHS. And there’s one thing almost all of them have in common: Their incessant need for hot showers.
In a separate study, Cecilia Sorensen, a physician at the University of Colorado Hospital at the Anschutz medical campus in Aurora, and her colleagues found that about 97.5 percent of the participants in their study used hot showers to alleviate CHS symptoms. “As a clinician in the emergency room, when I have a patient who has CHS, I ask them if they take a lot of hot showers, and the reaction is instantly like, ‘how did you know?!’ It’s become a useful diagnostic for CHS,” she says.
Chances are good you love a hot shower too. They can be soothing, immeasurably comfortable, and a great way to urge your muscles to relax. But when it comes to CHS, hot showers provide a much more specific and intense effect: a nearly complete reduction of bodily pain and nausea. Many patients report those symptoms quickly coming back once the shower is over or the hot water goes out.
What’s going on here? The key, according to Sorensen, is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids and their receptor proteins are broadly spread throughout the nervous system to regulate hunger, memory, pain-sensation, and more. The ECS is particularly important to—you guessed it—mediating the effects of cannabis on the body and brain.

“These receptors are all over our gut,” says Sorensen. “They’re in our intestines, our colon, and they have a role in regulating gastric and intestinal motility to control the propulsion of food and fluids.”

According to Sorensen, consuming too much THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—messes with some of these receptors. “This alters your gut motility. Anytime your gastric motility is obstructed, you get really severe abdominal pain and nausea. It’s a severe, spasmodic pain that basically results in overstimulation.”
While Sorensen and her team aren’t completely sure why hot showers set things back to normal, what they do know is that cannabinoid receptors are located in the blood vessels that service the gut from the spleen. When an individual starts to experience CHS, these receptors go haywire as well, leading to a lot of blood rushing to the gut. The heat from a hot shower causes another set of blood vessels closer to the skin to dilate, shunting blood away to other tissue. That’s where CHS symptom relief comes in.
This mechanism is similar to over-the-counter capsaicin cream. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers, inducing a “hot” effect on the skin. When it comes to CHS relief, capsaicin cream is not as effective as a hot shower, but Sorensen has seen it used on CHS patients in the emergency room.
Habboushe has doubts about the gut-shunt theory, and thinks the observed effects of capsaicin cream point to the role of capsaicin receptors on the skin in providing CHS relief. “It’s almost definitely mediated through that receptor, rather than a change in blood flow,” he says. “If you talk to patients, it’s not more water, it’s hot water—sometimes scalding hot water where they burn themselves.”
Both doctors emphasize these are just theories, and there’s still no concrete explanation for why hot water works.

What is clear is that a shower is a poor solution. The vomiting and nausea induced by CHS already leaves patients hungry and dehydrated. A hot shower only exacerbates that problem, which can eventually see them rushed to the emergency room with kidney failure and related complications.
Problems can also arise if patients become too reliant on hot showers for relief. Sorensen recalls one story of a patient overcome by pain and nausea during an afternoon drive. “He needed a hot shower so bad, that he pulled into a local fire station and went in and begged for a hot shower!” Habboushe has run into patients who start to boil their own water once their hot water heaters are tapped out. “The pain is just so severe for these patients [that] they’ll try anything.”
The medicinal benefits of marijuana—alleviating pain, preventing harrowing epileptic seizures, and perhaps even treating Alzheimer’s, can’t be understated. For many, cannabis is key to living a comfortable, healthy life. Unfortunately, a small segment of them might not have the physiological wherewithal to handle regular use. And for those individuals, “this isn’t a subtle thing,” says Habboushe. “It’s severe, where patients will tell me, ‘doc, I don’t know what you’re talking about right now, I just want to get back into shower.’ It’s something real, and unfortunately it’s very, very likely [caused by] something in marijuana.”
Correction: A previous version of this article conflated the findings of two separate studies. This has been corrected.

 

via Many heavy pot users suffer severe nausea—and they’ve all landed on the same weird solution | Popular Science

Here’s an amazing new picture of the Lagoon Nebula to celebrate Hubble’s 28th birthday


Here’s an amazing new picture of the Lagoon Nebula to celebrate Hubble’s 28th birthday

Happy birthday to the best space telescope ever! Love, PopSci.

lagoon nebula

A visible light image of the Lagoon Nebula (aka Messier 8 or M8) with the bright star Herschel 36 at the center.

On a clear summer night in the northern hemisphere you can go out to your backyard with a pair of binoculars and look towards the constellation Sagittarius, and you just might see a smudge in the night sky. That’s the Lagoon Nebula, also known as Messier 8, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light years away from us here on Earth.