Friday, September 23, 2016

WISE MAN'S BURDEN

 
Chinese city built for population relocation from rural to urban life.

The racial and economic upheaval in Charlotte, North Carolina, is symptomatic of the denial of the major issues of our time. The denial by media. The denial by national governments. The denial by international agencies. To social justice warriors and rioters, I say, "I understand your anger and frustration, but you are terribly near-sighted."

Looking at the big picture at the end of an eventful human life is painful. Wisdom is wasted on the old. Youth is wasted on the young. Some things haven't changed from the dawn of human time.

Opening your eyes to the real state of your planet and your species is frustrating. Each of us is powerless to actually turn the stampede of the herd. Kings and presidents alike have learned this over the course of human history. Lincoln sat in Washington through years of powerlessness over the massacre of civil war. American Indians watched powerlessly as their land was taken by the endless numbers of aggressive migrants who flooded in from East to West. Europeans experience a similar fate, seemingly karmic after centuries of vicious invasion and colonization.
 
Looking at yourself as one mortal animal in a species of extinguishable animals is an uncomfortable prospect for most human beings. The ages have given our species free time in longer life spans with evolved brains to construct defenses against consciousness of physical reality. All human systems from religion to politics are abstract constructs of human brains, not of some immortal Universal intelligence (god). We have elevated ourselves to the status of preternatural beings, but we are just as vulnerable as any other species to failure. At this moment, we are more vulnerable than some others.
 
The desperation to remain deluded is obvious. ISIS members are so desperate to be justified in their human construct of how things should be that they viciously kill anyone who challenges their delusion. While some of us in the Euro-based West shake our heads at this, we must also admit that our own ancestors went through the same vicious depth of depravity 500 years ago. The periodic resurgence of religious and political fundamentalism still retards progress in our societies. This clinging to the delusions that separate us from the rest of life on the planet threatens our survival.
 
"Progressives" in the U.S. and Europe now justify violence and fundamentalist religion. This is actually regressive. These same people will not realistically address overpopulation and environmental degradation. They continue to reproduce just because they "want a baby". They drive SUV's and pickups. They support governmental policies and media-fueled causes that deepen divisions and poverty in society. "Conservatives" in the U.S. and Europe are even more removed from reality, because they are aligned with those who are most comfortable in the status quo. They own the media which fuel conformist delusions for their own sakes.
 
Aging for the conscious mind is a master's course in Life. Aging while non-religious, scientific, non-heterosexual and childless sometimes feels like gliding above human delusions on the winds of natural transformation, like a butterfly who has broken from its cocoon with the daunting awareness of its imminent death. The relentless urge to cry out to those whose lives are immersed in trivial battles and self-gratifications reaps scorn and abuse if not controlled with practiced patience. Patience is wisdom, but it comes with a price of solitary suffering. This is a wise man's burden.
 

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