The depths of anguish are unplumbable. Learning is fraught with knowledge. The bliss of ignorance is attractive. There is no sanctuary for ignorance, no safe place to ignore the facts. The bliss is dangerous. Somehow, the mass of humanity must be imbued with the facts all at once. A snap of a magician’s fingers would do it. God’s overwhelming of human minds with a total and perfect consciousness of all that has ever happened would surely plunge everyone into the depths of anguish do deeply we would suffocate and vanish from the universe. Can that be the only way to stop the unconscionable behavior of human beings?
Anguish pulls me deeper as knowledge come to light in my mind. I study every morning with rare exceptions caused by the exigencies of life. It is 2020 years since Jesus, arguably. Life today bears almost the exact same look as it did when Jesus walked. There are more people now, an estimated 7 billion. Estimates range around 300 million when Jesus was alive. After all that time, people have not changed much. The world they live in has changed a lot while affecting people in many ways mostly imperceptible.
Mankind seems to be slowly grinding the world into dust as they grind ahead and then fall back repeatedly. I think there is a slow advancement in mankind, but the slightest moat of dust seems to have the power to erase it instantly. How long can it continue? Questions demand attention despite aversion to them.
Question increase as facts come to light. I sit here trying to splash my feelings and thoughts across the keyboard. They assail my being with inspiration mated with anguish. I learn things. Horrible things. They are not the deeds of hideous monsters from fairy tales or fiction. They are things that humans have done. I would vomit my heart into my hands and sooth it if I could. Strangely, but not surprisingly, my heart is well equipped to cope with the anguish. It is simply part of me to be able to feel all feelings within my invincible bliss. Without it I would probably not be learning as I am. Something would hold me away from it. Some guiding hand, some subconscious reflex, some better consciousness of my soul. Instead, I feel and think a guiding hand is showing me. A hand that guided me to the bliss that makes it possible for me to withstand the knowledge. I feel God’s hand upon my shoulder, but I feel too small to even try to know him. My little mind doesn’t feel up to the task. I rely on love.
I may not be able to know God, but I have love. I can realize God more as time with love unfolds the universe before me. His love enfolds me at all times. Nothing can take that from me. Love became part of me, and my life embarked in a new direction. It feels like a journey to knowing God better. Knowing the facts of history must be necessary. Why else would they be coming so hard and fast? I ponder these things and more this morning in response to an accidental lesson I would like to share. Even if none dare read my words, the writing of them feels right to me.
I was studying a book by Walter Lippmann written sometime around 1914, Public Opinion. I have read another by him, Drift and Mastery. Public Opinion opens with a story that mentions the trial of Madame Caillaux for the murder of Gaston Calmette. I couldn’t understand what I was reading, so I went to the computer and looked up Madame Caillaux. It turned out to be an historical event. I had thought Lippmann had invented the whole thing to develop a point. No. He had made up a story that included the historical event. Well, the event led me along a path of discovery that ripped at my heart. One thing leads to another when you don’t pass over something you don’t understand, as I do.
Mr. Lippmann was writing his book a few years prior to World War I. The world will never be the same after that war. The trial of Madame Caillaux, in which she was acquitted even though she did actually murder Mr. Calmette, reflects the general mood of the times. I think mankind would benefit greatly by gaining a better comprehension of that part of time. The Industrial Revolution was pounding down the track of history and the world was on the verge of “the war to end all wars,” or so they thought. Trying to better comprehend Mr. Lippmann’s words lead me into more research about World War I. The anguish overcame me quickly.
I inadvertently, though it is my way, followed the information by looking up everything that seemed to need comprehension I lacked in sufficient quantity and quality. I saw a reference to emigration in the material regarding the conflict between the belligerents of the war. I don’t remember why I clicked on the word. It was a link. You click on it and another page opens on the screen. I like to check out such links. This one opened by eyes to horrors. Of course, the links about WW I did too. But, for some reason, this one hit me harder. If you are not well acquainted with the history of WW I, you are part of the problem. History must be known by everyone if we are to survive. It wasn’t that long ago. You will understand how relevant it is to your life if you follow this writing and/or if you do the study regarding WW I. At least, I hope you will understand. That may be a “pie-in-sky” foolish hope. I realize that. But I can hope.
As I poured over article about WW I this morning, I read a lot about the various people and nations involved. That led me to the link to emigration. The word itself required deeper understanding. So the next thing I knew, I was reading about “population transfer.” That is when it hit me.
Population transfer is a part of our history. Believe it or not! Humans have forced entire populations of like people to leave their homes. Look it up! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_transfer Don’t you dare not look. You are part of the world I live in. We are obligated to each other whether we like it or not.
Today is unlike any other day that ever came before. But there is one think that has not changed and probably cannot change. We all live right here together on this planet. You make up a part of the world, as do I. Your contribution and mine are the business of both. We seem to like to pretend that we have our own business and that mine is mine and yours is yours. Reality includes you and I. So, our very existence makes the world we both are forced to inhabit. If you follow the logic, even if you move to a distant planet, you would still be part of the universe, of reality. You cannot be out of my reality nor I yours. The effect we have on one another varies, but the fact of effect cannot be abrogated. Isn’t that a fact we should be able to assimilate profoundly enough to join together in common cause? I think it is, but reading about population transfer and “push and pull factors” tells me joining has not been the way for too long already.
My heart aches with the knowledge of historical population transfers. As a man of Cherokee ancestry, I feel, somehow, a deep pain when I think of the Trail of Tears. Reading about the ancient Assyrian population transfer of about three thousand years ago, the 800, 000 Albanian deportations of 1999, and 12 million Germans expulsed after WW II https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_and_expulsion_of_Germans_(1944%E2%80%931950) tears my heart. I commiserate even with the dead. I cannot help it, nor do I intend to. I see the lack of such commiseration as one of the greatest crimes possible. But when I live in a nation that is the recipient of massive migration, the relevance of the crime is immediate. As the clues accumulate indicating human capacity for horror even worse than population transfers, relevance weighs upon every living thing and the earth, too.
The urgency of our time is not being recognized fast enough. Especially in the United States of America. The other nations of the world are not known well enough to me. I cannot, therefore, know how fast the urgency is being recognized there. I think, though, that they are at least similarly unaware. There has been a homogenization of human social groups that holds promise of greatness while at the same time a possibility of total destruction. The world has become the product of the characteristics of the human race.
In the popular history of mankind, true or not, the population is said to have steadily increased from about a million 12,000 years ago to about seven billion today. I personally think the history of mankind is still incompletely known. Twelve thousand years of continual activity by increasing numbers of people has transformed the surface of the land, the composition of the water and the air. Even outer space is littered with things put there by humans. The planets of our solar system now bear the marks and burden of human effort. If we had our way, we would already be doing the same to planets orbiting other stars. We are poised on the razor thin edge between survival and extinction. You are not entitled to your own facts. You are obligated to know the truth. There is plenty of room for different opinions even when all know the truth about everything. I have some difficulty rationalizing them, but I can entertain the possibility of differences of taste. Given the fact of “identity,” differences must be part of reality. However, I see not way to abrogate the exigencies our near identical existence demand. When taken in their full measure, the differences between the divisions humans have constructed between the many forms of life are almost trivial. “Life” is clearly a commonality we all share. I would go so far as to conjecture that matter and energy comprise all we know. What is the difference between a rock and a whale? Not much. We think of the differences because we are psychologically bound. Our perceptions are the foundations of our discernment between rocks and whales. We like to give ourselves profundity because we are conscious. The possibility that most of our consciousness is subconsciousness seem to have little influence on our self-aggrandizement. And this completes the circle.
People have easily available evidence of massive and horrible human behavior. We have forced entire population from their homes. We have hurt children for some form of twisted pleasure. We have killed 108 million of us in the twentieth century alone. According to an New York Times article, in the past 3400 years only 268, or eight percent, of them have been entirely at peace. We have unearthed mass-graves in Germany near Herxheim that dates back to about 5000 BC. There are more, and older. Humans have a horrible history as we now understand it, again, not a very complete understanding as I see it. Living today is more hell than joy for far too many people. We are killing everything that lives and destroying everything around us. We are now in what scientists call the “Holocene extinction event.” For nearly every human on earth killing animals and eating them is done with almost total detachment. The plants are disregarded so thoroughly and given so little consideration we are facing a change in the atmosphere that could destroy the entire human species as it destroys all other forms of life. I can continue in this until I make myself sick. It is necessary to recognize reality, for we are balanced on a razor thin ridge. We will go one way or the other.
On one side is an end. On the other a beginning. After some million years of human development, we have finally reached a time when we can begin. I do not want to be explicit about the beginning. Most people would not be able to understand it if I tried. I can barely conceive it. The ability to communicate it is still beyond me. But communication is a two-way activity. If I could communicate the beginning with superb articulation, who would be able to understand it. I can say things using vocabulary that is precise without one person knowing what I am saying. How, then, am I to communicate something that is till unclear to me? It is imperative that we all understand a lot of things that are very lacking.
I look to God. As I wrote at the beginning of this Christmas Day article, I hope he will guide all to a total and perfect consciousness. I mean to communicate a quickness. It seems to me that the entire universe has been working toward that very denouement for at least billions of years. That is fine, but I want it yesterday. I would love to have some company in the bliss that I enjoy.
Not to toot my own horn, I have no company. I don’t know of anyone who shares my outlook. I have lived for fifty years in ways that no one else does. I have found various people who embody some part that is as I. I do not know loneliness, but I enjoy company. I fear, though. I am invested in life. I seek the answer in life, not in death. Here again, I can continue down this line far. Suffice it to say, I fear the killing of life even though I think there is no way to end it. Death is but a change of the old for the new. Still, I fear it because I want to attain in this life. I want everyone to. If not in this life, it will come in another. I have no fear that it will not. Love can make fear an ally. Allies work together. Love is still the answer.