Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In Search of Cosmic Sanity

I'm continuing my Life Lessons in a Time of War series at Daily Kos here. I'll keep it up until the end of the week, and then I hope that some folks will have seen enough to order a copy of the book (see graphic at sidebar).

Links of the Day:

Merope of the Pleiades is the Astronomy Picture of the Day. When the news (or my reaction to it) becomes simply too intense to bear, I spend some time with stuff like this, and it seems to help deliver some perspective—a dose of cosmic sanity, if you will.

Richard Gere reviews the history of ethnic cleansing in Tibet, in the context of the opening of the new Chinese railway between Tibet and China. As I've said before, if the Chinese put half the mindpower, muscle, and money into a substantive pursuit of world leadership as they waste on their paranoia over folks who like to meditate, I'd probably be assembling sneakers for two bucks a day, right here in New York. That's the direction we're headed in, anyway.

This lady at the BBC nails the core of the story coming out of the G8 about Bush's expletive-laced rant on Hezbollah. Watch the video right through the pate and Moet, to the commentary afterward. Personally, I don't care if Dub uses foul language at table (at least he can pronounce it correctly); but is this shit dinner conversation? What will the servants think? You know, the press?

The Evacuation of Beirut: I couldn't help but recall those helicopters over the Embassy in Saigon, thirty-odd years ago...How is it that we seem so incompetent at learning from history? Is there a natural principle involved—could it be true that, as Harlan Ellison once observed, "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity."?

Deficient Brain has some photography from the new war.

That's all. It is very difficult to be either humorous or objective about this stuff, this moment we're in. I teach that every darkness is penetrable—I wrote an entire book on the point. But this one we're entering now seems especially thick and black and poisoned with the fecal stench of Power. There is no human institution, government, or policy that will deliver us from this hot and rigid night of destruction. How could we have allowed the presence of an active psychosis to become the primary job qualification for world leadership? Look at them all—Bush and Blair at their gilded dinner table; Osama in his vacant cave and Nasrallah on the run in the desert; Olmert within his iron outpost of mindless rage—do you see or sense anything but madness?

They leave the charred corpses of children behind them, all over the world, and they sip another glass of Moet or produce another video or photo-op, filled with psychotic rant and a petrified ideology.

It is not madness to speak to a god that no one else around you may be able to see or feel; it is only lunacy to kill or oppress others in its name. Every one of these lunatic killers named above has murdered in the name of a favored god, and thus driven the real thing further and further from the heart of humanity. Wherever group violence is done, god departs. I cannot prove this to you; I can only ask you to feel it for yourself. For that is the only way I can see that this darkness may be penetrated, this moment in history redeeemed, and our home planet preserved for the generation to come.

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One more note of more personal moment: my blogging partner in this space, Terry McKenna, will be missing from Daily Rev for awhile. He has to take care of a medical problem, and is likely to miss a few months in his usual Monday slot here. Terry is a personal friend as well as my co-author here. We don't always agree on the substance we write about—he's a lifelong Republican and I tend to lean leftward on public matters—but Terry has added a depth, focus, and variety to this blog that was sorely wanting when I was writing it alone, over a year ago. More to the point, he's just a great fellow, and I wish you knew him as I do. So if you've read his work on Mondays with McKenna and admired it half as much as I have, perhaps you could send your best wishes, thoughts, or prayers for his quick and complete recovery. You don't have to believe anything for it to help—in fact, I think it's better if you don't—just wish him well, and I assure you, the message will get through.

Best of luck, T: the next round of drinks is on me.

2 comments:

Miss Bitty said...

"That's all. It is very difficult to be either humorous or objective about this stuff, this moment we're in. I teach that every darkness is penetrable—I wrote an entire book on the point. But this one we're entering now seems especially thick and black and poisoned with the fecal stench of Power. There is no human institution, government, or policy that will deliver us from this hot and rigid night of destruction."

I find myself hanging onto something a commenter said on another blog about a year and a half ago, just a few months after the 2004 election:

"Take heart. All empires contain the seed of their own undoing. The arrogance of this administration is that seed."

(quoted in this post: http://missbitty.blogspot.com/2005/02/reminder.html)

I want very much to believe this, that evil cannot sustain itself indefinitely, that 10 years from now we will look back on this time with sadness, but from a vantage point of a better Earth than the one in which we currently reside. Surely, it will be better, surely this madness cannot last much longer...?

It has been increasingly harder to believe that, that this admininstration and it's terrible, terrible consquences will ever be undone. What price will we pay, in the end? What price will the world pay, or our children, or their children? By the time we awake from our collective stupor, will the damage be irreversible?

I find myself continually on the cusp of despair at things ever getting better. As an optimist by nature, and an idealist at heart, this is a state of being I have a tremendously difficult time getting through.

But in the end, I have to believe that it can be undone, that there is light somewhere to lead us back, though we can't see it now. I have to believe that, in order to keep going and keep jumping back in the fray. Not because I alone can change the world, but because the only way it's going to happen is if we try. And if not me, then who?

I guess I don't really have a point, other than to nod my head in agreement.

Brian Donohue said...

As always, Miss B., your comments are wise and gratefully received. Last year, I wrote and self-published a book called "Drinking From the Darkness" (previewable here), which was intended as a guide for individuals navigating dark times. I've got a 12 year old daughter, so that's my vested interest in seeing a transformative movement in this culture. She will have to grow up into the world we've made today, and so far it isn't promising. But I have a feeling that can all change, and I outline a few high-level views of how it might happen in the last chapter of that book. The reason I say that no human institution can do it is because I feel as if nothing less than a dramatic transformation within individuals will really work. As I've mentioned before here, the way to the universal is through the individual heart; societies are transformed when each person is changed from within.