Wednesday, January 10, 2007

An Irrational Call for Help

The other day I wrote how ignorance can be as painful a torture as physical punishment.

Consider how we've been treated since the vast majority of us cast a vote against war and its escalation: we have been answered with disdain, with troop surge, with the broadening of the arc of destruction (into Somalia), and most of all, with ignorance. In this, we are one with the innocent people of Iraq, who risked their lives to go and vote, and were rewarded for their bravery with a puppet government ruled from behind the scenes by assassins and fundamentalist warlords. They, too, cast a vote for peace and were answered with war.

Is this what it means to practice democracy in the 21st century? A purple thumb, drowned in a sea of blood? Or a peaceful rising of the grassroots, watered with the pesticide of Roveian arrogance? Can a shred of light still flicker amid this implosive darkness?

I think it can. But we must give the new Democratic majority more than our signatures to petitions and letters to the editor, important as these things truly are. We must give them, and one another, our energy.

I have lived near 50 years on this planet, and cannot think of a moment of more urgency and transformative potential than this. Perhaps you have had the experience of being so bottomed out in your personal life—perhaps from a divorce, the loss of a job, a death in the family, or some other cataclysmic personal loss—of feeling that there was no fight left in you, not an ounce of resistance remaining. So you dropped it all; released what little was left and allowed yourself to be led, guided by forces that you had perhaps never accounted for, or even imagined. Maybe that was the time when things began to turn around, when you began to see a dawn amid the darkness.

If you've ever had such an experience, then you know where our nation, our world, is now. Ask, then, for it what you once received in your life: the ability to purge the last poison of arrogance, the final few drops of the congealed blood of destruction; to finally release its iron grip on the stone sword of rectitude and allow itself to be led by the pure energy of awareness, the light of peace.

For all the ranting and spouting and venting I do within this space, I truly have no answers—not for Congress, not for the President, not for the world. In the end, I have only questions, an unceasing examination of ego, and an urgent and desperate appeal of the heart to a universe whose living depth I have but superficially touched; whose breadth of time and space I have not traveled; whose endless life I cannot understand.

I can feel its presence, though, if but weakly, ephemerally; and so I call on it in the naked sincerity of humility to help us all, the creatures of this endangered and benighted Earth.

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