On this day, one week before the start of a new semester at the local university, I’d like to address something that all college students will be faced with throughout the coming year . . . the ongoing battle of good versus evil.
It’s so pervasive, and long lived, that the terms we have to speak of it are myriad – yet probably none approach the universal use and recognition of “black and white”. Black – the color that represents the equal presence of all colors; white – the color that represents the absence of all colors. Those terms have nearly eternally been recognized as the short-hand reference to the battle between good and evil. Yet, I have a simple observation to point out that doesn’t get near the attention that it merits.
Good cannot exist in the absence of evil, and evil cannot exist in the absence of good.
Consider the typical, fully charged, battery. You pick it up, hold it in your hand, and know that it has the power to potentially do wonderful things. But it will do NOTHING until it is plugged into a circuit. Electricity is just a potential until it has somewhere to go. The same is true with an idea. Thus, it does not matter what your idea of a better universe is (and I guarantee that someone out there considers it to be evil), it NEEDS the presence of an oppositional idea to have somewhere to go, something to do.
Good and evil need each other to serve any purpose for those of us who invest time in thinking about them. Thus, it is an eternal waste of effort to invest yourself in the eradication of whatever idea is opposed to yours. I guarantee two things. If you succeed, it will be the death of your goal, because your goal will no longer serve a purpose. And , even if you consider that to be a fair trade, there are others out there who feel the same about beating your idea.
This apples universally – most especially to religion and politics. Thus, we need to all take a step back, a deep breath, and consider from a point of genuine sanity that what we honestly need is not a victory, but the ability to embrace in tolerance the ideas we most hate.
For those who enjoy reading anything that is not required for a course, or for work, there is one book I will recommend you read before this calendar year (2018) is completed:
GNOSTICISM: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing – by Stephan A. Hoeller
Before I give you the quote, I should explain that in the video game this comes from, the characters call their world “Thedas”. So, in the quote, every time you read Thedas, you can substitute Earth, and see if you agree that it applies to us.
“There is a danger to the natural order. Legends walked Thedas once, things of might and wonder. Their passing has left us all the lesser.”
“Yes! Is Thedas so full of wonders that we should leave them to die, one by one? Mankind blunders through the world, crushing what it doesn’t understand: elves, dragons, magic… the list is endless. We must slow the tide or be left with nothing more than the mundane. This I know to be true.”
Both of those quotes are verbalized by the character Morrigan, in the game Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Today is the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, and most people will sit down at some time today to elaborate meals shared with someone they care about, in celebration of the holiday.
For me, today has special significance because I was recently reminded of someone that I considered a dear friend when I first moved to the St. Louis metro area. It was December, 1994, when we met, and she was one of my superiors at the job I moved there for. No, she was more of a mentor, because we both did the same type of work there. Her name was Francine.
Last Saturday, my wife saw a Facebook post by one of Francine’s relatives, announcing that Francine is dying of cancer. The relative used the phrase “has finally admitted that she is . . . ” which says to me that Francine has been sick for some time. She was expected to die within days, but I’ve heard no update since.
Anyway, this got me to thinking of the many people I knew and liked at that job – and how many of them have died of cancer. Not many have died, but to a person, ALL who have died did so of cancer. What does that say about the place where we worked? Most died while still working there.
So, today I’m giving thanks for the MANY wonderful people who have touched my life over the last 55 years. Some had minor appearances in my story, some inspired whole chapters. They were all special, and I’m forever grateful to have known them. It will be a while, but eventually I will see them again. The great video game of LIFE always respawns with a new character.
Here is another piece of wisdom gleaned from a video game. This was found in the “Rise of the Tomb Raider” game, and was attributed to a disciple of a “prophet”.
“No man has ever told the truth about God, for no man can ever know.
There is more sacred in the heart of a farmer or soldier than in the hearts of lords and emperors.
We are all of us deceived by those that claim to speak on behalf of the creator.
No man speaks for Him, for His voice is the sky, the water, and the flow of the world.”
Healthy People 2020 and The Decade of Vaccines – is an article that describes an official government policy 35 years in the making, with the ultimate goal to justify a nanny state government take-over of nearly every aspect of your personal life. All in the name of “public health issues”. You can read the full article here:
I have another quote to share this week. It’s been all over the place – the earliest reference I can find to it is in the 1932 movie “The Mummy” – and it was used again in the updated remake with Tom Cruise last year. In the latter movie, it was attributed as being an Egyptian Prayer of Resurrection, but I can’t find independent confirmation of that.
“Death is but the doorway to new life. We live today, we shall live again. In many forms we shall return.”
I’ve had an idea for a post rattling around in my head for weeks now, but I never thought I had it together enough to write a blog with it. Part of the problem is that I haven’t slept well in ages, it seems. I go to bed, and a half hour later my body hurts so bad that I get back up. Or – I have a migraine and don’t sleep anyhow. When I do sleep, I get perhaps 3 hours before I roll over on my hip or shoulder, and wake myself up.
Anyhow, I decided to just toss this out there, and see what everyone thinks. Please forgive that it isn’t very polished.
It’s about Illusions. I was a youngster when I first read Richard Bach’s “Johnathan Livingston Seagull” – and that was probably my first brush with Illusions as a concept of reality in this world. A follow-up book by the same author was “Illusions: the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”. I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I think this world is not real – but recently I started to ponder the deeper question: If it isn’t real, why do so many believe that it is?
As I pondered that question – I began to realize that my video games held a clue, even if accidentally. THEY are created illusions, and people actually pay money to dive into them for entertainment. As I looked at this, I realized that each illusion world was supported by MANY other, lesser, illusions built into the world, that define what the world is and how it works. When people accept the rules of that world, playing the game becomes “real” to them for as long as they are plugged into it.
Which leads to a supplemental question about OUR world – what illusions exist to define it, that are accepted by so many people as to make it “real” to them?
Over the last couple of weeks, I have attempted to formulate a list of such illusions. I don’t really know the best way to present this, so I’m going to just make it a list.
Dignity, Morality, Nobility, Organized Religion, family, society, nations, governments, power, success, wealth, health, pain, illness, possessions, duty, honor, sacrifice, obligation.
There is a proof to the fact that these things are illusions – just challenge someone else with the idea that one of them isn’t real and watch their reaction. If they bought into it, they will become livid over the suggestion that they are wrong – but they can’t PROVE they are right. They can only prove they are willing to use force to make you withdraw the accusation.