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
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’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.
Today is April 5th, 2017. I wouldn’t (quite) call this a major breakthrough in my understanding of myself, but mostly that is because I don’t see how this can lead to anything. But, I do have an idea.
I had a dream while I was sleeping last night in which I wrote something bemoaning the state of politics in the US. In the dream, I specifically used this statement: “There are no liberals or conservatives in US government. There are only those who are greedy or despots, and there are plenty of both in both parties.”
That needs some explanation, especially in this era of hyper-partisan politics. What I mean is that there are those who went to Washington for the ability to enrich themselves financially, or there are those who think their idea of an ideal government is so great that it is okay to use the power of government (force) to compel those who disagree to submit. As of this writing, I don’t see anyone in Washington who doesn’t fit into one or the other group. There hasn’t been anyone in Washington, to the best of my knowledge, who didn’t belong in one of those groups FOR OVER 30 YEARS.
I’m not just talking about elected officials, either. Every non-elected bureaucrat who works in Washington is in one group or the other. Every Presidential appointee is in one group or the other.
The longevity of this partisanship in Washington is infecting every facet of society. Christians think it’s okay to use the 1st Amendment to compel atheists to attend SOME form of church. The GLBT crowd think it’s alright to use the force of law to compel some form of “equal treatment” from those who do not want to associate with them. Liberals think they are being “tolerant” when they write laws that compel submission from conservatives. Conservatives think they are looking out for themselves and their families when they empower businesses and churches to exercise greater influence and control.
EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES needs to learn the meaning of TOLERANCE. We can not build a more tolerant society by empowering an ever-growing, ever more powerful, government.
Oh, and just in case someone cares – I’m picking on the United States because it is my home, not because it is alone in experiencing this problem. The whole world needs to wake up and realize the perils of hyper-partisanship. And ALL Muslim mosques need to start speaking out AGAINST the use of force to compel change for non-Muslims.