Kaleidoscope of 21st Century Life: The Doors of Perception…Stormed
Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine:
Twenty-First Century Life –
Table of DisContents
Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life
Dangling Above an Abyss
Beyond the entertainment media, it seems perinatal themes and elements are showing up everywhere else in our surrounding environment and culture. The scenery of our everyday reality consists of pollution of our air, water, and food; threat of death “at any moment,” caused by the knowledge of the power of nuclear weapons; fantasies of apocalypse of all kinds, magnified, perhaps, by the ending of a millennium and the approach of 2012—including fundamentalist Christian imaginings of an end to human civilization in an apocalyptic “rapture”; New Age fantasies of ecological, spiritual, and social utopias; and so on.
First, let us consider a few of the most blatantly birth-related of the events around us.
The Perinatal Screen
Alien abduction stories, while a relatively recent addition to our cultural landscape, are unusual in the rapidity with which they have gained cultural currency and are telling in the extreme fascination the public has with them. They have catapulted more than one show—The X Files being the prime example, of course—to cult-like status. The photo here is a scene after the abduction of Fox Mulder, one of The X-Files main characters.
Yet Alvin Lawson has pointed out how alien abduction stories are replete with perinatal elements: passing through walls, umbilical beams of connection to the “mother ship”—the placenta—either fetal-looking aliens or aliens whose eyes are most prominent and the lower parts of their faces undistinguished—similar to the way a newborn might see an obstetrician wearing a medical mask.
Then of course there are the elements of being medically probed, measured, samples taken from one, and being swooshed from one place to another with no say on one’s part—all remarkably like the experience of a newborn, right out of the womb. [Footnote 1]
While I do not think that the “alien abduction” phenomenon is just derivative of birth, as Lawson does, I do believe that we perceive these events through a veil of birth trauma, the likes of which the world has never known. My position is explained in the article, “Alien Abductors: Angelic Midwives or Hounds From Hell?“
An interesting development in the alien face is the “shoved down the throat” thing going on. Similar to the “Jacob’s Ladder” kind of vegetable thrusting out, which was described in the last chapter, it was popularized greatly in the movie, “Alien.”
As a neonate we cannot see the mouths of the masked attendants at our birth. In a traumatic situation, whatever is hidden is more feared than what can be seen. As in anything else, onto the unknown we can project the most magnified versions of our fears. When these images arise in us, then, it makes sense that if the mouth is shown it might be even more frightening than that above the mouth.
So in modern times, for the first time in history, we see something going on where these feelings are symbolized as a ferocious mouth coming out of the mouth. The fact that it appears like something that would gag reveals that this image contains elements of the trauma around ungentle mouth suctioning or clearing as well as the reveal of what might be under the mask of the seeming attacker, the obstetrician. Add lots of teeth and you have the perinatal vagina dentate as well, symbolizing the trauma occurring at birth, when actually emerging from the mother.
Rock Concerts (For some, ditto)
Lawson has also described perinatal elements in rock concerts. [Footnote 2]
Keep in mind that rock music popularity and concert rituals are world-wide phenomena. Youth from nearly all countries are involved in rock culture. Among other things, Lawson, in his article, refers to placental guitars, umbilical mikes, and youths jumping into mosh pits. Mosh pits suggest birth feelings in that they simulate the crushing in the womb.
At birth our consciousness is filled with the feeling of flesh all around. The world is crushing, heaving, rollicking, bouncing flesh everywhere. During a non-cesarean birth one struggles and moves through this flesh to reach space, air, light…freedom. We re-create this pattern of struggle in order to reach the light, or freedom and space, throughout life. It is obvious that mosh pits are attractive, appealing places to re-create the danger of birth alongside the hope of being “held up,” uplifted, and reborn.
The doors of perception…stormed
We could also mention the loud music, fireworks, and flashing and bright explosions of light at these concerts as perinatal in that they re-create the assault of sensation that occurs to the newly emerged fetus—an assault which in one’s mind is like unto a bomb exploding.
The rock groups and their lyrics themselves are often blatantly perinatal. The most obvious example of this was the group, Nirvana, who came out with a CD titled “In Utero.” The fact that the leader of the group, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide is a strong indication of his closeness and access to his perinatal trauma…as I will soon explain.
Pacifiers, Trolls, Crushing Populations, and Global Suffocation
Turning from rock, we see perinatal BPM III elements in the scenery of our everyday lives evident in the rising incidence of violence by children at ever younger ages.
In Europe, as pointed out by Mayr and Boederl, it appears a collective regression to the perinatal is going on, especially among the youth. [Footnote 3]
The forms this “regression” has taken include the surprising popularity of a pop song, sung by a very young child, expressing the difficulties of being a baby; the wearing of baby pacifiers as ornaments as a powerful fashion fad; and being enamored of troll-like dolls, which, according to the authors indicate a “regression to the womb.”
I would say a progression to the womb, by the way….I will soon explain why.
Additionally, we see the crushing, no-exit, claustrophobic BPM II elements manifesting in the crushing population densities in major human cities throughout the world.
Gag me with a crowd
One overlooked, but hugely pervasive perinatal element is the increasing carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere called “the greenhouse effect,” which, combined with decreased oxygen levels, is analogous to the situation of “fetal malnutrition,” described by Briend and deMause, that occurs prior to birth, and which is the basis for DeMause’s explanation of poisonous placenta symbolism. [Footnote 4]
At any rate, by this atmospheric rearrangement I mean that, while we reputedly have, and need, an oxygen concentration of twenty percent in our atmosphere, concentrations of oxygen these days, especially in heavily industrial areas, have been measured at much lower levels. For example, an industrial section of Gary, Indiana, was recorded at five percent oxygen concentration. [Footnote 5]
Raging to Reenter, Digging Under Ground
Other evidence for closeness to the perinatal unconscious comes from Kenneth Keniston, who studied the youth of the Sixties. In Keniston’s widely read book of the time titled The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society, he described an increasingly prevalent, unusually influential, and relatively newly emerging personality type, which he discovered in his sociopsychological study of youthful college students.
Among other traits, he found these youth to be characterized by fantasies of a “rage to reenter” the womb; and a “fantasy of fusion” with the mother, which took perinatal forms of all kinds including stories of wishing to dig one’s way back into the earth; a fascination with and wish to return to the past, the long forgotten, and the under ground; and a desire to find oblivion in some enveloping medium…even at the price of self-destruction!
Some of the other elements of Sixties youth were existential angst, being enamored of death and dying, and a refusal of “normal” adulthood. Think about it. Are these descriptions not a lot like we have heard of the generation that followed Sixties youth…the so-called Generation X?
Vampire apocalypse…It’s all so black and white
For Generation X, black clothes, white painted faces, and black lipstick are the fashion statement.
And what is this statement of this sector of youth—a statement that began in the Seventies among what was then called the “punk” movement—which includes now the fad of vampirism, except the same fascination with death as Sixties “alienated” youth…again. This fascination is an obvious reflection of the death/rebirth aspects of the perinatal.
Being gratefully dead
Need we remember this same kind of fascination with being dead and then reborn theme from the Sixties as in being “gratefully dead”? It seems that this trend toward easier access to and higher awareness of perinatal influences has been going on for a while now.
Drugs…. Oooooooooo…. Sca-ry….
There are other similarities between the youth of the Sixties and today’s youth: Drug use among youth, as reported in the last decade or so, has been going up again. This also is an indication of an emerging perinatal unconscious because drugs are intimately woven with perinatal influences in a number of ways. Not only can some drugs bring up birth feelings, as Grof’s work has shown, but the mother being drugged while giving birth to her child can result in drug abuse by that child later in life. [Footnote 6]
Lucy in the sewer with depression
Other connections between drug use and perinatal influence: Perinatal feelings are very often of the depressive, no-exit type, and some drugs are temporarily effective antidotes for that. Depression itself is epidemic, indicating the rise of BPM II feelings. There is widespread use of antidepressants in America currently.
Grof has claimed, based upon the tens of thousands of sessions of exploration into the perinatal unconscious that he has personally facilitated and thus observed, that the roots of endogenous—that is to say, deep rooted and engrained, not just situational—depression lie in the no-exit BPM II experience in the womb prior to birth. Furthermore, my personal experience with my own depression and my primal re-experiencing of prenatal, womb feelings, as well as birth, confirms his statement.
Tune inward, turn back, drop down
Finally, psychedelic drugs..LSD… “they’re ba-a-a-ack.” Though they are more discreetly used these days and so are less obviously evident. Various psychedelics and hallucinogens are used at postmodern raves, among many other places.
Their increased use also points to perinatal influences in that it is known that psychedelics—LSD in particular—can help people to access and to some extent resolve perinatal trauma, when taken for purposes of personal growth. [Footnote 7]
“Most Peculiar, Mama!”
We have considered the uniqueness of our times and the elements of the perinatal unconscious. We have followed that with a look at the predominant underlying fantasies and myths of our times—our contemporary collective dreams as projected onto the silver screen, boob tube, and printed page, with a perinatal rock heartbeat of a soundtrack.
Our Nightly News and Neighborhoods
Finally we have taken a look at the anomalous elements of our everyday reality—those confusing and bizarre, newly emerging images that permeate our nightly news and neighborhoods, along with those totally unprecedented cultural, environmental, and social factors that weave the backdrops of our lives.
Going Forward, Explore Our Hells and Heavens
Let us now go deeper. Let us make the connections. Let us explore the way we have reflected our innermost intimate hells and heavens into the fabric of our times. And back again, let us uncover the way the warp and woof of these strangest of days has affected each of us, in our most superficial of behaviors to the most intimate and deepest of our minds. The way forward is down.
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Apocalypse – No! Chapter Ten:
The Scenery of Postmodern Life
1. Alvin H. Lawson, “UFO abductions or birth memories?” Fate, 38(3) March 1985, pp. 68-80; and Alvin H. Lawson, “Perinatal imagery in UFO abduction reports.” In T. Verny (ed.): Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Introduction. Human Sciences Press, New York, 1987. [return to text]
2. Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353. [return to text]
3. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156. [return to text]
4. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319. [return to text]
5. As reported in the book, O2xygen Therapies by Ed McCabe. 99-RD1 Morrisville, NY 13408: Energy Publications, 1988. Other examples of lowered oxygen levels in various arenas of our lives are given in the book as well, and the book is thoroughly documented. It makes a convincing case for the lowered oxygen levels as they relate to the rise of a number of diseases. The connection of these lowered levels to mental states is my own addition. I also owe a lot of understanding of toxins as they relate to mental states to George Watson’s rare 1976 work, Nutrition and Your Mind. [return to text]
6. There is another overlooked factor or aspect of this rise in drug use: These youngsters are the sons and daughters of the Sixties generation who, in their own youth, as we all know too well, engaged in drug experimentation. This new generation of drug users has been called the baby-boomer “echo” generation.
Unlike the preceding “echo” generation of the Eighties—whose parents’ young adulthood occurred during the Great Depression and World War Two, and whose own young adult formative years occurred during the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley Fifties and who were thus influenced by their parents to conservatism, career-mindedness, and, for drug-of-choice, alcohol—this “echo” generation has parents whose young adulthood was forged in the rebellion, drug and sex experimentation, activism, liberal-radicalism, and idealism of the Sixties.
See my website/book Culture War, Class War, especially Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused, the Sixties and Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds and Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard.
Generationally speaking, we know that children do not predominantly rebel to the opposite of their parents’ values. Keniston, for one, has made it clear—referring to studies done as evidence—that children are paramountly influenced by the values and attitudes…conscious and unconscious…of their parents. So this new youth is going to be more liberal in their attitude to drug use, even if their parents, in their coming into adulthood, overtly decry or are against the use of drugs. Keep in mind also that many of the baby-boomers have retained, not reversed, their acceptance of drug experimentation, and many still believe in and use drugs; many still considering the occasional use of certain types—especially the psychedelics, and to some extent, pot—to be an aid to self-development and/or spiritual awareness.
The myth that youth rebel against their parents’ values was expressed and propagandized by the TV show “Family Ties.” This was an oh-so-convenient portrayal, as it contributed to the pervasive scapegoating of the Sixties generation by the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley generation who came into their Triumphant Phase, that is, took over the reins of society as mature adults in the Eighties.
This “Family Ties” kind of rebellion, however inaccurate, seems to be credible largely as a result of the observation that youth do rebel against their parents. But it ignores the fact that when they do, and they don’t always, they revolt or rebel, as in the Sixties youth, most often in the direction of being more so in terms of the values of their parents. As Keniston found out, for example, as he described in his follow-up to The Uncommitted, in the book, Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth, radical youth had liberal (hardly conservative!) parents.
If they were angry at their parents it was out of their perception of their parents as compromising and not living out their own expressed ideals, as laid out to their children in raising them…therefore, out of their disgust at their parents as “not walking their talk.” Hence, as we may recollect, there was the oft-repeated charge of “hypocrite” directed by some of these youth toward their parental generation.
In this regard it might also be noted that this new crop of youngsters, the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation, has also seen increases in voting for liberal or Democratic candidates. Their turnout for Clinton in 1992 was the first time since the Seventies that the youth vote went Democratic. Their support of Obama was widely given as the reason for his success. This new cohort of youth also has seen increases in idealism, activism, and volunteerism, and—despite the AIDS scare—in early and/or increased sexual experimentation (the fledgling “youth celibacy movement” is long gone, folks).
These aspects and generational phenomena are spelled out in more detail in my work-in-progress, The Once and Current Generation: Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation.” Right at hand, however, you can read an elaboration of some of these ideas in the chapters mentioned in Culture War, Class War—especially Chapters One through Seven. [return to text]
7. And for those who have cynically adopted the line that either psychedelics are another drug that blots out one’s Pain or that they are only used for recreational or sensual/hedonistic purposes or that the kinds of birth experiences that Grof describes as occurring on LSD only occur in supervised and guided sessions, like the ones he offered…for those who have dismissed psychedelics and LSD in any of these ways, let me say,
First, psychedelics, especially LSD and to some extent, even marijuana, are known to act in the brain in a way almost exactly the opposite of the drugs used to escape from reality—such as, for example, alcohol; speed, crack, or cocaine; nicotine; or heroin—though this news flies in the face of the myth put out by the all-encompassing anti-drug propaganda machine, which puts all drugs in the same category. This is common knowledge among researchers and scientists who study these things. For elaboration, see Culture War, Class War Chapter Three: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds—especially the part on “Drugs and Consciousness“—as well as subsequent chapters of that book/website.
Second, that drugs are only used for recreational purposes is patently false. Though the vast majority of drug use is recreational, there are in print many examples, and the admissions of many authors, of the use of LSD by individuals and groups for purposes of personal growth. And, in my own limited exploration, personal growth was my motivation. In fact, many people are afraid to take the drug LSD, knowing full well that its effects are not always pleasurable or recreational. So why would they accept that risk if they did not have some other intent, like personal growth, for experimenting on themselves with it?
Finally, before I had ever heard of such a possibility of reliving one’s birth, let alone heard of Grof, or Janov for that matter, I learned that at least one person at my university on LSD found himself feeling like a fetus and then going through a process of struggling through a birth canal, and so on. [return to text]
Copyright © 1999, 2011 by Michael Derzak Adzema
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Birth Wars, World Woes
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To Our Amazement, Charlie Brown Connected, Lucy Apologized, a Man Who Said “Yes We Can,” Would: Anything Is Possible … Means Everything Is Possible
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Wonderful Can Happen: With Dumbness at the Top and Media as the New Opiate of the Masses, Still, “Yes, We Can” Proved We Could.
Culture War, Class War, Chapter 23: Something Wonderful Can Happen
There Are Good Reasons Why Our Financial and Environmental Fortunes Careen Wildly About: Dumbness Rises to the Top
Blinded by Their Greed, They Overlook the Obvious: Why Our National Misfortunes Are Greeted with Such Surprise by Authorities and Pundits
Voices Never Heard
What I’ve been trying to say here is, there are perspectives that are relevant and are never heard. And I’m talking about perspectives that are right outside the doors of power ready to talk and be heard; often having been perspectives that had been embraced not long ago, but suddenly, not having any credibility at all…so that our democracy of many voices—now with the filthy rich and their Republican lackeys and their paid-for media in collusion to mine only one avenue of discourse—begins to echo the Soviet Union of old with its one voice, Pravda.
Horrors Far Worse
Back in 2000, I also had written,
I believe our friend speaks eloquently about some of those far greater horrors, and indicates they are there right now on our doorstep. We had a surplus and a will to tackle them a decade ago. Sadly we have wasted the last ten years reversing those environmental policies whose intent it was to help. And we have reversed our financial situation, which could have helped. In addition, we have reversed the restrictions on corporations and other policies that would have helped and at least slowed down this ominous impending doom.
So we are a decade further along in environmental collapse, and it is has increased its acceleration toward us. Meanwhile we have slashed away at our financial and other resources for dealing with it and chopped back the time in which to work. The way I phrased it a decade ago.
Dumbness Rises to the Top
And sure enough, as we all know…and what these people could not even imagine, as that trader put it, well, it is happening. One wonders what these buffoons who could not foresee such things will do in terms of fixing them; having acknowledged their extreme lack of foresight (and we’ve added, their extreme inability to look anywhere farther than their tight knit group of true believers for answers.) This should be something to see.
As for Wall Street and the economy, let’s take another look at how the media has dealt with other perspectives to flesh out my claims above of these perspectives not being far off.
On CNBC, a couple of years before the economic downturn, they used to have as a commentator, Robert Reich, who was President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury and the mastermind of the great economic turnaround of the Nineties.
But he was talked over, laughed at, and was routinely talked to as if he was a child or suffered sadly from some kind of bleeding heart brain cloud. Well, as his words began to be the ones that should have been listened to, he was no longer to be seen on CNBC. And then afterward we have such a comment like, “Well, nobody could have seen it coming.”
Well how could they, if they were no longer put on the show?
No, apparently there was such an insular crowd on Wall Street, the White House, and, most unfortunate, among the very media whose job it was neither to make news as prognosticators or economic experts, nor was it to be part of a partisan “anti-plunge patrol.” Their lack of even-handedness and their alliance with particular theories created just the kind of apparent reality that the trader bemoaned. No, it wasn’t that nobody was seeing it coming–as you see below, I was seeing it as inevitable from the shared experience of a mere decade or so ago. And I mention one figure who was silenced. So to the mystified trader who knew no one who saw anything but, as one particularly wrong-headed man phrased it, “a goldilocks economy.”
So, blinded by their greed, they missed what the people I knew were all seeing—danger ahead, and the unsustainability of a rally that had risen on so much manipulation, misinformation, and constant drum blows of obviously wrong economic talking points hammered over and over across our airwaves and drowning out every sound of warning or opposition, so that surprise and misinformation informed the trading decisions of the great bull traders.
So many people were hurt by this partisan power play. But that was the way of just about everything during those 8 years of, as one recent writer dubbed it, dictatorship.
If you’re still reading, you will see I have reasons for pointing these things out, providing this background, for it is this context of a kind of dumbness rising to the top which, even now, makes for the strangest of comments on TV talk shows, and the most asinine and foot-shooting policies and stances of the remaining Republicans.
Media Feel-Good Talk Does Not Equal Reality … and Why We’re Helpless to Prevent the Future Fukushimas and Killer Hurricanes.
Media Is the New “Opiate of the Masses,” with Pundits a New Priestly Caste Between Modern Pharoahs and the New Enslaved.
Media Mollifies Masses
All this being said, now, perhaps for you the Message in a Bottle provides, as it did to me, a provocative window into the workings of cause and effect. More than that I hope it sheds light on the huge efforts of deception that are ever needed to advance false partisan ideas which, though proven wrong, will by greed be raised anew and banner-like be carried forth to beat back the voices of common sense in favor of a reality that must be forced to be made to be true only because its rich adherents would wish it to be so.
Media Feel-Good Talk Does Not Equal Reality
Another advantage of having the time capsule is what we can learn about such warnings. Will the media tell you of impending doom, so that we might avert it?
No, they will, for the sake of ratings (profits), be a “feel good” media. They will spin out “comfort truth” — junk food for the mind — insubstantial and inconsequential and hardly soul-satisfying. But it will soothe the stresses brought to listeners through their otherwise participation in the capitalist matrix. As empty of truth as junk food is empty of nutrition it will act as medicine for the troubles of the postmodern soul—enslaved and unfree—but unaware even of that…and unable to even know that. So this media will serve the functions that religion once did for the elite, becoming another opiate of the masses. And the pundits will play the role of the priestly intermediaries between our modern pharoahs—the banksters and the filthy rich—and the masses upon which they feed.
So no, it is not the media’s role to warn us of disaster. Hardly. Indeed, when that disaster is one of the many forthcoming from the actions of those elite they serve, it will be the media’s job to set up the screens of smoke and trivia to distract and entertain away from real concerns. Then they will, as we’ve seen, report afterward on it and bring out the “No one could have foreseen this happening.” Well that is a self-serving lie. I hope that is gleaned from all this if nothing else.
I’ve been detailing on the media complicity, indeed, facility in the Great Recession caused by the tax cutting policies of George W Bush. But since then we have seen Fukushima, the BP oil spill, and Sandy. Could Fukushima have been prevented? Yes. For I can personally tell you, as an anti-nuke activist in the Eighties, how we were warning back then of the immense dangers of nuclear power plants and especially those on earthquake fault lines. Has the media advanced that story line? You know the answer to that.
Has the media since Fukushima kept us informed on developments there so we might prepare for the consequences coming to us from that? I’ll put it this way, I’ve had otherwise knowledgeable people tell me that “It is a good thing Fukushima turned out how it did … it could have been worse.” Worse? Something far worse than Chernobyl—which itself resulted in one million deaths (where’s the media on that fact?)—turned out ok? For this we can thank a media that stopped reporting on developments there when it turned out they could not spin it in any feel-good way. Things got worse, are still getting worse, and they stopped covering it.
Then there’s Sandy. It is being said this has brought climate change and global warming back into the dialogue. But why was it not in already? We have an entire political party in America hell bent on ignoring global warming in their insane pursuit of profits at any and all costs. Has the media been on top of this? Those self-interested climate-denying Republicans—has the media been holding their feet to the fire? Have they even lit a match near their feet? You know the answer again. For prior to Sandy and in four presidential and vice presidential debates there was not even ONE question … from the media, mind you … on the environment … let alone, climate change or Fukushima. Yet there was plenty of interest in setting up the candidates to see who could be the most manly on drilling and fracking our way to ecological hell.
Feel good media? I think so! At odds with reality? You tell me.
In the Past It Has Had Horrific Consequences.
Feel-good talk does not equal reality. If it did there would not have been the Nazis, the Holocaust, a Stalin—five million dead; a Cambodia—millions dead; a Rwanda—dead dead dead; or an AIDS epidemic—uncountable dead and growing.
Yet what I wrote over a decade ago, at the time if it had been shared in any place of power, would no doubt have been challenged by this word: “Paranoid.” This is the common way the public uses denial to avoid harsh realities. Blame the messengers, the dangers go away. I’m sure my planetmate friend’s piece earlier has already been labeled that way: “Paranoid.” “It’s all paranoia on the part of some crazies” is the common attitude.
That is the way we keep out the truth. It is like using a drug to ease the pain of your cancer, but it doesn’t do anything to keep you from dying.
Indeed, the planetmates’ lament, though it be labeled paranoid, is based on the findings of the best scientific minds of our times about the environmental collapses—the outright ecocide that is upon us from so many causes and in ways that are now uncountable in number. Their message is so much more important in that we will likely reach the point of no return long before the masses of humanity are severely suffering from the continued environmental assault. I don’t like to say it, but it needs to be said that some are convinced that it is already too late, that we had a window of opportunity and blew it. I know of groups in the know who are absolutely convinced there is no saving us now and that it is naïve to expect anything but doom.
Troubling it is that, on top all that’s been said about this message and what it has told us about what we lost and how far we are now from where we need to go, not to mention knowing we were betrayed by our government obviously, we now realize without a doubt our media too helped when they could have stopped it all.
Wonderful Can Happen, Part Three — Amazingly, Charlie Brown Connects: Remember … “Yes, We Can” Proved We Could
Shaken Out of Our Mental Maze, We Would Be A-Mazed: Lucy Apologizes, Sisyphus Rests, A Man Who Said “Yes We Can,” Would
Why Know This? Amazingly, Charlie Brown Connects
So, these things we know. They are sobering rationalizations and ones we should not run from.
But lastly and most importantly, these prescient thoughts of long ago help me. I find that these time-capsule writings from my former mind are able to inform me and sharpen my vision of the Now, as the events continue unfolding and rolling relentlessly over and through us and are reflected in high-pixel, high-def, infinite colors clarity on the flat screens all about. This time is felt and witnessed, the story being revealed cinema-like, but with pundits galore expounding 24/7, like loud-mouthed fellow movie-goers.
But then also they become the movie and are interwoven into the times themselves. And their words, with this time capsule before me, are sounding childish, repetitive, forgetful, amnesiacal. Especially this is true as many of the ones speaking now are remembered as being the exact persons commenting then. And their words, little changed, bespeak a zen-like ability to be newly alarmed, being reborn in every minute, but yet totally unchanged and untaught by all the years of witnessing and commentary. So they also have forgotten the way they once saw the world and their life … just as I once did.
If We Knew, Would We Act?
It seems a defense mechanism to forget that we saw all this coming. For to know that is to despair in realizing the impotence, even, of awareness. Who wants to realize that in these matters even a knowledge of the story line, as if having seen the movie once before, is totally useless? Who wants to think that there is a helplessness in affecting the events of our lives and times, that there is a total futility in changing or steering away or around even the tragedies clearly seen beforehand?
For knowing this we feel as detached as actual cinema-goers from the unfolding of the plotline. We feel ourselves to be not actors and hardly even the scriptwriters of our lives, instead merely the witnesses of intensely shocking and stunning events, which we actually expected but hoped we would be wrong about. So wouldn’t we want to block out that awareness of the futility of our actions? Wouldn’t we have to in order to have the heart to keep going at it? To get up and keep trying every day?
Sisyphus Remembering, Would He Continue Pushing?
If we remembered, like Charlie Brown approaching the football, or like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill… if we remembered, would we continue to act?
No, we have to believe that we will be surprised this time, that indeed Lucy will hold the football and we will complete the kick. It is said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. As true as that is, how ironic then that we realize that those who remember history too clearly are doomed to helplessness in the midst of its unfolding. So it seems we are ineffectual either way.
But There’s More To It
Yet this is not the whole truth. If it were, then the cynicism we felt about “The Audacity of Hope”…remember that book?…well, that cynicism would have proven a correct perception. We would have been bored, again, watching a naïve young idealistic black man—like the many before, differing only in skin color—seeing his efforts, visions, hopes, and heartfelt desires to be helpful and to love away some of the darkness in the world around him vanish like the memory of yesterday’s storm-driven winds. But we, I, was one time wrong in that cynicism.
Lucy Apologizes, Sisyphus Rests.
To the astonishment, truly, of an entire world, Charlie Brown connected with the football, Lucy apologized for her past actions, and one heavy boulder remained steady on the top of a hill and gave a man a much needed rest from his endless labors.
For one incredible and glorious time, the movie we’d seen had a different ending—amazing enough in itself. But also the tragedy in the original did not occur. And as if God had for a time touched this planet, this Reality we call our World, our Life…as if God had just for one time touched, tipped, and turned our events, the awesomely unexpected happened.
A man so unbelievably naïve and unaware as to declare the “audacity of hope” and to call out and stir up the masses, deluding them as we’ve seen so many times before, that “yes, we can,” would.
Shaken Out of Our Mental Maze, We Would Be A-Mazed.
And we’d have to pinch ourselves to believe it to actually be happening even as we witnessed it. That he would actually succeed in doing exactly what he said he would do would not only show us that a man could actually affect the course of events, would show us that a person could not only change things from the way they’d always been (what kind of man can this be?). But that he would do it in a grand and sweeping way would be all the more astonishing. We would be all the more unbelieving that a man who said “yes we can” not only could but he could do it in a way that achieved beyond merely succeeding; never mind that merely succeeding would be doing the impossible.
The Only Thing We Can Be Truly Sure Of … Is We Can Never Be Sure… Which Means That Anything Is Possible… Which Means That Everything Is Possible.
Our Inability to Know Is the Source of a Hope That IS Real: Wonderful Can Happen, Part Four: It’s Just as Likely the Miraculous Will Happen.
Just When We Thought We Knew…
So I am saddened having been awakened from my forgetfulness by this catscan of a mind perfectly preserved in an electronically sealed time capsule… oh, what could have been…. But then I remember, happily, that we are, I am, imperfect prophets and seers. That just when it seems we know, for sure now, how things are, the way the world is, and how the movie will end; that just then when we know, totally convinced we are, that truly things will be as they will be and that it is futile to rail against the inevitable, to hope, even to try; that just then when we have finally accepted “reality for what it is,” accepted “life on its own terms” not ours; that when we’d given up the things of youth, accepted the limitations of life, addressed ourselves, resignedly, to carrying forward on the mundane things of life, to the ordinary activities of everyperson, to the simple responsibilities and expectations of every man, every person, from every time that’s ever been and accepted the unrelenting lack of specialness in either our times or ourselves…that just at that time we would be touched and wakened to see that the most unchanging thing of life is not its utter resistance to change, its utter forgetfulness and repetition, but is the mysterious darkness surrounding the utter clarity of everyday knowingness, is in fact the imperfection of ourselves even as we observe so clearly the assured imperfection of the world.
Anything Is Possible… Which Means That Everything Is Possible
Sounds complicated. What I’m saying I think is important enough to repeat. I’ll say it more simply.
The most unchanging thing of life is not the things we see that never change. They are not the most unchanging thing of life. The most unchanging thing of life is something surrounding the absolute clarity we have about these things, these harsh realities even. When you’ve finally come to accept life, you’ve accepted these unpleasant things, these hard truths, and you think that for sure now you’ve got it, that it was all about learning to accept that…and thereby become the “adult,” the seasoned, assured cynic.
Accepting Life’s Pain. But Because We Are Imperfect…
But rather, the most unchanging and most true thing about life is that no matter how much we think we know how exactly life is, there’s a darkness surrounding that utter everyday clarity that we carry around and share with our neighbors, reinforcing it’s trueness. There’s a darkness surrounding it. And that darkness is in fact the imperfection of our selves. We’re not perfect; we’re not all-knowing. It is in fact the imperfection of ourselves even as we observe so clearly the assured imperfection of the world, you see. I’m being sarcastic there.
What I’m saying is: Knowing that, we know that it is exactly the imperfection that is the most solid thing in life. You see? It’s not the things that they try to make solid. This is the thing that is solid, is gonna be there, always. Nobody has to try to make that happen, there’s always going to be an unknown.
Therefore, since there’s always going to be an unknown there’s always going to be human imperfection. For we may think we know everything, sometimes. But only a fool goes through life very long thinking that. And so, in knowing that, knowing that that’s the most unchanging thing of life, the thing you can really count on, that’s never going to go away…well, we know that it is exactly the imperfection, that lack that’s in a person, that evil, that unmoving wrongness of the world that we have tried so futilely to change, that being in us, is the source of the blessedness of life, which is the fact that our ultimate unknowingness is the only true source of a hope that IS real,
It’s Possible “Something Wonderful Is Going to Happen.”
It is only because we know that we cannot really know, for sure, that then we can know for sure that there’s always got to be hope because we could never know for sure that there wasn’t. So, what a blessing that is. That being wrong, being imperfect means something unbelievable when you think of it: Which is that against all odds, “something wonderful is going to happen.”
Ultimate unknowingness is the only true source of a hope that is real. And you say, how can you say that? You say, that’s not true. Then I ask you, are you perfect? You say, no. Then I say, the only true thing is that you’re not perfect, so that anything you are absolutely sure is wrong has a possibility of being right.
And Anything Is Possible … Means Everything Is Possible.
So, who knows? You might say that we don’t know what’s real. That’s true, of course, so why would we necessarily think things are dire right now? Why, it’s just as possible that something wonderful is going to happen. It’s just as likely that, in spite of ourselves, the miraculous can happen; that magic is real; and that hope, and happiness, and blessedness, and forgiveness, and glorious divine wonders beyond even the envisioning of our ideals are possible.
And all because the only thing that we can be truly sure of—even when we are finally convinced that we should not expect anything special—is that we can never be sure… which means that anything is possible… which means that everything is possible.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty-Four: Naked Republicans
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter 22: Horrors Worse Than That
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