Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nerf World

The Holidays are here again and I am reminded of what a wonderful myth Santa Claus is. The spirit of Santa is alive and well at least. And I'm glad. I'll sit around sipping eggnog and I'll watch a Christmas movie on TV (The Polar Express is my favorite). All the while, I'll imagine a world of magic and peace and a world where everyone who believes...who really believes...can live happily ever after.

Then I'll wake up. I'll wipe the illusions out of my eyes and recall 20 innocent dead in Newtown. I'll recall that America dropped the only Atomic Bombs on Japan...and killed 100 thousand people. I'll remember the Holocaust. I'll compose myself knowing the horrors of the Plague and Smallpox.

And, by the way, great white sharks....they eat people who swim with them.

We do not live in a safe world. That is an illusion. I wonder how long hippies would last unarmed in the Sudan, or dropped into the wild Amazon with nothing but their marijuana to keep them happy. Indeed, the world is often cruel. Some species of wasps lay eggs in their spider hosts. Ick. And you simply want to avoid the giant squid if you can...or the Brown Snake or Funnel Web Spider in Australia.

We do not live in Nerf World. And we can never live there. What makes the world turn is change. And in order for change to occur...things must constantly struggle for new states of equilibrium.

Still, this is not a world that many people want to believe in. Science is on the downturn as people search desperately for meaning in the middle of this tornado of reality. And yet there is meaning. In order to exist the universe must oppose must consume itself as there is nothing else to consume. It stands alone. Call it God. Call it Machine. What's the difference? You're one or the other if you are a part of its wholeness. Some would say that you are both. And either way it is the Nature of what is.

This is not a cynical view. Surely we can strive for a more peaceful world. We can labor to expand our comforts. We can endeavor to control this natural world of ours through invention and our works. This is the spirit of order in what would be a chaos without it. And within this order...this nature of things...lies its meaning.

People are always looking for an easy answer so they turn to ancient scriptures and turn a blind eye to what they see. They believe in the fairy tale of Nerf World, the Utopia that is always somehow out of reach...and is always someone's nightmare when it is achieved.

The Fascists and the Nazis sought Utopia.They wanted to make everyone share the same ideals and believe the same so called truths. They wanted to issue in a world without poverty or disease where the perceived weak were culled out for the benefit of the future. It was a monstrous undertaking in the end. When everything is the same there can be no freedom and no free will.

What is really killing us in this world? What is doing us harm? Is it our arsenal of assault rifles in over 30 million hands just in America alone?

Somewhere along the way the 'Righteous' have replaced Darwin with Dogma. It can be a double edged sword. Religion was cast out by Stalin in favor of the State Policy. A solution? Hardly. But Darwin is not a theory as so many of the uneducated would charge via their misinterpretation of the word in its context. Every dog breed owes its lineage to a Wolf. Change is nature. And so too is the inherent chaos in the world that continues to play its part in natural selection.

We want to assign blame as well as meaning to events such as the tragedy in Newtown. It was the gun. It was the illness. It was the media. It was the culture of violence.We want to believe that we can provide far reaching solutions  so that it will never happen again. Kill every shark and sharks cant kill you.

Can we truly master the nature of the world? Perhaps we can take the guns away and the rights away with them. Then everyone can one day trade their rights to vote for the serenity of a singular faith such as a Christian or Islamic world. It has been done before and worked quite well for almost 2 thousand years in the Dark Ages. The heretics were burned. The dissenters were dispensed with...and the world stood still.

Madness. Tragedy. Loss. Disease. Death. These are facts of life. And this is not because of Satan. Not because the world is evil. These realities exist because they are the other side of the coin. They are the Red Queen on the table moving as it must move for the game to exist at all.

Guns have saved lives as well as taken them. Their are Red Stripes on the American Flag. We must all address our true nature before we can even begin to come to terms with it, understand it and begin to live with it. We are animals that make tools. How we use those tools defines us in many respects. But we are not without the definition of our own innate order as well as innate chaos.

There is no doubt that it is a heavy responsibility that comes with power. And in cases such as Columbine or Newtown we may feel the need to conform and lay our weapons down so as to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies occurring again. I will not argue against that. There is purpose in that.

Remember though that the world is not at peace. The lion eats the lamb. And in the end there is no Santa Claus save the Spirit in us all. Perhaps we could spend more time creating than destroying. But Shiva will dance and the fires will burn the forests. We must, at last, find our meaning within the reckoning of opposites.

The sharp prick of the rose thorn will serve as a reminder that even the beautiful things arm themselves in a world of many predators, much sadness and terrible consequences.

We can hope but we cannot control nature. Where do we draw the line? Should we all be made defenseless lambs as we trust some shepherd to fend the wolves? And the wolves will they always do. Oh how we want a shepherd. Oh how He or It or They will lead us and protect us. It's easy enough. All any of us has to do is Follow.

If we humans cannot content ourselves with being predators then we are the prey. The Politics will ultimately afford the decisions. But the nature of it is simple enough.

No comments:

Copyright 2008-2012. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this blog or its content may be reproduced without the express written permission of the Author.

Knockin On Heaven's Door