Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Life is full of vicissitudes, and sometimes, as Mr. Natural advises us, “The gravity of the situation brings one down.” Or words to that effect. But we do not have to inhabit a Setting Sun mentality on a permanent basis, although there are forces that may profit from an extended cynicism, and on ongoing subscription to the lowest common denominator of the human condition.
I am a great believer in Truth and Justice. These two words are encoded in archai of the Sacred Tarot. Justice is the classical image of the Blindfolded woman. And Truth is always naked. There is so much pollution, misinformation, distortions, floating around social media at the moment. Much of it based on hatred and ignorance. I was saying the other day, that any forms of fascism and fundamentalism can only flourish when a state of darkness and ignorance is maintained. But I think we have passed the stage in our collective evolution when it is still possible to market the theory that the Earth is flat. As dear Old Abraham Lincoln said:
“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
Replace the word “please” with the word “fool.” If we wallow like pigs in the negativity like ‘you-know-what in, then we will only see the negativity. There may be a blue sky above the mud and ordure. But I do think, that there is a great deal of truth breaking out at the moment. For example, though Richard Dawkins has some eminently sensible things to say about the bad side of religion [for example: Either convert to my Religion, or I will kill you] – I feel that he does not deserve the attention given to him. Eleanor Robertson, a writer and feminist living in Sydney, wrote this precise piece in the Guardian, which expresses the subject in words that I could not better: .
“Dawkins has been arrogant for years, a man so convinced of his intellectual superiority that he believes the one domain in which he happens to be an expert, science, is the only legitimate way of acquiring or assessing knowledge. All of his outbursts in recent years follow from this belief: he understands the scientific method, a process intended to mitigate the interference of human subjectivity in data collection, as a universally applicable way of understanding not just the physical world but literally everything else as well. Hence his constant complaint that those appalled by his bigoted vituperations are simply offended by clarity; feeble-minded obscurantists who cling to emotion, tradition or the supernatural to shield themselves from the power of his truth bombs.
You don’t have to be religious to find this level of hubris baffling. In his review of The God Delusion, Terry Eagleton remarks:
Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.
Dawkins’ narrow-mindedness, his unshakeable belief that the entire history of human intellectual achievement was just a prelude to the codification of scientific inquiry, leads him to dismiss the insights offered not only by theology, but philosophy, history and art as well.
To him, the humanities are expendable window-dressing, and the consciousness and emotions of his fellow human beings are byproducts of natural selection that frequently hobble his pursuit and dissemination of cold, hard facts. His orientation toward the world is the product of a classic category mistake, but because he’s nestled inside it so snugly he perceives complex concepts outside of his understanding as meaningless dribble. If he can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist, and anyone trying to describe it to him is delusional and possibly dangerous.
All we can do at this point is hope his decline into hysterical dogmatism culminates in a reverse deathbed conversion. But if there’s one thing Dawkins has tried to impress upon us, it’s that miracles don’t exist. So I’ll do him the courtesy of not holding my breath.”
Eleanor Robertson, The Guardian.com, Wednesday 30 July 2014. Eleanor Robertson contributes regularly to Frankie Magazine and tweets as @marrowing
Then, from the religious perspective, this by H. H. the Dalai Lama:
“Our modern educational system fails to provide sufficient education about compassion. The time has come to transform this whole system. Society is formed through its educational system, but the educational system does not transmit the deeper human values of compassion and kindness. Then all of society lives with this false view that leads to a superficial life, in which we live like machines that don’t need affection. We become part of that. We become like machines. That is because today’s society is based on money. A society that is based on money is aggressive, and those with power can bully and behave cruelly to others. This situation produces growing social unrest. A society that depends on money has problems that reflect its beliefs.
In reality, affection and compassion have no direct link with money. They cannot create money. Therefore, in a society in which money is the priority, people don’t take these values seriously anymore. People in positions of leadership, like politicians, have emerged from within a society that depends on money, so naturally they think like that and lead society further in that direction. In this kind of society, people who value affection and compassion are treated like fools, while those whose priority is making money become more and more arrogant.
The (Justifiably) Angry Marxist, An interview with the Dalai Lama, Tricycle, August 29, 2013. FULL ARTICLE HERE
‘‘We (the undivided divinity operating within us) have dreamt the world. We have dreamt it as firm, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and durable in time; but in its architecture we have allowed tenuous and eternal crevices of unreason which tell us it is false.’’
Jorge Luis Borges, ‘‘Avatars of the Tortoise’’, in: Labyrinths, 1939, p.208. SEE.
“Who knows whether the whole earth, revolving in an ever slowly narrowing orbit, will not return to the heart of the sun from which it came, after eons of years, and then a sun life of all earthly creatures will begin ; and where is the need of our knowing this now?”
Gustav Theodor Fechner, The Little Book of Life After Death, Translated from the German by Mary C. Wadsworth, With an Introduction by William James, Boston, Little, Brown, & Co., 1904, p.75.
Love and Peace