Friday, May 19, 2023

The Current Reality of Life in the America of Today Should be of No Great Surprise.

 What are the current economic, social, and political, realities living in the United States? I believe I can say with complete candor that we live in a communal environment that is essentially unsettling, unsafe, corrosive, and often dangerous. The problems we face as a people are complex, multi-faceted and fraught with ominous possibilities for the future if left unattended.

The current over-riding economic issue is the monumental disparity in the distribution of wealth in the nation. Ten percent of the population actually possesses 85% of the entire wealth of the nation (from a report issued by the Economic Policy Institute). Furthermore, an additional portion of this wealth is squirreled away in secret off-shore accounts. A significant number of the current holders of this wealth do not seem to have any real sense of moral or social responsibility and seem to be devoid of any semblance of a moral compass. Many seem to eschew taxation of any kind, use their wealth as a means to influence and manipulate public policy to foster their own interests, and are apparently oblivious to the staggering needs that so many of the nation’s people face on a daily basis.

In my estimation, this endemic and distorted imbalance in the distribution of financial resources is in many ways responsible for the many social crises we are facing as a people. As a result, wealth that could be used to promote and sustain the common good has become scarce. Consequently, the United States has become a nation where so many are rendered homeless; where about one-quarter of the nation’s children live in poverty; where the nation’s poor have a mortality rate that is exceeding diminished as compared to their wealthier counterparts; where the accessibility to meaningful health care and mental health services is sadly restricted, and where essential social services are often lacking. There is no rational explanation for this kind of severe discrepancy. It is a situation that will worsen over time. This perverse situation is essentially unsustainable.

This reality should not be a surprise, given the fact that this nation was founded on the underlying premise that members of the white and propertied class would and should rule. There was no expectation at that time that there would ever be real equity for all. It was never questioned that real power would ever be in the hands of other than the chosen few. This reality essentially remains unchanged to this day.

In my mind, the most disturbing aspect of the current social environment that is particularly apparent within far right of the political spectrum – whose views do not reflect the sentiments of the general population - is the apparent predilection to embrace violent means to terrorize and impose their extreme views on everyone. This is unfolding within a culture that seems to have embraced the universal possession of weaponry with extremely dangerous potential. Furthermore, the endemic hatred and bigotry that are essential components of the white-supremacy movement has become incorporated into the philosophical foundations of a major political party. These developments suggest a future in which civil strife will become normalized and democratic principles of government will devolve into the imposition of minority rule that would require the use of severely repressive methods to maintain itself. This kind of future would inevitably be unsustainable and wreck enormous havoc upon the American people.

Again, this should come as no surprise in a country that supported and maintained the institution of slavery for hundreds of years; that committed acts of near-genocide against native populations and effectively drove them from their land; that carried on many wars of aggression against people of color around the world using weaponry of mass destruction and inflicting unspeakable destruction; and that has repeatedly condoned violence directed at immigrants from foreign lands throughout its relatively short lifespan. The cumulative impact of this history has effectively imbedded bigotry, intolerance, and hatred into the national psyche. These widely-shared attitudes have worsened in recent years due to the undeniable fact the United States will soon be a white minority country. It is for this central reason that democracy has lost its luster especially in sections of the country where slavery and racism were acutely prevalent. What is particularly discouraging about this overarching reality is that race is a made-up term, for all of humanity is comprised of members of the same species, Homo sapiens – the notion of white supremacy is entirely fallacious.

Again, in this light, the current state of the nation is entirely consistent with its past.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Notes from an Existential Realist


I have been considering how I would describe my ever-evolving philosophy regarding life and its meaning. I have been on this wondrous planet for over seventy-eight years as a singular member of the species, Homo sapiens, whose total number is currently about 8,011,000,000 (January,2023). As individuals we may be special, but not that special.

As of this moment in time, I would say that I am an existential realist firmly wedded to the concept I have repeatedly referred to as the Reality Principle. This reality embraces all that is knowable about the multiplicity of the many facets of time and space as ascertained through the medium of the human brain. Within this philosophical perspective, I make a fundamental assumption that we are our brains – the sum total of everything that an individual deduces, concludes, ascertains, surmises, and believes about the meaning and substance of conscious life has its origin within this marvelous organ. There is no other source.

In this universe we inhabit, there is no requirement for the presence of omnipotent superbeings. The panoply of gods and ethereal spirits that is so much a part of religious and spiritual belief systems are nothing more than the constructs created within the confines of the human brain born of a need for conscious beings to invoke some semblance of order and purpose in regard to existence. Such beliefs are elaborate inventions designed to blunt the realization that the termination of the individual at the moment of death is unavoidable, complete, and final without any encore or chance at redemption. Life on planet earth is an accidental evolutionary phenomenon – the result of billions of years of interdependent processes that has brought us to the current moment. Our fate as a species is completely dependent upon the consequences of our individual and collective actions. From reality’s persistence, there is no rescue.

This may seem like a grim outlook, but it is not. As an existentialist, I maintain that there is an exquisite beauty and wonder embedded within every moment of our brief sojourn as sentient beings. Opening ourselves to this reality is the source of a true and inexplicable freedom and joy. Modern human existence has created a habitat that is permeated with continual distractions that blunt this fundamental and essential aspect of living.

Furthermore, the totality of all the material wealth we claim to possess is illusory, for, in fact, we are born with nothing and at life’s end we take nothing with us. Although acquisition is a necessary aspect of survival, it has come to take up a predominant role in the fabric of the modern world; as a result, many individuals have lost sight of their true humanity.

Our individual physical selves are made up of rather short-lived and unique configurations of atomic and sub-atomic particles that will ultimately break apart and rearrange themselves repeatedly within the seemingly limitless expanse of time and space. This intrinsic part of the workings of the material universe is inescapable. Ultimately, our star, the sun, will run out of its fuel as it must, and on that occasion it will consume the solar system that is a product of its own beginnings. At that moment, the entire history and presence of this most precious planet will be lost – a process that repeats itself over and over again throughout the billions of galaxies that inhabit our universe whenever a star no longer burns brightly.

This is all within the nature of things.

Not unlike the brilliance of the cosmos and its absolute enormity as demonstrated by that fabulous machine the Webb Telescope, there is an expansive inner universe in our mind (brain) that encompasses what we refer to as human consciousness.

In my thinking, it is breathtaking to behold when I consider the immense variations that exist between each individual consciousness. In regard to each individual, the mind is like a complex symphonic rendering of the experience of living. The notes are complex; the scale is enormous. It is filled with the textures and the timbre that are the result of a lifetime of experiences.

It is not a singular story that each of us weaves from the ebbs and flows of emotion, of pain and delight; of sadness and elation; of joy and sorrow; of all the variations of tone and circumstance and the twists and turns and convolutions of individual choice and fate and experience. It is like a vast inner collage with boundaries that blur and blend and intermingle.

The totality of this inner-experience is what we refer to as the self. There is no artificial intelligence (AI) that can replicate this, for it is well beyond the limits of the digital universe we so meaningfully adore. There may be artificial intelligence, but nothing akin to artificial consciousness. In my thinking, human endeavor as expressed through the arts and literature and creativity over the eons of human civilization attempts to express some aspect of this “inner life” we all lead.

As much as we attempt to “define” ourselves with some amount of precision, humanity invariably falls down the rabbit hole, for “normalcy” is an illusion. We all occupy some share of a vast spectrum of possibilities; we are all sub-variations of that vast symphony of the living. We struggle to find our place, but, in fact, we already occupy our position within that fleeting dance of life.

It is our task to appreciate and enjoy!

Monday, April 03, 2023

Welcome to the Age of Idiocy

 As a people, we should collectively feel a great deal of sadness regarding the current state of our nation, the United States. This bold experiment in governance once filled with hope and promise has led us to our current abysmal condition after only some two hundred and thirty-four years. What we are experiencing is an inevitable consequence of all the historic decisions made along the way. Far too often in our past, we have chosen brutality over harmony, hatred and bigotry over tolerance and compassion, savagery over intellect, close-mindedness over generosity of spirit. We have enslaved an entire people and committed grievous acts against native populations in our own country and against peoples of other cultures around the world for our own material advancement. We are now paying a momentous price for these actions.

We live in a country sadly divided over so many fundament issues. A significant portion of the population is vehemently supporting an ex-President who has survived trials of impeachment twice, who attempted to engineer a coup so as to remain in power, and who is now facing indictments for a number of his illegal activities. This ex-President is obviously mentally-handicapped, possessed and consumed by his own megalomania that he clearly is incompetent to hold any position of leadership especially that of the presidency. And yet, so many see him as their “savior.” This pattern is all too alarmingly similar to pre-World War II Nazi Germany where Adolph Hitler’s followers ultimately went to their deaths in blind support of an individual who has since been diagnosed as a psychotic schizophrenic. Apparently, the cult of personality is very much alive and has taken root in the United States – a nation that has embraced private gun ownership with a vengeance and that has been proclaimed as a constitutional right by the United States Supreme Court.

The convergence of these historic forces is particularly troubling, for it may serve as an omen for disastrous things to come. It is not unimaginable that these stark differences within the national character can lead to violent and chaotic disruptions in the life of the nation, and tear at the very fabric of civilized society.

It is my hope that reason and intellect will finally prevail – that truth and the rule of law will gain an unmistakable ascendence over the forces of bigotry and repression.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Anti-W.O.K.E. Madness


On, April, 22, 2022, the Stop W.O.K.E. bill was signed into law.  This masterful piece of stunningly backwards and broadly encompassing legislation is crafted to codify policies identified as woke as illegal in the State of Florida.  One might ask at this juncture, what exactly is woke.  According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the word woke refers to that state of mind where one is “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” 

The ire of the proponents of this legislation is particularly focused on so-called “critical race theory” whose main supposition is that racial bigotry remains extant in the larger culture and that the study of the origins of this mindset is essential if its deleterious impact upon racial and social justice is to be corrected.  Critical race theory (CRT) primarily stands for the proposition that the US cannot eradicate racism and fulfill its future promise without facing its past.  There is a very telling photograph that was in the news that showed the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis embracing this anti-woke mentality with a throng of adolescent and overwhelmingly white supporters behind him exhibiting signs that clearly depicted their collective distaste of CRT.  They are students at the Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Florida.

This is a sad and disturbing testimonial to the determined effort on the part of political leaders especially in the state of Florida and elsewhere to demonize and make illegal the very pursuit of vital historic information and knowledge that is such a critical part of education in its truest sense.  It is in serious error and essentially self-defeating to actively and purposefully thwart the educational process and incite in young and burgeoning minds a hatred of not only ideas but the individuals who espouse them.  Ironically, the sign directly in front of the governor reads, “Freedom from Indoctrination” is strangely reminiscent of George Orwell’s Doublespeak – enforcing indoctrination of a conformist and bigoted ideology is the not so subtle aim of the Stop W.O.K.E. bill that was passed by Governor DeSantis’ political party.

In my estimation, this kind of extreme political posturing mirrors the underlying fear of those who support this hateful message that their world is changing and that they may be left behind.  The primary tool at their disposal to derail human progress in this regard is the power of the state to suppress the truth and promote and legislate obeisance to constrained and repressive thinking.  This strategy may seem successful in the short term, but the forward movement of history will clearly demonstrate the underlying fallacy of this kind of thinking.

Humanity will move forward towards a more just and peaceful future once it discards bigoted notions and truly embraces the indisputable reality that all individuals on this earth are members of the same human family.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Why Peace?

There are many armed conflicts being waged all over the planet in the beginnings of the twenty-first century. The one predominant war that is currently raging is the Russian-Ukrainian War. This conflict has left many thousands of death and has devastated the infrastructure throughout the Ukraine. There are also many civil wars like the ongoing conflicts in Columbia and the Sudan. Others represent territorial conflicts like the battle between Pakistan and India over Kashmir and the long standing conflict between the Palestinians of Arab descent and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. There is also a strong religious component to these conflicts as well. Other conflicts fueled by powerful religious and ethnic differences are exemplified by Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s due in large part to the enmity between Muslims and Christians. Of course, the horrific and tragic genocide that took place in Rwanda can not be overlooked. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the various trouble spots that exist in the precarious world of humans. Overshadowing all of these calamitous events is an inexorable deterioration of the global environment.

On examining the ferocity of warfare, it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that the human species has failed to learn very much over its protracted history. The history of Europe from the Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations to the present, as an example, is replete with the carnage that is the inevitable outcome of innumerable wars. These conflicts helped shape not only the geopolitical contours of modern-day Europe, but also nurtured a sense of cultural superiority that propelled forward the colonial ambitions that so impacted the rest of the world. Many of the contemporary areas of instability and unrest are a direct consequence of the policies and actions of the colonial powers of the past.

Within the individual human psyche, there exists a constant tension between the force and power of the emotions driven by the passions embodied in territory, tribe, and nation, and that of reason. The more reactive emotions stem, in large part, from the evolution of the species in an environment that was essentially hostile and in which the forces of nature that impacted human experience were not understood and the causes of calamity were attributed to the gods, malevolent spirits or a particular enemy.

In the beginnings of the humankind, ignorance was prevalent, and fear and suspicion dominated and shaped human behavior. Although the advancement of science and technology has shed light upon many aspects of the human experience that were once shrouded in mystery, the inherent tendency to strike out violently against that which is feared and poorly understood remains to haunt human societies. What is particularly unique about humanity in the twenty-first century is the inescapable reality that the application of overwhelming force against a perceived enemy is no longer a viable solution especially considering the destructiveness of modern technological weaponry.

Over the thousands of years of human civilization, great empires have risen and eventually fallen. The cycle of empire-building and dissolution has generally followed the same inexorable path. The beginning stage is represented by the rise of a local community of common origin followed by a gradual accretion of power, usually by force. Success at this initial stage leads to an ascendancy through the use of superior military strength that overshadows all opposition and leads to the conquest of local adversaries. As power becomes increasingly concentrated into an overweening empire, there is a tendency to expand and overextend the sphere of influence and domination. This ultimately leads to an exhaustion of resources both material and human. Finally, the empire contracts and ultimately dissolves. The entire process might take place over a thousand years as exemplified by the Roman Empire or hundreds of years as demonstrated by the now defunct British Empire.

In all of human history, these cycles of expansion and contraction were tolerable given the low density of human populations on the planet and the relatively benign effects of the primitive weaponry on the global environment. This model of collective human behavior where economic, political, and social differences and rivalries are settled through violent means is no longer tenable in the modern era.

The essentially tribal nature of human interactions has evolved over the millennia of human civilization into competing national sovereignties. The idea that each nation state is a power unto itself is no longer compatible with the rapidly evolving global character of human endeavor. There is currently too much at stake in maintaining the status quo, especially in regard to the survival of the species. The development of technological weaponry, especially nuclear and chemical weapons, has created a situation in which warfare necessarily leads to horrific consequences. Examples of the disastrous effects of protracted conflict can be seen both locally for the populations involved and globally due to the environmental impact as witnessed in the nuclear attacks against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of anti-personnel cluster bombs in Cambodia, the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the deployment of land mines in Afghanistan, the use of chemical weaponry during the Syrian Civil War, and the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) hardened ordnance in Iraq.

The daunting issues that face humanity are no longer local but rather global in nature. The remarkable savagery of the First and Second World Wars of the Twentieth Century awakened the idea of a world organization as a forum for international communication so as to foster dialog between nations and forestall the possibility of future wars of such magnitude. The first experiment in a world organization as a vehicle for adjudicating international disputes was the League of Nations that was created at the aftermath of World War I. This international body met with limited success and was eventually disbanded. This experiment in world governance was followed by the creation of the United Nations at the end of World War II. The United Nations is still extant but remains hostage to the dominance of the special interests of the powerful industrial nations that constitute the Security Council.

The will to empire is still very much with us. Apparently, no significant lessons have been learned from the horrid and often repeated mistakes of the past. The absolute necessity for true international cooperation as a means to effectively circumvent a catastrophic future that now seems so inevitable is still not recognized. Many nations remain fixated on the ferocious competition for dominance and supremacy at the expense of those sovereignties that are weaker and more fragile. A poignant present-day example of this is the Chinese annexation of Tibet, a process that is currently going on. This competition has usually been over the natural and human resources required to fuel and sustain national economies. The needs for additional natural resources such as land for expansion of national populations or energy and mineral resources have often been the focus of international aggression. As needed resources such as oil or water become scarce, the competition will, by necessity, grow increasingly explosive.

This particular mindset has become problematic; the species is in desperate need of a completely new paradigm. The model must be based, by necessity, on a spirit of cooperation and giving. The chasm that currently exists between the so-called “haves” and “have-nots” both within and between sovereign states is helping to sustain the extreme level of violence that continues to plague humanity. Fundamental issues of social and economic justice need to be uppermost on the agenda. Such a focus would require a serious implementation of the role of social responsibility and conscience in the behavior of individuals and governments. The idea of belonging wholly to one nation must be superseded by the idea of being a member of the world community. This, of course, represents a huge leap in understanding, tolerance, and compassion; it requires an obligation to act in the best interests of all humanity. At the core of this change in worldview is the incorporation of non-violent behavior in inter-personal relationships.

The first images of the planet taken from space clearly demonstrated, for all human beings that the earth is our only home. This conception has, in my judgment, become such an integral part of human consciousness that the current and obvious threat posed by global warming may offer some impetus for change. The time may be right to open more effective channels of communication between nations with the focus of developing sustainable economies that would help insure a livable planet for future generations of not only the human species but all the magnificent creatures that constitute the living world. Simply moving through life with self-interest as the guiding principle is not enough to forestall a major calamity that only concerted human action can avert.

In my judgment, the human species is facing an impending crisis that may ultimately challenge its ability to survive on this fragile planet. The forward momentum of what is referred to as “human progress” has led human societies to a rapidly changing world where there are cavernous divisions in religious and political beliefs and a grievous imbalance in the distribution of wealth. These differences are intertwined with each other and provide the impetus for unrest and violent behavior. For the first time in human history the convergence of these forces on a world with limited resources and an ever-expanding human population has created a situation in which the future of the species is no longer assured. The question remains as to whether we are collectively smart enough to overcome these difficulties and work together globally in ways that can divert a catastrophic future.

Unfortunately, violence continues to be the essential driving force for resolving serious disputes between nations and peoples. The contemporary rise of what is referred to as terrorism (although the use of this term conveniently bypasses the terror tactics so often employed by nation-states) is indicative of aggressive behavior that knows no clear territorial boundaries. This does not have to be the case. There are many alternative ways to address controversial issues without necessarily employing violent methods. Why is it that raw aggression is so often the method of choice in resolving economic, political, and social disputes?

The leaders of nations often use their positions of power to exploit the fears and emotions of their fellow countrymen to fulfill hidden agendas, often economic in nature, that serve the powerful. It is the young, uneducated, and threatened members of the population who are most susceptible to the propaganda that is used to amplify the fears and uncertainties that are such an integral part of the human experience. From a chauvinistic viewpoint, the adversary is pictured as evil and somehow inimical to civilization. The enemy, so described, is often seen as less than human and, therefore, worthy of elimination. Those who are lured into doing the fighting are subsequently told that they must abandon the normal societal prohibitions that the rest of the society is taught to live by.

In war, civilized behavior is abandoned as young men (and women) are placed in situations where their main function is to kill and avoid being killed by the adversary that they face. For individual soldiers, survival becomes the impetus for their actions. Their behavior is rationalized by the idea that they are fighting for a higher purpose. Without, this set of beliefs, wars would not be possible.

The burden of war and the carnage and devastation that it brings is no longer tenable in the modern world. Technological weaponry has grown too deadly and sophisticated and the global environment, which is already in serious jeopardy, needs humanity’s undivided attention. There is, after all, one common thread that binds us: we are members of the same species depending on our planetary environment to sustain us.

It is imperative that national leaders embrace this reality and work towards finding common ground, especially with those who are perceived as dangerous adversaries. We face a global crisis that requires global solutions. The grinding hunger, poverty, ignorance, and despair that haunts the lives of billions of human beings must be addressed, along with finding ways to avoid the serious impact that unabated global warming will bring to ourselves and most importantly, future generations. There are, of course, many barriers to such a degree of international cooperation, but in reality there is no viable alternative. The world, with all its wonders, is for us to preserve or destroy.

These thoughts do not, by any means, represent new concepts or ideas. Quite to the contrary, throughout human history there have been voices putting forth the idea of peace and suggesting methodologies to achieve this elusive goal.


Monday, January 02, 2023

The Fallacy of the Notion of Special Creation

As the days move me along time’s irascible trajectory, I come to recognize with greater and greater clarity the soulful poignancy, sadness, joy and exhilaration of living – of seeing, through the portals of my vision, the breath and depth of the human world intertwined as it is with the natural world and all bundled within the seemingly unfathomable cosmos of which we are a miniscule part. The elixir of religion is no cure and cannot provide any sustained relief from this experience called living. Once that very first breath is taken, the journey begins in earnest. That journey is mostly uncharted and the events and choices that will bind us to our fate are mostly unknown and endlessly unpredictable.

In my seemingly relentless pursuit of understanding of what it means to be human, there exists as a corollary to this question another one, namely: Why is the human world and especially human civilizations enshrouded in such chaos and violence and upheaval now and as it has been over its history of some ten thousand years.

Human civilizations over the eons, have gone through a familiar cycle: birth, growth, expansion, retraction and finally dissolution. How can this cycle be explained? Can the nature of the individual human experience shed any light upon this?

The individual conscious human brain (mind) can only navigate safely through the human and natural worlds by filtering all the chaotic incoming data so as to create an inner reality with some semblance of an ordered and comprehensive structure. Without this ordering process, civilized society would be impossible and life untenable. Given identical input, no two individuals will draw the same conclusions nor construct the same reality. Herein lies an essential vulnerability in regard to societal cohesion. In spite of this, civilized societies manage to encourage and enforce a relatively consistent and conforming reality that allows for such cohesion. The particulars of this reality can be referred to as culture.

Impregnated within human cultures is the idea of special creation – that humans are of special significance on this earth. This central idea is essential to most religious beliefs, for without it the concept of god would have no relevance. Yet this notion that humans are a special creation is at the heart of most of humanity regardless of their religious affiliation and even exists within the minds of those who claim to be atheists.

The potency of this idea comes into sharp focus around the issue of human abortion especially within the United States. This has been carried to a ridiculous extreme with the notion that human life begins at conception. It is true, of course, that the dividing newly fertilized female ovum is alive, but that aborting what is, in fact, an amorphous clump of cells following a precise genetic programming to develop into a human being is an act tantamount to murder is crazed thinking devoid of even a modicum of intellectual analysis.

If this idea of humans as a product of special creation is juxtaposed with human behavior on an individual or global scale it elevates this concept to surreal proportions.   For example, currently on planet earth, there is horrendous war occurring in Ukraine in which atrocities are being enacted between humans on a massive scale; humans in the so-called advanced societies are wrecking havoc upon the future of their own species by consuming prodigious amounts of carbon-based fuel in order to sustain their exaggerated lifestyles - knowingly introducing enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment, and humans are irrevocably decimating much of life on planet earth and diminishing the very diversity of living creatures that is synonymous with a “living” planet.

In what way are these examples compatible with the idea that humans are a product of special creation? The answer to this question is obvious.

The individuals within any culture are constantly evaluating their external environment so as to make choices to ensure their continued survival. There exists within the architecture of the human brain an inherent duality that influences conscious perception. That duality necessarily produces an unavoidable conflict between the lower brain – the seat of the emotions and the site of survival mechanisms honed through the evolution of the species– and the cerebral cortex and frontal lobes where the essence of judgment, reason and intellect reside. How this conflict is resolved results in particular choices and consequences both in regard to the individual and the larger society. It is the summation of choices made on the societal level that establishes the historic development of human civilization.

Modern technologically-based and consumer-oriented civilizations – as typified in the Western World - have an added vulnerability that exacerbates and accelerates the elements of the cycle as described above. This vulnerability lies in the fact that in modern culture, individuality has become the primary focus at the expense of the common good. As a result individual choices and behavior are shaped by the pursuit of individual aggrandizement often at the expense of the “greater good” for the community. This emphasis on the individual places significant stressors upon the structured reality that defines the norms of behavior, and when enough individuals choose to reject the accepted conventions, the underlying stability of civilization can be placed in serious jeopardy. The origins of discontent can have many sources depending upon historic forces peculiar to a the time, place and circumstances. Under the right conditions, these kind of forces may lead to a period of inexorable chaos, disintegration and ultimately dissolution.

I would like to conclude this topic with the following proposal. Human are no more a product of special creation than a chimpanzee, a warthog, a stand of aspens or even a paramecium. Our existence is no real mystery in as far as we are a product of evolutionary forces that have been at play on planet earth for some three billion years. All living entities on planet earth are a result of the particular programming contained with that remarkable molecule referred to as DNA. The chimpanzee is such a close kin that we share 99% homology within our respective DNAs.

That programming directs our development from a fertilized ovum to the moment of birth. We are biological creatures dependent upon other living things for the nutrients that sustain us; we are driven by the inherent circuity in our wondrous brains to avoid pain, seek pleasure, reproduce, and survive. In addition, we have this addition faculty of self-consciousness with which we attempt to make sense out of our individual existences. 

Our individual deaths are certain, and I would add absolutely necessary. Without death, our species would quickly overrun the entire planet and strip the earth of everything. In fact, the entire solar system that we inhabit will ultimately be erased without ceremony in a spectacular event when our star, the sun, ultimately runs out of the fuel required to run that marvelous solar furnace.

This is unvarnished reality that we need to acknowledge and accept if we ever hope to transform our destiny. We are only special to the degree that we can shape a more sane and harmonious future. If we collectively fail at this, then we would have done an abysmal job.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

A Hopeful Dream

Truth no longer a whisper
but a flood of clarity,
guns and all weapons of
bad intention or ill feeling
reduced to their base metals
and fashioned into implements of healing,
all who are hungry
are fed,
all who are afraid
are reassured,
all who are pariahs
brought into the human fold,
all who are filled with the bile of hatred
cajoled with sweetness and caring,
all who suffer needlessly
from their own lack of faith in themselves
see the blazing light of true wisdom,
all who have hearts weighted by greed
free themselves from the onerous weight of possessions,
all who love ignorance
witness the rapture and wonder of learning,
all who usurp themselves and others with power,
come to recognize their own impotence,
all who are crippled and torn apart by disease
see their true worth,
artists and lovers of knowledge and thought
are finally appreciated,
all without homes
find shelter in the heart of humanity,
all who are fractured
made whole,
all who are obsessed by race or creed
are freed of their limitations,
all limited and pernicious ideas
fall to oblivion from their own weight,
all who are demagogues
find a life of true service,
all ideas born of avarice and rooted in war
are finally dead,
all embrace all
as members of the human family.