Until the question (can the revolution in consciousness that changes the disastrous course of man ignite now?) is answered in the negative, or by its occurrence, I will persist in asking it. The problem is that it feels like I’m the only one who is doing so, and that produces and induces the feeling that the answer is no.
Of course, that may be a personal reaction, from my conditioning, culture, or personality. The challenge, for me at least, is to hold the personal crap in abeyance, and hold the space for the question as long as one possibly can. Does the very act of doing so act on collective consciousness within oneself (given that the whole bloody mess exists within each one of us in microcosm)?
I don’t know, but I’m human like everyone else, and we all have limits. We can extend our limits by challenging ourselves inwardly and outwardly, but ultimately capacity and lifespan have the last say.
For the last 20 years, I’ve felt that only when people questioned and ignited insight together could the question break through. Since that isn’t happening, at least in my experience and perception, I have to reexamine the premise.
With the uncomfortable feeling of an echo chamber, I ask, can humankind break through at this time, or not at this time, or not at all because it’s too late or man is utterly incorrigible (as millions of self-hating misanthropists believe)?
It’s strange isn’t it, how one voice can be the voice of a person ahead of his time, or the voice of countless unseen people. Can it be both?
Of the misanthropists, little need be said. They’ve already reached their sanguine, self-satisfied verdict on the human species, forgetting only that they are humankind. Therefore they are the ultimate fools, because they quit on themselves and humanity, and life scorns a quitter more than a murderer.
If the question hasn’t been answered, and the self-hating misanthropists don’t count, that means there are legions hanging back, waiting for someone else to tell them what each one of us can only find out for ourselves.
I’m a pessimist, not an optimist by nature. Without self-pity I hope, you couldn’t have the childhood I had and be an optimist. But no one can have an awareness of recorded and evolutionary history, not to mention the present world, and be upbeat about the human prospect.
Even so, there are different ways to be positive, the least and most negative of which is the general American mode of slapdash whitewash, which has grown so tedious and tiresome.
Yes, you can be positive when you feel negative. And refusing to give up when everything says man is a lost cause may be the ultimate form of being positive.
So we return to question. It has been axiomatic since I resolved the riddle of man to my own satisfaction a quarter century ago that the work of radically changing humankind is as old as man. Many times however, especially lately, that insight and faith have come into doubt.
The one thing I won’t ever subscribe to is the notion that “death is eternal nothingness.” If you believe death is eternal nothingness, then you cannot help but feel that life is perpetual meaninglessness.
No, life is a journey involving death, and I don’t just mean the thing we put off until we physically kick off. Death is an infinite mystery, forever beyond our knowledge, experience, beliefs, and opinions. Can we come into contact with the actuality of death during life? Certainly we can.
It used to be said that man is the only creature that has knowledge of his own death. Our deepest fear arises from that knowledge. But I submit that we have the capacity to transcend death by knowing it directly while fully alive.
To most people, that sounds like a horrifying prospect. But death is too important to put off until the end. Death is the very ground of life, the universe, and God.
That may not answer the question, but for me at least it puts it in perspective.