A Plague of Ignorance And Cupidity

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By Utagawa Kuniyochi

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. — P.J. O’Rourke

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” --Antonio Gramsci

“At any meaningful turning point in life, we must face our deepest fears in order to grow. And typically a turning point can feel like the worst thing that could happen to us. At one level we are at a collective turning point, we’re at a place where we must stop and listen to the body of humanity, even listen to the voice of the earth. We have to stop despite the fears of the stock market crashing and in spite of the common belief that everything must keep expanding, so that we must avoid all possibilities of a major descent.

And yet, we may have already reached that point where individual travel is being restricted for the benefit of all. Where instead of rushing about, flying about, we are being asked, not just to stop and hold in place, but in a way to turn inward.” — Michael Meade

The issue before us is our stupidity and greed. The poobahs model it for us. Money is God. Mammon has a grip on our minds and on our leaders and power brokers. We accept it, not being able to even imagine a better way in spite of the array of better ways we could see around the world if we had eyes to see. We are blind to those better ways because we are blind to our hearts. We don’t see how small-hearted we are.

Therefore our system seems set in stone. It’s a monolith we can’t imagine changing because it was given by our cruel Deity. How long can such a system endure without self destructing? We’re about to find out. It’s going to be a painful process for a lot of good people.

We’re too timid, too passive. We let others do our thinking and deciding for us. A third of us don’t even vote. We congratulate ourselves on our democracy, which is being whittled away by ignorance, greed and indifference. When we do choose, we pick the worst among us to represent us.

A time of monsters, indeed.

I hope that in this fraught moment we will learn something about ourselves. I hope we won’t let our panic keep us from seeing who we are and what we have created. We need to see more clearly, feel more deeply, we need to acknowledge our position in the web of life.

At this moment we lack intelligence of the heart. Wisdom of the heart is the only thing that can heal this fractured world. All the skills and methods are there at our fingertips in science, in finance, in business and governance. But it’s rare to see manifested in our elected representatives because we choose sociopaths and worse to guide us.

We’re not mature, we’re not evolved human beings. We’re still childish adults who are overwhelmed by cliches and shallow fantasies. The catastrophe we invite is self made.

We are plagued by the furies of our own making as we try to row our boat through the dragon filled seas. We refuse the simple wisdom of kindness. We turn our vaunted avatars, even Jesus, into symbols of our own pettiness. We can’t understand simple love and kindness. That’s too great a challenge for us.

How in God’s name are we ever going to grow up enough not to destroy the world?

We have a little time-out at the moment. Perhaps we can think things over and penetrate a little deeper into this mystery we are living. That mystery is not external. It’s us, inside us. It is who we are. If we can use this time to some advantage, we might come to a fuller realization of who and what we are. We might come to appreciate the web of forces that relate us to the rest of creation. We might learn to cherish our world and care for it.

Then we might be able to relax our frantic search for more. That’s what’s killing us.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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