Taliesin made two excellent and illustrative comments to my last post that has prompted me on this dappled Béltaine morn to post some further thoughts.
I haven’t quite figured out what to do with mass negativity – of which I feel there is a lot, so I must be partially responsible for it – though I know that I should take some comfort in the fact that ‘it has been proven scientiffically that a positive thought is a thousand times more powerful than a negative thought’. I take this to mean that a positive thought has joy and gratitude behind it while a negative has fear and loathing (not necessarily associated with Las Vegas). Does this not mean that those who love and are grateful for pollution, devastation and genocide will be able to manifest that more than those who are sending out ‘mixed messages’ of fear and love combined?
Take, mar shámpla, Hitler. Caisearbháin and I were watching a documentary last night on two escapees from Auschwitz who tried to warn the Hungarian Jews of what awaited them at the other end of the train lines. They were effectively ignored and millions of people were gassed and cremated before the British and Americans were alerted and a subsequent ‘accidental’ bombing of Budapest brought about an end to the deportations. All this as a result of Hitler’s well known plan to exterminate the dross of humanity.
We have documentation that shows Hitler’s opinion of himself as a Great Man destined to champion the cause of setting the world to rights by establishing the true Master Race in a role of global dominance, a role that almost all rightly consider would have been the worst form of tyranny – and the crazy thing is that he almost pulled it off. Caisearbháin turned to me at one point in the documentary and said “it’s staggering what one man can do using the law of attraction.” It was like a funeral bell going off in my head.
Most people, especially in the heart of Right-Wing Christian America, look at the second world war as a clash of good against evil where the forces of democracy and tolerance were destined to win out after a hard fight over the forces of racism and oppression. As such, the fight could only go one way because of a universal justice in the world (.i. God’s divine justice) that would not suffer such evil to carry the day. Maybe they don’t consciously think it, but I have seen this idea lying just behind other things that they say, lurking just under the surface of the ideas that spark stray comments and questions. The underlying assumption is that there is an objective, spiritual justice that continues to operate despite what is going on in the spiritual lives of most individuals – a justice that is bi-polar (good vs. evil) along doctrinal lines (thus the linking among certain groups of political agenda with religious directives.
Now I believe absolutely in both divinity and justice, but I believe very strongly that our human sense of justice has not gone a long way in discovering what divine justice truly is – maybe some Zen Bhuddist masters, Yogi Gurus, a few martial arts masters and other such wizards have gotten close. I think the druids as an organization had a pretty good idea, but how would we know for sure? Divine justice is written into the very fabric of reality and stares us in the face. It’s up to us to open our eyes and see that many of the assumptions we make about justice are simply too simplistic and immature.
Take violence as an example. Our modern society is very down on violence and considers violence to be ‘bad’, despite the fact that our justice system thrives on it, our political system is based on it and our very lives depend on it.
Perhaps I should define my terms first.
By violence I mean just that. The simple application of force on one thing enacted by another. When you chew and digest your food you are employing violence. When you harvest plants you are employing violence. When you drive your car, walk down the street, speak, type on a keyboard, open a door, close it behind you, argue a point or simply sit still and allow your heart to beat you are employing violence. Of course this is not what we mean by violence. We mean destructive force that results in some form of trauma. How many of us have attended or gone through birth? I’ve attended the birth of both of my children and let me tell you that I now understand why in medieval, continental tradition, war was to men as giving birth was to women. It’s called delivery for a reason. I have been to slaughter houses where there was less blood and both of my children clearly had nightmares about the experience for the first month or so of their lives.
But of course, that’s not what we mean by violence either. We mean force deliberately used to destroy or disjoint – as in war or crime. Aha, now we are into the realm of intent, and a whole new ball-game. As soon as you define violence by the phrase ‘intent to harm’ you suddenly have muddied the lexical waters. Football is suddenly no longer a violent game, as no one (usually) wants to hurt the other player. Certain bar-brawls are no longer violent as it constitutes the same kind of social “violence” that Taliesin mentions in his comment for my last post. And what of the early modern duel? There was certainly ‘intent to harm’ but it was governed by ‘civilized’ rules. Believe me, there have been several times in my life when I wished dueling was still legal. Moreover, I firmly believe that by removing violence in every form from our social ideal that we have shackeled ourselves into a kind of eternal shadow-puppy-hood. I know I am not the only one to think this becuase the movie ‘Fight Club’ argued the same point.
This is, however, a slight digression. My overall point is that divine justice, far from abhoring violence, revels in it in certain contexts. Lions kill and eat, antelope fight over mates, hurricanes sweep in and the shores clean (how’s that for zeugma?), glaciers alter whole landscapes: all within a vast system of interrelated and usually balanced or at least balancing instances of violence. The point extends to all areas of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Before we start denouncing any specific idea or activity, perhaps we need to sit back and think a bit more before acting.
If going against our nature is evil, then our lack of thought and wisdom is the greatest evil we can entertain.