By Alex Blum
We are the conquerors of nature, the masters of materiality
And yet we will be destroyed by our own mastery
Climate change is this very reckoning, endemic to our nature
The very fuel we burn to survive will seal our own destruction
The means of industry ensure its own demise, it is the snake swallowing its own tail
Will we gag on it?
Christ, forsaken. Christ, aborted. Christ, refused.
We are an empire that worships a pacifist who was crucified by an empire
Everyone supposedly believes in a God of infinite love, and yet they stand for nothing, they will not practice what they preach
The hollow church feels no empathy, not even when crucifixions occur in their own nation:
The black Americans nailed and burned, bled and beaten, the chance for true empathy to arise
And the white church said no. It stood by, and preached hypocrisy, empty empty words with no action behind them
Where were you when they crucified our Lord?
We were masturbating
On 9/11, we cry
In Iraq, we justify
We look at the other, blind to ourselves
“Look at Putin, he’s a barbarian!”
We’ve killed a million people in Iraq and have now salted the lands with depleted uranium
“Look at them! Look at how bad the Russians are!”
Twenty-one women and fourteen children, killed by a drone
“My God, Putin is evil!”
Anything but looking within, anything but confronting ourselves
In the end, we can only control our selves
What does it say about us when we sit atop a mountain of bones and point at others?
I have an argument that is not an argument
It is nothing but a recognition of experience
When we feel loss, when we feel suffering in our own lives, do we justify it?
No, because it is our suffering
We can only justify their suffering
But who are we? Who are they?
Everyone is the self and the other, it is all purely relative to who we happen to be
When my mother is shot dead by your soldiers, it is a moral abomination
When your mother is shot dead by my soldiers, it is a necessary action
Necessary for what?
The interests of the state
If we place the interests of the state above the lives of others, then others will do the same to us
The world will be built on nothing but hypocrisy, and whoever has the power to kill is happy
Those who get killed must writhe in agony
This is the world we live in
The moral insanity must be transcended.
To justify the death of the other, in Yemen or Iraq or Vietnam or anywhere,
Is to justify your own death
Unless you are a slave to your relative perspective,
All lives are lives
All daughters are daughters
All sons are sons
When I kill your son in a bombing raid, I have killed my own son too
All it would take is the happenstance of birth
If I was born in Iraq instead of America, it would be me dying
It is all of us dying
We have killed the other, and we have killed the self
“Morality is subjective” says the postmodernist.
A child in Gaza is shot in the head
What is at all subjective about that?
The baseline action of murdering a child – can we justify it?
Only if we can we justify the murder of our own children
This is a bedrock of moral principle that no theory can crush
Why would you abandon this truism? Why lose your moral core for the sake of a power hungry consensus?
Stand strong for the clarity of morality
Evolution is the means through which all is revealed
The means through which form unfolds
From the atom to the covalent bond, the covalent bond to the biological brain, and from the complexity of brain to the inner landscape of thought, the world unfolds
We are the inheritors of this grand unfolding
The complexity of mind is our claim to prodigy
From matter emerges mind, from mind emerges the aesthetic world
Evolution is the alchemy through which slimes becomes human
From the primordial ooze, conscious apes shall evolve
Why is it so? No one knows
Who are we to the stars? Who are we to the atoms in our flesh, to the chemical bonds in our eyes?
The world is a process, not a thing
It unfolds, and each stage is incoherent until it mystifies us all by actually occurring
Ten billion years ago, the concept of life was incoherent
Half a million years ago, the idea of conscious apes was worse than incoherent
Try to explain the mind to someone, it is still incoherent that matter should think.
From matter can rise mind, and thus all is possible
What is the next stage? Who can even conceive of it?
Complexity is a pyramid
From mathematics to physics, to chemistry, biology, to mind
Those who squash the wonder reduce it this way
Mind reduces to biology, to chemistry, to physics, to mathematics
What is mathematics but a construction of mind?
The snake swallows its own tail
We still know nothing
Complexity is a pyramid
It stacks its achievements into the most fragile of places
All the world of mind, held within a skull
But as the stakes rise, so do the rewards
In the world of physics, things are not so interesting
The world is just ‘a thing in which atoms run’
In chemistry, things are a bit more interesting
There is water, there are stars
In biology, the world astonishes all
Feeling, sensing, perceiving, struggling
The need to survive
And in the pinnacle of biological complexity, the human mind,
Things get quite interesting
And the skull is quite frail
The stakes are higher than ever
Things are more complex and more interconnected than they ever were
We build a tower buffeted by the wind
The hands are the will
The lungs are the breath
The collapse of dualism is a beautiful thing indeed
The colors of the heart, colors of the rippling wind
The fire and the fury, the empathy and the passion,
The aesthetic depth of the world knows no bounds
That which we only know through experience, that which is left out by every theory
That which ape language cannot approach
Why should there be such depth in the lives of apes?
Biology is a beautiful mystery
Whenever you feel true existential despair, consider this:
It was darkness that allowed us to exist at all
At the end of the Cretaceous period, the sky was seized with dust
It was a true apocalypse
Acid rain, poisonous air
The sun blotted out for days
It must have seemed like the absolute end, the truest demise of all life
And yet a rat still lived
And gave way to the whole world of mammals
If we had gazed into the darkened sky and breathed in poison air, we would have surrendered
And missed our own existence
Mass extinction gave way to creation unbound
Even in the wake of overwhelming death, the world’s greatest wonders were yet to unfold
They are still yet to unfold
The sun is an altruist
It pours light into the world, waging war against entropy
It is by virtue of the sun that life has evolved
All things break, all thing fade, all things decay
And the sun creates anyway
Until it has no energy left, it will provide
In its final days, it will expand and consume the whole world
Planet by planet will be absorbed in its light
Though the flesh is seared, the light overpowers all
And then it cools
A White dwarf
And then black
The sun rests for all time, its purpose fulfilled
All that light, all that energy, and for what?
So that hands could evolve
The rest is up to us
Christ, Lucifer, Vishnu, Shiva, Apollo, Amaterasu, Mara and Thor
The compendium of the soul
Who are these figures? How should we view them?
As patterns. Movement in a direction.
With evolution, they complexity
We personify them in human minds
Our interpretation becomes a cultural meme
And yet what are we interpreting?
The fundamental forces of man,
Through beautiful metaphor
This is no democracy
I stand for universal health care
I can vote for nobody (except Sanders)
I stand for moral honesty, for the end of the killing of the other
I can vote for nobody (not even Sanders)
‘Hope and change’
Shall I translate?
Drones, NSA, and airstrikes on ISIS
ISIS was founded in 2003, in the wake of the American occupation. I wonder why
We create demons and kill them
We pat ourselves on the back for it
And point only at others
This is spiritual darkness
Complexity is a pyramid
Beyond mind could emerge the next step in the unfolding of reality
Within the imagination, within thought, a new primordial ooze may be formed
It is thus our obligation to explore mind to its fullest extent,
To pierce through all limits and usher creative light into the world!
But where are we as a species?
Turning away from mind, away from complexity
Chained to base survival, money has become the means through which all is revealed
Money, a demand on another person to work
And what do we work for?
The snake can swallow itself no further
What does it mean to be human in the year 2015?
To sit on such evolutionary prodigy and squander it all.
We should exude empathy
When we walk past one another, why do you look straight ahead? Such forced tunnel vision?
We both chose to go here
You’re human, and so am I
Why not at least acknowledge each other’s humanity?
This is the moral truism our entire civilization must face:
“If it isn’t justified when it’s your loved ones being killed, then it isn’t justified when it’s someone else’s”
It’s as simple as that
Only a monster would justify the deaths of twenty children. Nobody justifies Newtown.
And yet the Iraq War is to be debated just as the Germans debated Poland
Can we please admit that this is insane?
We must ground God within ourselves
Our moral principles, our aesthetic understandings, and the will that motivates us to act and speak on behalf of them
God without that genuine core is meaningless
This is why religion has become meaningless
Shall someone revive it?
The world of evil cannibalizes itself, it cannot stand
‘I don’t care about you, I’ll destroy you to achieve my ends’
Everybody says this to everybody else
No one will remain standing
So, you see, humanity is doomed either way
The reckoning of nuclear weapons, combined with the steady devastation of climate change,
The ethos of this age will obliterate itself
Why not stand for something greater?
For the world of the aesthetic, and the empathy therein?
It is a power that will not fade
Our reasons come and go, but the soul stays the same
Why not grasp it in your palm and live in its image?
Set your will to the impossible task, and the beauty of your ambition will carry you through
Bring moral truisms to political issues
Won’t that shape the dialogue?
In the wake of 9/11, there was a soul in the air
It was clear what it stood for
Militarism, aggression, mass destruction,
Cowards unable to look at themselves
Hunting for the blood of others
When the beast finally feels pain,
It goes insane
Bush had a 91% approval rating
That was your fellow man
Why were you not among them?
It was no argument that ultimately swayed you
It was a clash of souls
It was clear what warmongering stood for
It was not an intellectual decision at all
It was the refusal to participate in darkness
The darkness is within us
All around us
It cannot be destroyed
Only understood, and resisted
What is Regular Theology?
What does it refer to?
The aesthetic depth of our experience
In art and music, and in each day,
We find it
We don’t have language to refer to it, so we hold it within ourselves
But it should inform everything
The subtleties of our experience
The allusions of the soul within each thing
You feel what I’m talking about, don’t you?
You know it but you cannot articulate it
Cannot argue for it
And yet its essence is at the soul of the world
Without it, life is empty
I think that when people talk of God, they’re talking of this subtle depth
It is all that is life, all that it means to be
Beyond language, beyond theory, beyond symbols, beyond it all
Is the raw aesthetic character of the world
It has been lost to modern man because it fits into no theory
And yet to each individual, it means the world
There is an empathy, and a sublime knowledge, within the aesthetic
It informs reality in ways we must become aware of
It is our hope that the human journey amounts to something
It is that which we yearn for
Let it be known!
And let us revel in its wonder
But what should we do with it? With such overwhelming power?
Align your will with it, and create
Embody the light
And let it speak for itself
You have no ambition? You have no will?
Feel the tug upon your heart and turn it into the future
Such beauty and such light
Is this not what apes aspire to?
We are apes
This idea depresses people
We are apes
It is the deflation of religion, or so we’re told
We are apes
Apes aspire to all this?
This is what apes yearn for?
Then anything is possible!
What a beautiful world we live in, where apes can speak
Apes are exceptional because evolution is exceptional
It is slow, no doubt. But do not lose sight!
What’s next after thinking apes?
And maybe we’ll see
How do we define the other?
I see through my eyes, not yours
Immediately, there is the other
You are my neighbors, my friends
I can see you closely
And put aside some of my fear
In that country
Who are you?
What do you want?
So do I
But I’ll win
Power is the means through which I will assert myself over you
Self and the other
Power makes the difference
Guns, bombs, propaganda
External power for use against an external foe
But what if we’re our own foe?
We seem to have everything in common with those we cannot trust
Support the troops
You don’t give a damn about troops, you only care about your troops
It is a one-sided game, nothing more
Force is a cowardly broker.
It cares not who uses it.
Though today you fire the gun, tomorrow you may be shot
Crimson spray is the death of the mind
All its patterns falling freely
And they cannot be saved
Those who use force are truly testing the mettle of creation
Add up Charlie Hebdo, 9/11, Boko Haram, everything Al Qaeda ever did, every act of terror
Now look at the US bombing of Iraqi cities alone
At least 100,000 people dead, on a lie
Now look at the world, and who is considered ‘good’
Our one-sidedness is our moral downfall
And as soon as another side gains power