Sunday, April 3, 2011
THE HORIZON: THE OTHER SIDE
Continuing to ponder the thought of a thousand years of peace not far ahead, not in my lifetime, but heck, I'm used to living in a world that operates on an economy fueled by war. We know no other way. I can never forget the time I went through the Philadelphia art museum with a black friend who was a Muslim, American. He asked a black guard a question, they set to talking, the guard was from Ghana, and when they found they were both Muslim, they hugged and were instantly brothers. That's how we live in peace. Didn't Jesus say something like that, love one another as I have loved you. Alas, Jesus, we humans are slow to learn how to override our evolution as warriors all the tens of thousands of years we've been humans. Even chimpanzees have wars. It's deep in us to thrive on conflict, all the way back to insect.
Genghis Khan made wars to plunder and take wealth in all its forms back to Mongolia via the Silk Road, by which the Mongols also transferred the plague from China with fleas riding yaks along the Silk Road to destinations all the way to Europe. In the Age of Oil big countries plunder helpless countries to take their wealth in the form of oil. The ones plundered are compensated by collateral damage taken lightly. The Mongol hordes, or the Tartars, about put an end to civilization through the region of all the -stans that have never really recovered from the pillage of the 13th Century, all the way over to Ukraine. The Mongols plundered unbeatable everywhere they went, killing, destroying entire cities, Old Testament God giving Saul instructions to kill em all. The American Army in the Indian wars got fired up by chaplains preaching Old Testament wars telling the boys to kill em all. Now it's done with machines and the highest of high tech gadgetry, tanks that can shoot a tank out of sight over the horizon. The Mongols and the OT Hebrews used knives, swords, spears and arrows. It was up close and personal.
I've always been of the pacifist stripe, thus have always been frustrated because of ongoing war, or one after the other, however you want to look at it. Half full or half empty. By now I've learned it's what we humans do. In what the preachers call the world is always duality, opposing opposites, going round and round, perpetually. I've chosen to go the way of Chinese poet Han Shan, go to the mountain and stay there. Outside of society, what Patti Smith called a rock and roll nigger. In society, our leaders lead by example, self-centered taking from the people they're hired to represent and end up representing corporations against the people, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and getting big perks for remembering their true loyalty, to money only. This is a time of Biblical proportions: the Revelation.
In the thousand years of peace we won't have California grown oranges in Florida grocery stores. Grocery stores may be farmers markets like in the middle east. We'll probably eat according to what grows in whatever regions we'll be living in. I suspect communities where people farm in new ways that have been learned after a century or more of scientific study of how things grow best. Instead of tractors making rows and hoeing-in lines of seeds, it will be probably with more attention to compost, raised beds, hydroponic, and it won't be grown on factory farms, but consciously. We'll eat better, much better and be healthier. I expect arts to flourish, not by getting hundreds of thousands per piece, but living with aesthetic considerations in everything, as we now have aesthetic consideration in very little but cars and commodities. The Mexican restaurant in Sparta is entirely decorated aesthetically. It's the only place in Sparta that is, anyway when Chris Davis doesn't have a shop in town.
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa made a film called DREAMS. It is half a dozen or so imaginary places that are symbolic of passing cultures in the 20th century. The final scene, after atomic devastation, is a gentle scene of a stream, a foot bridge, trees, modest houses, flower beds everywhere, people content within. That's where I, too, see us headed. In the 20th and 21st centuries all the old cultures, religions, belief systems of every kind, even to child raising, are breaking down. Traditions and customs of all varieties are going away. Perhaps when they're all gone, we'll start over freshly and evolve new traditions over time, which will become calcified after a thousand years or so when traditions are held sacred by some and not by others. Sunnis and Shiites. Catholics and Protestants. And here we go again. It's the calcification that needs breaking down. Traditions have turned to chalk and don't function in the culture they pertained to any more.
We're moving into a time when we will think very differently from how we think living in Babylon in its full power. We'll read about this time in history books as the most horrific with wars all the time. And especially this time will be known for the new classical age in the arts, a renascence way beyond the Renaissance and the Greek and Roman Classical Age. Way beyond. This time will be looked back to in art as breakthrough into entirely new ways of making art and just plain seeing. The art of the 20th century manifested through creative minds into visual expressions of what we are collectively going through as far as our consciousness being raised radically through this time.
The raising of our consciousness has gone quite a ways by now, and will go on much further before we enter that span of living among other human beings on earth without wars going. Doesn't mean we'll like everybody and probably won't be the end of fights. We'll have treaties and international agreements that are serious and binding. Possibly. Whatever the case, I look forward to future lifetimes to see how such profound peace will be to live with. I'd like to have a donkey. We'll have a new way of seeing God that is so convincing we'll commit to service without penance, self-mortification and self-loathing. That mind is over. It surely will be a fulfilling time to live through. Might even get to be like India with a holy man or woman sitting under a tree with devotees around. When someone attains enlightenment, he's no good for this world anymore and can't make his way in it, needs at least someone to take care of him, and devotees to help him stray in the body, which he could blissfully leave any time.