Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Freedom to be free from others' views on freedom

It has been a long and winding road. As far back as I can remember (which for me, luckily, is quite far) the road ahead of me was different. Many times I didn't know where I was or where I was going. I just knew the road was the one I should take.
The fact that others would follow me was a great burden for me. "Don't follow me" I would say, "I may just be wandering". Which, of course, was mostly true. And I didn't feel that, if I made a mistake, (which I often did!) anyone should suffer with me. I must admit though, sometimes, I succumbed to the leader thing. It was a heady experience, at Ten, to have an army of kids at ones command. Having a General's privileges was very seducing.
The last 40 years have been both an advancement in some ways, and a stagnation in others. While technology pursued a path of increasing wonders, much of human interaction seems to be happy with a plateau of status quo. War, oppression, ideology, religion, economics, politics, and so on are locked into a battle of privilege and dominion that is prehistoric in stature and purpose.
Many of the people I talk to believe that the end of times is upon us and that their religious beliefs must be followed to reach a heavenly outcome. Some see doom as the consequence of all human efforts. There are also those that see no end in sight. What I see from these views is the abdication of responsibility.
We may continue, we may not. But, it seems to me, if we wish there to be a posterity we must take it upon ourselves to create the opportunity for it to exist. That would mean that all things must reach their outcomes naturally, without the arrogant attitude that only we know best. Unless we are the creator of all things, in which case why not end all injustice and suffering now.
But, in our heart of hearts, we all know, we are not the creator of all things, we all want to live as long and happy as possible, and none of us knows the truth of creation or the end. In that context, I suggest we act and think as if time will be eternal, and judgement will come, right or wrong, from our neighbor. Not ourselves, not God.

An example of our ability to be at once, at the mercy of nature, complicit in catastrophe, and compassionate beyond measure, I recommend the well publicized picture of the firefighter and the Kuola bear from the disaster in Australia. Gives me hope for the future.

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