Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/23/great-reckoning-look-back-mid-century
We humans have reached a crisis point. We’re rapidly using up planet Earth and, as the kids say, there is not planet B (or more precisely, none we could conceivably live on). Many of our traditions are not just out of date but suicidal – “Be fruitful and multiply” for example. Or, the profit motive – that enriches and empowers selfish greedy actions rather than ones that foster life.
What’s needed is a powerful and positive vision of the future; the Green New Deal and Medicare for All are certainly positive steps but don’t go nearly far enough either for what’s necessary or to motivate us to move forward rather than back.
The Copernican revolution dislodged our world from the center of the universe, but doesn’t this also mean we are in the heavens? Heaven and Hell are no longer out there somewhere, they coexist right here. By closing our eyes to a belief in a higher purpose, we are condemning our children to Hell.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. I believe each of us has a piece of it in our hearts. We need to commit to building that kingdom here on Earth.
Repentance and redemption can change minds. Then some reparations could follow and we could view ourselves as brothers and sisters on the road to survival, perhaps.
Although the silence from the rest of the Universe doesn’t give a lot of optimism. It’s said the faith can move mountains which seems like something to hang on to.
The novel American War by Omar El Akkad is a disturbing work describing a dystopian United States through the eyes of a young woman, SaraT, and her family. While a bit raw in spots(it’s a first novel), it does require several readings before the full impact strikes. A second Civil War, complete with biological warfare, has divided the country. Florida no longer exists. Fossil fuels are banned in the North, still flagrantly used in the South. I could cite The Coming Global Superstorm written by Art Bell in 1999 and used as the inspiration for the movie The Day After Tomorrow. All I know is, we have danced and it’s time to pay the piper his due.
Nice article there Andrew Bacevich !
Collapse - partial civilizational collapse - it works, probably.
I looked up the word ‘progress’ the other day - from the Latin, it just means walking forward, which is what we are all doing.
Reminds me of mountain climbing ~
I don’t think we have to know where we are going to make progress, we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As long as we are capable of that - we are at least still alive, even if not all that well.
Cities and farms, civilizations - these were shocks of the first order, certainly sufficient to destabilize tribal hunters and adventurers with a group size c 100.
As I survey what little is known of the Universe we all inhabit - progress and collapse seem completely normal - the way things work. The quantum people tell us that is the way of the small world too. All possibilities are always being explored - in effect - trial and error.
This seems a lot like mountaineering too !
Just now things are looking really really bad - we have no answers as to how to ensure a soft landing - hence this article and many books and thoughts along the same line.
I would very much favor a soft landing - and we seem to possess the tools to make it happen.
But as Ian Tyson sings -
“Wishing don’t make it so”
I think it is maybe a time for steady nerves.
This also sounds like mountaineering, and as Andrew is also a retired Colonel, US Army - I imagine it sounds a lot like also like war - this need for steady nerves.
And then there’s Lady Luck - who also inhabits the high places and the battlefields.
I like what you said.
Jesus also said: “Where two or more are gathered in my name…” I believe that even small groups of individuals coming together to “visualize” a new world, a world like the one you speak of, can have a positive impact on change.
Consciousness raising may seem ineffectual but perception is reality. If millions raised their consciousness to perceive a great change, perhaps we could bring into reality that heaven on earth you speak of.