Welcome to the Fall of 2020.
We are living through the complete debasement of the Word. Reason and logic, along with evidence based argumentation on which they rely, have all become optional in the conduct of human affairs. A massive case of magical thinking exists around the molecular realities of our pollution, how it is causing the 6th mass extinction or the floods and wildfires we were not supposed to be seeing for another few decades. Oops. These things are directly caused by our chosen means of production and consumption but we pretend not to see. The long build up to nuclear war aimed at our species mass culling, if not extinction, it too is directly caused by our freely chosen means of organizing greed, power and violence: the dark triangle of public sphere domination represented in the USA by Wall Street, White House and Pentagon (other countries have others playing equivalent roles).
We pretend these three players are not at the core of everything else we do collectively. We also, schizophrenically pretend we need to continue making the bad ecological choices we are making day by day – forever – even if it means our collective suicide. It is as-if just under the surface of modernity there seethes a profoundly angry disappointment: suicide would be payback for this awful creator god of ours that dared to make me consciously mortal. . . and not rich and famous!
I believe through a powerful maturing process this childishness of ours will be purged from the human race. In Deuteronomy we read “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life.” Well here we are again when circumstance, the cryptic carrier of the inner meaning of human history, once again confronts us with the same question. We are being confronted globally this time though we are facing the same choices. Geologists, biologists, ecologists, and a host of architects, doctors and engineers today are not allowed to apply their expertise for the benefit of mankind directly, at the most local possible level. Instead bankers, politicians and military men make all the final decisions that matter most concerning resource allocations, social priorities and structural form in which capital trumps wages, global trumps local, and so on.
The blind guides have lead us into a ditch.
Meaning is the fabric of civilization’s discourse. We receive it and participate in it through the proper use of letters and numbers. Truth, or to put it in material terms, reality as it actually exists down to every finest detail, remains the standard by which we bearers of consciousness may judge the degree of our accuracy in our use of these languages. This interplay of subjectivity and objectivity, I submit, remains as strong as ever. What has changed is our ability to humble ourselves before the objective criteria. How quickly we moved from Dick Cheney saying “we create our own reality” to where we are today.
Does it not make sense that not one single lie makes it through death’s door? Who do you think you will be fooling then? On the other side only what really happened participates in that which keeps the molecules clicking along, be they of the DNA we love so dearly or of the environment we so take for granted.
Catholics believe that those living today form the Body of Christ today. The Lord remains the head but the hands and feet are ours, those of the current generation. With the Covid event the Body was literally starved. Billions of the faithful throughout the world were unable to receive Holy Communion. It was a time of great spiritual darkness, a time of the eclipse as nadir. Without the washing away of venial sins our sacrament provides, the powers of darkness have had a chance to strengthen among us. The Body of Christ was already scandalized with eyes torn and bloody from looking upon the use of the Eucharistic in the ritual abuse of so many individual children. The pain of the faithful, particularly in the USA, was multiplied by the cover-up due to Church pride and deference to reputation over the weight of souls. The Body of Christ has been attacked, weakened and now starved.
I understand many in the modern world just do not understand the reality of these issues of Divine Magick among us. Still, can we agree that there are powers of darkness arrayed against us? Be that as it may, just as carbon molecule misuse cares not one whit about our Climate Change opinions so, I submit, does the reality of the Battle of Evermore shift its balance not one hair by our obstinate blindness. Planetary suicide through polluting ecosystems and species suicide through unleashing the Sun’s radiation on Earth – hello? – we seem to have enemies. They seem to be playing hardball. They seem quite serious about their agenda.
Where then might we look for allys? Will we recognize our brothers and sisters in all people of goodwill and name the enemy supernatural as well as our own capacity for ignorance, deceit and violence or will we just choose another scapegoat? Been there, done that.
As the Body of Glory on Earth fell wounded and starved, the knee of invalid use of authority came down hard on His human flesh. So many now gasped with He who asphyxiated on the cross, “I can’t breathe.” Open racial conflict having broken out it is hard not to fear a return of that madness which made history’s recent nightmares. Yet this is not the whole story. We must include in our speculations about where all this might lead the solemn vow made by the survivors of the Holocaust:
What if Jesus Christ outside the protective doctrinal walls of Catholicism’s universal authority has become, in all too many cases, a monster? Germans fell by an appeal to pagan roots of soil and homeland. Russia, Cambodia et.al. fell with an appeal to atheism’s utopian delusions. What happens to Western civilization if it becomes poisoned and perverted by political authority appealing without authority directly to the Bible? Might the dangers prove to be considerably larger than those stirred up by the passions for soil and social justice?
Due to Covid many join our black brothers and sisters and speak from the heart of suffering, “I can’t breath.” This same year the planet’s lungs in the Amazon forest set records for fires as if it too gasps, “I can’t breath.” Being a resident of the West Coast of the US I must mention the smoke blanketing the region from the record setting forest fires decimating wildlife, ancient trees, homes and lives up and down the coast. For millions and millions of us just walking outside for a few minutes is all it takes to begin to feel for ourselves the stifling restriction of our respiratory systems. Is this not nature’s message, so multi-leveled, angelic even? It is an offering to you and me to work on empathizing with all that is involved in the outcast and the poor gasping, choking, dying.
Might this be enough to cause a real change in what we insist on from ourselves in the midst of our collective challenges? Floods and fires atop the virus just might be the wake up calls we needed. Let us hope so. In fact, let us pray it is so. Let us pray we will not need polluted smokey air in our cities to also contain nuclear fallout before we learn to say NO to that which seeks to destroy us.
Published on the Equinox, Sept. 22, 2020.