Thursday, October 8, 2015

Better Vampires, Saner Werewolves

I think the political cartoon below by Pat Bagley nicely sums up the split mind of the USA.  On one side, you have people pushing for progress and greater awareness.  You can easily imagine a multicultural diversity of folks.  On the other, you have a faction in denial, driven by fear and hate, locked into closed-mindedness.  This, it is clear, is the Republican side, the stubborn  and bitter white core that is, demographically, fading in numbers relative to other ethnic groups.  These are the folks that buy readily into, say, Donald Trump’s intense racism when he says he wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

I don’t write on this blog much anymore, mostly because I am fixated on my novel, which involves two very different cultures and two sets of protagonists.  Another reason, much less, is that I feel the main points I want to emphasize are fairly simple.  Bagley’s cartoon sums a lot of it up.  I’m just repeating myself when I lament that we are in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, and our declining war-addicted empire just doesn’t care.  It comes down to human psychology.  Our enemy is not ‘out there’ somewhere.  It’s our ability to become a slave to our fears and hatreds.  So much of the population is manipulated that way.  Again, Bagley’s cartoon.

I’ll always be awed and disgusted by what I’ve been born into.  This human-dominated world that is on the verge of nuclear war or other civilization-ending chaos; that is on the verge of merging the human species with computers and other cyborg machinery; that has changed the Earth in ways not seen in the planet’s 4.5 billion years.  Honestly, we should all be stunned and amazed constantly, not only by the incredible beauty and complexity of life, but also by what humanity has done, and is doing, to change the nature of it.

We’re blind.  I’ll always be sickened and grieved by the vast genocide of the Native Americans that took place not long ago, committed so that my country could expand, following its self-proclaimed “Manifest Destiny.”  Every privilege I have, every bit of time to write or think, or just be free of constant worry or the need to work and bow down to oppressive forces, comes at the price of unmentionable injustice. This is something none of us should forget and we who benefit deserve to carry a burden of shame; for the momentum of horror continues in various forms.  It was only a hundred and fifty years ago that the atrocities were carried out, scalps sold, massacres conducted, hatred incarnating into murder and demonic cruelty.  This is not ancient history.  The mindset of the genocidists still infects us.  Look at how many people cling with nostalgia to the Civil War, which ended in 1865.  We're very much still children of those times, and its white-supremacy.

I’m of course sickened by all the other genocides as well.  And much else, as I’ve made clear over years on this blog.  My life is a strange duality of fascination for the beautiful and miraculous aspects of being alive, and utter disappointment in humans.  And also the Architects of this universe, this universe that was designed to foster realms like Earth, so magical and yet tragically flawed.  Resplendent and giving, yes, but also inveterate with violence, themes of predation and brutality built into the clockwork of ecological and evolutionary systems.

I frequently rail at God, though I doubt there is one ‘God’ who created all this.  Still, such a God makes an easy, cathartic target.  “Why did you set things up, knowing this was likely to happen?”  "Why? You idiot!  You asshole!"

Most likely I am railing at no one, though it is better than railing at individual people.  We are to blame but we are also very much ignorant pawns of greater ideational systems and the psychology of zeitgeists.  What is infuriating is that we don't have to be ignorant. I sometimes wonder, though, if some people can escape their denial.  Some people seem, after a certain time of letting it settle, locked into ignorance forevever.

Our culture is fascinated by vampires and werewolves.  I think this is so in large part because humans are the real vampires and werewolves.  We consume life, even torture it in factory farms, to survive.  Our need to consume life, magnified through the egregious lens of consumerism (note the essence of that:  consume), has turned much of the planet into a stranglehold of crop lattices.  We are also werewolf-like in that we wear pretty faces, as individuals and nations, proclaiming Liberty, Equality and all that--but the truth explodes into world wars, and the detonation of bombs that are like massive claws swiping the skin of this abused world.  The truth is also the factory farms where animals are tortured, and the manufacturing plants were peasants toil akin to slaves.  Anyone reading this is probably not shackled to the wide oppressive base of the socio-economic pyramid.

Even though we are all vampires and werewolves, it doesn’t mean we can’t work for good and improve.  That's the key.  Some people are better than others ethically.  Some are more innocent.  Again, my philosophy seems to revolve around polarities yet acknowledges the importance of gradations.  Polarities in the essence of life.  Beauty and ugliness.  The search for Good and yet the continuous blight of atrocities and heinous crimes.  Within this framework, we can each move forward, as individuals or collectively.

My spirituality now acknowledges that there are spirit guides who are good, not absolutely, but that is their goal, or part of their purpose:  seeking the good.

There also might be greater gods, but I see them as much less caring.  There is no all-powerful Good God watching over us.  Such a being would not allow the genocides, the defacing of environments, the trashing of an entire world by selfish little creatures who wear pleasant facades but fall into patterns of us-versus-them, conformist etiquette that says all the right things--but harbors eruptions of the worst.

One of two fates will congeal.  Either humanity will collapse and nature will thrive in multifarious abundance again (witness what is happening amid the ruins near Chernobyl).  Or humanity will continue its technological push and create a new kind of species, no doubt through terrible, wrenching upheaval that involves much injustice, class privilege, and vicious repression (we have all these now, nothing new here).  That new techno-species will continue to ride the cyborg wave through versions of 'advanced' creatures.

Hopefully they will be advanced.  Not in sheer power to destroy and conquer, but rather in virtue.  The happiest ending, maybe, is for creatures of light to evolve.  Beings who do not need to devour other life forms; that are not beset by the fears and lusts that cripple sanity.  But as for us humans, we are not creatures of light.  We are vampiric and lycanthropic.  We express as much in our movies and books; that is, our myths and cultural fascinations.  Subconsciously, at least, we know what we are.

We’re tasked, though--if we seek the Good--to channel our energies in new and better ways.  To control and redirect our desires.  To push for awareness and a healthy psychological dynamic.

It can be done.

We’ve seen new awareness in recent history.  Raised-consciousness that challenges sexism, racism and the callous idea that the Earth and its creatures are just bland resources, numbers in a profit equation.  A lot could be solved simply by preventing talented narcissists and sociopaths from usurping the reigns of power.

Freedom is consciousness-raising.  Awakening, layer after layer, to a great universal compassion, the sort of inspiration and spiritual infusion that drove Martin Luther King, Jr..  On the other hand, freedom is not freedom to be racist or sexist.  

 That kinda sums it up.  Bye!  Owl.

(click on image to expand)


  1. I have come to the conclusion that the universe is a pinball machine in an Alfred Hitchock motel and that we are not even players, we are merely targets and rubber bands and springs for the endless store of silver balls to strike and send their electronic signals to the ringing bells and flashing lights before falling down the hole. But I may be wrong and all going according to plan.