It is Easter Sunday. The day that a dead man rose from his tomb and walked around for forty sharing his wisdom. If that sounds cynical, well…
“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.”
Bara Dada, Indian philosopher
Nonetheless, we usually have a huge Easter party with all of @PanKwake’s friends. We do Pagan easter egg hunts, have a huge pinata full of candy, and celebrate the return of spring. Which, by the way, is a universal core of several religions – spring rebirth and renewal, after the dead, barren winter cold.
Of course, this year, there is no party. Nor is there much to celebrate. 2020 has seen some unprecedented global events…
In addition to the first real global pandemic (HIV was epidemic), we have seen a wildfire that decimated a whole country and killed an estimated billion animals, perhaps entire species were wiped out. It will take decades to recover, if ever. And now, one of the world’s deadliest volcanoes has spurred to life. Krakatoa began to erupt late Friday night.
But it is the footnote to the limited articles that is most frightening to me. Two other nearby volcanoes are also erupting. Of course, scientists dismiss these as unrelated events. Yet, one radical theory suggests that activity in one can have a knock-on effect at others. It is theorized that seismic tremors, which precede the movement of magma, travels through the ground and can loosen the earthen channels of others nearby.
If it sounds like I know a bit, I did research on this as well as the carbon sink theory for a sci-fi romance I wrote. I called it my apocalypse series. It was so bad that it could have been made into one of those cheesy Saturday afternoon movies on the SyFy channel.
Except 2020 feels like we are living one of those!
Today is thirty-one days of this special edition – with no end in sight. Wednesday will be four weeks, twenty-eight days of total self-isolation for our @HomeCrazzyHome. With at least eight more weeks to go in terms of the government’s guidelines. But we have no idea if that will be enough.
Though I have always kept a one-to-two month prepper pantry, I went out well before the panic buying and topped that up to three months. But some of @PanKwake’s favorite things cannot be stockpiled. Cheese, sour cream, and other dairy products. While many of those can be frozen for use later, smell and taste are some of @PanKwake’s autistic superpowers. That is unlikely to work for her.
Our neighbors and a couple of our friends always ask if we need anything when they go to the store. But almost a month into this crisis and those supply lines that the stores and government assured us would right themselves, that there was no need to panic, have not. Milk is being poured down the drains by farmers. And iceberg is the only lettuce available.
Whether it is your Jesus and the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the Hour of Islam, The Day of the Lord (Judaism), Kulki for the Hindi, or Shambhala for Buddhists, all the major religions speak of a time of destruction. In our @HomeCrazzyHome, @PanKwake believes that we are all just SIMs being played by someone. I begged Alan to hack their game yesterday, to return it to normal. That is it, though…
A reset. A hard reboot.
Even if this is not that ‘prophesied’ end of the world, we as individuals and societies need to accept that it is the end of life as we once knew it. Or, more accurately, the illusion of invincibility. That we could simply go on making and buying things we did not even need.
Hubris and greed have ruled, even in those religions, for all of written history.
Some people ruling and enslaving others. All fighting for his or her slice of the pie. Even our ‘scientific’ theories are based upon that premise. The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, the original title of Darwin’s The Origin of Species. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, the father of capitalism.
But that is not the truth. At least not the whole truth.
You see, what we think of as history is only a fragment of our human story. About five thousand years out of 200,000 years of humanity, in some form. That is .025%.
Yet we base everything from our economics, our governance, our education, our religions, and even the relationships between men and women on one-quarter of one percent of our existence?
What about that other 99.975%?
That is the sad thing. Most of it is lost. Gone. Erased. Part of that is likely natural, cuneiform is one of our first known written language on stone tablets. But even those get broken. The writing worn away by time and weather. Papyrus and paper even more so.
But the other contributing factor is fake news. Yes, that too is nothing new, folks. As Winston Churchill said:
“History is written by the victors.”
But even the few ancient paintings on the walls of caves that we do have are tainted, interpreted by mostly male historians, archeologists, and other ‘scientists’ who claim and honestly believe themselves unbiased but are in fact, tainted by those theories such as Darwin and Smith’s.
So, we think of those ‘cavemen,’ Neanderthals, and even some indigenous peoples as uncivilized. In other words, we judge them and their lifestyles against our standards of greed and hubris.
A tribe of fifty hunter-gatherers living in the Amazon working collectively and in harmony with the earth is called savages. Yet, there is a degree of collaboration and community that we have never known. As for the relationships between the sexes, yes, there are often gender assigned roles and jobs. The men hunt, and the women gather, sometimes a bit of farming. But the real power balance between them is often more equitable than in our ‘civilized’ societies.
Not to make those cultures out to be ideal. Yes, they face a degree of death and disease that until now we in the West have not seen in almost two hundred years. Yes, they often euthanize babies who are born with disabilities. And their tribal rules can be so restrictive as to stifle invention and ingenuity.
But to call them uncivilized or savages is a judgment that quite frankly, we have no right to make considering our own murky history.
I don’t want you to think this is all negative or depressing, though. It is spring. The flowers are blooming. The birds are singing more beautifully than I have ever heard in my lifetime (probably because there are no cars to drown them out or frightening them away). My seedlings are splotching like mad.
And that is the point, after the cold, dark, barren winter, life is returning. It is a cycle that those ancients celebrated in ways that we will never understand. But they knew something we have forgotten or arrogantly ignored –
Death is as much a part of life as birth.
They are two halves of the whole, two sides of the coin, Yin and Yang. Entwined.
And whatever death and destruction has happened already or will occur in the day, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and millennia to come, humanity has survived for 200,000 years.
We will survive this, too.
Perhaps not our greedy and hubristic societies built for billionaires on the backs and shoulders of enslaved workers who are themselves driven to fight one another for what little of the wealth trickles down in Adam Smith’s capitalism.
Perhaps not societies that value specific traditionally male roles as banking, stock exchange, and legal/governmental jobs above conventionally female ones like nursing, teaching, and other carer professions.
Perhaps not family systems that value and empower one member above all others due solely to age and a penis.
Perhaps not educational systems that continue to reward obedience, timekeeping, and rote memorization over creativity, critical thinking, and initiative.
And I certainly hope not government, legal, and tax systems that reinforce those antiquated and inaccurate assumptions of ‘survival of the fittest,’ ‘limited resources,’ and stringent hierarchy that favor a few at the expense of the many.
Will this be a new reset for our world and the human race?
I believe that something, whether it be one of those gods of the world’s religions, Mother Nature, Fate, or whoever is playing our virtual reality game, is giving us a unique opportunity to see the truth for ourselves.
They said that we could not restrict air travel – yet this virus showed we could.
They said working from home would never be viable – yet this virus showed it is.
It is showing us too that we cannot rely upon bananas from India, coffee from Brazil, or kiwis from New Zealand.
I admit, as a Transcendentalist, my belief in the basic goodness of man, and that big government is wrong has been shaken to its foundations. As much as I yearn for Henry David Thoreau’s words from Civil Disobedience:
I HEARTILY accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
Yes, I heartily agree that most governments have been inexpedient in this crisis. But men have 100% proven they are not prepared for anything else. Even when given clear guidance, it required draconian lockdown measures to make them do what was right for themselves and others.
But it is my greatest hope that one day we will emerge from our caves of modernity, stand in the light of truth, and experience the renewal of pure spring for humanity and this planet.
Until that time, I will continue to plant seeds. In my garden and this little-read blog, that maybe some future historian will discover and analyze.
Oh, I did not cite many of the works upon which I base my theories in the body of the text, as that would be too cumbersome. Honestly, I paraphrased and extrapolated so much that the originals are barely recognizable. Instead, I am linking to many of those below. Since we have little to do now than learn and reflect, I hope that one of you will take the time to read at least one of those books.
In no particular order than the one that came to my mind, I already linked to Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, but add to that…
The Chalice & The Blade by Riane Eisler
When god was a Woman by Merlin Stone
Just about anything by Marija Gimbutas
The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
And I am sure I have forgotten a few, but I need to rush out to the garden.
Remember, we decide our future. Even if, as this crisis shows, we have no control over some of the things that happen to us and our world, we do have control over how we react. Yes, we will all have down moments. But if we pick ourselves up, remember who we are, and act, then we survive.
One of my favorite strong women scenes:
She survives partly because she was prepared mentally and physically but also through sheer determination.
Let me end with one of my favorite poems, which perhaps best describes why I have chosen a non-traditional path of spring renewal than an empty tomb of obedience.
Invictus By William Ernest HenleyOut of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the yearsFinds and shall find me unafraid.It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate,I am the captain of my soul.
Goddess bless and renew you from Her springs of life,
From our @HomeCrazzyHome to yours