SERIES - THE TERRIBLE TIMES
DOOMSDAY IS NIGH AGAIN
David Arthur Walters
The inspiration of ancient religion is neither faith in visible gods nor in invisible idols called gods, nor faith in signs or symbols for same, but faith in truth and justice. If the truth be told then justice will be done. We find little faith in truth and justice in the world where might in itself is believed to be right and where material success is worshipped. An honest and just person may not obtain that sort of success, hence only a few men and women are willing to sacrifice themselves to higher ends. Yet in the final analysis, unless many such sacrifices are made, nothing but the direst of dooms can justify history in the end. As history stands today, doomsday is nigh.
Our ‘contemporary’ world of high technology and low morality is a dog-eat-dog world where the mean attention span of the homogenous mass is little more than that of a dog that runs into a room and soon forgets why it entered. Indeed, psychologists advise people to take frequent breaks from the war of all against all, to savor the specious present, the false moment dubbed the Now – we are the more easily robbed of our consciences in our sleep. The bell rings, the dog salivates and jumps through preordained hoops while economists chart the numerical growth of the appeasing mountain of trash, junk and garbage; the most precious of the spoils go to the vested interests, the dominant baboons, while a few scraps are tossed to the fringes to avert revolution – the pungent smoke rising from the smoldering dump is offered to the god. Greed runs rampant therefore confidence men are amply rewarded for deceit. Political philosophers say nothing can get done in a democracy with all its factions unless the people are regularly lied to; therefore there is no shame in mendacity.
No, there is no shame in false advertising and propaganda as long as fools rush in and power and profit are gained. Shall not everyone profit if everyone is overcharged? In any case the voter or customer who does not go along with wrong is always wrong, and if wrong is done long enough, wrong feels right. Seldom is a twinge of conscience to be found throughout the land. Wrongdoers regret misdeeds only when caught; when released they do the evil deeds again and again, and yet again. The forces of darkness of corporate board tribalism and colluding public-private interests preside over the nation. Leaders lie through their teeth daily and regret it only if convicted of perjury.
He who ignores evil is good for nothing, yet false prophets adjure us, in the name of their god, to ignore evil as if evil does not exist but is just the absence of something wanted. Intellectuals have sold their independence: members of the intelligentsia prostitute themselves wherever they can turn a trick. Professional prevaricators with credentials in communications and public relations justify injustice and make wrong seem right. High offices, congresses, and courts owned and operated by the power elite put the oldest profession to shame; their postmodern institutions are whorehouses of the worst sort: souls are leased or sold outright therein. Candidates for the highest offices need no longer be sworn into office with the oath of hypocrisy to do the people’s will rather than keep their campaign promises, for the anti-intellectuals eschew ideology and campaign as professional hypocrites who are more than willing to say anything to get the most votes they can from the shrinking middle class so they can milk the mediocracy for its last ounce.
If the Creator does not exist, then whom shall we blame for our original corruption? We are all in the same boat, so perhaps it is not a matter of whom but of what. What, then, shall we blame for our predicament? There certainly must be something to blame besides ourselves. The great volcano god, the god of absolute freedom, the Terrorist Almighty, shall not suffice for a first cause; we may believe that he exists and that his wrathful eruptions are the irregular consequences of our idolatry; yet we would be better off blaming the volcano itself, for its unpredictable eruptions gives us cause to decline the absolute freedom of chaos, to embrace the regular order of the highest form.
Materialism must be at fault. But in truth matter is what we make of it. As a matter of fact, we have fashioned for ourselves a god within, an I-almighty. In our vanity we would each be an invisible, unaccountable god, our own Dom and doom, a willing cause of our own fate, so let us not blame material causes but consider the narcissus reflected in the pool within as the end-all or final cause. Who might that embodied ghost be? Who is behind the vast conspiracy? And it is vast indeed, for no I is an island unto itself and we have nothing to stand on without one.
Although history is presumably irrelevant today, our ancestors may still be blamed if not worshipped for our present conduct. Their culture is our collective memory; we continue to cultivate that culture even if we regret and defy it. We have in fact read the same old books, the sorry history of our kind’s vanity and crimes against humanity, of the promise of salvation if truth be told and justified in fact. An eternal spirit of history seems to enliven the subject matter, so that the past presages the future. But does the pilgrim progress?
What is the difference between body and mind, matter and spirit? Man wants to own his future, to own what he wants; he has in one way or another always sought to obtain the aid of material idols and/or the demons within them. By repeated suggestion we mistake matter for spirit and are inducted into the infamous halls of gross materialism and bigotry from which even devout atheists have not escaped unscathed – the division of people into believers and nonbelievers, into religious and irreligious, are spurious divisions, for the demon is within: man is innately godly and religious.
What conveys the vast conspiracy of those spirits that seemingly perish along with the bodies they inhabit? An ark was built to traverse the gap between one bank and the next, and within it was placed the inalterable text for future reference. Where spiritualistic East meets materialistic West it was referred to as torah, the light writ large on the bloody old swearing stone, the enduring rock of faith – faith in justice, that justice would therefore be done some day, even thousands of years hence, in case of breach of covenant. The law must not be broken but the facts of the dynamic cases are complex and contingent upon their flux; the opposite might be true of every truth given to the casuists for judgment. But there is presumably a static or necessary truth; the foundation stone upon which the universe pivots; there exists a transcendent final cause or final reason for all contingencies, no matter how infinite their series. The conclusion is embedded in the premise. This eternal truth, true from alpha to omega, is as certain as I=I or I AM. On that rock all differences in fact are justified, for truth must come true . The logical formality alone, for example that Socrates is mortal because he is a man and all men are mortal, is useless unless the facts exist. Yet the truth within, that I am I, persists although that I may be nothing but an empty proposition.
It is of little or no avail, except perchance to obtain some small satisfaction over the exercise of vanity, to fight over the rubble of once holy cities, the disintegrated fragments of the divine providence. Now everyone may have a portable replica of the blazing rock upon which the primordial promise was recorded for future reference. The oriental testament is still a handy bestseller as is the sequel that claims that the promise was fulfilled for some and shall be fulfilled once again for all at the last moment of the agonizing hour. In the last judgment or doom the truth shall be known and justice done accordingly. This is the true faith of the either/or, faith in the Truth, the premise that Truth shall come true , that right shall be rewarded and wrong punished one day; and then and only then shall the merely probable relative truths be certainly rectified, and all facts beneath this dome shall have their Doom for good or ill. To this heretofore unproven truth faith is true unto Doomsday, the proximity of which can be estimated from our lies. Until then we have many choices to make, and may we make the most of them.