An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
Society, the Homeless and Bleach
[Thoughts from the Other Side - Erin WilloWitch and Sha'Tara]
Certainty precludes certainty. [Synopsis of Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty]
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. [Robert Heinlein]
The realm of the possible is infinity; the realm of the likely is confined to pre-existing conditions. [Sha'Tara]
Become a believer and you no longer have to be an achiever. Become an achiever and you no longer need to be a believer. [Y-Lea]
Love is a feeling. Like all feelings it is an effect requiring a cause; is short lived, easily perverted and burns itself out as emotion. [Erin WilloWitch]
Corollary: If it is true that "God is love" we have the answer to the toughest question regarding God: The Great Silence. As "love," God is an effect, not a cause. The effect was experienced when nature required its presence as creator, mover, judge and ruler. Man has arrogated divine prerogatives in all these areas thus annulling the God effect. Strictly speaking, "God" has become an icon for those who need to believe in something greater and external to themselves, external to human powers, external to nature and the human mind, external to everything they can conceive. Now ask yourself: Is it any wonder no one can agree on what "God" really is? Who could ever agree on what's external to "me"?
I woke up angry this morning. Good angry. Dreams can do that. They can toss you around, flip you, leave you begging for mercy. Dreams can be terrible reflections in the mirror of the mind. What brought on the anger? The growing "problem" of homelessness in this burgeoning and mushrooming area. The growth boom is attracting many people to Canada's concentrated, cooler, wetter, socially dysfunctional version of California. As always, a growing society also grows social "problems." That's how it is. Gradually, a population boom leads to overpopulation. But it's a comfortable disease, one that kills the body in time but for the moment brings many benefits – or should I say gratification - at least for those who hope to profit by it.
Human society has always been a sick animal. A mindless predator that feeds on parts of itself for its own survival. It's the nature of the beast and nothing any disempowered individual can do about it. Since it's made up of individuals, individuals provide society's fodder. Society is cannibalistic (it can also go ballistic, but that's another topic.). So in a greedy and narcissistic aspect of society you end up with those elites who are served and those teeming numbers who serve them body and soul because they don’t know any better than to stand in front of the steam roller when it comes to town.
Enter the homeless. Which are they? Interesting question. At first glance they appear to be victims of society. A deeper look says, "No, they are not victims. They are that ugly image of what a selfish and self-centered society portrays to itself in its mirror." Metaphorically they represent a cancerous growth showing through society's cheap make-up.
The real victims of society are those who are truly helpless, sucked dry to serve the higher needs. The sick who become the guinea pigs for the medical "profession" and legal drug lords. The part-time, less than minimum wage drones in the fields of dollar store commodities, shoes and clothes, fast foods, accommodation, travel and the vast network of the underpaid so-called service industry. The expendable and starving poor, those who happen to subsist on lands that contain resources the greedy desire. These are the real victims of society, the slaves and martyrs who make society "viable" for those on the higher rungs of the ladder. This is a real societal problem and for this there is a very simple solution available.
But homelessness, the kind we see in the affluent society, is different. It has no apparent solution because it's not actually a problem per se. Homelessness results from society looking at itself in the mirror. When you look at yourself in the mirror and you don't like what you see, the solution does not lie (!) in the mirror. Nothing you do with, or to, the mirror, will change that. The "solution" lies with you. If you cannot do anything about the way you look, then maybe it's better not to look at the mirror. Turn it to the wall, break it, remove it. Whatever. What confronts you in the mirror is not a problem, it's an image.
It's easy to look at a negative situation and label it a problem. Once that's done, society can create another bureaucracy to look into the problem, and another to solve the problem. Enter a new government department. Enter the "benevolent" organization. Enter another curse upon society, another tax burden. And who notices that as the costs of government and benevolent societies mount, so does the so-called "problem" these were set-up to resolve?
Were I installed as dictator tomorrow and the problem of homelessness brought to my attention, I would, as absolute ruler of said society, dictate the immediate round-up of the homeless to be forced into shelters (using currently vacant buildings with proper heat and sanitary facilities.) I would dictate that they be fed properly and given necessary clothing, etc. Then I would dictate that since society is looking after them, their time belongs to society. They live by rules as applying to everyone else and they are put to work in areas now lacking workers due to lack of funds. Case closed. The problem is not solved since it wasn't a problem, but the situation is resolved. And I don't want to hear about this again. Next?
As an individual, which thankfully I am, and not as dictator, I have a solution to the situation of homelessness. Since it is a mirror image of a selfish and decadent society, let's change what is being reflected, not the reflection. Let's deal with the real problem, not the symptom. Let's change "us" as individuals. Let's turn from our narcissism and selfishness, our sickening greed, and teach ourselves to look at our neighbor with "love". Let's no longer accept that "God's in his heaven, the CEO in his penthouse, the bankster on the phone with the CEO, the President robbing the poor to pay the rich, and all's well with the world." The self-centeredness creating that ugly image in the mirror has to go. We want beauty to reflect back to us, so let's become beautiful, in our hearts and minds. The rest will take care of itself.
It only seems impossible because it hasn't been done. Let's move from the realm of the "likely" into the realm of the possible. By doing it. Now. If we become achievers, we won't have to be believers. Another relief. Another burden removed from society as a whole.
Speaking of God, some churches' staff still believe there is one. A downtown church's billboard proudly announces that God is like bleach because he removes the toughest stains. Which tells us that God has a name: Javex. Makes sense, that being the Modern American translation for the old Biblical name of Jehovah. I have used a lot of God in my bathroom over the years. I never realized we were so close, God and I. A word of caution though, don't take him internally.
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|Reviewed by Micki Peluso
|Very interesting as always--lots to think about.
All the best,
|Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
|This is a tough nut to swallow under any circumstances. When people choose what appears to be the easy path in life, ignoring educational opportunities for a quick fix of amusement, the lifetime effects can be catastrophic and usually are. Patrick|
|Reviewed by JASMIN HORST SEILER
|Forced labour, where did I hear this before, Oh yes, that famous sign comes to mind, Arbeit,Macht,Frei, I changed it a tiny wee bit, so as to pronounce it's effect; work, might, and freedom, unless a higher power steals your wages, or imposes it's dominance in one form or another, philosophies, religion, all the isms, like capitalism, etc, we buy and sell with our labour, and if unimpeached by governments, penalties, taxes, etc, etc, we have then the power of choice, unfettered, impinged only by stupitity, laziness, and too much fornication, I think, it's the latter that's eventually going to do us in, the have and have nots alike. You as I see have a talent for being a dictator of sort, and like Tom said, back to the rat race, or the camps, it's all been here before hasn't it? And as for God, He's not going to do our dirty work, rumaging around our souls and beliefs is he, her, it, whatever, too many people say prayers with their lips, instead with their hands, their talents, and like you said, too many too greedy to share, "LOVE". Bless ya! and Happy New Year!|
|Reviewed by Tom Hyland
|SOCIETY - you are certainly right about that part - SELFISH ... Each of us, as individuals are too busy 'eking' out a living for ourselves and immediate families that we are unable, or unwilling to invest time in helping other members. WE - the 'Silent Majority' Middle Class are the greatest numbers, say 80% just for choosing a figure - are not reaaly 'silent' at all - we are the best 'BITCHERS' - constantly complaining about the Upper 10% Rich, and the Lower 10 % Poor!
HOMELESS - again, correct! I wholeheartedly agree - 'Round 'em up, feed shelter, clothe them, train 'em, and put 'em to WORK again! Welcome back to the 'RAT-RACE' you 'escapees!' In Baltimore ALONE - there are Over 35,000 run-down, rat-infested Vacant Homes - as well as huge abandoned buildings that once were: factories, warehouses, businesses, schools, et cetera.
Absolutely No Reason for people to live like animals, in cardboard boxes! Obviously, the government and all its Bureaucracies at all levels cares Not to See this, let alone DO anything about it. WE - that same Middle Class - must stop being just BITCHERS - and become DOERS! Like the disaster area of New Orleans after Katrina, each and every city, town, burg all across America NEEDS a Re-Birth of HOPE - via Re-Habilitation - One Person, One Family, One Home at a time - only achievable through Cooperation to Restore COMMUNITY!
BLEACH ? - this is the actual 'Tough One' - although I believe your statements were merely 'tongue-in-cheek' - relegating 'GOD' down to a household cleanser is a bit much to 'swallow'! Could the answer simply be as simple as to Stop spilling stuff and making Stains? Probably would get more Results Sooner!
"God Helps Those Who Help Themselves!" As a society, WE sure as Hell haven't been Doing much of That - have WE?
So - here we are - Full Circle - back to the real 'Problem' - and its own Solution, or Answer ... SOCIETY! US ! That very same Majority - the Middle Class!
Government has FAILED to do it! The Poor CAN'T do it! The Rich WON'T do it! their Philanthropic 'Contributions' are usually 'grants' or 'funds' set up in their Own Names to get a 'Tax Write-Off' and/or an attempt at immortality by putting their Names up on Campus Buildings, Hospital 'Wings' and other such Futilities!
As Puck once wisely commented: "What Fools These Mortals Be!" Tom.
|Reviewed by Lonnie Hicks
|Excellent write. The mirror on the wall is a great way of advancing ideas and good exposition. Onward. Problems can be solved and thinking that they cannot be solved is the first level assumption that sinks us.|
|Reviewed by RM Green
|I read your essay with great interest, Regis! And from what I take away from this is that the attention to, or glorifying of ONESELF is the culprit - pure selfishness. God (not 'religion', as it were) COMMANDS us to "Love our neighbor as ourselves" in Matthew 22:39. And we are to "die to self" and live on FAITH in Him (Galatians 2:20). If we were to do these things, conditions such as homelessness would not only not exist, but if it were to, we, as neighbors, would take our homeless in and care for them so as they would not be in need. However, we spend too much attention to 'ourselves' in our 'penthouses', reflecting on our own blessings, never even fathoming using what God has blessed us with to actually bless someone else. A very poignant read that spurs us to think - what have WE done lately, especially for OTHERS? Great write, Regis - as always!!
RM (Michele) Green