An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
Emptiness - thoughts at Easter
[from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
"... there are more kinds of emptiness than the kind that pleasure fills. The emptiness of a body when the spirit is gone. The emptiness in a house when a child is away. The emptiness in a mind when the memory is beyond reclaiming. The emptiness of a journey without a destination." (from "Exile" by Michael P. Kube-McDowell)
And I would say that the second and last comments describe what afflicts this society of hedonists mindlessly plunging into any and every repetitive pleasures without the slightest concern as to the effects. Where is the spirit? Where the destination?
This brave new world thought itself so smart when it threw off the yoke of organized religion (at least for the most part and on the surface), allowing itself to become infatuated with a completely unnatural materialistic technology. It joined itself to the destructive forces of the marketplace to become nothing but a producer of junk and an insatiable consumer of same. Spirit? Dead. Destination? Death.
So we come to an end of a line. The romance is over and the work required to make it work is more than the lazy and dummied-down hedonists care to look into. The world according to science, technology and numbers is definitely showing its dark side and many are those who now sit with their dirty blanket, sucking their thumbs and waiting for the Mayan predictions to come true : the end of the world at the end of 2012. Of course that will not happen: it's not how things work, but it's easier to pretend than to face the coming reality; a reality nothing man can now do to change. Oh yes, man's world will "end," not with a bang, but with a protracted whimper. All the so-called good things will gradually cease to magically appear in super-stores. They will rot, rust and disintegrate over the coming years. Bit by pain-filled bit society will collapse upon itself, break up into smaller groups and return once more to scrounging what survivalist living it can from the detritus left to it.
How did a world of intelligent beings come to this? How could it have been so easy to con billions into buying a global pig in a poke? I think everybody knows by now the "how" of this: cheap fuel. World-wide communication that became instant communication with the help of computers. Public education that brainwashed billions into believing the new gospel cobbled together by corporations, banks, sociopathic leadership and pseudo-scientists in the pay of the highest bidder. Information became knowledge, as did tourism; advertising became news and truth, and before you knew it, everything had become same-old, same-old. The result was predictable: apathy. Today's expression of commitment to a cause is a comment on "facebook" or posting a 15 minute "YouTube" video.
I want to talk a bit about religion here. I remember lives I lived when religion ruled the world. Not the mega-corporate, certifiably dead corporations such as Islam and Christianity but religion as a force that could put an adherent in touch with a world other than this one. A world of spirits, of good and evil natures. Everything had "something else" within it, even the world of inanimate objects as they are thought to be (an impression that is about to change!).
The coming "modern" world did not take kindly to this ability of people to touch the spirit world. Using the most vicious kind of force, it unleashed the dogs of war and terror upon the "pagan" worlds and all but severed the connection man had with the spirit world. It then substituted the new and false organized Religions, carefully tailored to fit in with the corporate and one-world agenda. By moving "west" Christianity lucked out and became the number one Religion on the planet. A few hundred years later, a challenger arose and the worlds of Europe and the Middle East were plunged into endless war. I am reminded once again as I write this and "remember" my own involvements here and there, that these Religions claim that their God (yes, there can only be one!) is not only pure love, but an absolute reality. That being the case, if God is love, then love is terror and bloodshed, or terror and bloodshed is love, whichever comes first. For those who would spring to God's defense here, don't bother: I've read the Apocalypse of St. John, otherwise known as the Book of Revelation.
Despite the mayhem caused by Religion, the spirit was not completely annihilated on earth. Even within the spiritless "One God" Religions there were those who still could see into the spirit world. The gift was buried alive, it did not die. I know this because I was raised in Catholicism, a strange cult that in many ways resembles more the pagan worlds it conquered than the One God Religion it claims to be. The spirit is not completely dead in that religion, though it is in most, if not all, of its leadership. It was in Catholicism that I had my first visions of a living and very active spirit world. When I left that Religion to seek other avenues for truth I lost those visions for a time. When I joined with other Christian cults still seeking for the visions, I was appalled at the driness, the emptiness in those places: they made my Catholic experiences seem warm and inviting by comparison.
I got the message finally: that the freedom to pursue a life of spirit was not in Religion, nor in resurgent pseudo-pagan cults. It was, had always been, within my own mind. It was something I had to choose to do for myself, something that no one, not even a One God claiming to be all-powerful, could deny me. This was my legacy and I would have to claim it if I would become a true human being. Well, I claimed it. I disentangled myself from the old Religions and also broke the bonds I had forged to politics and to money. I would not be a slave to belief systems or false promises any longer.
The results have been very interesting. I no longer consider "death" to be either an end or an impediment to life. I do not fear the future because I can "see" it, as I can the past. The world I now inhabit is infinite in scope. The bugaboos of heaven and hell which Religion created and exploited no longer mean anything. I realize they are still real and important to billions and that's as it should be. At least that's a destination, perhaps a slightly better state of mind than that of the die-hard hedonist with his self-deceiving motto: we're here for a good time not a long time.
Perhaps modern versions of Religion are dead. Perhaps their vaunted claims have been for the most part shot down by science through explorations of the macro (universal space) and the micro (cellular biology). Perhaps their leadership is just as corrupt and sociopathic as that of governments, banks and corporations. Perhaps most of it is just cheap entertainment, or a place to meet friends and make business deals. But sometimes you need something to get started. Sometimes you need to sleep with the Devil if you would read his thoughts.
I have interacted quite a bit with individuals who claim to be seekers but spend a lot of time beating up on Religion. In the years I've studied them, I've seen no change. Still the same old arguments, the same old bashings, same old bitterness. Sad; at the very least extremely boring. They "escaped" from institutional Religion and out into the world of man. They know enough to realize that world is a total fake and fast coming apart at the seams; that science is nothing more than a glitzy wizard of Oz, but they cannot see deep enough within to get it: they are stuck. Problem? No spirit and no destination. Conclusion: emptiness.
If I could give advice I would say, go back to the church. Get truly serious about what it could teach and what it should expect its people to live like. Read, study, listen and find some passion about life! If you are of those who have a spark of spirit still in you, that spirit will make you itch, will make you very uncomfortable while sitting in the comfortable pew listening to bland, childish expositions of spiritual truths. You will awaken, you will have no choice. And if you do not, if your spirit is truly dead, then it makes no difference whether you die in the church or the gambling casino.