I am using Buffy the Vampire Slayer humor, so you know this must be serious. I only rely on Buffy humor for a Level 4 or above emergency. Kidding. There are no codes.
Our world is in trouble right now. I was going to talk about the Eucharist today – but haha – how long have you known me now Father? How often do I actually do what I say I’m going to do? Well, other than love you meaning all three members of the Triune God forever – and the human race – and…. Yeah, when you have a brain as zany as mine you kind of need to stop somewhere.
But it’s not always where you thought you were going to stop.
Seriously, though, non-random conversation. I was talking to some guy on Facebook who says he’s a follower of Joseph Campbell – whose name I vaguely recall from The Hero’s Journey, which I vaguely recall as being the subject of this one feminist panel I went to at a science-fiction convention where we questioned if in fact all stories followed the pattern of the Hero’s Journey. Putting that aside for a second.
Present day, present time. We were talking about the horrors of the holocaust and human capacity for memory.
Our discussion went something like this.
1st person (the OP or original poster): We need to remember that the Holocaust included anyone less than physically perfect. We need to make sure this never happens again.
2nd person: Human beings lose to ability to keep their memories past a single generation. So that’s a losing battle.
3rd person (me): Actually that’s not entirely true, because part of what makes humans human, as scientists have shown, is our ability to retain memories as passed onto us in the form of symbolism, ie. language.
2nd person: As a follower of Joseph Campbell, I agree in theory, but I’m not sure that people are even listening anymore.
Me: (Thinking but not saying then why not just lead with that rather than sound so depressive and forlorn??) It’s funny I was literally just writing a blog series on this subject, and now you have me thinking deep thoughts about how we could combat the nihilism and alternate fact/false equivalence of Nazis and their ideological descendants. We need a better narrative, one that can say doubting all facts is wrong and believing in at least some truths, having hope for a better future is good.
Basically, to skip ahead a few thoughts because I stopped writing things down at that point. What I’m thinking is that futurism may have failed, because there is still the problem of sin. People should believe in science and scientists, they should believe in at least a Star Trek future. But we don’t. Because of sin. And because people are greedy.
And then my thoughts kind of run out. Because I was thinking if we could just present some clarifying narrative then surely people will listen. But no, it’s still bread and circuses. Maybe. Hm…. The Bible? Religious teachings from various faiths that teach us to be good?
I kind of want to pause and be like science is not the same as religion. It’s not something you “have faith in.” In a way, science depends on some basic level of faith in cause and effect. To some degree it even relies on at least some hand-waving where it’s like we still don’t have a unified theory of everything and therefore we’re a little bit nervous about the reality of existence. It at time means saying something like I don’t care what you say, Mr. President, the science says such-and-such. It sometimes means walking a thin line to get and keep the funding.
In the face of all of that and more, we’re still going to practice medicine. And space exploration. Because, life is short, and we only get one shot.
I think that kind of courage should be recognized to the bottom of my heart. I am not “just being nice” when I say that.
I know some scientists can be selfish and out for gain, but I think for the most part people care about their profession. Trouble is, there is so much money to be made in being a callous a-hole, and so much influence to be gained with all of that money. In particular I keep thinking of the Mammon-shaped black hole that is our healthcare system here in the U.S., what happens when healthcare becomes a for-profit industry. Not to say this is better or worse than say Wall Street speculators who rob people of their life savings. But healthcare is on my mind for obvious reasons.
And now I feel like I’m cycling back around to us all being swallowed by this huge beast, and I’m not sure what to do about it.
We need help. Stat. I don’t suppose it would be too much to ask for some clarity here. I literally have no idea what to do about this one. Consider this me filing a request for any materials and angels and warriors and whatnot you have for defeating megalithic monsters. Forward them on to anyone who can use them.
And please, can you turn down the volume just a smidge? It’s making my cats (meaning me) nervous. Seriously, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
Please don’t let there be anything I can do to help. I’ve had a long couple of months. Stuck alone. In my house. With my cats. And I was just getting to a good part in Naomi Novak’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I mean praying. Okay, I was praying. Because that’s what I do in response to an existential crisis.
What should I do now? Read more of my book or go to talk to your Son some more? Gosh darn free will. Tell me what to do already darn it. Okay the only thing I know for sure is I have no idea what this whole let’s hoard the toilet paper (and other objects as if we were birds building titanium nests) thing is all about. Also I’m glad I always have the foresight (and thriftiness) to buy in bulk. Okay mostly thriftiness. Because it’s cheaper people. I wonder if I should think about donating more of the clothes that will never fit me again to charity.
Also, I wonder when I’ll feel comfortable enough in my skin to let go of this food addiction. But chocolate is SO good.
Curse you, chocolate.
Love you, everyone and everything else. Except you, chocolate, my arch-nemesis.
(True confession: I had my last bar of chocolate as another reaction to existential crisis. I don’t want to brave the Grocery Store Gauntlet again – so I won’t. I still have plenty of “healthy” food in the house.)
Also, totally unrelated thought that fits my mood of the day: I don’t think titanium nests would work. How would they weave the nests with their tiny beaks?
Yeah, these are definitely more rambles than actual prayer requests. Pretty much exactly like last time. Also, I want to say that unlike “those pagans” over there, I don’t think you’re going to hear me “because of my many words.” (Matthew 6:7) I think you hear me because you hear me. And I love and miss you so much. Enough said. For now.
Wait, except one more thing. In case any of my friends happen to read up to this point, I do of course have friends. It’s just that like many people I often forget that during my depressive “why is everyone else out to get me?” episodes. Of course, there are always going to be people willing to at least stand by open-mouthed after you’ve just said “eat my flesh and drink my blood” and sometimes – because they’re just sort of staring like … okay – you forget they are there. Of course, I also totally remembered that there was more than one woman at the cross with Yeshua.
Still thinking bodily resurrection, new heaven and new earth. Please help us find a way back to you. Even if all roads eventually lead to Jerusalem – and to Rome.
Love you forever. I hurt today. Sorry if I’m just making things worse with my rambles. And that is total honesty.