In our day and age, the one conclusion I’ve come to is that it is possible to interpret the present times as one where there is no authority higher than ourselves. With existentialism being passé and Romanticism being junked for cold, hard reality, we are living in a Zeitgeist where the individual self-references. Is it good for me? What do I think? What do I believe? Isn’t God’s Word just so boring and irrelevant? Wait a minute…that is existentialism and Romanticism. Eh?
We live in a world full of queries. The oppression we see across the world countered by our own “do-what-we-want-sunny-ways” makes the intelligent woman or man question the validity of rules, laws, regulations, commandments, and even truth, itself. “Fake, fake, fake!” cry the counter-media. But there are deeper questions than what can be tweeted in a couple hundred or so characters. The question might be, if our border allows all those within it to do this thing, then why would I be persecuted when crossing the imaginary line to the next country? Aren’t there absolutes? Aren’t there fixed points of reference? What exactly is a universal, human right? When does it apply when the “authorities” of the land says it does not? Or what do we do and whom do we believe when the very Nobel-winning face of a champion of human rights allows for so many deaths, so much suffering, and reprehensible ethnic persecution? Are we being fooled? And how do we know when to trust a leader, even if she is a “Canadian” three times over?
I had the same problem when confronted with what was touted as objective reporting. I still don’t know when our civic and national news centres are feeding us a spin or exaggerating the sins of important people. I mean, how much of the truth can you really pack in a sound byte? We all know that recording history, itself, is fraught with problems about its veracity. People forget. People lie. People have an agenda. People are mercenary. People are patronized by certain groups or by the wealthy and the powerful. People might have a gun to their head or their families may be in jeopardy. People are misguided. People are misunderstood. The list of possibilities continues. The point is, history itself isn’t objective, and nobody knows what really happened since we take it by artifacts and theories and hearsay. Even historians can’t tell at that moment of action because of the vast scope of unknowns, of which they only know their own point of view. Sure, we can synthesize, but synthesis implies “artificially” stitching disparate parts together that overlap somewhere, at times. Reality is not knowable; we simply weren’t there, nor were the historians conceivably at all possible angles.
It is the same with reporting. Nothing is knowable. Well, ok, that a man was shot point blank in the chest, while being pinned down, and that he was black and the officer who shot him was white, we can literally see that, nowadays. We can even watch little white guys in sunglasses gang up and choke a big, African-American man to death even when he’s done nothing but say he couldn’t breathe. We can watch the systematic racism of people from Hispanic and African origins being deported, while the British, the French, the Italians, the Slavs, the Caucasian Canadians breathe a collective sigh of relief. After all, as one policeman put it while being recorded by his own dash cam while stopping a very frightened white couple, “Don’t worry. We only go after blacks.”
Is God interested in our lives? Presuming some of us might disagree with Canada’s newly appointed Governor-General who mocks us simple folk for not believing in the Supremacy of Science. And furthermore, is there something inherently wrong with my thinking? I thought for about half a day that no leader, no authority figure, no clergy or family member, is above me. I am my own highest authority. I felt very uncomfortably out of my skin while trying to live that out. By the end of the day, I was back in my shell, begging God to please forgive me for erroneous thinking, much of which was influenced by seeds sown by therapists and the situation of the free world. We can depend on “sunny ways”, yet the law is the law. We have tremendous freedom, if we stay within current mores. We have a nation rich in tolerance and diversity, but the GG wants to shut down all “misinformation”, such as creationism, horoscopes, and all that she chooses to deem as such. Great! Now we will have state-sponsored censorship within a social democracy and constitutional monarchy where freedom of speech is still touted as a Canadian value. WTF??? No wonder, when encountering similar dichotomies decades ago, but under much different circumstances, I went schizo because I couldn’t resolve the cognitive dissonance. I took it seriously. See, that was the wrong thing to do. You’re not meant to take societal things seriously, Holden Caufield; you’re just meant to play the game. Truth-seekers, OUT!
You know, at the end of the day, it is the man with the most powerful gun/nuke who is the ultimate authority figure. By extension, I can see the day when all hell breaks loose and we devolve (sorry, Madam Payette) into tribal warfare. This world is not heading into a very good way. I hope most of us (again, sorry, Madam Payette) still remember to say our night-time “Now, I lay me down to sleep” prayer, because it looks like we’re gonna need it more than ever, now. ~V
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