Monday, December 29, 2008

5 Million Years

Here we are nearing the end of 2008, over two thousand years after the horrifying torture and mutilation of a human who wanted to spread a message of love was supposed to show all mankind the narrow path to light, peace, and redemption; some 1300 years after another prophet was supposed to show man the road to righteousness; thousands of years after various mystics revealed certain secrets for reaching inner salvation and ascension to spiritual purity; and yet this very day bombs are falling in great numbers on a place called Gaza (where residents can't seem to resist firing rockets at their unwelcome neighbors who evicted them from their parents or grandparents homes some short years ago), and in any number of other myriad places around the globe murder, mayhem, and madness are the norm; financial turmoil is causing further devastation for millions who thought they were safe and sheltered from the vicissitudes of calamity... it would seem that in fact the human race has not come so far at all from our humble beginnings among the other beasts (which we threaten with wanton extinction when they lie between us and the objects of our collective rapacious greed)... we have not come so far, despite occasional glimpses of the sublime in the fields of music, architecture, literature, fine arts, intellectual and scientific pursuits, and so on; in fact, at seven billion and counting fast, we remain mired in the pig-wallow of violence and base behavior which we would expect among starving graveyard rodents and carrion-feeding vultures, but not from the higher order of species we so idolize with our lofty proclamations of human rights above all else, no matter what the cost. When we should be twenty or thirty billion humans on the face of the Earth shall each still have the same value of rights as before, when there may be so little oxygen left in the very air that not one may yet still gasp a breath, will we then be satisfied that human rights above and before all else was the right course to follow? I remember the title of a book which lay on a coffee table in the family home long ago, the title was a question : "How Should We Then Live ?" A very apt question indeed. All of the above thoughts explain why I found this poster so pleasing when I stumbled upon it in the wilds of western France one day last summer. Loosely translated the message along the right side says :
5 Million years to bring us to this...

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