Killing each other to preserve life?
What fools we are!
But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence . . . only illusion is sacred, truth has become profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.
— Ludwig Feuerbach, (1804-1872),
Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity
Infinite growth on a finite planet is suicide.
— Vandana Shiva, Indian philosopher (1952-)
What we are witnessing now — as well as participating in — is the destruction of human civilization by a species stricken by a dilemma it cannot solve, because it is trying to kill its own death, resulting in an eternal orgy of manic mayhem resulting in the negation of everything it ever tried to achieve, and the demolition of everything it has ever built.
Though it has been going on for at least five thousand years, it has reached its inevitable crescendo today, when those with the power to do it can kill off the bulk of the population and try to start over again, mimicking the exact folly that has started every war in the sorry history of human hubris. Hubris is a word for the belief that we can solve anything by rational thinking.
What is happening today once again proves that we cannot. It is only by faith in a benevolent future, that same desperate hope we evince when we witness the birth of our children, that can lead us to a sane and healthy future.
The dilemma can and will never be completely solved. It can only be ameliorated by the recognition that so many great minds have already discovered — that we may not live this life for ourselves, but only for the ones we love, which ideally would be every one and every thing that has ever lived; but more practically it becomes the devotion we are supposed to display toward our children.
Or as I like to say, deluding myself that I have come up with an original thought that no one else has ever discovered, you can’t ever really save yourself, but you definitely can save somebody else.
Today we are witnessing the worst thing that humans have ever done to each other — the culling of our own species in order to ease the difficulty of organizing this imaginary plantation we have created for ourselves
I had a grip on this in the 1990s but was not mature enough to synthesize it into a formula that could save us from our own self destruction. The two key books that trigger these thoughts are Ernest Becker’s 1974 classic, The Denial of Death, and the 1968 revolutionary screed by the French situationist Guy Debord titled The Society of the Spectacle. These two fascinating theses are hardly understood by the majority of people in the world today.
You can’t save yourself, but you can save somebody else — notably, the ones you love — and that has what has sustained us for as long as the so-called family of man has been on this planet.
Now, only a very few of us can see the perilous predicament we are in.
Those who believe their money can save them from death are trying to exterminate those who believe that their idea in an afterlife can save them from the destructive power of their own money.
What is being done is beyond diabolical. It is what Debord predicted all those few years ago — it is the negation of life made visible.
I found the formula more than twenty years ago but have never mastered the ability to shape it into an understandable form. I realize that it is supremely overconfident of me to think that I have found it now.
The mostly unknown cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker described the human journey as an immortality project that results in everyone constructing arbitrary goals for themselves that at bottom all have the same objective — to insulate them as effectively as possible from the undeniable fact that they die. So they create all these wonderfully engaging achievements that take them away from the knowledge that one day they will not be here, that all of their creations will crumble to dust, and nothing they have accomplished or created will ever be remembered by anyone at anytime in the future — except for one thing. Their children.
That’s the system God set up, if you want to look at it that way. And it’s a good system, except for one thing. The ego. No fantasy is too fantastic for this irrepressible dude. This irascible character of irresistible intent is the constant striving for eternal life that pollutes all other endeavors, and suppresses all our solutions to keep the peace and preserve our planetary paradise, which we have turned into a sewer of our own neglect.
Those who constantly pray to God for the eternal maintenance of their indestructible souls are really deluding themselves into thinking their hope of heaven means they will continue to operate their egos is what I used to call puppydog heaven. The soul may survive indefinitely, a whimpering wisp of some essence of relative goodness, but the ego definitely will not.
In our panicked love for life, this is truly the impossible knot that traps absolutely everybody into their impulsive behavior. That’s why the descriptions of this heaven are so fuzzy. I used to describe it as the desire to go bowling forever. With the angels, of course. This is the place where that manic Frenchman Guy Debord describes as the place where deceit deceives itself
It has become a neon billboard in our minds today, and it has produced the untenable situation today where our highest profession, our doctors, conspire with our bankers to kill a large part of our own family in order to make their opulent existences more comfortable. Improvements in human healthcare have created a situation where there are too many people being born and not enough people dying. The drastic solution now being executed by Bill Gates and Doctor Fauci is to kill off nine tenths of their fellow human beings. Ultimately, it will solve nothing.
The fact that we die prevents us from becoming loveless tyrants that destroy everything in our paths. It’s a good system and if you want to thank God for it, that’s perfectly appropriate.
That’s why I’ve always said at the end of every story I’ve written for the past 20 years constantly trying to figure out why we are destroying ourselves, and pinpointing a corrupt belief system as the engine of our own demise.
You may not live your life for yourself. The engine of our demise is a corrupt belief system. You may not live this life for yourself, but you can save somebody else. The fact that our egos don’t survive death is a good thing. It keeps us from becoming megalomaniacs, which the dream of eternal life inevitably produces, and what drives the maniacs who believe that killing nine tenths of the world’s population will solve all our problems. It won’t. In fact, it will be the final end of us, and the end of everything we ever loved.
We are at the brink, at the edge of the cliff. If we don’t turn back now, we will have nothing further to obsess about, except for the agonizing remembrance in our endless sleep that the universe will never know we ever existed, and never know that some of us had the idea that we could have created a world of laughter than would have reigned beyond the sun and beyond time had we only been able to conquer ourselves.
Killing each other to preserve life — what fools we are!
This phantom menace is the folly of glory. True glory is watching your children grow up healthy and peaceful.
All human action reflects the negation of life made visible. It’s time to get a grip and take control of ourselves. If we don’t do it now, it will be the last chance we ever have.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida, constantly trying to figure out why we are destroying ourselves, and pinpointing a corrupt belief system as the engine of our demise. Solely dependent on contributions from readers, please support his work by mail: 6871 Willow Creek Circle #103, North Port FL 34287 USA.