Chronicles in Ordinary Time 64: Plagues and Bubbles

More marketing: my new gallery at Artistically Social:
https://www.artisticallysocial.com/users/mjartscom/gallery/

Cassiopeia A exploded“This new view shows a more complete picture of Cassiopeia A,  the remains of a star that blew up in a supernova event whose light reached Earth about 350 years ago, when it could have appeared to observers as a star that suddenly brightened. The remnant is located 11,000 light-years away from Earth [64,620,618,408,000,000 miles].” 
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/image/nustar140219a

Enders Game, Starship Troopers, Wing Commander…

Take the best and brightest of our children, send them into space, and teach them to be warriors.

Don’t teach the best and brightest of our children to be Explorers and Discoverers; I mean what can there possibly be in this Universe that we need to learn?

 

CS Lewis feared that we humans would launch ourselves into space, and then begin to infect the rest of the galaxy with our brokenness.

We aren’t alone in the Universe; it’s statistically improbable [impossible]. There have been visitors to our planet from other parts of the galaxy. Why haven’t they ever come back to contact us? Perhaps it’s because we have The Plague. I often wonder if there are giant billboards in space, somewhere beyond Pluto’s orbit, billboards that say “Do Not Enter—Quarantined—Plague-Infected”

Lewis’ theme has been used in movies like “The Day the Earth Stood Still” [the original]—the peoples of Earth are given the warning, that if we don’t stop our stupid violence, there will be consequences, delivered by the civilized species of the Universe; and the robotic guardians they have created to control their own violent tendencies. Lewis also contends that there are two kinds of civilizations in the Universe—“fallen” and “not fallen”—two mostly-religious terms that rely on the concept of a Universal Morality. “Not-Fallen” civilizations in which Free Will is always used in what we would describe as a ‘moral’ manner. No harm comes to another through malice or greed. Those “Fallen” civilizations such as our own will also have their Redemption stories, stories similar to the story of Jesus, the Messiah. The Creator taking a physical form, and dying some form of cruel death as punishment for making the claim to be God. And by that death, individuals can be redeemed and made whole again.

We know that humans tend to believe in “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” ignoring Gandhi’s prediction that such behavior will leave the world blind and toothless. Anyone who has raised children is aware that this behavior tends to be pre-programmed, along with a ton of other ‘behaviors’—the beating of our hearts, for example. Negative behavior can be curbed by training; it can also be intensified by training. When a child learns that they have the power of choice, the child learns the concept of “no,” the concept of disobedience.

Right now, half-way across the world from where I am sitting, there are some thousands of guys who believe that torturing and killing human beings on camera, in a brutal manner, is completely okay. That somehow by exterminating people, who apparently have committed the ‘crime’ of believing something different than they, will somehow bring about a betterment of society as they see it. That society will either live in constant fear of doing the wrong thing, or they will live as monsters themselves. The numbers of those guys increase daily, as we go about killing them off, raining fire from the sky. Kill a bunch, and a bunch more crop up. They need to be eliminated; but in eliminating them we become monsters ourselves because of the ‘collateral damage’. We kill innocent civilians when we kill the monsters, and we somehow justify it. Our plague. I don’t have the solution.

The Cross is about forgiveness, rather than punishment. I have The Plague. I’m a recluse, I prefer solitude to having company; I know that I need the input from other people to become more than I am now. I’ve never cheated on my wife of nearly 40 years; the only woman I’ve ever had sex with. The last time I hit someone in anger was something like 50 years ago [a note to my kids—this may not be entirely accurate]. My last traffic ticket was something like 20 years ago, when we shut down traffic on Mount Hood… I am not a good person; I am a cautious person. The Plague rules my heart; I don’t give my body permission to act out that Plague. But in my thoughts…

By the Grace of God I am not the monster I could be; and it’s not of my doing. I was brought to the understanding that I could act like a monster if I so chose; I simply haven’t had/allowed the provocation. I am no purer than any other human being. I learned that I don’t have to let the monster part of me be in control; I can give control of my broken self to the Creator that made me. I am forgiven for sometimes wanting to be that monster.

Some people choose to live in a ‘bubble’—protecting their minds and their hearts from the Plague that swirls around them. It’s easier to avoid the Plague when one avoids the places where the Plague lurks. They raise their children in a Plague-free environment to spare their children from the disease; often their children don’t appreciate the protection—it’s cool to be daring and adventurous.

I wander in and out of the ‘bubbles’—not that I’m daring or adventurous; I simply find the protected bubble to be confining. I also find the unprotected bubble to be made mostly of illusions. There is little there that lasts. I walk a broken road, and that road sometimes beats the crap out of my body. My soul is free, and that is the important part.

the universe in his hands_1

 

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