Surreal Times and Hope

Surreal. Quiet before the storm. A vivid dream—a bad one. Is this really my country? Have I slipped into a parallel universe, one where most details are the same as in my world, except for much that actually matters? The same guitars hang on my bedroom wall, but friends are suicidal, hateful, blaming everyone but themselves for the suffering they’ve brought on themselves. The same motorcycles fill my garage, but the NSA can listen to and watch anyone through their phones, computers, or televisions. The same pet scratches behind his ear and begs for the last bite from my plate, but respected politicians and celebrities, it turns out, have been raping women and children. The same dripping kitchen faucet needs a new washer, but men now marry men and the latest “scientific studies” reveal that there are over 112 different genders.  

How long might this bizarre list go on?

– Europe is overrun with millions of refugees from the Middle East, thanks to what was called the Arab Spring and to overturning Lybia; women being gang-raped in France and Sweden, reported only by “fake” news. While Europeans no longer bare enough children to replace themselves, their immigrants have large families; but warning of Western Civilization’s demise is racist–their culture alone is of no account.

– Islamists have slaughtered tens of thousands of innocents in many countries; don’t point out the relevance of the religion they claim as their inspiration, though, or one is called an Islamophobe.

– America’s youth call for Communism; they riot about whatever they disagree with or have hurt feelings over, and seek to silence free speech—a true zombie apocalypse! I laughed at a radio show host’s hyperbole, calling Liberalism, twenty years ago, a mental disease; now I believe he was speaking clinically. Reasoned debate is fine, as long as it hurts no feelings and is in line with pop ideology; otherwise, it’s hate speech, equivalent to violence, calling for a physically violent response. Marcuse and Gramsci, Cultural Marxists, have won the day–repressive tolerance.

– North Korea’s nuclear weapons now can reach anywhere in America; their satellite circles us daily. One nuclear bomb exploding a few miles over our atmosphere kills over 80% of Americans within a year. School children should be singing “Duck and Cover” again.

– The collapse of our economy apparently in inevitable, given our $20+ trillion national debt.

– The computer chip is nearly ready to integrate with the brain, logging the mind onto the internet. What hive-mind might we become? What of free will? As quickly as Christians got behind the grave social sins of our day, who doubts most of them will readily rationalize accepting the mark?

– Human brains in pigs’ bodies, with transhumanism beyond the sci-fi imagination of Frankenstein or Iron Man. We splice genes, with code from another animal. At this fundamental level of God’s creation, with hubris, we replace him as creator.

– AI and robots replacing humans’ jobs, beating us at chess, driving our vehicles, our programs creating their own programs…. How does this not lead to mass unemployment? Look to Hollywood for plausible scenarios of our becoming slaves to AI or of it seeing humans as a threat.

– Cloning sheep–don’t tell me some lab isn’t cloning humans. When might the Star Wars army become reality? When might Baphomet take on flesh, a human/goat/man/woman?

 

I don’t believe I’m writing from a vivid dream or from a parallel universe; the horror is worse—this world I’m in is real. How is our day not as the day of Noah, a time near Christ’s vengeful return? Is not believing that a hoard of demons has been unleashed from Hell a fine explanation for all this? This seems the best explanation for the mindless mob mentality and inhumanity we’re commonly witnessing.

 

One shouldn’t need this laundry list to be afraid. Very soon, relatively, you’ll be dead, likely from a slow, undignified, painful disease. Or am I wrong? Will transhumanism rescue you from mortality? If it does, what kind of hell on earth might you endure for eternity? Consider your cessation or your everlasting life–terrifying?  

Hope

 

Perhaps you don’t believe in the Creator, who not only set this universe in motion but who presently sustains it imminently, loving you personally. How then, does anything, including oneself and your loved ones, mean anything at all? Might the rest of the universe mourn the obliteration of earth itself? Absurd—the world, life itself—absurd.  

 

I won’t bore you with sound reasons for believing in, relying upon, loving, God your Father—you’re too busy hating the one you say you don’t believe in, too preoccupied with pursuing wealth and status, getting inebriated, immersing your senses in pornography, casual sex, and trivial social media, gaming…. I’ll simply ask you, ‘are you happy with your life, with who or what you’re living for, with how you’re treating family, friends, and those you meet?’ If you’ve taken off the headphones or put down the iPhone long enough seriously to consider this question, there’s hope.  

 

Now I ask you to consider a few traditional possibilities, just for the sake of argument. “Tradition,” I know is a dirty word, please don’t feel triggered (anything not generated and approved by your generation is wrong-think), but please do give it a thought. The word represents the laboratory of societies and cultures. Just as science uses the principle of conservatism in favoring the going theory, without strong contrary evidence, so too one might find traditional marriage not to be the going practice around the globe for millennia, without good reason, for example. I briefly list a few traditional possibilities that great minds through the centuries thought worthy of our consideration.

 

– Perhaps the cell, with its many moving parts, each of which must be in place for the cell to live, couldn’t have evolved from a lower to a higher state by advantageous adaptations. Yes, aliens might have deposited the initial cells on earth; but this only backs up our problem a step. Is it foolish to think, upon discovering remarkable intricacy, that a most intelligent mind, not chance, designed it? Sure, given eternity and an infinite number of universes, the high order we witness could, logically speaking, randomly appear in the universe we inhabit. What about Occam’s razor, though? We’ve multiplied entities to infinity, throughout eternity, to save our pet theory, it seems. At least this offers the benefit of not feeling ultimately accountable for one’s life, anyway. And we say religion is the opiate of the people.

– Given that life couldn’t exist, if the earth were just a little closer or a little farther from the sun, perhaps order, design, is found in nature, not just randomly imposed on nature by one’s whim. Is the idea that the universe was created by a Consciousness beyond space/time really as nutty as the militant, evangelistic, “new atheists” insist it is? Most of the great scientists in history didn’t think so.

– Perhaps morality isn’t just from social convention, relative to culture. Maybe the prohibition against wanton murder isn’t rooted in taste, as one’s preference in ice cream is. Is something moral just because the majority says it is? I’m glad Martin Luther King didn’t think so. Is it, then, just about pleasure, making only feeling, not reality, relevant? Might not morality require a transcendent source, not given to constant flux?

– Perhaps a belief that can’t be shown analytically or empirically, nonetheless, can be shown to have, more or less, the weight of reason on its side. “No. Any statement incapable of being shown to be true analytically or empirically is nonsense!” (says the verificationist). Except for the preceding statement (showing verificationism not to follow its own rule)? Instead, maybe Reason isn’t so myopic. Maybe the metaphysics of Medieval philosophers had a point, Monty Python aside. Sound reasoning is informed by more than sense observation and deduction.

– Perhaps your culture, with its sophisticated media and technology, has indoctrinated you, even while you accuse the religious of blindly following their faith. Christians regularly must examine their faith, in our hostile culture. How deeply have you interrogated your influences and assumptions? Multinational corporations and government invest billions in steering your beliefs, perceptions, emotions–to no effect?

– Perhaps your smorgasbord spirituality is shallower than the organized religion you’re attempting to destroy. Are you against organized cell phone or computer manufacturers? Universities? Gaming or sports? Is it just religion, then, that should be utterly subjective, without communal deliberation? Maybe a Church that’s been in continuous existence for 2000 years, and the Jewish religion of a people existing 2000 years before that, just might be something worthy of your consideration. Oh, but the hypocrites! And what institution or culture ever has existed without its share of them?

– Perhaps the Socialism/Communism you hope for has been tried and found badly wanting. I’ll bet it’s one hundred million mortal victims would think so! Don’t be one of its useful idiots.

– Perhaps beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder, but follows God’s design, as do the true and the good. The golden ratio of 1:1.6, explained by Fibonacci, found throughout nature, art, and architecture, consulted by plastic surgeons before carving up a person’s face, suggests that beauty, like cells and atoms, exhibit great mathematical design. True, contemporary artists sell paintings of a dot on an otherwise white canvas, for tens of millions of dollars–I ain’t buyin’ it!

Concluding

If you are going to die in relatively short order, and society, too, follows the law of entropy, tending toward disorder, what are the options?

  • Continuing in blind and selfish hedonism is for fools. “Hap-Hap-Happy All the TIme.”
  • Wallowing in self-pity or nihilism might just as well lead to a quick suicide. “Nothing Really Matters to Me.”
  • Emptying the mind toward losing all desire, intention, thought, becoming one with the All that has no attributes, is inhuman–anti-human. Do you take this world as fundamentally and radically illusory? Is one’s ultimate purpose and fulfillment found in the annihilation of personality and of relation with the other (with things and thoughts and people), of individuality and of community? “Nothing is real. Strawberry Fields Forever.”
  • Marching on with Modernity and faith in Reason (with a capital R), while perhaps forgivable for an Eighteenth Century philosopher, appears untenable on the other side of two world wars and the atomic bomb (and the list this paper began with). “It’s Getting Better All the Time.”
  • Surrendering to my Father’s will for my life and for society, accepting his forgiveness and restorative grace, is my chosen option. Having considered the alternatives, I don’t mind the mockery and insults lobbed at me by the self-professed tolerant ones; I’m fine with saying, alone, that the emperor has no clothes. Objectively speaking, arguments for a Supreme Being make sense; subjectively speaking, I know Christ’s love and power in my life. If you haven’t studied the former, you’re not in a position to evaluate the arguments. If you haven’t yielded yourself in prayer and contemplative Bible reading, you couldn’t understand the later. “Jesus is Just Alright with Me.”

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