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FROM MY CORNER: Reality Check

Howell Hurst Humans, Nature, People

The Hubble telescope and hundreds of other high-powered telescopes have been searching space for years. They have viewed millions of miles, actually millions of light years, out into the vast Universe.

We have essentially seen what is out there. We know our tiny position in the physical space we all live in. We have mapped the stars, the planets, the galaxies, the various asteroids, and bits of other matter existing, including our own junk space waste.

Eighty-five percent of all people of the Earth allegedly today believe that a non physical spirit of some sort lives out there in some heavenly throne room. He, she, or it is supposed to have created all of us, watches over us, and will greet us upon death (if we’ve been good) and welcome us to eternal life forever.

Now, I don’t wish to belittle the beliefs of several billion people who embrace this concept of reality. It is not my reality. I am a simple humanist and evolutionist. I believe in what I can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, feel, sense, and acknowledge with my evolved brainpower – limited though it may be.

Knowing that billions believe in a spirit world guided by a master spirit, I admit I always wonder why all this spiritual power has never deemed itself capable of just getting organized and physically rescuing, for instance, all the war veterans who still live homeless in our wealthy country.

I wonder as we buy our next new luxury car, and the other luxuries that seem to guide our non-spiritual selves through our capitalist society, why and how we have created the brutal forces of political power.

How do we allow armed forces to be gathered together to confront discontented people with rubber bullets and tear gas and beatings? How do the crowds of people themselves get so carried away that we can even gather in the first place, and destroy buildings, and taunt authorities to such a reaction?

What strange force causes such diverse opinions to develop and become the norm of our lives? How do we jump so easily from an alleged spiritual realm to such a brutal reality that our culture has developed?

This mental fragility of ours is stupefying. It numbs the gray cells of the brain. It takes one’s breath away and leaves us all standing, open mouths gaping, at the edge of our sanity wondering if we each are not just part of the cause.

I guess we all are. In my world of what I call humanism, we are indeed the cause of all this. It is indeed we who are responsible for our own reality.  I don’t have in my worldview the luxury of denial. I pin it on us.

We are the guilty, I believe. We grasp vainly onto metaphysical concepts of gods and golden heavens, we pray for guidance, then we run in circles. We sit frozen in clumps, astounded by our reality.  And we accept it as our norm, apparently.

In this pandemic we’re all facing, I see the potential we may finally discover and acknowledge that we are the only real answer. That it is only us, finally dismissing our disbelief in our own capability to master ourselves, that will produce the solution to our everlasting human comedy.

I call it a comedy out of respect for Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” that marvelous allegorical, ironical satire, that puts all of us in our place by imagining where we would fit in the envisioned Christian Hell.

Otherwise, I’d have to call it a tragedy. And I think that would be self-destructive. It may be we will all go extinct someday. The sun will die out. We’ll all just finally disappear. That’s the astronomers’ and physicists’ prediction.

But, I blindly embrace a slightly more optimistic view.

I’ve not been to any mountain like the reverend Dr. King, I’ve not viewed any promised land. Nope; I just hope against hope we humans can and will at some point get our act together.

Just take control of our physical reality and finally do something that makes a little sense.

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