The search for TRUTH can only be done by individuals.
Groups tend to search for PROOF.
TRUTH is ever-changing and not relevant to the goals of group stability.
Stability derives from finding and teaching PROOFS of the core beliefs of the group, passing this information along to new members. Newcomers who seek TRUTH must do so on their own time and are usually either scorned or shunned, sometimes even banned from membership, if the TRUTH seeker attempts to share newly discovered, seemingly relevant information.
These observations do not logically conclude that either goal is superior to the other; only that this is the way it is. That’s the TRUTH and I can PROVE it.
During my first year on planet earth Jean Paul Sartre was a WWII prisoner of war. I remember reading of his period of enslavement during my freshman year at Phoenix College. He spoke of living in the trenches he helped to dig. It was not so much the agony of the loss of freedom or the pain or the hunger that riveted my attention. It was his complaint of a psychological effect of this kind of degradation. He lost, he said, a significant portion of his spoken vocabulary. I knew that he spoke the truth.
With the onset of vulgarity we said goodbye to subtlety and with it curiosity, the most fundamental intellectual component of human existence. Ozzie and Harriet were replaced by the Simpsons and the tattooed man on the midway gave way to Grandma with her permanently shaded eyelids and four year old great granddaughters with pierced ears and navels. When I was very young my mother sometimes covered my eyes when we went to the movies. The next day I’d ask my friends what I missed. It was usually either a nearly naked Betty Grable or a Nazi death camp.
The search for role models by American Youth now produces heroes with prison records and rappers whose vocabularies seem to favor four letter words and an alphabet that frequently gets stuck on the seventh letter. American slang is reflective of prison and street society. That segment of the population which receives free food, free rent and now free cell phones is not shrinking; it is growing at a rate much greater than that of the overall population and as the snowball effect becomes more visible the resulting influence of the values of the indolent victimizes middle class American youth and by the doing, all of American Society.
In a few years the current rate of moral and ethical regression may have our country on its knees.
(Dang, my monthly supply of Soylent Green* is nearly out. These crackers are made from people, you know. Oh well.)
Perhaps we’ll come back in future centuries as something better. Our DNA will be much improved. We will have a respectable quota of aborted fetuses, providing us with the genetic assistance for morphing into something so much better. Our bodies will be muscular and long limbed, those limbs and organs replacing and healing themselves, often without medical assistance. And Soylent Green will have come and gone. Sunday will become once again a day of rest for that is when we will eat and sleep. On Saturday night we will play. We will treat our no longer aging bodies to sexual romps with friends and family. On Sunday morning we will plug in to a machine at our bedside which will keep us asleep and well fed until Monday morning. We will acquire all the rest and nutrients necessary for the rest of the week. And with raging hormones we will then continue on our competitive path, no longer content with Football or Hockey. Large carnivorous beasts will have long since been released back into society at large. They will hunt us and we will hunt them. Ahhh. Progress.
*Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, and in his final film, Edward G. Robinson.
Kamal: Lee, are you taking enough time away from your work to enjoy yourself?
Lee: I don’t know. I enjoy my work, Kamal. But I’m enjoying our visit, also. Do you think perhaps I’m living a little too close to the edge?
Kamal: It’s okay to live on the edge, my friend. But some times if you sit down and let your legs hang over the edge, that’s fun too. And, one more thing Lee Broom, that you need always to remember….
Lee: Yeah, what’s that Kamal?
Kamal: If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up way too much space.
Lee: Thanks, Kamal. I appreciate your pointing that out. Any other words of wisdom?
Kamal: Ask me tomorrow. Lee Broom, I need something to look forward to.
Lee: Any clues?
Kamal: Yeah. Let’s talk about women.
Lee: Agreed. I’ll do some research. I’ll look it up on Wikipedia.
Kamal: You need more “hands on” research.
Lee: Tomorrow, Kamal Amin. Tomorrow.
The mid-seventies was a wonderful time for me. My lady was an English woman of breeding and character. I drove a vintage Cadillac, purchased for its collectability. I founded a corporation whose job it was to create an art exchange between Scottsdale AZ and major museums in Iron Curtain countries. I celebrated daily and throughout the year, with noon–hour laps in my pool, swimming naked in the Arizona sunshine and finishing the ritual with sweet potato sandwiches and ginger tea. Many of my friends were of a certain Beverly Hills variety and I had an affectionate pet skunk named Hilda. I traded that life for a white picket fence and lived the next twenty years in utter despair. I am happier now. I am seventy two and embarking on a new career. I am happier than I have ever been and I don’t know why. Nor do I want to.
If you accepted the notion that Love is the only power greater than yourself, how would you explain that?
If you argued for a Power that did things for you, how would you describe that Power?
If you could describe God, what would you say?
If you were elected to be the Ruler of the Universe what Powers would you need to do your job well?
If at the end of your first term you were judged on how well you did your job, who would be your judge?
With the onslaught of vulgarity we said goodbye to subtlety and with it curiosity, the most fundamental component of human existence. Ozzie and Harriet were replaced by the Simpsons and the tattooed man on the midway gave way to Grandma with her permanently shaded eyelids and four-year old great granddaughters with pierced ears and navels.
As a child my mother often covered my eyes during the RKO newsreels on those once a month Friday night movies at the Bison theatre. The next day I’d ask my friends what I missed; it was usually either a nearly naked Betty Grable or a Nazi death camp. Yesterday, two pastors of a Scottsdale Church were TPd. “Just kids being kids” said one parent. “An act of love” said another. An hour on the internet produced two dozen TP “pranks” resulting in death or serious injury. Most were in the last year.
“Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word and the sky is not cloudy all day.” *
*Home on the Range. 1911. Lyrics written by Dr Brewster M. Higley.