Seeking the Compassionate Heart


Over the years I've often heard people ponder how something like the Holocaust could have ever happened. I've heard people say that it could never happen again, that people would step up and fight that evil, that we'd not allow another Hitler to take power. We've progressed, we're awake, we're aware! 

In a time when we can connect with people across the globe at the touch of a keyboard, when cell phone cameras are poised at the ready to record atrocities and broadcast them live to millions, you'd think evil would find it far more difficult to prevail. Yet, you'd be incorrect. Evil is finding it even easier to prevail. The most powerful country in the world, one that quite frankly lacks much of a track record for compassionate international behavior, is precariously perched on the precipice. We're watching the rise of a finely tuned, fresh new evil with its seductive, insidious messaging swaying millions once again into seeing 'the other' as their enemy. Misdirected, divided, distracted, and deluded-people have willingly been twisted into seeing family and friends as enemies and believing sociopaths to be saviors. They'll parrot the propaganda with such alacrity, it would be impressive if it wasn't so terrifying. 

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
— Joseph Goebbels

People are hard wired for The Big Lie, which is why it is so effective. Add the micro-targeting capabilities of social media, our willingness to offer up every intimate detail of our psyches to the algorithms, the insatiable 24 hour corporate news cycle, and you have the perfect recipe for the propaganda machine to reach maximum effectiveness. And the truth is, how can any of us know the whole truth? We only know what we are fed, and what we can discern through digging deeper, but how deep can we dig, really? The "news" has never served us the whole truth. It's a business, entertainment designed to gain our attention long enough to sell us something from their sponsors and distract us from focusing on what is actually happening while we scream obscenities at our screens.

You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one’s life. So you lose it, you go to your hero’s heaven and everything is milk and honey ‘til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That’s not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one’s clichés.
— Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

Eat the red pill or the blue pill, it doesn't matter. Stay distracted, stay divided while the purveyors of The Big Lie, those who owe no fealty to governments or religious institutions or their fellow man, continue to fill their coffers and consolidate their power. Freedom is an illusion, but a powerful one. We're not free. We've never really been free, not unless we've been willing to lift the veil and take responsibility for what our ignorance has wrought. And even then, we are not free, we're just painfully aware of our lack of freedom. 

Lines on maps are illusions, sky daddies and their prophets who offer us a guarantee of eternal salvation are false idols, governments are not representatives of the people, they're pawns of their corporate overlords. Your friends and neighbors, even those with whom you passionately disagree, are not your enemies. Asylum seekers are not coming to harm you. Your God is not better than anyone else's God.

Religion is a powerful drug. Race is a social construct. Lines on maps creating non-existent borders are man made. Sexuality exists on a spectrum. Marriage is a tool of the patriarchy. Money is just printed paper. The truth is subjective. We are all made of the same star stuff and we will all return to the great cosmic dust bin. Nothing can change the end of every story.

Yet, we can seek the compassionate heart. We can be kind. We can offer connection, safe harbor, and light. Because that is all that is real. We're all in this together, we're all connected. There is no other. There is only us. Don't let The Big Lie make you forget that. 

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.
— George Orwell, 1984

I've heard a lot of grown ass people say the following, "Thank GOD the children are going to fix this!"

Oh, they are? Really? 

We fucked this all up, and now we're going to step aside and let the children clean up the mess we've left behind? 

That is unacceptable. WE NEED TO FIX THIS, FOR THE CHILDREN. For fuck's sake people, stop pining for the good old days and waiting for the mid-terms and passing the buck to those other people who are going to fix this shit, because they're mirages. The good old days weren't that great. You are those other people. 

The time is now. The evil is here. The messengers are fine tuning the message. We are being misdirected, distracted, divided, and deluded. What unites is is far more important than what divides us, and what unites us is our humanity. There is no other. If we want to prevent another Hitler from taking power, every one of us needs to rise up and resist. It may well be too late, I don't know, but I damn sure know that I won't go down without a fight BECAUSE the children, the next generation, those who will inherit our legacy, need us. And the youngest children being shoved into cages, ripped apart from their families, denied human contact, merely because their families fled unspeakable atrocities in search of a better life need us. RIGHT NOW. Not six months from now or two years from now or whenever those other people get their shit together and fix this mess. 

I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then,” he added in a lower tone, “I ate my own wickedness.
— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

I am seeking the compassionate heart, every day. Some days I get closer, others I feel separated by light years. I get distracted by my ego. I tap into this keyboard sending messages in bottles through the vast and powerful internets hoping they reach safe shores. Yet, who am I to think my messages in bottles have resonance or meaning or worth? How do I know that I am any closer to the truth than anyone else? 

I don't.

Yet, I do know that evil is rising and I am not willing to be complacent or complicit. If you could travel back in time to the rise of the Third Reich, what would you do to prevent it? Do that, right fucking now, before it's too late.

Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World