Every soul has its own trip that often unwinds unpredictably, subject to intangible Karma; not so? You’ve got yours, I’ve mine, to each their own: managed more or less deftly until its fatal unfolding for which no-one has a choice. Hitler and his henchmen had theirs, also. Some new tyrant, stumbling through his like Godzilla, might smash ours like yachts berthed in a hurricane. History has warned us.
Haven't we become cagey enough to recognize the worst gangsters and shut them down right away? Won’t they remind us of all the creeps of history? Could they try anything new that we’d not already faced and overcome?
Learners will tap into everything that lets itself be known, which will make them smarter. Smarter people, fewer mistakes; fewer mistakes, less pain; less human pain, greater productivity. Rapid investments for limitless profit. Could we have enough Humanity and Duty, per Mencius, to see this through? Enough guts to attempt it? Where could those guts be found; in the salvation of our soul, perhaps?
Have we grown too cagey for our own good? These days, we find it safer to believe in nothing and no-one, and trust in no new ideology, whatever the cost. Fanaticophobia, what a sorry inclination! “The opposite of illusions is not disillusion, but the truth.” A Course in Miracles, Foundation for Inner Peace, p. 438.
So here’s my agenda for your consideration.
First things first! World peace first!
I’m shouting this from the rooftops, abog in denial so far and unheard by anyone.
You may notice three phenomena acting in concert for the first time in history.
· We dispose of a truly global communication network. Our hodgepodge of alien and alienating nation-states is rapidly blending into One People and One World. Me Tarzan. Me swing message on Internet jungle vines to give you.
· A host of like-minded Learners throngs this planet (just like you and me!). Regardless of our ethnicity, nation or creed, each of us desires peace. Superbly qualified and ready for anything, we outnumber the tyrants and their agents by a lot.
· Finally, we’re teetering on a cliff-edge of omnicide ("Kill everything!") that’s getting more frightening every day.
Why not exploit this triple window of opportunity, recruits and crisis, barely cracked open? Since these essential peace components were missing, it was shut against us in the past. The failure of past efforts convinced us that they would always be futile with or without those essential components. That window of opportunity will shut again soon. We have only this fleeting opportunity before the evil-twins of those peace efforts finish us off.
For our peace efforts to succeed, we need to organize ourselves around a shared ideal: a concern unfamiliar so far but universally adoptable after careful consideration. One that would embrace the best and worst of who we are; brace us to fear, exclude and censor nothing and no-one; shield us from ice storms of recrimination, blame games, cruelty and untruth. Finally, one that would allow us to forgive everyone and everything including ourselves and the worst things we’ve done in the past—as individuals, cultures, and creeds.
Could we forgive ourselves, repent our unholy ways and make honest amends? Could we wrap our minds around what that would take?
Learners will call that high ideal “PeaceWorld.”
For the first time, we dispose of the means, motive and opportunity required. Once the baton goes up and the first note rings out, our peace chorale could drown out the bad brass band blare of WeaponWorld.
[Author’s note: a neutral, academic web site now offline. I’d never refer anyone to an alternate, pro-Nazi one. My family fought the Nazis tooth and nail; I despise them. However, this is WeaponWorld and I must harvest my quotes where I find them. Your appraisal of Learner will stretch your open-mindedness beyond its comfort zone].
“In every case where there are exigencies or tasks that seem impossible to deal with successfully, public opinion must be concentrated on the one problem ... Only in this way can public interest be aroused to such a pitch as will urge people to combine in a great voluntary effort and achieve important results.
“This fundamental truth applies also to the individual ... He must always concentrate his efforts to one definitely limited stage of his progress, which has to be completed before the next step be attempted … This systematic way of approaching an objective is an art in itself and always calls for the expenditure of every ounce of energy...” Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. I, Chap. 10.
“… all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be repeated persistently until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.” Vol. I, Chap. 6.
“The more the militant energies of the people are directed towards one objective, the more will new recruits join the movement, attracted by the magnetism of its unified actions, ...” Vol. I, Chap. 3.
“Any Weltanschauung, though a thousandfold right and supremely beneficial to humanity, will be of no practical service for the maintenance of a people, as long as its principles have not yet become the rallying point of a militant movement.” Vol. II, Chap. 1.
[His militancy was that of brutes; Learners' will be that of cooperators…thus much stronger].
Shouldn’t America resume its function as the political lighthouse of the world? Or must it molder into its latest bully Centurion? Shouldn’t we nurture its legendary idealism and transplant it into the fallow loam of the Old World that has only yielded the weeds of weapon mentality up to now.
This country has served as a test bed for lofty ideals. Its citizens have taken up the most radical and risky ideologies and transformed them into working models of downstream abundance. Around the world, idealists, entrepreneurs and common folk have fallen in love with our results and beaten a path to our door. That’s what we are most admired for and what we do best.
And yet, when we start mimicking tyrants of the Old World, their wary inhabitants begrudge us our second-hand despotism and strike back hard. With good reason: those gladiator-movie clichés never worked in three thousand years of bloody trial and error—as we know perfectly well.
The time has come to develop PeaceWorld: our one true calling. Other alternatives are mere death by the sword.
“To these three kinds of law a fourth links up, the most important one of all. It’s not chiseled in marble or in bronze but in the heart of citizens. It is the real constitution of the State, which strengthens every day. It revives and replaces other laws when they reach or exceed their expiration date. It holds a people to the spirit of their institution and quietly replaces the power of authority with that of habit. I speak of mores, of customs and above all of opinion: the overlooked part of our politics, yet that which everything else hangs from; the part that secretly preoccupies the great statesman while he appears to focus on specific regulations. Those are but the girdle of the dome of which mores – brought forth more gradually – end up forming the unshakable key.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Du contrat social, (The Social Contract). Book II, Chapter 11.
I can invite you into PeaceWorld but not cram you inside. All I can do is suggest the melody and hope that you harmonize.
Sing that, everyone!
It doesn’t matter how PeaceWorld repays us—no matter how much we may long to bask in its glory. Our conscience at long last revived, glory to the God of our choosing, reverence for past ancestors, the wellbeing of posterity and our military honor as guarantors of Peace, those should be enough.