Days of Gold
I remember sitting in the sun on a spring day at my childhood home. As I sat there absorbing the golden rays I remember thinking or saying to myself, “this is my spot”. Not to be confused with my dog ‘Spot’; this was a small depression in the yard just big enough to feel like it was made to sit in next to the stonewall (two feet high) that ran between our duplex and what we neighborhood kids called the 'Whitney Building’, the center of sports activity on our street, ‘Indianola Avenue’. As I sat there it seemed to me that I belonged there. I felt as if the world was standing still and that I was at the center of it. Everything was as it should be. Perfect stillness. Thirty-some years later I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my face and I can remember the stillness, but I can no longer feel it. Soon after those days I was to learn that very little was as it should be in this world. That tiny little backyard which once seemed big enough to play football in was my Garden of Eden and with the loss of innocence I lost that ‘Garden’, that sacred ‘space’ which was so special to a young boy. Thenceforth I have, as time allowed, always sought to rediscover that sacred space, that perfect moment, in the larger world. I have been fortunate to have done so in varying degrees in the quiet holy places of nature’s wonders, of which my home state of Kentucky possesses an awe-inspiring multitude of waterfalls and gorges, caves, and in the eastern end of the state, mountains. There are more miles of rivers and streams in Kentucky than in any other state. Whether canoeing on a pristine stream or hiking to a waterfall or a natural stone arch, of which there are over 80 such arches in the Red River Gorge Geological Area (fifty miles east of Lexington, Kentucky), the sense of wonder and perfection (as God made it so) replenishes that original feeling of belonging, of rightness to the universe and man’s place in it, unlike the depraved artificial constructs of human ‘disingenuity’. I can still remember the feelings, but it’s not the same. As Pink Floyd says on the Wish You Were Here Album, “Welcome to the machine”. Man has sold his soul for comfort and security. But we have lost more than we gained you see. We have given up the thing most critical to true happiness, to joy. That is, the noumenal, organic, sacred connection to the universe, to God, to ourselves, who we are. Expressed culturally in ‘primitive’ societies by the annual cycle of rituals and dances renewing the seasons, and the daily customs of sanctification and worship; all aspects of life for these ‘primitives’ was bound together in the sacred hoop or circle of life, with each act sharing in the profound meaning which their mythos described. In fact to the participant in the mythos they were actually ‘reliving’ the same moment - they became the ancestral hero or God, as is similarly expressed in the Catholic doctrine of the transmutation of the bread and wine of communion into the blood and body, literally, of Christ.
This ‘primitive’ mythos remains quite powerful even today, in the hordes of fundamentalists worldwide, Christian, Moslem, Sikh, Hindu, or Communist (a humanist religion). Though some of this phenomena is purely generational and much of it’s emotional energy is reactionary, I believe the true core impetus of these movements is the hunger for meaning and the effort to sustain these beliefs against the onslaught of the information age. Scientific nihilism and even humanism are indeed very real threats to faith and their ‘reaction’ is somewhat justified; yet to be blinded by faith is just as bad as to be blinded by science. Truth is the way and by truth we shall be free. The truth of science and the truth of religion must be assimilated into one universal understanding if we are ever to get beyond this dilemma and restore meaning to our lives.
Part of the problem is, as Nietzsche elucidated, a ‘Will to Power’ within the nature of the beast, man. From this compulsion men take truth and turn it into dogma; they then seek to gain control of others by enforcing it. Good intentions can easily become intolerance and persecution. That the divine spark springs perennially into the hearts of each generation despite such an environment is testimony to the eternal truth, which we call God. Human consciousness is such that few people are aware of the cultural, evolutionary, and ‘archetypal’ (of Jung’s psychological theories) forces that effect their perception of truth.
Many are in essence wearing horse-blinders, forcing our sight straight ahead, removing our peripheral vision by which we might catch a glimpse of a spirit now and then, denying even the possibility of discovering our supernatural nature. Any evidence to that effect is mostly ignored. The atheistic Darwinians and humanists believe that man, currently at the top of the evolutionary ladder, is the measure of all things, and subject only to his own judgment and purely physical/evolutionary cause and effect consequences to his actions.
They are wrong! I have addressed various rebuttals of their doctrine elsewhere in my writings so I won’t revisit them here but I bring these fallacies to your attention to show how we have come so far down the wrong road. What should we expect from a culture that has enshrined a model of the universe which declares defacto that we live in a spiritual vacuum? More importantly, what can we do to change it. "Think Global act Local"?. It’s a good plan. Each person has a significant part to play in this end of time passion play. Should we go as far as the anarchists at the Seattle World Trade Organization conference (in 2002)? You decide. When I was still a teenager and someone asked me what political system I supported I said, “none”. “A Christian Anarchy” was what I would say I believed was the best idea; if men’s hearts were changed by God we would not need politicians anymore. Not very likely, I know!
©2007 Thomas Theodore Welborn