Our world, especially our own society, has seen some encouraging changes of late, not only in terms of industry and technology but, even more impressively, in the general consciousness. Only recently have people broken with the rotted corpse of tradition towards more freethinking, open-minded approaches to life.

Reactionary-types are now championing traditionalism as that to which we must return for guidance. Ralph Reed, formerly of the Christian Coalition (who——big surprise——traces our country’s social ills to the decline of the idealistic two-parent household), believes America is at the start of a social movement which will take 40 to 50 years to reach fruition, and that in the end America will turn toward religious conservatives for leadership. He believes that voters long for a ‘‘moral renewal, a values renewal. That’s the wave of the future.’’ The Christian Coalition’s revolutionary wave of the future is to have prayer in public classrooms——and who knows what else——and to illegalize abortion.

Has our culture actually so lost touch with its moral roots that people must backpedal to its oldest of institutions?

I don’t know, but (taking this even further out there) supposing I were an alien or some other hypothetical entity observing our planet and its many occupants from a heavenly perspective, specifically the comings and goings of us humans the most highly evolved species, I think I’d be fairly hopeful for our sorry-ass American asses. Because when you think about it, the rate at which we’ve mentally evolved in the past century is remarkable.

The civil rights movement and general rise in knowledge that’s occurred recently and which is still underway——I’d think that this would be seen as a most wonderful sign of growth, especially taking into account our long history of barbarity. Considering that in its founding America represented what has always been wrong with humanity: the lack of it that allowed such things as the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and the Holocaust to occur, among endless other atrocities throughout history.

So to see us here in the United States——a people deeply rooted in this tradition with slavery, racism and sexism rampant throughout our entire mainstream society——evolve so strongly in consciousness would be encouraging indeed.

Yet the way these religious conservatives carry on, you’d think what’s happened in the past century was the most detrimental thing to ever happen, and that the cause of our present problems is the fact that we have been moving away from their traditional, ideological, compartmentalized beliefs. They’ve deluded themselves into believing that the further back in time you go the stronger our moral base was, and that only recently has this faulted. When in fact the exact opposite is true in that only in the last half century has there arisen a truly civil consciousness.

It’s easy to romanticize the past and ignore how the world’s always been plagued with racism, sexism, and general inhumanity——it’s pretty convenient to want to forget just how ignorant of this life we’ve always been. It’s even easier to say that these problems now coming to the surface are a result of this movement away from the past, away from these familiar institutions.

This is certainly easier than it is to recognize that conservatism has been the norm for all history, and yet still these problems, these issues, and our own ignorance regarding them persisted. These traditional institutions have done little in progressing the knowledge of mankind. They’ve mostly acted as an anchor for people afraid of treading the unpredictable waters of life——afraid of drowning in the uncharted depths of their own mind.

On a certain level these anchors of tradition help prevent people from drifting back into more negative waters; but they also keep us from moving forward or from making any progress. Well, we’ve been sitting still long enough. The time has come to lift anchor, hoist sail, and go exploring.

·    ·    ·

It’s man’s continuing dependence on the past——for a sense of identity and direction——which holds us back, keeping millions in this country and billions around the world fearfully reluctant to almost any kind of real change.

Humans have an innate fear of change, for we have an innate fear of the unknown, and change is often a dive straight into the unknown. The unknown simply being everything we were born not knowing——that which is therefore meant to be learned.

Humanity will never crawl from its ruts if the general population is continually afraid of change; of allowing, contributing to, or initiating change themselves. Seems most people would prefer to travel only those passageways already carved out by our forebears, following always in their footsteps. People afraid to follow their own path in life; afraid to realize their own creative powers.

Afraid to realize the power everybody has to change their reality.

Apprehension certainly is a component of intelligence, for only a fool jumps into something blindly, and change is not good in and of itself as it can be either positive or negative. Yet, rather than go through the laborious process of individual reason, most people have a tendency to use their fear and suspicion as a shortcut to judgment. And people then stubbornly oppose change on the basis of this, their apprehension to anything new or unfamiliar.

I look around our world and it’s like fingernails desperately and persistently clawing onto the past, digging our nails deeply into it, refusing to accept time, refusing to evolve. It’s as if our world is being haunted by memories——the past is haunting us into our graves. The past is dead, let it rest so that we may live. The only place of life is now. Right here and right now.

It’s unnecessary for the psyche of mankind to have deep roots in the past, like trees practically. It sounds funny, but in a sense humans do have a plant-like mentality, except man plants its roots in the dead soil of the past. But it’s unnatural for our mindsets to be so dependent on preconceived notions of absolute truth. This sets boundaries on us mentally like trees are limited physically, compartmentalized into a specifically narrow awareness.

It’s time for us to carve out our own understanding, our own knowledge of the world in which we live, the lives we lead, which are our own and not dependent on these remnants of old.

I’m not saying the past should be forgotten; by all means no. It has much to teach us, and the basis for much of our modern knowledge originated in the past, so the prospect of forgetting the past is unthinkable. That does not mean, however, that we must be enslaved by the past, oppressed or limited only to that which is already established. We must use the past for the invaluable service it provides, using what knowledge it can teach us as a stepping stone toward progression, toward constantly learning more and more about ourselves and this mad merry-go-round we call life.

Step up on the ladder that is the past while letting go of it; entertain notions of the future, especially immediate; but mostly live in and for the present, day by day, moment to moment.

·    ·    ·

According to Webster’s, conservative means: ‘‘Tending to preserve established traditions or institutions and to resist or oppose any changes in these.’’ Change is essential to all living things; it’s what distinguishes us from non-living things. Change is essential not only because our society is troubled, but because everything should be open to change. There will never be a perfect belief system, government, or society that can forever be set in stone. Life must remain fluid in order for us to constantly evolve.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating change for its own sake either; certainly not. Webster’s definition for ‘‘liberal’’ is almost nothing but positive——people still get carried away with this notion, though, endorsing change on an ideological basis over reason or moderation. Extremism truly goes all ways. The most important thing is not to approach these issues and questions of life from any biased perspective (like that associated with silly labels like liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican)——it is only from our own individual perspective that anyone will be able to envision a unique or plausible approach to this crazy life. We must confront these issues from the bottom up, start from scratch and see what original visions we can be inspired to create. But if we approach it always from the pre-formed perspective of our peers, our state, or of our religious leaders, then we’re doomed to endlessly repeat what’s already been tried without ever progressing past that point.

·    ·    ·

For all the progress that’s been made recently, it will more than likely pale in comparison to the transcendence in awareness that is ripe to happen in the near future and soon-to-be-present, what you and I and everyone alive today will play a very direct role in the outcome of.

Never before has our present-day lives and the future before us been so much in the hands of all individual beings as opposed to based in stone-like ideologies, institutions and religions. Our lives, our future, is totally in our own hands.

Can you feel the excitement?

Even today, with my newfound passion and conviction for all that happens in our world, I still find myself hesitant to believe that anything I do, write or say will make any difference whatsoever. The major difference between then and now is that I no longer allow my fear of failure or my cynicism to act as a barrier to caring; to making some sort of effort to contribute something positive, knowing all too well it may not add up to squat in the end.

There are no guarantees in this world——you just have to do the best you can in the hope things eventually turn out for the better. No, your contribution may not mean a goddamned thing when all this is over, but so what? One who loves themselves is obliged to participate in this struggle simply out of their subsequent love for humanity. Those who become involved do so for themselves, because they care about and love themselves and then extend this love to the world they inhabit. Whether the action actually makes a significant impact is inconsequential to the value of the act in and of itself. An act of goodness and love is its own reward, and doubts as to whether or not it makes a difference shouldn’t prevent someone from becoming involved, from taking some sort of initiative to make this screwed-up, upside-down world of ours a nicer place.

·    ·    ·

Yeah, that’s right, my parents were hippies . . . you wanna make something of it, punkass?


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