To read part one first, click here.
The Western world was not always the western world, as we know it. Once, thousands of years ago, long before the middle ages and the dark ages, Europe was a land of myth and magic, a land of mystery, of ancient legends – a different world, one that can still be sensed among the ten thousand stone circles and ancient megaliths that dot the European countryside – from Malta to the northernmost islands of Scotland. But something happened – a dark wave took over, casting out the myth and magic of the mists and bringing in the hard glare of a more cruel light — and there began the rule of the crusaders, of conquistadors, of the Inquisition, of witch-burnings, of conquering and subjecting – of domination – and of the spreading across the earth of tides of oppression and destruction of lands and peoples.
With this onslaught of domination, came not only the oppression of all the peoples of the earth, but also the destruction of the planet itself. Mining and oil wells, hi-tech wars, pollution, industrial waste, and relentless development have brought death to the rivers and oceans, to the air we breathe, to the land, the forests, and the animals, as the natural world too has been dominated and oppressed – along with women (the “witches”), and the peoples of the earth (disparaged as “primitive”).
To come back to the present moment, and the recent election, it has been remarked that the most extreme aspects of the Republican party are a throwback to the fifties, but really the mindset of domination goes back to a time several centuries earlier, and is a continuation of the dark spirit of the conquistadors and their ilk. (This doesn’t mean that teaparty Republicans can’t be pleasant, decent people, in fact, quite fine people as human beings go; they generally are. Conquistadors probably were too when they weren’t busy conquering foreign lands. Many people become, unthinkingly, part of whatever culture seems to choose them.)
Still, the desire to plant oil wells in Alaska and all along the coasts, the perception of the environment as something that must be beaten into submission, the wish to unleash rampant deregulation that will permit the full-scale annihilation of nature – all this combined with the drive to fight more and bigger wars, which are also sort of a way of “punishing” those perceived to be “evil” – all these methods of exercising dominion over everyone and everything are really opposed to all that is life-giving. (None of this has anything to do with being genuinely and honestly conservative, in the normal sense – it is instead an aberration.)
Perhaps this aberrant trajectory of domination and oppression has come to its final, last stand. Surely, it will limp along for a while, no doubt still wreaking havoc wherever it can, but it’s doom is sealed. (And when it goes, those who have been possessed by it, will also feel a sense of relief.)
On one level this election is just another election, one of many, yet there is a sense, on another level, that there has been a turning point – the emergence of a will for developing alternative energy to save the planet, for showing compassion rather than derision, inclusion rather than exclusion, for extending a word of encouragement and a helping hand to all. This is a spirit that values the life of people, all people, of nature, animals, plants, and the soul. And it is a stepping stone toward the future – on a road that no longer barrels downwards to a baser and more corrupt world, but instead turns upwards to a world of light – of peace.
This unkind world that has been so prevalent over the last many centuries of our history, did indeed need to come to an end, and as it has begun to end, and as it still stumbles along on its last steps, another world beckons — a world of sunlight, of trees in the mists, of birds flying in the clouds – a world we had almost forgotten in our cities of clogged traffic and artificial existence.
A human political process cannot create heaven, and the people we have just elected are not angels dancing in the clouds, but fallible human beings. There will be many more struggles and battles to come.
Yet, all the same, we can glimpse a clearer light shining from the heavens, now that some of the oppressive clouds have been blown away, and a spirit of kindness and peace is poised to grow again on the earth.
The months and years to come will not be free of suffering. There may be tides of destruction and karmic repercussion from the actions of the past. The seas may continue to rise, and the storm winds may still blow. But there has been an affirmation of a positive direction – towards life, kindness, and goodness.
What is important is the innocence in the souls of the animals, the beauty in the trees and the clouds, the survival of kindness in the hearts of some of the earth’s people, the presence of peace in the heart of God, and the awakening of creation to a more blessed state, freed from the dominion of evil that has beset us for so long. The important thing is the victory of kindness, the diminishing of the world of corruption and oppression, and momentum toward the rebirth of an age of innocence and magic, where wildflowers can bloom in the sunlight and fish swim in the sea.
Top image: Author: Matty781 (Matthew Brennan) / “I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain.” / Wikimedia Commons / Stonehenge
Second image: “This image or recording is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made during the course of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.” / Wikimedia Commons / Bald Eagle landing.
Third image: Author: Larry Aumiller / Kodiak brown bear with her cubs in McNeil River Sanctuary / “This image or recording is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made during the course of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.” / Wikimedia Commons