19 June 2008

Catastrophic Awareness

The world is crumbling around our ears. Earthquakes, floods, and other disasters change the landscape like some mutating beast shaking the scars from its back. I can't help but wax poetic on the iconic metaphor in my area recently as raging wildfires screamed across the hillsides until the inferno licked at the foot of Paradise, CA. Over 23,000 acres devoured by the flames in a few short days as the acrid stench of smoke settled over the valley; I have family who was evacuated, though I believe they returned without a hitch once the blaze was contained. Some say that the end of the world is upon us, that the apocalypse is nigh; some say that we are entering a new age, where nothing will be as it has been, and the world as we know it will fade into distant memory against the troubles -- or the pleasures -- of a new global destiny.

Of course, some also say that they're the incarnation of a god, and build cults who, in blind faith, kill themselves to ride a comet to Heaven. I guess it's hit-and-miss, these things that some say.

For my part, I don't believe that the world is ending. Changing, yes, but that's nothing new; this planet has never known anything that was not flux -- the preconception that anything is eternal is a fallacy. Even a ballad of this change, 'Dust in the Wind', fails to recognize this, claiming that "Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and sky" -- these, too, shall come to pass, for nothing can be eternal when entropy is the order of the day and chaos springs from the wells of universal truth. Of course, ordered chaos it may be, and it could be our limited scope of realization which causes us to percieve some shift in things that we deem as important, ever forgetting that, in the grand scheme, even the solar system which houses the planet upon which we build our cities to surround our homes that we huddle in for safety is insignificant. We claim that catastrophe befall us, and yet, we have never even seen the thread of the tapestry that is The All. We have never known God, or whatever the nearest approximation to that being would be when translated from the breadth of our ability to know such entities, and we have never once gazed upon the merest reflection of a shadow of Truth.

That's why I can't believe that the world is ending. Simply put, I see limitless potential in humanity as a whole; unrealized, largely, to be sure, but it is there, and it screams through our own ignorance and incompetence in the most bizarre ways. I cannot accept that this potential will not be realized before its time is up; or rather, I believe that the end of our time will coincide with the actualization of this very essence, with the ascension of our own ability to perceive ourselves as we truly exist in relation to the Great Unknown. The depth of all mysteries must come to pass, and in that knowledge we shall find not doom, but something which we might now, in false assumption, consider to be doom, for surely it shall be the collapse of all we are able to consider in the Here And Now. Knowledge will be our end, and our beginning, for once the full potential is known, it cannot be said that anything can stop us.

And so, even as the Earth itself struggles to dispel our curse upon its flesh, even as we enter into petty wars and global conflicts, even as everything seems to hurl, crashing against the never, reckless abandonment sure to destroy all that we are and have been, I say that this cataclysm is not our end, but our beginning; we are legion, for our numbers are many, and our will can not be denied.

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