The most important Commandment in the Old Testament didn't make it into the Top Ten. It was too controversial. "Thou Shalt Not Remove Thy Neighbor's Landmark!" Take the Big Ten to the burning barrel. All we need is the one left behind. Understanding "landmark" on all of its metaphorical levels puts everything in its place and leaves nothing to be said. And, applying it to each other across the board, around the table throughout the world, gives us peace on earth and goodwill among all its peoples to the end of time. And if you forgot, you would forget how to breathe until you remembered. We wouldn't need Hell for all eternity to keep people straight. A breathless minute would do nicely. If I were in charge of things they would be real different real quick.
Republicans serve unworthy ends. White supremacy, Fascism, Autocracy, Castes and Social Divisions between the Deserving and the Undeserving, who only want to put everyone in their place, and keep them there. Republicans represent the end of Democracy, and have to come to the realization that their place is in solidarity with everyone else. How to see and live beyond divisions is the lesson these times are asking us all to learn. No rich and poor, no white and non-white, no male and female, no gay and straight, no In and Out... The Great Society is fluid, mobile, gracious, kind, accepting and accommodating, with noble hearts and goodwill, and good faith for one another and all others, with "one for all and all for one" experienced and exhibited on all sides at all times. And it requires a maturity and a self-awareness beyond what a large number of people seem to be capable of. And that's a problem. Growing up is an individual obligation. And when people as a culture/society refuse to have anything to do with bearing the pain of maturation, and live only in the service of My Way NOW!!! it all goes to hell in a hurry. When each person in a culture/society has to do the work of reconciling themselves to their own shortcomings and deficiencies, everything hinges on individuals doing what individuals are wont to do. And the chances of that happening are "fat and slim." And here we are. Try forcing maturation on those who will not grow up! Let me know how it goes.
Jesus clearly saw the way, the truth, the light and the life, and did his best to exhibit and express it in his way with life. His parables of The Prodigal and The Good Samaritan, and what he had to say about "Inasmuch as you have done it-- and not done it-- to one of the least of humankind, you have done it-- and not done it-- unto me," quite plainly put what is important before the people, and the people weren't interested then or now, or at any time in between. The Church that rose up out of Jesus' teachings about "love your enemy," "love your neighbor," and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," by killing "heretics" and massacring "blasphemers," represents the complete repudiation of what Jesus stood for and was about. Apostasy and abnegation are the churches' response to the one they call Lord. And that leaves us with individuals having to find their way on their own to the way Jesus found on his own, and continuing the work of living truthfully in the service of the good that is Good anyway, nevertheless, even so, as best we can for as long as life is possible-- in the spirit of Lao Tzu who said, "Do your work and step back. And let nature take its course." Just like Jesus did.
Stephen Mitchell interprets Verse 72 of the Tao te Ching as saying, "When they lose their sense of awe, people turn to religion. When they no longer trust themselves, they begin to depend upon authority." Is that not how it is, though? Where do we go to get our sense of awe back? How do we revive our essential trust in ourselves? If we are not capable of doing-- or willing to do-- this work for ourselves, who will do it for us? Where does this leave us? Here we are! Now what???