Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog 26 Midsummer New Year of Johns Eve 2012
Lilacs, Leaves, and Sky.
The most difficult of issue in our times is to imagine a return of self-sacrifice as a social practice.
How is this to be accomplished after two hundred years of confidently irresponsible action by those who (following the Arab scientists, the medieval alchemists, Bacon, Paracelsus, Descartes, Leibniz) believed that “…man had reached the point at which he could be confident of his progressive ability to control nature”? (--Clarence Glacken, Preface to “Traces….”) Are we not at the point at which most everyone recognizes the disaster brought by overconfidence, as Peter Bruegel the Elder did when painting (16th c.) the Fall of Icarus?  
A realistic interpretation of Icarus’ fate is the sight of his leg (port and stern of the sailing ship) sticking out of the water. It is evidence beyond doubt that he is drowning and can no longer be rescued.
Icarus father , Daedalus (were he able to predict the consequences of his son’s overconfidence), would have had no other choice than to warn his son by not offering advice not to fly too close to the sun, but by self-sacrificing himself. Only by giving his life as evidence of the seriousness of his word as to the consequences, could Daedalus perhaps have avoided his son growing up overconfident and careless.
The situation of humankind vis a viss the planet Earth runs a close, yet even worse parallel to the fate of Icarus. If Icarus were to fall today, Bruegel would have him fall into the plastic vortex in the middle of the Pacific Ocean .
In spite of the dire circumstances of our planet, is self-sacrifice an extreme counteraction? At other times and other places, I have called self-sacrifice a ‘not-violent’ act (see Esos’s Chronicles). Unfortunately, Judaism and Western Christianity has for a thousand years been preaching otherwise. Christianity’s first example of ‘suicide’ is by way of projecting it as the deserved fate of a traitor, Judas , the other example is the refusal of Western religions to offer suicides a burial place in the churchyard.
The harsh opinion cast by many religions on ‘suicide’, has prevented our ‘civilization’ from contemplating the role of self-sacrifice as a serious tool by humankind in assuring a stable, egalitarian, and nature respecting society.
In spite of the censure, there are many examples when society has welcomed self-sacrificial acts by individuals as occasions for a given society’s awakening and rebirth. This generally occurs when some student, protesting oppression, commits “suicide”, as for example, the death of Romas Kalanta  in Lithuania under Soviet rule. However, when Ādolfs Buķis did the same (1993) in post-Soviet Latvia to protest Latvian government corruption and allegedly named a several persons who believed to be guilty, he was called mentally unstable, and the promised police investigation never occurred.
Needless to say, ‘suicide’ is today closely linked to ‘terrorists’, because in the presence of a repressive attitude, it is impossible to engage in discussing the subject, whether in theological circles, let alone in the public media. Suicide is also used by governments in ‘false flag’ operations , because it enables these to further repress self-sacrifice by calling it a terrorist operation.
There is no doubt, that as long as ‘suicide’—be it out of the individual’s desire to self-sacrifice him- or herself or because of hate against whoever the individual may believe to be his or society’s enemy—the taking of innocent lives is an act contra the interests of self sacrifice. Indeed, if there were not evidence from the long ago that self-sacrifice also acts as a community creating and maintaining event, the evidence for it today would be wholly negative.
Thus, for self-sacrifice to return as a socially accepted practice, it will require the event to occur not as an event with political ends, but as an event arising out of the unconscious.
This, indeed, has begun to happen, if we take into consideration military and civilian ‘suicides’ (see blog 25), which cannot exclude the possibility of being the result of an over-virtualized man-made society or, for that matter, the intervention of the Will of God to release humankind from a man-made prison.

No comments:

Post a Comment