Feb 15 2023
Have you ever dreamt of being back in school and being unprepared. Perhaps you thought that you had been absent and missing classes. Perhaps you had forgotten the class schedule and did not know where to go. Maybe it was testing day and you knew that you were unprepared and may fail. These gloomy dreams give a sense of dread or despair. Such a dream may indicate that there is something that you need to learn or something that you should be preparing yourself for.
We watch as our world seems to spin out of control. Feeling helpless and unable to correct this course, we cling to fantasies that some great leader will assume control, and then forcefully impose a better way before it is too late. Maybe we should have been preparing for this time all along.
In the Genesis story of creation, the Hebrew word arom describes Adam and Eve’s nakedness. It is the same word that is used to describe the serpent’s cunning or subtilty. The first couple were created naked, but they were unashamed. After gaining an awareness of good and evil, instead of accepting and adapting to this new condition, both the man and the woman denied responsibility for their part in causing this new circumstance. Losing the childlike innocence that allows one to act or to react, without being held responsible for the consequences of those decisions is frightening. Maybe this ongoing denial is the cause of, apparently inescapable, recurrent human tragedies.
The knowledge base that allows our creative and destructive abilities to thrive has grown so great, that spectacular possibilities are within reach. The wisdom that is needed to manage these abilities is still uncultivated. It is easier to feign helplessness and claim that some other person or group is the cause of our trouble. It is frightening to realize that our own thoughts and deeds are the foundation that will shape and support humanity’s future.
Avoiding our own liability, for every future outcome, is a continuation of the denial that has plagued all of human history. Appointing others to make judgements and take appropriate actions, while we continue, as spectators, to watch, waiting for a good result, will never work any better than it already has. The wicked and the insane are more than happy to take control and assume our neglected shares of judgement. Choosing a lesser evil, then hoping for good leads us to adapt to, and to accept, evils that had seemed unimaginable within recent memory.
The frightening tasks of cultivating ourselves to be fit and impartial judges of good and evil, and the tasks of developing the discernment to know what courses of action should be taken, grows more daunting every day. It is easy to imagine what others should have done in the past, but that is a vain fantasy. The final exam for humanity is tomorrow. We don’t have much time to prepare but we must try, and with a sense of urgency. An uncertain success is better than a certain tragic failure.