People are in a state of uproar over the notion of two human beings coming together in love, and yet when asked where they stand on Israel/Palestine, the destruction of the habitable biosphere, space travel, virtual reality, the wars in Syria, Yemen, the genocide in West Papua, their expressions and their opinions are suspiciously blank.
Do we only have enough love for one cause? What makes us think the suffering of one party is any different to the suffering of another?
I’m not singling out homosexual love here, I’m talking about all love, it just so happens that homosexuality is a topical battleground on which we’re deciding between whether we want to care genuinely about our fellow man or leave him to wither and die.
If we feel we have to pick and choose what people we extend compassion and care to, I feel we’ve missed the point entirely.
It’s almost like through some long process of dehumanisation, through a gradual shifting of values from human interaction, togetherness and mutual support towards individualism, materialism and greed, we’ve forgotten what’s normal and what’s harmful.
We’re so incredibly quick to shout down love, to marginalise it, to criminalise it.
On the same day we run into a department store and in a roundabout way fund child labour. No one raises an eyebrow. We hear of mass murder and rape, and yet by the evening we have forgotten, and are planning to attend a xenophobic rally against our fellow man, not because of his actions, but because of his race, his country, his religion.
These are the actions of broken people, living confused existences, chasing satisfaction, chasing a solution to the whole “problem” of living, without knowing what it is they genuinely want.
This is not the natural state of the human organism.
When you diminish a human being, when from birth you give them the impression through media, advertising and tacit cultural norms that all they are good for is performing some menial, perfunctory task for a moderate wage, and consuming whatever new flashy toy is made available to them, then one can only expect that person to feel small, powerless, replaceable, unimportant.
I suppose when people feel this way it’s probably deeply unsettling to approach the real issues of our time head on, and so for the sake of comfort and the illusion of security they start shooting at easy targets.
It’s so incredibly important that we awaken to the fact that we are not this deformed, isolated little thing, trapped in a bag of skin, fit for nothing but mindless buying and selling, that in fact written inside each of us is the entire story of mankind, the whole spectrum of emotion and feeling, the totality of what it means to be human.
“Bullshit! All humans are inherently corrupt! Barbarism is the natural state of mankind, only our institutions restrain our more primal urges!”, shout a certain section of the public when told this. They seem fervent and certain.
I can’t say I agree. If this proposition is true, we should see a positive correlation between the strength and scope of authoritarian forms of government and a decline in all of the barbaric, corrupt forms of behaviour.
Funnily enough, the inverse is true.
Can we say that this theory has relation to reality in the light of countless authoritarian and totalitarian regimes which have produced, out of the restraints of their institutions, the most barbarous and corrupt acts?
Also it’s worth asking how you trust yourself to be alone if you genuinely believe this. If your basic nature is aggression, barbarism and so on, then why aren’t you hiring security guards to watch you at home around the clock? I mean, if you really are this terrible thing, how can you be sure you won’t murder your wife or children on a whim? How do you possibly trust yourself to be left to your own devices?
One sees immediately that this way of thinking is unsustainable, and curiously self-defeating. Perhaps it exists as a justification for misanthropy, for a general distrust and fear of ones fellow man.
But again, you are not this fearful, anxious, distant little creature, and nor are the people playing at being it.
It’s all right there, right now, all you need to do is look, quietly, honestly, gently, at what’s happening in the centre of your chest.
Remember who you are. You are not the end product of capitalism, a rat desperately traversing a maze after a non-existent promised cheese. You are not your personality, your goals, your beliefs, your ego. You are not your political party, your dress style, your name, your age, your nationality, your ethnicity.
Go inside. Listen to the process of your own life unfolding.
Remember who you are.