I think I’m ready for it to be next March. By then, I should be well-adjusted to Scotland. Mainly, I don’t want a transitional four-month-long summer. Ugh. Let’s skip limbo, shall we?
For lack of other things to say, a few pages pulled from my journal. From August 2007 [Kali’s comment points out that I need to add the disclaimer I had decided not to put after all: The first statement is a prompt that I made up for myself to journal from, it is by no means what I actually believe, as indicated through my criticism of it through the rest of the entry.]:
So long as we have diversity, we will never have peace. There is only one way to have peace and that is for everyone to be the same. To agree, always, and to never see anything differently. There are a number of ways to achieve this… to have such an oppressive government, such as in 1984, that it crushes all opposition… to have such a liberal government, à la Brave New World, that the populous is too distracted to revolt… humanity has to be reduced to the lowest common denominator, studies of the humanities and liberal arts must cease, knowledge for the sake of knowledge must be stamped out – in essence, the defining qualities of the human race, curiosity, intellect, thought, diversity, individuality, must be erased. Widespread peace – meaning the absence of war, pain, and suffering – would come at the cost of what makes humanity human. Culture would end. Faith. Story-telling. Imagination.
By requiring everyone to be the same, and by removing pain, the human race would be stunted toward failure. Life is not worthwhile without love, without something to live for, and both of these things are tied up with heartache. To be denied the imagination, history, love, and pain, is to be denied humanity. The end result would be a world populated with one more race of animals incapable of imaginative independent thought.
This leads to some startling conclusions. As one who abhors the hate and horror of war, of the death and waste it causes, how do I reconcile this with my belief that pain defines life? Are casualties of war, though unfortunate, the necessary sacrifices for the survival of the human race, not merely the DNA code that defines us, but of a race that retains its self, its humanity?
Are peace efforts in vain, or even wrongful? Should I, as a self-proclaimed Christian, really hope for the day (or a day) that all people would bow and confess the name of Christ as Lord? Wouldn’t that make us all the same? I find the diversity of faiths a beautiful thing. The prospective loss of quiet Buddhist meditation, colorful Hindu festivals, the steadfastness of Islam, saddens me.
Is there any way at all to have widespread peace and maintain our diversity?
If we all become hermits, but then that ceases to be “life” also, for humanity is also defined by its community. Interaction between human beings, love, friendship, working relationships – even hate? Discord? Enemies? – are essential to life, for a human cannot reach its fullest potential in a vacuum. The few ascetics who do choose such a life do so for the sake of spiritual enlightenment, or as intercessors for their community, but not so that they themselves can be fully human. Community, then, in addition to diversity and imagination, define the human race. So is it possible to have all three of these things and have widespread, or even “world,” peace?
“Only by divine intervention,” I want to say. That again raises the question of religion, and reminds me of something Gandhi said:
“I came to the conclusion long ago […] that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu […] But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.”
So, where does that leave us?