Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aliens and Gandhi

"When I look at the greatest civilizations of man, the way of truth and love has always prevailed throughout time" As I was sitting in a World History class subbing this week these words clung to my mind again as they passed through the dry cracked lips of Ben Kingsley in the roll of a hunger striking Ghandi G. What is it about that that feels so true? Why is it that I feel so much anger towards Christianity, towards my own life experiences, and towards the people in my life that have hurt me, and yet when I hear such words of truth, love, hope, justice, mercy, and kindness my heart sinks?
The meaningless of man can so often be so overwhelming. I walked down Rodeo drive yesterday with my friend from Australia who came to visit and listened to prideful no named faces speak to one another as they shopped for over-priced goods made from the sweat and toil of exploited workers. Each person was trying so hard to impress one another with their fame. One parking attendant dressed in Christmas attire proclaimed to another man, "I believe that I am the most photographed person on this street." I couldn't help to think to myself that all these people are just walking around like little monkeys sniffing one another's privates and beating their chest with their greatness. I was reading Arthur Clark's "Childhood's End" last week. It's a futuristic alien tale, and ask Casey and Tim, I am the first to make fun of Scifi Trekkie, space cylons. This book really deals with some interesting concepts, however. Without spoiling the whole thing, I will say that extraterestrial life comes to earth and man comes to realize that all the beliefs they had held to, all the things they had hoped for in the future, all the wars that had been fought, were all in vain. There was no point at all. Humanity becomes meaningless. Just another planet that believed they were something more than they really were.
Yet, when I think of the concepts of truth and love, for some reason I can move past that empty feeling. Why does my heart fill with the same overwhelming power that filled a small Indian man who lived on the other side of the world? When I think that caring for one another's needs is one of the primary responsibilities that we as human beings are entitled to fullfill, life seems less complicated. Dr.King, Jeremiah, Mother Teresa, Jesus, Bonhoffer, Isaiah, and Gandhi maybe saw something. We have so simplified these things with our labels and our acculturated rituals that we cannot see a universal perspective of the supernatural. This is a presence that passes beyond all explainable words. It fills the cosmos with an unnatural and uncomprehendable force that we can only dumb down into stupid songs with childish words. Ghandi had it right, "Truth and Love" must always prevail, for without them, humanity is meaningless.

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