How many bodies went floating down the Kupa River I cannot guess. The horrors of that whole affair, though much publicized in Sarajevo and Kosovo, were much the worse in the villages across the brief and then broken composite of Yugoslavia. The Serbs and the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims, hand in hand they danced a Virginia Reel of death. But death was not the worst of it by far. Though I am familiar with the degree of atrocity I will not share the specifics with you. Let it suffice to say that no nasty invention, no matter how terrible, was left unaccomplished. It can be said it began around 1387 but who knows where the genesis of such intent was authored.
The madness of blood ties and their association with the tragedies of life are everywhere to be seen. The Hatfield and McCoy’s, The Hutu’s and the Tutsi’s, The Arabs and the Jews; the world is filled with the battles of ours against theirs. One would be hard pressed to say whether religion or politics had the higher body count over time and they are both the invention of man’s imperfect sleep and his ongoing dream of red river valley’s to come.
Our heads are filled with things we have heard that are not true. We seem unable to separate the truth from the lies in this world of blind men gumming one another to death. The religions of today are no less barbaric than they ever were. They possess no virtue greater than that of the so-called pagans. Whether you kill outright or by sleight of hand, what’s the difference? Is there a difference between offering up a human sacrifice on an altar to the Sun or sending the myriad of fools to war under a banner of spurious advertising? Onward Christian Soldiers...
Many of our traditions are no more than a worship of the dead. It’s the Easter Island phenomena of building a bigger statue, a bigger mausoleum to their personal dead. Our tragedy was greater than your tragedy. Our people were more wronged. These dead are now all reincarnated and no doubt seeking new vengeance in another form. It’s all about getting revenge. Some perhaps have moved on. Massive organizations are devoted to remembering the injuries of the past. These injuries have more life and power than the life presently being lived.
Anyone who is more concerned with the agonies of the past; raising monuments to the so called honored dead, who were all crucified upon a common lie, who refuse to address the inequities in themselves, who refuse to address the injustices presently before them, who refuse to cooperate in a willing failure to further participate in the next killing field are just the present members of the zombie dead tit for tatting man’s inhumanity to man.
We hear about the so-called Holy Land, so many believe that there is some land more holy than another. Look at the mindset prevailing there and the ongoing behavior; the prosecution rests. There is no Holy Land. Every particle of Earth is holy and none more sacred than another. Every breath of sky is holy breath.
Mohammed preached against idolatry. I must wonder what that Kabba Stone signifies. I need not extrapolate concerning the graven images in abundance through every transvestite orgy dedicated to the benefit of the accountants of the creed.
The spirit of Christ is seen no more clearly than in the anonymous helping hand, devoid of catechism and the constraints of separating doctrines. It heals. It renews without an implied contract for compensation or reward. It is selfless as the melting snows. It works at the common level, anonymously extended from the abundance of the heart whose storehouse is increased with every selfless gift.
My temple is everywhere beneath the wide empyrean sky. The birds are my choir and giving way is my creed. I have no enemies I will recognize, no lands I must reclaim, no ancient wrongs to set right, no army to command that will force a peace upon the heart divided. I swim in the Gulf Stream through life’s cold currents.
A prancing, shameless fool speaks of extended democracy in Dutroux’s Belgium. He demands a wide freedom in fatuous words while crushing the poor in his own land and parceling out mischief abroad. Where is the courage of any one world leader to stand forth in a public moment in the presence of the world press and call this man for what he is? No, that would not be the action of diplomacy. Diplomacy must make nice in Chamberlain redux. Diplomacy must lift its skirts above the surface of the pooling blood. Diplomacy must put out its own eyes lest it see the evidence of hypocrisy on every side.
The waters of life do not someday magically clear by serendipitous event. The waters clear when righteous intent is active and maintained. When true and resolute leadership precipitates into the collective heart we will see the waters clear. There is a reason why. There is a reason why the waters are muddied. There is profit to be made. Many talk about the complexity of the thing. We hear often about how hard it is to satisfy all of the vested ends. It’s not hard to solve. It’s simply hard to be fair when you are seeking more than your share.
I do not know to what degree the horrors must proceed before the blinders are removed. I do not know if we must come to the last man standing. I do not know at what point critical mass is achieved. Frankly I do not know much of anything. I have found that the best I can manage is to give way. I must either believe in my own capacity for enterprise or I must believe I live only for greater instruction. I have seen what has come so often of the best intentions. Often enough, Hell is the aftermath of a proclaimed, necessary compromise.
For me the only work I have is what I can accomplish upon myself. I cannot convince or force another to embrace what I cannot even clearly see myself. I hold certain things to be true and before those things I give way. I find that my only ongoing moments of progress are to be found in a ceaseless giving way before that light whose presence I must take on faith. I find that my real impetus to action is to first do no harm. One might suppose such a thing might lead to personal entropy. I am tired of attempting to interpret what Edmund Burke really meant. I am more tired of seeing it selectively interpreted for the possibilities of craven gain.
It must be that there is a guiding force. We are here in this moment after all. Every possibility of the heart extends from this moment. Every one of us must determine where our priorities lay. I find that I can best determine for myself when I give way. I am satisfied with the left-hand portion of the bargain. I am not dissatisfied with my share. The myriad destinies work themselves out before our eyes every day. How very different they seem. Some of them are tragic and some seem to resolve themselves into a wonderful triumph of the better angels of our nature. I can only think that what good has come to me has come as a result of my giving way, of my maintaining an attitude of listening; let me be Nipper, the RCA Dog. I imagine I would do most anything to alleviate the suffering. My wiser self knows that such a thing is not in my hands. I do not make another’s choice for him. My interference is too often not seen as a kind nor informed hand.
It may be that we can save the world by giving way. No one has yet brought a universal peace. No effort yet has sustained a golden age. The Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s that have come to us have been the evidence of God’s hand at work in the midst. They have shown us what the best in us can achieve. I suspect though, that the work of these men and women who have labored and labor still, has always been first upon themselves. I suspect it was always accomplished by giving way. This is the first concern. What might follow and what we might achieve is not something for us to speculate on. This is something that will automatically follow in the process of our giving way.
'And We Could All Be Free' is track no. 8 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)