(Forgive the raw nature of this article; I am still drawing out fully the ideas expressed here, but thought it better to publish first and ask forgiveness later).
Every group these days talks about the “us versus them ideology”’ in others. Rarely do they stop and ask if they are not indeed the “us,” but rather the “them.” In the course of this argument, I must bring the first person into discussion. We and I must start making fundamental and sound assumptions, based on the entirety of history: that the subjective and the objective, the outer and the inner, the sound and the unsound exist. And not just exist but must exist. Why? Because we just found ourselves here one day floating along through the infinite and this becomes all the more apparent when we detach ourselves from the aforementioned assumptions. Things must exist. I have not time for impressive arguments made up of the most ornate presentation showing me eventually that yes, indeed, things might not exist. I will be dead soon, in the grand scheme of history and in time itself, and I merely do not have time.
That I do not have a lot of time fills me with a sense of urgency; why are we here? The answer is infinitely complex and infinitely variate in the analysis. To find an answer in this finite place, we must encompass the infinite with a symbol. We have no symbols anymore; all have been corrupted beyond imagining or co-opted by those seeking power.
So then, I will merely seek the good. The concept of the good is infinitely complex and that now is where we must find our truths. The good encourages debate and pours forth blessings, water to the thirsty. It ebbs and flows, never running dry. It logically makes sense and is even more experientially obvious. Love and hate both contain within themselves an eternal battle. But there is a singularity within the good that will subsist in the abide. In the good, time itself will be actualized and the appeals of the hurt, downcast, wounded and healed will be met with loving kindness and generosity of spirit. The good will embody us and we will embody it, cloaking ourselves in immortality by the light above, the Son who is to come into the world. He is the Lamb slain since the beginning of time. Revelatory visions are merely ecstatic bursts of the divine thrust into the pains of the present. Good and evil are related, archetypal Cain and Abel. But archetypes are not divinity; their pillars moor eternity and time. We can, at the very least, rest and take shelter in the shade of the pillars of the divine and reexamine reality around us. That is what the politics of the good seeks.
In the haze and glory of post-modernism, new worlds are spinning forth. Each world is in a state of “becoming.” The good news: birth mortality rates for these worlds are infinitesimally low. Thus each world is passing through adolescence. They were unimpeded in their childhood, and, given the false Eden of their waking reality, the only conflict came during dreams. There are no calluses on the hands of the young, and the sun is starting to pour forth again, scorching those who venture forth and drying the canals of wisdom.
That is the very embodiment of an idea, one morally bent towards justice. We must speak in cryptic phrases, because the naked truth will sear our souls. The good is the balm that soothes our aching souls.
A new story is continually being written, one of good and evil, weak and strong, pain and joy; what then is the path all of us choose to take? Take the illustriousness of the past away, wherein the greatest good was achieved with the Civil Rights Act, and now we are left with ushering in the inevitable downfall of post-glory shame from the 1960’s. We had achieved, on the surface, greater equality. The pleasure increased as mouths and consciences were aching. We never stopped and wondered at this great moral achievement of banning one of the greatest evils: racism. Or whatever that term means these days. How can I even present that term in here when I know the associations it will evoke. The good news is that luckily the associations evoked in the human mind are sufficient to cover all meaningful motives or actions or values, such that now racism means whatever you want it to mean. We were one of the first countries to step up into three-dimensionality. Is that white male privilege? Not when a new story is being continually written. But if it is a politics of eternity then yes. The past is always present in eternity. The idea (racism) has become embodied, a refraction within itself. It is, so to speak, racism all the way down.
Slavery is a psychological scar upon our national conscience. It embodied everything that was evil about mankind, about the desire for power contained in each one of us. To abolish this evil is no small feat. The first small step towards this was the abolishing of this in law. But the shock of the good into the system quickly became corrupted—politics of inevitability correct? Because these processes, these worlds, are archetypes, are fixed in the roots of eternity. The two main spheres, recently, have become the political left and right. What is the modern political left and right but warring factions? Do either really contain within themselves the ultimate good, the peace that passes all understanding? Only if you separate yourself from the left and the right will you vomit up the seeds of discontent implanted at the first dawn.
What does the politics of the good instead put forth? The politics of the good states that slavery had always (and will always) been evil, a thorn in the side of mankind. The ultimate irony was that the biblical story of the mark of Cain was used to justify slavery by pointing to the literal black skin of human beings, back when we were all stumbling out of the idiotic appalling haze of subjection. The politics of the good states that racism itself was the eternal mark of Cain in mankind. What was a scar but a way to distinguish yourself from the group, after you had been cast out of the eternal? The greater the achievements the longer the shadow though.
So then, I would like to present again, in all its wicked crevasses and pleasure pools of desire, the concept of the good. There must be good contained in this world. That must be admitted; always and forever. Were we to set acast from the good, then we set acast from the light. And the light is the Son, who gives because he first was set aside. You don’t have to agree with those previous statements. That’s fine. But I say these things such that you may know that I am an open book. I commit myself to love and to truth and I mean that statement in the most literal way possible. I embody it, pitifully. But I am trying. And I will continue to try and to try and help others who look down, to love this world around me as given by Christ; to accept my fallibility, privilege, pain, pride, responsibility for evil in the world. And to know this and to have this aim: that we will all continue to live and to love and to know each other. There will be hatred and pain, bitterness and tears, hidden shame and doubt of the highest magnitude. But we will know each other again, to the degree we shed ourselves of these worlds. All ideas contain a kernel of the good. This is a historical near-certainty. To the degree that the good exists and grows in the idea, so too will human flourishing continue.
I say this cutting through the fog of academia and intellect: will and might do not always make right and that peace was proclaimed from the beginning. Accept the good ideas when they enter your mind. You make constant judgments in perception and values and will screen new thoughts for danger. The most dangerous thought of all though is the one thought that leads to new perceptions: that the treasure you earnestly seek will be contained within the most evil unrecognized thought. You will always ebody (this is not a typo) something.
New ideas are borne all the time; but they are borne from the wellspring of the archetype. They are traced back to fundamental sound(ish) principles. I qualify this precisely to say that I am heavily aware that the very definition of archetypes loosens the foundation of absolute certainty. That is because absolute certainty in logical and many emotional senses can never exist.
Hence, don’t give me copious amounts of evidence all equally invalid but altogether confusing to the senses such that obeyance is the result. Instead, speak of the good.
Here is why Christianity is so incredibly convincing: it rests the eternal good and joy of being upon a person who is also divine. Accept no ideologies as divine, accept on Christ himself as is revealed in your life and in the mind’s eye of others. The well contains living water, but we must continually return. Magnets of attraction direct us this way or that. We must assert the divinity of Christ now more than ever. To embody this idea is to give ourselves up to the preeminent pursuit. Christ is continually holding out his hand as he stands upon the waters. The brutal hurricanes and weather events of the new age brewing around Him reflect the screeching horror of the reality of impending doom. When we wobble as toddlers (which we did in the 1960’s), we quickly plunge beneath the waves of uncertainty and pleasure in the calm darkness afforded us underwater. The storm still rages though. Remember, we were briefly walking on water; that is astounding.
Christ’s parables are the answer for post-modernism. They contain within them infinite potential for human flourishing. Tragedy and horror comes when we whittle down these parables into a sword with which to pierce those who have more success than us, when we batter down the infinite potentiality of the better angels of our nature. Truth has an infinite amount of perspectives through which to see eternity. My truth is not your truth in any absolute one-dimensional sense; but we both experience truth. Even if we cannot find the same string of words and attach to these words the same exact meaning, still we revel in life and continue on.
And while your politics of the good would never match up perfectly with my politics of the good, that is precisely the point. The good draws both of us upwards; it is a struggle, a fight, an all out-war if need be. But there is an endgame. There is no endgame on a spectrum, just eternal strife.