I have been fighting a losing battle against reality since the first moment I became aware that the world was not what I expected it to be. The war between What Is and What Should Be is unrelenting, and as a result I find myself increasingly engaged in fighting against another foe: the onset of paranoia.
Surely I am living in the wrong world, the wrong dimension, the wrong time. I have often quoted the story of the father who picks up his young son and tosses him high in the air. The child is terrified, but his father easily catches him, and tosses him in the air again, to catch him again. The boy soon grows to enjoy it: to delight in the sense of freedom and flying. And then the father tosses him yet again and lets him fall to the ground. Seeing the boy lying there, utterly confused, the father says, "You see, my son, you must never trust anyone."
I have always related to that story. Few human fathers would be so cruel--certainly not my own father--but Reality is father to us all, and Reality would, and regularly does, teach us this same lesson.
I am aware that if I fully acknowledged Reality it would chew me up and spit me out in the blink of an eyelash. One of the reasons I am an Agnostic is that I cannot...truly cannot...conceive of a god of goodness and mercy who could allow human beings to treat each other the way they do.
I watch TV and see aliens in human form standing in front of churches where parents are mourning their dead children, holding placards saying "He deserved to die"...and grinning happily as they do so. Surely they are not human. Please tell me they are not. Were I God, I would step down from heaven and crush them like bugs. I watch our elected leaders solemnly making statements so blatantly and egregiously false, so hypocritically and calculatedly mean-spirited and hateful that I simply stare at the set in disbelief. And that disbelief is compounded by the realization that millions of people, who so willingly give up any right to independent thought or to the laws of logic, actually believe what they are being told. The world is becoming a vast Jonestown, with millions standing in line to drink the Kool-Aid.
Our computer in-boxes are flooded with messages having only one purpose--to satisfy the sender's greed. They are conscious-less and merciless predators stalking the jungles of cyberspace, looking for the weak, the naive, the gullible. They are without shame, without morals, without dignity...without humanity. And knowing that I have absolutely no power to do anything about it rattles the cage of my sanity. So I scream into the tornado, the sound of which is reality laughing.
There are, of course, good people in the world, and I must constantly struggle not to lose sight of that fact. There is kindness, and love, and courtesy, and friendship, and loyalty, and dignity, and open-mindedness and caring and compassion. Every one who posseses these traits in any number and in any combination is like a bright, shiny apple of hope for humanity. Unfortunately, it is the rotting, putrid odor of the relatively few bad apples which gets the attention.
All I can do is what I can do: to continue screaming into the tornado, in hopes of convincing others to do the same. I find reassurance in the fact that I think that this could actually happen, and that I have not yet surrendered to Reality. I shall continue my battle with it, while struggling to hold paranoia at bay. It is not an easy, or a fair, fight. But I know I am not the only one waging this war, and that although it is infinitely discouraging and frustrating, it is also infinitely worth fighting.
New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In the meantime, you're invited to visit my recently-revised website at http://www.doriengrey.com, or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.