New Albany, Mississippi– The rules and regulations and positively inane and asinine “good intentions” and the abject results of bureaucratic entities are unlimited, nor produce any fine results or any remorse or any concerns about any of the frustrations and positively hurtful outcomes caused by insensible and irresponsible people and governments.
Out of Confucianism in ancient China rose the concept of bureaucracy, and its dead hand has fallen across the millenniums, across all continents and the proud legions of bureaucrats have their hands yoked together across the centuries to frustrate anyone seeking a new mode or trying to think “outside the box”, a favorite expression today. In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs had rules for every and all exigencies, even for the after life. But their great monuments and their mummified remains had no more staying power or had no more control over destiny and the “great beyond,” and like the Aztecs and the Incas, blood offerings and slaying of virgins and offering up the beating heart, ripped from the body, still had little or no hope for the after life.
Never once was heard the great mouthpiece or the infernal megaphone from some God or Gods signaling a “thumbs up” to the devotees. The silence of the great beyond ever remains profound and oh, so silent. Grave robbers also have their needs, and there are no outcomes more certain than great bodies will be picked over by thieves and by animals and by worms that are ever with us.
We have the legacy of the Ten Commandments, writ large in stone, but these were thrown down in anger by Moses and broken, and continue to be re-broken always by ever-weak humans. All ancient civilizations, including China and Japan, along with others mentioned previously, never run out of the strictures placed on human activities, and the ennui of the hopeless humans grows and grows.
All have restrictions, and the Japanese even bound the feet of young girls and many civilizations have many other such terrible laws and restrictions and customs. In India, famous for the Ghats along the mighty Ganges River, where even today in ritual ceremonies the Hindu believers burn their dead to appease the Gods and to send the soul to wherever souls go; but reincarnation, another bureaucracy, intervenes and rules with seminal power as to what the soul will return as, perhaps a worm in the belly of a predatory animal, to continue the unending quest to eventually be free and reach Nirvana and no longer be held to the Wheel of Life, which is a horrific existence.
And for long centuries, since India, like China and Iran and others countries, place little value on the female of the species, though they are the “staff of life,” India forced the wife to lie on the burning pyre with the dead husband, and perish among the flames of a hell on earth.
Many countries seemingly compete to make the most outrageous rules, and often have rules for all the complicated and enigmatic things concerning humans and their concourse with each other, spending useless and worthless hours and efforts, for eons, on such insignificant rules, even to the length of finger nails and the proper way to trim them. The limit has not been found or reached and never will be, for the journey to enlightenment and toward truth is always and ever bound up with obstacles. Like Sisyphus in Hades, we continue to push the heavy weight uphill, but ever it rolls back and we again continue and continue to seek our better angels, in Lincoln’s words, but these are never found. We have few choices and know little surcease from the great tower of boredom that engulfs and enslaves.
I have little charitable hope or any eternal optimism that our great country or any other place will ever change, for the rules and regulations of the great cadre of bureaucrats stifle and censor all of our finest hopes and aims. All of us are standing alone above the abyss and can only do one thing, stand and pause, never deciding perhaps to step out and confront the unknown, as the seers and witch doctors and such staunch and brave individuals as Galileo did, to confound the comfortable fools and evil rulers and the religious “cranks” ever with us that had no intent, other than to keep us from questioning God and ever keeping us from maybe trying to make sense out of the senseless and to allow us to have a little fun, before we die, as the great singer Sheryl Crowe laments in a song.
Just maybe we can reach across the centuries to Socrates and seek his wisdom, for after all his thinking and musing, after all the years as a gadfly in ancient Greece and in the company of Plato and other mental giants, he could only continue his bafflement about what lies beyond the veil. When he took the hemlock and died, he still did not attempt to posit something he did not know and he reassured his followers, before his death, that no one knew and no one ever would know. For no one can travel back from death to report on it, and no one will ever know whether it is a tremendous hardship or an evil ending or a beautiful outcome. Still today we ponder this enigma, though our religious certainty, contained in the minds of many who should know better, often makes this world a “vale of tears,” and the after life truth and beauty and an interminable infinity of Gospel music on the right hand of God; but the Kentucky balladeer Tom T. Hall, in his song about The Year Clayton Delaney Died” sang:”Maybe the Good Lord liked a little pick’n too.”
What I propose is that we all take a deep breath, stop always picking out the minor issues and look to the important things in life, such as love, truth and family. Turn to the Serenity Prayer of Bishop Hart that states: “that you must have the serenity to ignore what you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.” This will get you through many crises and “the Sun also will rise..” Be brave like the little owl that you often hear on a cold, starry morning, or the small snow fox seen in pictures of snowy climes, ever seeking food and ever rushing to another place, containing, in his small way, the hopes of all future snow foxes, seeking eternity.
New Albany, MS
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