Dreaming about the immutable truth
Barry Bright
Dec. 20, 2007 

   Last Sunday afternoon I was unloading some firewood and stacking it in the barn when the dogs let me know we had company. A gray minivan pulled up to the house and by the time I got there the man had started to the porch.  
   A local church was handing out care packages, so I had visions of an apple for a snack. Sorry no apples, a few sweets, a scented candle, an invite to the Christmas program, a couple of pens and some notepads with a Bible verse, a throwaway camera, then I noticed the calendar. I thought, OK, something really useful.
   With thoughts of pretty photographs and Bible verses in my head I thumbed through it to find a quote by the Buddha: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  
   Keep in mind, this is a very small rural church, not the biggest church in town where the over educated idiots go, or a big city church, where new age platitudes long ago replaced the Beatitudes. But at least they are paying some attention.
   This quote for April caught my eye – “Integrity has no need of rules,” Albert Camus. Oh well, so much for the Ten Commandments, or the book of Leviticus.
   And for July: “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding,” Albert Einstein. True enough, but sometimes force is the only way to get a temporary peace, so we have time to dream, or concentrate.
   Now this column is not about whose truth is really the truth. I expect that argument to be going on long after I’ve been turned into tree food, as I’d prefer, instead of having my earthly body preserved in an over-priced ‘Christian burial.’ It is about changes, or what we perceive to be changes.
   Hundreds of thousands of people, and I’m throwing out that numerical guess because I have no idea of a real number, except that it’s now over $18 million worth, are seeking a change next year, a real change from what we’ve been forced to become accustomed to, the standards of liars and prostitutes.
   It is rare that we really know who our heroes are, or what they really stand for. Many of our modern would-be heroes seem to have no idea how ridiculous they sound. But they keep repeating the same garbage over and over and true to their nature if they hear something enough the sheeple begin to think it may be true.
   The plastic pre-formed presidential republicrat candidates with their TV preacher hair, well most of them, have become so absurd that I think even the mush-heads in the middle are beginning to look at them cross eyed.
   We all depend on what others tell us, in print, on television, on the radio, by the grapevine, in documents both ancient and new to help us form our opinions. What so many voters with the short memories most humans have can’t get in their heads is that what they say to us now means nothing compared to their records. Ron Paul is the only candidate in either party with a record his constituents are proud enough of to post all over the internet, and any where else our stodgy society will allow it.
   Back to the calendar, for August - “If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.” – Norman Cousins. True enough, but does any ‘Christian’ church really want to promote such a man? According to Wikipedia cousins was a ‘peace activist’ and served as president of the World Federalist Association.
   While looking at that calendar, I wondered how much thought they had really put into choosing it, or if the title “2008 Inspirations” had been enough. Later in the bottom of the bag I found a new testament, with Psalms and Proverbs, and ran across this quote: "A wise king sifts out the wicked, and brings the threshing wheel over them.” Proverbs 20:26
   But then we don't elect kings and Caesars in this country do we? Or at least we're not supposed to. 
   And then we have this next generation. I don’t know what the trend setters are calling them after x, y and z or whatever, let’s call them the ‘L’ generation maybe, for “Liberty.” If you can come up with a better one go for it.
   This next generation shows up at Ron Paul events with signs, and they’re not chanting for communist change like their parents and grandparents were with their long hair and absurd dress, at least they don’t seem to be. They’re chanting the mantra they’ve gotten off what may be the most efficient weapon invented to date, the internet.
   But this latest weapon isn’t yet in the control of the elites, like their favorite, the weaponvision, which was introduced onto a largely unsophisticated populace which quickly fell under its spell.
   But that spell seems to be lifting, as evidenced by testimonials like this one. OK, I clicked on a pretty face, but listen to what this kid is saying(the one titled 'VOTE for Ron Paul'(Sorry the vid seems to have disappeared, maybe I'll run across it again). Now. Then come back and finish this slightly disjointed column, which is based on the disjointed times we live in. She’s repeating something she’s heard or read or somebody else made up, true or not.  
   All these young people who’ve found it trendy to speak Liberty make us old patriot geezers feel like maybe there’s some hope after all these years of pounding our heads against a brick wall made up of the stones of ignorance, greed, narcissism, and fear.
   But remember, Hillary Klinton started out as a ‘Goldwater Republican.’
   In this world there are so many directions with so many meanings, one wonders how much any of us know about what we hold dear, but every once in a while a simple man with a simple message comes along and people flock to him, and most of the rest either fear or hate him. If he gets too popular the powers who stupidly want to always be might kill him.
   It’s how the same man who said “Love thy neighbor” and “Turn the other cheek” and "...
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them,” can also proclaim “I did not come to bring peace but a sword,” and “…one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one,” and  “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.”
   We won’t even get into the part about billions of unbelievers being burned alive in a lake of fire forever, while most frail and imperfect human governments have outlawed even burning at the stake, not to mention the death penalty.
   What all this comes down to for us at this time in history, is the difference between people who value individual Liberty as a portion of the founders did, or those who will tell any lie and use their education, degrees, titles, whatever, to back up their lies, so that they can tell their neighbors how to live their lives.
   Commas notwithstanding, it’s about our right to have that sword at the ready, and the will to use it in our hearts, when it truly becomes necessary, and the ability to discern when sacrifice is really necessary, or when we let our enemies sacrifice themselves for their evil cause.
   Nations, peoples, ideas and cultures are born, mature and die, some sooner than others, but none escape the immutable truth, all people and things in this world are nothing but star dust and to star dust we shall return. All we are is rehash, it’s all been done before, there’s nothing new under the sun.
   Sometimes the next solution is so simple we see right past it. Vote for someone, an imperfect human being, for that’s all we get, who has a record we can live with. And if he lives we may get to concentrate on some of our dreams in peace. If he is not permitted to live, then we may have to fall back onto another immutable truth:  
   “Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.” – Robert Heinlein in his novel “Starship Troopers” 
   With as much respect to the Buddha as I can muster, I’d prefer to dream on, and deal in reality at the same time. The two should not be mutually exclusive.

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