What are we, but Plato’s shadows, and dust in the wind?
My mind is troubled, heart, heavy and cheerless, and soul greatly anguished. Attacks on civilian populations in the past month have increased in frequency and brutality…and in their effectiveness. Nothing in the ideology of perpetrators of such violence leaves room for dialogue, for understanding, for tolerance. Nor do reprisals by governments lend any solace or comfort. Hopelessness fills the self.
I am reminded of Lao Tzu’s writings in the Tao Te Ching:
“When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it knows good as good, evil arises
Thus being and non-being produce each other.”
What produces the evil we see before us? What gives rise to such brutality in humans? In connected nature, and life, could it be that such evil arises on its own, absolute and isolated? Or do we, in a cycle of violence, lend a vicious circular causality?
Can we see, in the eye of God, destruction and creation together? Can we learn, from what little we see, of our insignificance, of our transience, and yet, our interdependence? Can we grow humility and compassion in our hearts and minds?
As Kansas sang so eloquently, we are little more than dust in the wind…