Thursday, July 17, 2008

a time such as this


it hit me the other day. it has been skirting around the outer edges of my brain for some time now, and i have made mention of it, not understanding the full implications. and maybe there aren't any implications. i can be open to that as well. but still... i don't want to ignore something so signifigant that is staring me in the face either.

one verse that stuck out right away once i began reading the bible over again as a free man was this: Gen11:6"The LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.'"

it stuck out to me for 2 reasons.
1. - it would seem as though there was a time when "nothing was impossible" for humans. a time when "infinite possiblities" reigned.
2. - it would also seem that this ability to "do anything" is based on choice, but more than that, the combination of choices. i.e. the more people who purpose in themselves to join to a course of action, the greater the ability to bring it to pass.

now the important part.

according to the narrative told in genesis, god confused the language of mankind into various languages in order to keep that from happening. perhaps we were not advanced enough as a species to be able to handle taht kind of awesome responsibility. i don't know. i'm not going to speculate. (i'm not even going to speculate on whether or not this is a "true story")

the significant thing for me that clicked in my head a few days ago is that we have finally reached a point in our development as a world in which this curse has been overcome. we have now come to a point where we, as a world community of humans, are now able to communicate fully with one another again.

i think, if we so chose, we could finally change the world. the implications are outrageous. but first we have this problem of "the carrot." we have trained people for generations to work for money and not for altruistic reasons or the betterment of humanity in general. i believe we could house and clothe and feed the world if we so chose to coordinate our efforts as a global society. i believe we could offer people better alternatives in regards to living communities and social norms. i believe we could do away with paradigm basics like time and money and come up with something else...

but in order to do this, we would need to be willing to put in the hard work. we would need to be willing to "lay this world down", like a "thing", and simply walk away from it.

yet, what would our world be? i have so many thoughts on this... have we gone a generation too far to make any real use of this awesome responsibility and power now in our laps? are we now so hopelessly addicted to this paradigm of "stuff and convenience" that we have completely lost the ability to do for ourselves?

are we really trapped inside of this paradigm? or are we trapped inside of our own greed, laziness, and complacency?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jonny -

I know I don't leave comments very ofte but this one is too good to pass up and it's your birthday.

From my personal perspective I don't necessarily feel it is all about the stuff, but more about selfishness. Ever since the beginning of time there have been people who were more worried about themselves than others and their actions reflect it. While I do think it would be difficult for people to completely transform the way they live, i.e. the comforts we've become accustomed to, the toys, the ease. My opinion is that it would be even harder for people to decide to live for others instead of themselves, and I mean truly for other people. That is a difficult paradigm to grasp as we've all felt cheated in one way or another and the concept of "you have to look out for #1 because no one else will" has helped further this dilemma.

I had a friend ask me once what I thought was the key to a good relationship. My response was when each person was willing to put the needs of the other person in front of their own. I think the same can be said for the world in which you are talking about. I think it's possible, hell anything is possible in my mind, but who is going to start being the example for the rest of us? I mean the one true example, who lived his life completely for the good of man and not self? Is it possible for a human? In my memory I can only think of one individual who ever walked this earth in that capacity....

Anonymous said...

By the way Jonny, if you couldn't tell that post was from your broham.

jON said...

considering no one else calls me jonny or broham, i knew it was you. thanks for the birthday wishes! i'm taking it easy tonight so i will be back to address your wonderful comment in the morning.

Susan said...

but first we have this problem of "the carrot." we have trained people for generations to work for money and not for altruistic reasons or the betterment of humanity in general.

I agree. The problem of "the carrot" has gotten so big it is now unsustainable and maybe that will be the thing that starts the change. People coming to the realization that we can't continue the way we have been going.

Susan said...

P.S. Hope you had a good birthday :)

jON said...

thank you susan. i had to work yesterday, but taht's okay. my wife and i are going to get away for the weekend, just the two of us, for the first time in a long time. we'll do the real celebrating then.

i am genuinely hoping that realization comes before disaster. i try to be hopeful. some days it's easier, and some days it is not so easy. some days i say, "why do i feel like everyone is retarded?" and then my friend tami reminds me, "retarded people have job coaches and others to help teach them life skills. they then work really hard at whatever they do to overcome the stigma attached to themselves and their disabilities." and of course, then i shake my head even more and wonder what is wrong with us.

little bro, i think your assessment of selfishness is dead on. and i agree that it is not "stuff" in and of itself that is the problem. at its very heart, our first world societies are the same as any other. we are seeking after food clothing and shelter. but, within that, we also have a lot of unnecessary things. which are not bad in and of themselves, i just wonder why we docus our energies on these things when so many have so little. why we use our resources on gadgets and gizmos BEFORE we make sure the playing field is level and everyone has the basics. that, for me, is where i begin to lose faith in "the system." it seems to distract from others when profits are the goal. bringing us back to selfishness and only looking to ourselves.

as you know,i live in a low income neighborhood. i see different things here taht one might see in the suburbs or even a rural community. i have heard it said that "minimum wage jobs were never meant to support people." and that may be true. and i also know that many people don't have necessities because of their own choices and laziness and complacency. but at the same time, i know that if every person who was of age and viability wanted to get serious about their work ethic and did the best they could at all times, there would not be enough life-wage-sustaining jobs to go around.

so doesn't taht make the system flawed right off the start? to have a system that doesn't have a plan for everyone's cooperative success? to have a system that, when followed as advised, will start off every person multiple thousands of dollars in debt? (i.e. college)

i could go on and on, but i'll stop here and see if you, or anyone else, have anything to say thus far. as i like to say, "i can always hear myself talk."

(no time for proofreading. forgive me if it goes astray.)

Susan said...

I'm also hoping realization comes before disaster but I'm not all that hopeful. Often it takes a crisis before people start thinking about the long term effects of what they are doing which fits with your comment: "why do i feel like everyone is retarded?". You feel like they are retarded because they simply don't think beyond themselves or beyond today.

I guess I'm hoping for a series of mini crises in order to avoid a major disaster. Brian McLaren, in Everything Must Change, thinks the oppressed, exploited, "minimum-wage" people might get so angry with the system that there will be a revolution. Not a pretty thought.

jON said...

susan, i too hope that realization comes before disaster. and i preach as often as anyone will listen. yet it seems so difficult, like such an uphill battle.

if studying history has taught me anything, it has taught me this. civilizations don't last. everyone who was a "world" domineering power has failed and collapsed at one point or another. what makes me so concerned about this collapse is how far removed we are in the "first world" from the earth. we live and move and have our being on it everyday, but mostly unaware. we have very little if no knowledge at all about how to do things for ourselves. at the very least, back when the other civilizations collapsed, people had a much better knowledge of getting their own resources and being somewhat self-sustaining. but now... i can't even imagine what would happen if electricity went away. and grocery stores were empty.

as to the revolution idea... that is not new. at least here in the states. several poet/prophet/musician types have been calling to the poor to start a revolution for years. I have even called for it. yet, i don't want it to be violent. we don't need to kill the upper 1%, just ignore them and realize they are nothing.

as i have said, we could set this world down and walk away from it, if we so chose, and move on towards something else...

how does one spread the word? how does one effect a change of this magnitude? is it really hopeless? are we too far gone? is there nothing else to do but to wait for the inevitable and once it happens, then do something?

to be reactive instead of proactive? is that really the wisest course of action?

Valorosa said...

Nope never was and never will be.The way of love is the best way always.
There is a way that we can affect a change ... Community ... don't sit by and watch someone suffer ... figure out how to get the resources together to help and meet the challenge.
Obtaining money for what is needed is as easy as taking it from a fish's mouth to those who band together.

Be the leader for Christ in your community. There is nothing a government can do to stop the love of God.

Susan said...

I don't know what the answer is.

I do know without God and without love it is hopeless.

I do know we believe in a God who can feed thousands with a boy's lunch and create money in fishes' mouths.

I think we have to be listening and following what God asks us to do.

Valorosa said...

I was driving downtown yesterday. We were stopped at a light. One of the people who crossed the street has very worn shoes. The sole was flipping up and down as he walked.

I wanted to stop and buy him a pair of new sandals or shoes. Who was he ... where did he live?

I have a young friend who works in a fast food joint. He needs to get to the dentist. But the cost of a dentist to fix what is wrong with his tooth is impossible for him.

I have to help him. I need others to help me too. Let you know what we figure out.