Clint Jesuswood starring in American Jesus. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
We here at the Square Root of Zero are sick of reading the news about another tragic shooting. The list is long and the one in Newtown targeting schoolchildren seems to transcend even the unthinkable. These individuals have a societal cancer, a psychosis, that is obsessed with violence and sense of worth derived from how other people view them. People are sure to ask, “how did this happen?” and “he was such a nice boy.” The only thing worse than being lost in a cultural wilderness where the Will to Power has taken place of the Will to Meaning is our ability to suspend ALL reality and be willfully ignorant of the warning signs. We know more about building cars, making satellites, and powerful telescopes to see farther into the infinite universe – as if the solutions lie OUT there somewhere – than we know about what goes on in the human mind, right here on this very planet. These “cancer” stricken deny thier connectedness and alienate themselves from thier OWN nature. The confused individual sleepwalks through their life by living in a memory of the past or dreaming about the future. If spirituality comes from somewhere up in the sky then we might as well believe, if it suits us, that a book is the same thing as knowledge or the same thing as our brain. Our lives are little more than an anthropomorphic manifestation of our own thoughts and OUR OWN choices. This once “nice boy” who killed 20 elementary school children, probably, held the belief that his life had no meaning, but he forgot that it is he who must ask the question and he who must be responsible to answer it. The Society Cancer grows because, “it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” These “cancer” stricken individuals do not realize that it is okay to feel fear or anger, but it is how they choose to act on those feelings. The cancer forms in an inability to grasp that nothing happens to them, it happens within them. Cultural conditioning encourages people to ignore and push away these feelings and leads us to believe we can and live in world of gain, fame (or respect), pleasure, and praise, indefinitely. Tens of thousands of people will sheepishly whack at the branches of evil for every one person who wakes up and strikes at the root.
“All the great dangers threatening humanity with extinction are direct consequences of conceptual thought and verbal speech.”
Our weapons “technology” has outstripped instinctual restraints of their use, and we find ourselves in the situation of today, with a power to destroy and a willingness to do just that. The solutions are incredibly simple, but we feel that complex problems must have complex solutions in our lives of ever increasing, unnatural, and useless commotion. Again, we have iPods, cell phones, and airplanes, yet we still haven’t come to terms with existential problems of maintaining an identity, confrontation with absurdity, and the distinction between phenomena and noumena. While the solutions are simple, the real difficulty is reminding ourselves to do what we already know how to do. My deepest sympathies go out to people who have lost loved ones in the face of senseless violence. I maintain hope that they will be able to keep the strength to deny credence to these acts and continue their own lives in good health and peace – no small challenge. But as Viktor Frankl said:
“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best. Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”