...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



this is a first/second draft, it may get rewritten or it may disappear altogether

There is in most of us a fear, or an inability, to confront what it is we live our lives within and constantly surrounded by.
We've been helped to that inability by ignorance - the gradual accumulation of knowledge one measure of how ignorant we began - and further disabled by the intentional darkening of that surround, so that without anyone taking the authorial credit we're taught that all around us, physically as well as virtually is darkness, emptiness, nothing, with scattered out at unimaginable distances from each other small round worlds that are mostly void of anything living, though possibly, just possibly one among the uncountable trillions may harbor something like earthly life.
The trouble with recognizing that fundamentalist Christianity is essentially "Judaism for Dummies" is that it leads to the next step. That this has turned the power of the American economy over to a handful of psychotic men, that those men themselves are only nodes in what must be a cloud of cross-temporal consciousness, or mind. That that turning over was a key part of a long campaign toward power and dominance by something that's more like a spirit than a group of men. And that that must be a very powerful thing to have done this, in its attributes exactly like a god.
The trouble with not recognizing these aspects of the world as it is is it leads to a floundering rationality that has no solid moral architecture, except what it's inherited through its own congregations, and they in turn, in the West at least, through the agency of Judeo-Christian denominations. Without that inherited moral foundation there is only biology, the contest of genes, and we're all equal biologically, more equal there than under any political or ethical system.
Without morality what's happening in the Middle East can only be condemned by reason, with economic rationale or social cost/benefit analyses.
These mean nothing to the men who are doing this, and to the spiritual presence I believe animates them. That thing hates more than it loves, anything. It is exacting revenge for its wounds. And it is gravely wounded.
That this all may be a subversion of what is, rather than an outright lie - that what exists around us is a living thing, that there is a presence so unfathomably greater than our own in our lives that it's like air, or the earth itself, so common and everywhere it's taken for granted until some poet gets far enough away from everything he can name it - that it may be a misdirection, that the existence of psychotic absurdities and hypocrisies in the minds of those who call themselves believers does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of greater worlds, higher things, living beings that make our lives very small and temporary by comparison - that gets washed away in the raw force and power of the madness itself. It's easier, and more comforting, to believe in nothing at all than in a God who could smile benevolently on young girls decorating bombs that will kill other children.
Arguing with an enemy can only be done in a common language, with terms both parties understand. This is why so many of us are speechless now.

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