...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



most savage bushfire:

The Cumberland spa, where she was originally headed, was burnt to the ground. In an instant, Marysville had ceased to exist. Up to 100 people lay dead under its smouldering ruins.

"That fire was evil, it had a purpose," O'Meara says. "It was hungry."
Australian 14.feb.09
No one promised the world would just keep getting better, no one said it would even stay the way it was - the post-war comforts of the 50's and 60's, prosperity, progress, the way new things kept appearing and then becoming now, what the kids would accept as the way things simply are, and go on to build their own world from that - no one promised it, but everyone accepted that was how it was, expected it to go on, believed it would.
There's your evil, beyond anything savage. And, if you look closely, as with fire there's nothing there really. It's all emptiness, within an outline of expectations that were allowed to grow and build on a foundation of nothing but desire, at the bottom of it all, selfish desire, what all organic life brings to the table.
How we got here, wherever this is, whatever we are now, how we lived, was through balancing that desire with and against something higher, beyond and outside the self and its hungers.
The stories within the story of the fires in Australia show this clearly, awful decisions to withdraw, knowing there are lives left behind that will be lost, knowing to stay will be to lose your own, and in the case of many, those dependent on your decisions as well.
Some of the ones who were there in this, seeing the flames and the blackened lives and the dead, were and still are as admirably selfless as it's possible for humans to be, some weren't. With some it shows up suddenly and disappears as quick as it came.
If there's evil in this it's burning at a frequency we still can't quite recognize, destroying things we don't realize we have and so won't miss immediately.
People were tricked into living evil lives, into living wrong, and the accusation comes naturally to them when the symptoms of that wrong living get overwhelmingly clear, but the fires began years ago, in clean cool rooms where deals were made with no regard to outcome, by men whose vision saw only profit and loss.
If there's evil in this it's not in the heat and fuel and spark of the fires themselves, but where it always is, where it always has been - selfishness that puts its own desire above all else, and takes its gratification whatever the cost to those who'll bear it when the price comes due.

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