A few years ago, friends and I were discussing the increase of Islamic terrorism after the attacks of 9/11. (I am from NY and will spare you my 9/11 story. Suffice it to say, I still suffer the occasional PTSD from it.) Being pagans, we often talked about the “big three” – the Abrahamic religions and how they behaved toward each other, and I made the wisecrack that Islam was the newest and so, “it’s just their turn”.
“After all, the old pagan religions of pre-history fought with each other. But they had sticks and rocks. Then humans graduated to swords and spears and catapults. The early Jews and Christians had their crusades and wars with those weapons. It’s Islam’s turn and it’s only more terrifying because the technology has advanced.”
What was meant to be sort of a light-hearted toss-off ended up being a sobering realization. And lately, the pessimist in me is seeing an even more distressing pattern.
Pessimist? You?? What? Wait. Yeah, me. I know, I’m usually the one that’s all,
“Go, go, gadget humanity. Peace love and happiness. Namaste, y’all.” But I’m going to be honest here, I really don’t have a lot of love for humanity as a species. Certain people are great. But as a whole? Humanity — Son, I am disappoint. We can be so incredibly inspiring, creative, kind, loving and uplifting. We’ve made amazing advances in medicine and technology and art … oh, the ART we have created. Music. So much music, so many kinds of music. Poetry. Literature. Paintings. Sculpture. Photography. We’ve explored SPACE for fuck’s sake. We have a robot on MARS sending back photos, and a satellite on the outer edges of our solar system still communicating with us.
There have been people like Siddhartha Gautama; Mahatma Gandhi; Jesus of Nazareth; Mohammed; the Dalai Lama; Confucius and Lao Tzu and Desmond Tutu all singing the praises of peace and the belief in a higher consciousness and attaining enlightenment. And yet we still fall prey to the Genghis Khans, the Hitlers, the Kim Jong Ils, the Osama Bin Ladens and the Donald Trumps.
I tell ya, it’s hard to be a person of love and peace when faced by so much hatred and war ALL THE TIME. Humanity, as a species, are doomed. I’m truly beginning to believe it. It must be why I love movies about apocalypse and worldwide destruction. Even the awful Michael Bay ones. (Sometimes especially the awful Michael Bay ones — the louder and more bombastic the better. Blow it all up. Start over.) I can’t recall which movie it was (sci-fi) where the alien species told us that humans are the virus that must be eradicated for the Earth to survive. (The Day The Earth Stood Still perhaps? It’s probably more than one, really.) We’ve been trying to destroy ourselves since we learned to walk on two legs and we’ve been trying to destroy our planet as well.
Maybe this really is it. The Mayans were right. The doomsday cults are right. The end times ARE near. We just elected a President that doesn’t believe in science, that has a white nationalist as one of his main advisors, has the KKK supporting him and you know that ISIL is sure as heck going to use his election as their excuse (like they need one) to escalate their attacks and now the USA is no longer the nation the world looks to for inspiration or support but looks at with skepticism and fear.
Maybe it needs to happen. After all, massive forest fires result in massive growth. The cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs resulted in the emergence of mammals and other species. Maybe it’s time that the dominant species on this planet finally kills themselves off, and the planet is given time to heal herself from all the damage we’ve caused to her and allow some other species to rise from the ashes. Cetaceans are smart. They might survive in the oceans. Or maybe some other type of critter would arise from the sludge that’s left and hopefully have some residual DNA memory and not make the same mistakes we’ve made. Over and over and over and over and OVER again.
Humanity. What a bunch of maroons.