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My God is King Kong
or, How I Learned to Emulate the Maitreya
God is in Our Conscience, and Our Conscience is in the Past
For Kwame Ture, one of the most sobering and heartbreaking pull quotes from a career of brilliance is the one that is most often put into meme format and spread online. The quote came when he was still going by Stokely Carmichael and was in reference to Dr. King’s approach to resisting American imperialism and brutality.
I find this quote resonant not just because of its inherent truth when reviewing our collective history as a nation — hired guns; Whores of Babylon who choose sides based on favorable economic outcomes and send guns to whoever needs to kill — but also in its inescapable nature. There is no conscience in the United States because there is no true history here, only nationalism. Our history books have no honest taxonomy of what our ancestors have done to non-whites in this country. The books lie to our children about the United States’ role in World War 2, and how cozy of a relationship America’s rich industrialists had with the wealthy that were powering the Third Reich. Our creation myth lies about the Mayflower and later the Revolution in 1776, claiming it was a war for egalitarianism and freedom rather than the culmination of domestic religious rebellion against the growing Anglican aristocracy on our own land. This entire country is The Big Lie personified, our government switching scapegoats depending on who its at war with today. When I was a boy it was the Iraqis, then after 9/11 it was Islam more broadly. Now the Machine has set its sights back on Russia, the country Bush allied with just a short while ago when they were helping the US military kill Muslims. We’re cats chasing mice, and the mice change colors when convenient.
There’s only one solution to this based on what I’ve observed, and it’s an imperfect solution that nobody here likes talking about. Before identifying the solution, though, let’s be clearer about the problem: history is a political document, thus leaving the American historical record in the hands of political institutions is a failure. It will be altered for political purposes. It will take centuries before something like the 1619 Project can see the light of day, and even then it will be met with resistance because of the false memory of the false history taught in American schools, usually shaped by the upper echelons of society for whom a rose-tinted view of history is beneficial.
It doesn’t benefit the people to lie about history or obscure our monstrosities. It benefits the monsters who spend their time hoping that the hordes of people they exploit don’t figure it out one afternoon and put their heads on spikes like the old days. Thus, citizens must put their history back in the hands of the people through the only way that’s proven to work through time: a state religion.
I’m aware of the perils of invoking Kwame Ture, who wrote about his atheism and Marxism at length, while arguing the merits of a state religion. I’m also aware of the way Kwame Ture invoked spirituality as a core component of pan-Africanism in his later life, and the gifts that Africa gave the world with its faith systems that were adapted and syncretized by other cultures. In fact, I wonder quite often what Kwame Ture would’ve said to Stokely Carmichael about Marxism and religion after watching how the West and the USSR destroyed the pan-African vision by weaponizing the godless Marxist morons against Ujamaa (listen to Ture’s words about confused thinking, and think of the modern Marxist organization and its jargonistic infighting).
Most importantly, with the benefit of hindsight, I wonder if anyone realizes that the way forward was already shown to us by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, The Conquering Lion of Judah who had the West pissing its pants from the 1950s until His death.
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Butterbeer and the Law of the Jungle
I was halfway up the tube with fake gamma rays when the Hulk roared over a loud speaker and I was hurled into the atmosphere at 67 miles per hour, my frail human form sure to atomize on impact with the ground below. Luckily, I was seated safely in a little chair next to a bunch of other rubes, confident that the locking mechanism secured to our chests by teenagers (and the financial liability the park would face if one of us died) was enough to keep us safe until the coaster stopped. We won that bet a couple minutes later as we pulled into the science lab or whatever it was and some people in lab coats started clapping for us like we’d returned on the Apollo.
I spent three days at Universal Studios with my wife for her birthday, a goofy indulgence before we inevitably take our children to Orlando, Florida for that American rite of passage — which, fittingly enough given America, is a rite of passage not everyone can afford but everyone hears about. I had gone because for the first half of my childhood my dad made decent money, and for the second half of my childhood when he didn’t, I got to go for myriad AAU basketball tournaments held annually in the city. My wife had never been because she grew up poorer than me and didn’t play travel basketball. From my perspective, the trip was meant to exorcise some of those demons; like any other magic trick, it only has power over you until you face the illusion directly.
That’s not to say it was at all laborious. It was goddamned fun. I don’t know if I’ve had more sustained, unadulterated fun in my life to this point than walking a goofy theme park with the woman of my dreams, riding roller coasters for a quick pump of the adrenaline that our ancestors used to have to go to battle to experience. The poor schmucks. My great great great great great x10 grandfather couldn’t get his blood pumping unless he was swinging an axe at an Englishman trying to colonize Scotland. I wonder if, in whatever plane of existence his consciousness now resides, he’s happy or annoyed that I get to do it for $75 and a 15 minute queue.
“This is like Vegas for families,” my wife said as soon as the water taxi pulled into the shadow of movie-themed restaurants and Premium Brand Experiences at the Universal Citywalk. Given that my wife and I were there for the food, rides, and suspension of disbelief at the immense monument to pleasant artifice, it was easier to get a bird’s eye view at the illusion. There’s something about the theme park experience without your children in tow that creates an odd dissonance. I found myself stuck in that tense mental state between acknowledging reality (I was having an immense amount of fun) and acknowledging the difference between that and my ideals (I was having an immense amount of fun in a shopping mall).
I was more cynical about this before I had children, admittedly. It’s much easier to see the theme parks as malevolent evil when you’re a grown up and lost any sense of the magic of childhood — much of which is enabled by being credulous and under-developed — because you can more readily see how they manipulate the mind. Theme parks capitalize on a child’s unavoidable attraction to pop culture by creating tangible memories (now conveniently called “Experiences” instead of “Rides,” lest there be any lingering doubt) that impart genuine meaning. I spent much of our trip lamenting to my wife that the Jaws ride from when I was a child was no longer operational, despite the fact that the Jaws ride objectively sucked compared to the shit that’s there today. For Christ’s sake, I got thrown through the air by the Incredible Hulk. A little pontoon boat and a few pyrotechnics next to a blatantly fake robot shark pales in comparison.
The Jaws ride had meaning to me, because Jaws was crucial to my childhood. My older brother was a film geek who raised me on Spielberg before he got into the weird stuff, and I still remember the copy of the Peter Benchley novel that gathered dust at various beach house rentals in Delaware. It doesn’t matter that the ride was lacking in technical proficiency. I rode it at 10 years old when I was still scared to go much farther past waist deep in the ocean because of a movie starring Roy Schreider that my brother shouldn’t have let me watch yet. The Jaws ride was formative because Jaws was formative, and I finally had an experience that validated it for me.
Does that sound familiar? Readers of this blog already know what I would liken it to, but there was a viral Twitter thread from a religious studies professor that already summarized it so I can save room here. All I would add to the professor’s thread is that this feels like a rather natural outcome. Since I was a child, my experience has been that we in the West often equate religion with belief in the supernatural, but it’s just a collection of ethnic traditions preserved in parable form. If that’s the case, what’s a better representation of the American ethos than the movies?
It’s far from ideal, but walking through the parks I also couldn’t help but notice that it’s not drastically different, either. The stories are all mostly the same shit the Anglicans and Catholics have been spooking each other with for centuries. Hidden forces or evil personified creating chaos that otherwise prevents us from enjoying heaven on Earth. At the Transformers ride, guests wait in a staging area where one of the actors from Friday Night Lights says “All Megatron wants is that Allspark so he can turn every gizmo and gadget on Earth into an evil Decepticon.” That’s the Lucifer parable. Transformers, like many of the other Experiences, isn’t so much a ride as it is a 3-D film with a shaking chair; the dreaded motion simulator that makes your stomach drop more than any roller coaster. Heroes and witty action stars ride in to save the day as the villains always just barely miss your car, or bus, or spaceship. At the end they tell you what a good job you did by just being there.
In Harry Potter World, guests are escorted through various attractions reinforcing the idea that there is a dualist battle between good and evil, much of which is happening without our awareness. The bad guys speak to serpents. If that’s not enough Anglicanism for you, guests wait in line for the Escape from Gringotts motion simulator surrounded by animatronic antisemitic tropes keeping the books and guarding the money. And of course, there are the muggles, which readers or moviegoers rarely ever see but hear about. The implication, similar to the MCU and all the other fantasies Americans love, is that there’s a whole world of ignoramuses out there doddering around while angels keep us safe.
It doesn’t matter whether people realize they’re engaged in the same parables that the average Christian is, just with SFX and goofier names. There’s an argument to be made that engaging with this while also publicly declaring yourself antireligious — there were so many atheism slogan t-shirts worn and littered amongst pop occultist symbols in Harry Potter World I lost count — while engaging in the same morality plays is a sort of self-deception. But self-deception is for the self to work out, and isn’t the job of the state. Besides, there are worse lessons to give children than “try and be a good person, even if you’re a dumpy know-nothing like Neville Longbottom.”
Instead, I worry about two things of which one is more fixable:
If our conscience is developed from our parables, and all our parables end up with the same moral and ethical framework as Western Christianity, are we really living in a secular nation?
If our default state religion is the movies and mass media, does that mean our God is at the whims of the people trying to sell us on living and working here with minimal complaint?
Throughout the Harry Potter section of the park, guests can take their $50 “interactive wands” they buy at the wand shop and wave it in front of little icons on the ground indicating an interactive part of the park. Some of them make thunder clap and water trickle down, like you cast a weather spell. Others make plants dance, or other goofy little magical moments. Waiting by the bathroom I watched a girl no older than 12 stand on the dot and wave her wand to no avail. She tried again but nothing. A theme park employee in Hogwarts regalia whispered in her ear, and then showed her the expert wand movement that would work, and sure enough the girl nailed it the next time. She smiled and hopped up and down in place like she’d seen Christ.
In the Universal Studios theme park — the original, before the Islands of Adventure expansion that created a two-park pop culture extravaganza — there’s a little entrance to restrooms that says GOTHAM ICE. There are rumors about this little easter egg all over online, with some opining that it was because of plans to build an entire Batman area that were scrapped over studio rights (while others say it’s just just coincidental decoration of the park’s city sets, given that Gotham is a nickname for NYC). Just like Harry Potter, or the Transformers, or the other demiurges we see in mass media, Batman v Joker has created a dualist religion for its most obsessed fans.
But Batman isn’t the same today as Batman was in the 90s. A new studio started making Batman movies, because of how capital markets work. And that studio had a different vision for what Batman should be. If you don’t like it, too bad. God doesn’t belong to you anymore.
My favorite non-coaster ride at the park was King Kong, who survived longer than Jaws. When I was a boy, King Kong at Universal Studios was a giant animatronic gorilla that shook your subway car as you rode past. But now he was Skull Island, and instead of a subway car, you rode on some bus driven by a Ph.D. student who came to study fossils or something. The ride was fine but the highlight was riding by the giant animatronic King Kong head that appeared to have been resurrected from the fall of the last Universal Studios ride. In the country where the law of the jungle still reigns supreme, it was reassuring to see that Kong was still King.
The Lion of Judah Speaks to An Italian
In 1973, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, the Conquering Lion of Judah, gave an interview to Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci for God knows what reason. Fallaci made a career off of a Eurocentric analysis of figures like Selassie and Gaddafi before spending the end of her life calling Muslims savages. Funny how often European “truth tellers” followed that state sponsored way of thinking over the course of their career, from Fallaci to Christopher Hitchens.
The interview is very clearly designed to make Selassie look silly to the American audience it was written for — the interview was published in the Chicago Tribune — with loaded questions about liberal democracy and Ethiopia’s future after the Solomonic Dynasty. Despite the interviewer’s attempts to make the emperor look goofy, the man who biographers noted was always about 50-60 years ahead of his time emerged with responses that have stood the test of time. On democracy, Haile Selassie said:
“Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. Besides, one should consider the interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and We believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake.”
In context, his quote about democracies reflects something that the United States is experiencing quite acutely: the will of the people is always secondary to the will of the powerful. Selassie took the throne of the Solomonic Dynasty under great turmoil, and had to fight a small civil war against a wealthy challenger (the sitting Queen’s husband, despite the Queen’s requests for him to stand down) to even earn his place at the top of the Solomonic Dynasty that had ruled Ethiopia for longer than recorded time. He then fought a war to try and expel the Italian Catholic influence that had poisoned Ethiopia and brought a new set of colonizers to their doorstep. He outlawed slavery, which was met with intense resistance from the wealthy classes of Ethiopian society. There were coup attempts to try and stop Selassie’s efforts to bring Ethiopia into the modern world.
Now, imagine the mindset of a man like Selassie — a continuation of centuries of tradition trying to pull his country forward against fierce resistance — when asked a question about liberal democracy. Four decades of juggling a landed aristocracy that hated his reforms and tried to have him killed or deposed a few times as a result. That interview may look self-serving, but it’s hard to say Selassie is incorrect about liberal democracy as it relates to Ethiopia. What good is a liberal democracy when the will of the people is subverted by the powerful who benefit when the peasantry is stupid and poor? What does a vote matter when faced with the forces of cultural hegemony that’s developed over a period of 3,000+ years?
I try to be careful about critiquing American democracy, because it’s a sore subject after the events of January 6th and the impotent attempts to stop the rise of far right fascism in America. But I also shudder to imagine the person who thinks their vote counts in the face of entire congregations of churches voting in lockstep based on little more than the advice of their pastor. The forces of cultural hegemony will always outweigh the individualist sensibility of liberal democracy, wherein citizens are sold on the idea that their individual vote is so important that they are depriving the world by withholding it. This might be true in an ideal form of democracy, but in a dualist two party system it’s a childish fantasy.
It’s self-serving for a sitting monarch to criticize the concept of liberal democracy, but to call Selassie’s response in this interview despotic would be shallow analysis of a remarkably complex life. Selassie enabled his own downfall through a long process of modernization, including the funding and creation of universities that provided the education necessary for a youth-led revolution that he predicted for the Ethiopian people. He built hospitals and bought mountains of military hardware so that the country would never be caught with its pants down as it was in the 1930s, when the European world decided it wanted to seize the Horn of Africa from Africans for good. Selassie may have been a “dictator” in the classic framework, but there’s good reason why he’s remembered fondly by so many in Ethiopia and around the world. (There’s also very good reason why he is remembered with less fondness amongst the Oromo people, whose lands he whored out to multinationals in the interest of modernization; Selassie’s legacy is complex.)
Selassie was more than an emperor and ruler of Ethiopia. He was divinely ordained and, based on his autobiography, took that divine calling to unite and bring peace to the Earth quite seriously. Ethiopia occupied a very odd place in Cold War history, sitting at the center of conflict between Maoists, Marxists, and Capitalists who all wanted to get their claws into the resource-rich terrain that could power their fantasy world. Despite all the money and weapons getting thrown at him from the West, Selassie was no Mobutu: as more African nations began experiencing revolutions, Selassie’s relationship with the West became tumultuous as it became clearer that he considered himself an African first, a global partner second. Selassie was always divinely committed to protecting the Mother by any means necessary (including swallowing his pride to work with the Anglos he despised after World War 2).
The emperor had the confidence to enable this new chapter for Ethiopia because, as the head of the oldest church on Earth, he understood the tradition of the Ethiopian people would always reign supreme. In the Chicago Tribune interview, one can note how Selassie uses “we” when speaking; Selassie and the previous heads of the Solomonic Dynasty considered themselves living embodiments of Ethiopian values. Forget trivial matters like “legislation,” Selassie issued a new Holy Bible in 1961 after immense scholarship with the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea Scroll discoveries. The Haile Selassie Bible is the only theological document to canonize and integrate the newly discovered Dead Sea Scroll gospels, because it was more important to him to properly restore an accurate tradition of his people than it was to pretend these scriptures didn’t exist for political purposes (like the Catholics). Selassie knew that his legacy would be defined by the long term course of Ethiopia, which has always been guided by faith and a traditional Amharic system of conflict resolution rather than by heads of state.
After Selassie fell under dubious circumstances in the mid 1970s, he was replaced by the Marxist-Leninist Derg who embraced Marxism’s antireligion and slaughtered high ranking bishops in the Tewahedo church. But it wasn’t just the Selassie loyalists who got killed. Lutheran pastor and activist Gudina Tumsa, the 20th century’s most inspiring theologian, was martyred for speaking out against the genocidal Derg regime. Good Christians — not the imperialist scum from the Latin Church movements, but those who followed the True Gospel — were slaughtered. What replaced the Solomonic Dynasty (what Selassie warned of in his interview in 1973) was the Red Terror and a famine that stole millions of families and trillions of generations from the Horn of Africa.
The Lion of Judah predicted that the Ethiopian people’s tradition would overcome any attempt to modernize or poison the country’s way of life, and the Derg were run out of Addis Ababa in the 90s. The United States and other European nations have aided the exile of Mengistu Haile Mariam, the man who killed millions of Ethiopians, since he was forced to flee the country. China has massive financial ties to the Ethiopian energy sector, and the United States and European allies are once again stirring up shit with bordering Tigray and Eritrea, where Catholic money is still plentiful. The Derg may have lost, but the Western imperialist drive is still at play, especially in Eritrea.
How will Ethiopia find its way back to its culture once the West has gotten done extracting all of its resources and turning Ethiopia against itself? The Selassie Bible has the answers, and is why the West and its superior technology will never, ever win this war. One simply has to zoom out to see the endgame: Western societies collapse under great pressure, but Ethiopia’s — the lone African nation to avoid colonization — do not.
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America and the Holy Spirit
I don’t think that the United States should adopt a state religion, but only for practical reasons. Any attempt to do so would result in certain civil war, for one thing, but one of the shitty denominations would win here. Episcopalian or Catholic most likely for financial reasons, but evangelicals have the populist angle that you can’t rule out.
Sometimes I think denominational differences are the best way to understand United States history, and they also contain hints about why we shy away from religious history so much in this country. It’s easier to lump all Christians together as loony, credulous goofballs than perform a class analysis on the theology at play. Perhaps this phenomenon is best illustrated by the Baptist movement in the United States, while recalling what Kwame Ture said about the United States’ conscience and how colonialism seeks to confuse the mind. If you’ve been reading the history books, the Baptists are the bad guys because of the preponderance of KKK in the Southern Baptists Convention. If you’re watching the news today, the evangelical Baptists are in the midst of sexual abuse scandals and ever present accusations of fraud. The Baptist name is on its way to mud in the United States.
But if you take an interstate exit in the south through a historically Black neighborhood, odds are good you will see the Baptist name again on a vacant church. These decrepit monuments aren’t leftovers of the Southern Baptist Convention congregations populated by white racists — why would the United States put a highway through a white neighborhood? — but the Black Baptists that followed Martin Luther King, Jr. The Black Baptists that Nat Turner and Paul Bogle preached for. The Baptist movement was made of up the revolutionaries that destroyed slavery in the West alongside the Methodists, until reformed Anglo Episcopalians and Dutch monsters with pockets full of slave money got ahold of it and made a competing brand name.
Once the Baptist denomination became a majority white denomination, the same thing happened that always happens with majority white Christian denominations, both here and abroad throughout the centuries. Eventually, when white people commune with the Holy Spirit, they emerge thinking that they’re the only people that should exist.
But that Baptist drive to commune with the holy spirit has never escaped the United States ethos, for better and worse. What made Baptists so unique — particularly Arminian Baptists — was that it was the first theology that gave congregants permission to consult with the Holy Spirit on their own (i.e. ask God what to do and use their intuition to find the answer). The Baptists were the first religious movement to put it in writing that you can tell your dad to go fuck Himself. What’s more American than that?
And it’s there that I pause and think back on Kwame Ture again and our lack of conscience, borne of our lack of honest tradition. Nothing has meaning here because our meanings are bought and sold based on what is politically expedient. A proud Baptist in the tradition of Dr. King is, to the poorly informed, the same as a Baptist burning crosses on a lawn, all because we’re allowed to do whatever and say whatever the fuck we want in this country. If Christ was the Word made Flesh, America is legalese made manifest — carrying with it all the confusion that legalese is meant to creates.
Religions — a collection of the traditions and parables of ancient societies that brought us this far — are sacred because that’s where folk history lives. And folk history is real history, because folk history is told from the perspective of those crushed under the boot-heel of the Babylonians in Europe — including the Slavic Christians that are just as fascist and focused on white supremacy as any Westerner. Real history is told by men like Nat Turner, not the slave owners who owned printing presses. Real history exists in the ganja fields of Jamaica and the Ge’ez script in Amhara. Real history is tattooed on the skin of those damned by God.
We may not be a Christian nation due to the establishment clause, but the Western savior story is ingrained in our culture and how we act. The Latin Church movement — from which all our “reformed” theologies descend — depicts our savior as a 33 year old man who gets killed for speaking out against the way things work. There have been countless interpretations of this myth over the centuries, but the one that is indisputably embedded in Western culture is that once you hit your 30s, it’s time to get serious about your duties to God. Start a family. Get a career. Advance your family name for the next one to grab the baton. You can’t stay young forever, after all.
Is it any wonder, then, that our culture deifies those who defy the clock? Celebrities who keep their looks well past their prime. Athletes who preserve an element of youth for all of us by dunking and tackling and putting on a show of abilities that even our wildest teenage dreams couldn’t touch. Musicians who refuse to grow old, either via preserved rock star fantasies into their 60s and 70s or accidental deaths from reckless indulgences. Skaters and surfers who would rather eat a pizza and send a trick than settle down. If the Baptist movement is about direct congregation with the Holy Spirit, the populist theology of American mass media is clear: the Holy Spirit tells us to defy our age or our ideas of appropriateness and push the boundaries.
Now that I’m a father myself, I find more wisdom in this savior story than I did when I was younger. My children are bright for their age, but they have no understanding of the world or the discipline it takes to survive here. There’s a cottage industry made to reassure you that you can get soft, despite all the evidence that the world is hardening as resources become more scarce. My daughter’s school is teaching her how to react to an active shooter. My son has already seen a pistol fired by a stranger up close. Everybody I talk to seems to recognize that this is horrifying but seems too distracted by their own interests to do much about it. So, I tend to my family in turn, even as the leftist theorists tell me that my family — something I innately desire and has been scrawled on cave walls since before “capitalism” was a concept — is a tool of capitalist oppression.
I don’t blame them for being confused. The United States is made up of children; a nation of credulous rubes who have built a society primarily based on pleasure and risk mitigation. 9/11 is the first time this country has ever come close to suffering the wrath of centuries of turkey vulture diplomacy, and like the soft little babies we are, that one little attack was enough to completely undo our civilization over the past 20 years. Why wouldn’t it? What tradition do we have to lean on to get us through tragedy, aside from the lies we feed each other about American exceptionalism as we run the planet into the ground?
The only way to find your way back to something resembling sanity is through the collective wisdom of those who came before; those who have already survived this and much worse in order for you to be standing today. Because of our illiterate nature, to suggest that the United States must “return to God” is to lump yourself in with the far right. Just like the Baptist name, God has lost all meaning in the United States, as its utterance likely dredges up a million different oppressive images to ears that receive its name. But there are good definitions of God in history that are compatible, perhaps imperative, for implementing a society. The Tower of Babel isn’t about language. It’s about how we are not the first group to try and create a perfect utopian society, and that the collapse is inevitable because none of us are ever saying the same thing, even as we speak the same language.
We have history — and a definition of God — that has been sanitized for children that are taught to put America first, regardless of what political party they vote for or church they go to. I don’t believe this to be a conspiracy so much as a subconscious incentive system: we aren’t incentivized to collect and distribute the true history of the United States and Europe, because to do so would be to acknowledge that we are descended of born losers. Racist monsters who are scared of their own shadow and infect every continent they step on like a disease, because the imperative is always to reshape the continent’s culture in the vision of Augustine’s City of God. It’s the only tradition we have, even as we trick ourselves into thinking we are creating new traditions by giving new names to our plague of intolerance.
But we need the trick, don’t we? Not just Americans, but all of us collectively. From the kids waving little toy wands outside of Harry Potter World to the grown-ups telling themselves that voting is going to affect change to the revolutionaries fighting battles they can’t win. As Haile Selassie said, it’s all illusions, and the world goes on as before. I used to think this was inherently bad until I had kids and saw that magic can be enough; that children may not be leaders but are an essential part of community because of the hope they provide. Our Christ parable — where we must kill our inner child for the sake of God — isn’t the only one that exists, and I’ve always found inspiration from Jesus Christ’s words in the Gospel of Thomas:
"The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same."
If we are a nation of children because of our lack of tradition and constant retreat from reality, we have something essential to provide the world. But it’s to act as a cultural muse, not to provide leadership, and we ignore the West’s immature indulgences at our own peril. The Lion is coming home soon and one can run from the past, but one can’t outrun the Dharma.
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