What I Do Not Believe

I do not believe that some people being egregiously wrong implies that anyone who happens to disagree with those people is right. We may call this the Law of Imbalance.

I do not believe that I have to show compassion for, or even interest in, humans who have forfeited their humanity to the vices of existential cowardice, petty survivalism, and the sub-infantile willingness to crush their fellow men for the sake of preserving their own shallow breath for one more minute. And if that means, as a matter of practical fact, that the compassion-worthy faction of the species is reduced to ten or twenty people at this time, with the rest having rendered themselves unworthy of the least iota of my concern…well, so be it. 

I do not believe that tyranny is always imposed from without, which is to say that I do not believe all men desire freedom. (That is not to say that human nature does not desire freedom, but rather that the vast bulk of humans will usually choose to live unnaturally.) On the contrary — and this is increasingly obvious each day in an age of global democracy, in which humans “choose their leaders” — most men desire tyranny, and the more of it, the better. To be sure, they call it security, comfort, safety, or stability — but only because their rulers, whom they worship and slavishly obey, call it those things. If those rulers called tyranny “bananas,” these same men would be singing songs and checking their ballots tomorrow for more bananas, and accusing the tiny number of rational humans left in their midst of being “anti-banana.” Politics would become an unending cyclical debate about which tribe had the best plans for producing and distributing bananas, with the members of each tribe monotonously accusing their opponents of failing to understand the true meaning of “banana.”

I do not believe that there is a geographical, let alone geopolitical, location left on this Earth where a man can live free, or even dream out loud of freedom without being shouted or slapped down by his inferiors — taking it as a given that anyone who does not wish to live free is the inferior of anyone who does, the true hierarchy of men being determined by the standard of human nature.

I do not believe that the gods give a damn about our stupid, mutually destructive behavior. After all, if I, a mere member of this species (it takes a big swallow for me to admit that to myself these days), am bored of the lot of them, then how could a being infinitely greater than I, and undisturbedly eternal in all the ways that I am exasperatingly temporal, possibly find anything to care about here?

Having said this, I should add, regarding that final point, that the disinterest of the gods, far from being a cause of despair, has become a source of great hope for me of late. It serves as a reminder, most needed now, of what our nature, properly pursued, ought to be grasping after. For the aloofness of the divinities is born not of cynicism or lethargy, but of an understanding so wide and deep that all our temporal cataclysm and chaos would appear to them as a mere speck of dust blowing past eternity’s window, no interruption whatsoever to the continuous beauty of the view. And that view, their view, is the highest aspiration of our nature. That is their greatest gift to us — a constant reminder of that vision of perfect order, ideal silence, and complete concentration of which our souls are a faint emanation, and toward which our souls may also be an invisible ladder.

You may also like...