In my experience it is the least imaginative people who have the most passionate—even violent—desire to eradicate what is alien to them and enforce conformity to their worldview. You might say, that is almost a definition of “unimaginative.” Among the various defining characteristics of the “imaginative” mind, to me, empathy stands foremost: the ability, or proclivity, to imagine being someone else. Is is a quality essential to the storyteller. To the novelist, for example, being someone else is not just a requirement of the job, but its great joy. Escape from the constant Iago-like whispers of ego. Escape from personality. Escape from yourself! In the current political warfare I am sometimes asked what side I’m on. It’s a hard question to answer when I’m sure our having devolved into teams is itself the problem. We are unable, or unwilling, to imagine how the world looks to someone different from ourselves. We say, you either see the world from the random, accidental, selective way I do, or you’re a non-entity. Or face endless torture in some afterlife for your brain’s failure to be wired the way mine is. Nothing less would suffice for the egregiousness of your having a take on reality that I don’t understand.
To the Anastazi—“When the world becomes evil, you die.”
Please don’t kill the messenger, or consign me to Hell for the very thought—but I think we’re there.
The essential ethic of Christianity, and of all ethical systems, is love—manifested in many ways, but critically in tolerance and support for our fellow travelers. So why of all people do “Christians” exhibit it the least? Because they have polluted their religion with politics. Christianity, which replaced paganism in a world growing ever more socialized and sedentary, is supremely about living cooperatively and harmoniously in complex social systems. It isn’t about the endless continuation of your climate-controlled subdivision life with your clones. Hatred of other people, inability to conceive of their conception of reality, dwelling in the noxious trenches of tribal bickering, will destroy us. Quit watching that propaganda! It is only for people incapable of thinking for themselves. The whole point of it is to keep us divided, keep us hating and blaming each other, so a few people can get rich off of us before the end.
September 24, 2018