The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Thursday, December 31, 2020

The End or the Beginning? A Deficit of Optimism

Back in 2016, before things went agley, I postulated that we were, at long last, leaving the shadows of the "Long 1980s" and would see, at long last, what followed them. To say I got that wrong is to put it mildly. Instead, we have lived (at the federal level) through a comic book version of 80s kitsch, disassociated from the problems actually facing the nation and its people. The coronavirus has killed over 330,000 Americans since March, and, well, here we are. Elizabeth Sandifer put it well:
The key thing to know here is that there exists a model of spiritual enlightenment in which enlightenment is a horrifying and bleak thing. The adjective I'm going to use for this sort of enlightenment - Qlippothic - is important. Basically, it suggests that there is a form of enlightenment that can be found by encountering and contemplating the darkest parts of humanity. The Qlippoth refer to the hollowed out, vacant, and rotted shells of spiritual concepts. And the whole radical idea of Kenneth Grant is that there's not actually a difference between those, which are basically the horrible nightmares within humanity, and actual enlightenment.
That's a pretty spot-on depiction of 2020 as of this last day of the year; the Senate holding up more than token relief payments, a soft coup attempt picking up steam, one that will fail, but will further divide a polarized populace, as we retreat to our corners until-- What? I wish I could offer some inspiring, inspiriting words this morning. But I'd be faking it. Don't get me wrong; We the People have elected a good, decent man and a strong, determined woman who will together try to bind up the wounds of division. As in the film, after the mourning comes the morning, letting the sunshine in. Let us hope, dafka--despite all the bitterness, loss, and hatred--that the next Act of the drama will take us beyond these futile worn-out arguments and measures, and that we have at least one more second Act after all.


Teramis said...

We forget that on the scale of things, the United States of America is still a young nation. I like to think that the span from 2016 to 2020, when things went so grievously agley, as you put it, are a necessary part of our growing pains. Not because we deserve the pain, but perhaps through it, we will learn some needed lessons and emerge from our collective tribulations with a better understanding of what it is to live in society as an integral part of its fabric, and in greater harmony with the warp and weft of it all. We're certainly not there yet, but at least some part of the tide has turned. We're living through transformative times, for sure.
I hope the turn of this year also brings you fruitful insights and greater harmony, John. Happy New Year. :)

Anglocat said...

From your mouth to the Eternal’s ears! Thanks for proposing an insightful basis for optimism, and every good wish for the New Year!