June 12th, 2002

Living In Paradox

Timothy Wilken

Myth is an early form of time-binding. Beliefs held during human´s early history were passed to descendants as myth – in the form of songs, odes, poems, tales, and legends.

The early Greeks wondered much about the “nature of man”. They wondered why man did the things he did.

Man seemed to have enormous capacity for good, and yet enormous capacity for evil. This concerned the early Greeks much. They believed man was a mixture of good and evil.

This human belief has been passed to us in the myths of the Minotaur and the Centaur. The Minotaur was the result of the sexual union between a marvelously beautiful, radiant bull and the wife of King Minos of Crete. A carnivorous monster, the Minotaur was a mixture of beast and man. His head was that of the bull, his body that of a human. He was so violent and dangerous that he had to be confined in the labyrinth of Crete. This mixture of good and evil, of human and beast, was dominated by his baser side. His human intelligence was controlled and dominated by his animal nature. The myth tells us that the Minotaur was so aggressive and so evil that to appease him, King Minos regularly sacrificed Athenian youths and maidens to prevent him from destroying the city.

Now, in the myth of the Centaur we also see the representation of this mixture of good and evil , the mixture of human and beast. The Centaur is the result of the sexual union between the god Ixion and a group of mares. The Centaurs were half men and half animals. They had the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse.

The most famous of the Centaurs was Chiron. Chiron was noted to be the wisest of the wise, he was physician and teacher and was most noted for the tutorage of the Greek heroes Achilles and Jason. The Centaur represented a mixture of animal and human but one in which the animal nature was controlled and dominated by the human intelligence.

Human knowledge today, the result of millions of years of time-binding suggest that the Minotaur and the Centaur still exist today. We humans are the Centaurs and the Minotaurs. Sometimes our rational human intelligence dominates our more primitive animal nature. But far, far too often our animal nature controls and dominates our human intelligence. The presence of the Minotaur in our current civilization represents a paradox.

Paradox

Paradox is defined as a situation which is contrary to received opinion or expectation. One of the major powers of time-binding is the ability to predict. When time-binders make a prediction and the result is different, they are surprised. Paradox is when things are not as we would expect them to be.

The idea that best describes our present human condition is paradox.

The major product of time-binding is knowledge. When humans act with knowledge they create the best of times. When humans act in ignorance, they create the worst of times. Paradox exists when humans act with knowledge and in ignorance – when they create the best of times and the worst of times.

It is the best of times

Humanity has never known more. Today in the ìfree” world, we can teach infants to read, to do mathematics, and to play musical instruments. Our technical quality of life has never been higher. Television, Radios, Stereos, CDs, Personal Computers, Cellular Phones, Clothes Washers and Dryers, Dishwashers, Microwave Ovens – all are common place.

Most families have one or more automobiles. We can heal most injuries. Replace damaged and aging organs. Cure most infections. Cure many cancers. We have put humans in Space and on the Moon. We can circle the Earth in hours. We can go anywhere under the sea.

Our knowledge and technology have never been greater. Our science, our human scope and abilities have never been more powerful.

It is the worst of times

Today, the United States of America the primary beneficiary of Institutional Neutrality and Time-binding is bankrupt. Neutrality was a welcome reprieve from the adversary world, but to work it requires unlimited resources. We have reached the end of unlimited resources and that means the return to world of scarcity. This change brings increased Indifference and Conflict.

Declining Quality of Life – All American citizens are experiencing declining quality of life. Declining compensation for all workers has forced both parents to work just to pay the bills, this force is deteriorating the nuclear family. Ever increasing percentages of families are unable to afford the cost of buying or maintaining a home.

There are currently 50,000,000 Americans without health insurance. Ever increasing percentages of American youths are unable to afford college or higher education or anything more than the deteriorating public schools. American schools once the best in the world now graduate illiterate high school seniors. Many young adults are without goals or even an interest in the future. Growing numbers of teenagers are pregnant without husbands, drug and alcohol dependent, and victims of evergrowing teenage crime and suicide rates. Homelessness has now become an institution found in every city and town in America. Large numbers of Americans live out their brief lives completely ignored. Every week, hundreds of children disappear from American streets in our cities and towns – many without notice.

And the rest of the world today is still dominated by Adversary Relationships. There things are even worse.

Human Conflict – Conflict and warfare are natural resultants of the adversary way and are not new to human life. What is new is that with human progress, the tools of warfare are growing evermore destructive and deadly.

ìAnd, most alarming in a world as dangerous and well armed as ours, there are currently over 79 armed conflicts going on around the world, 65 of which are in the developing world. There have been over 123 million people killed in 149 wars since World War II.”

Today, there are 100,000+ weapons of mass destruction on our planet These include nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads. These weapons are located in numerous nations including America, Russia, England, France, India, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and who knows where else.

For decades these weapons of mass destruction were tightly held by the super powers, but now with the breakup and breakdown of the Soviet Block, tens of thousands of these weapons are no longer well controlled. All to soon these weapons will fall in to the hands of terrorists. Some of these weapons are light enough to be carried by a single man inside a backpack, and yet are still capable of killing tens of thousands of humans.

Conventional warfare continues to flare in dozens of nations including Bosnia, Ireland, Iran, Iraq, El Salvador, Niguragua, Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Viet Nam, Cambodia, South Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere and anywhere. These so called smaller conflicts are very deadly in themselves with widespread use of automatic weapons, mortars, artillery, mines, grenades, and plastic explosives. As Hazel Henderson explains:

ìOf the eighty-two conflicts in the world between 1989 and1992, all but three had been within nations. In these domestic wars, civilians were 90 percent of the casualities. By 1993, there were 18.2 million refugees and 24 million internally displaced people. By October 1994, these figures had increased to 23 million and 26 million, respectively. Meanwhile, the world´s debt trap persisted in most heavily indebted poor countries, which still owed $230 billion at the end of 1993. Budget deficits in industrial countries grew; only Norway, one nation out of the twenty-nine members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, had a surplus in 1995.”

High tech conflict is now found on the streets of most cities and towns. criminals and terrorists make use of cell phones, computers, automatic weapons and high explosives. Today no human – adult or child is safe from mechanized violence. Human Indifference – Today hundreds of millions of adults and children throughout the world are suffering from abject poverty and starvation. Millions die from causes that could easily prevented or eliminated, but nothing is done. Their bodies are often not even buried. We have enormous conflict, economic inequity, violence, illness, starvation, suffering, and pain. As Medard Gabel explains:

ìOur global problems may seem insurmountable, even inconceivable to some. Globally between 13 and 18 million people die each year due to starvation or starvation-related causes. That is nearly as many people dying each day as Americans who died in the entire Vietnam War. More than 800 million people are malnourished in the world and routinely go without enough food to live in optimal health. Despite monumental strides in medical science which have improved the longevity and quality of life for the average human, large segments of the world´s population continue to suffer from preventable diseases and lack access to even basic health care. For example:

ï Some 20% of the world´s children go without basic immunization, most of whom live in remote and often impoverished areas where infection is more likely to lead to death.

ï Over 9 million children die each year from preventable causes, most of them from dehydration, routine infections, or one of several major diseases for which vaccines are available.

ï Some 500,000 women die in childbirth each year while over 3 million infants die from dehydrating diseases that could be eliminated through breast feeding or Oral Rehydration Therapy, a simple and cheap mixture of clean water, sugar and salts.

ï Over 17 million people die each year from curable infectious and parasitic diseases such as diarrhea, malaria and tuberculosis.

ï Over 500 million people are infected with tropical diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, river blindness, and schistomiasis, all of which are now preventable.

ï Over 18 million people are infected with the AIDS virus.

ï More than a billion people lack access to any health care.

ï There are 1.75 billion people without adequate drinking water.

ï A billion people are without adequate housing, and 100 million are homeless.

ï Nearly a billion people, mostly women, are illiterate, and about 130 million children at primary school age and 275 million at secondary level are not enrolled in school.

ï There are over 53 million uprooted people or refugees in the world, 80% of which are women and children.

ï There are over 110 million landmines scattered in 64 countries killing and maiming over 9,000 children, women and civilians of all ages each year, and over one million since 1975.

ìThe developing world is at least $618 billion in debt to the developed world and the gap between the rich and poor grows alarmingly larger each year. The richest 20% of the world now have 85% of the world´s income, while the poorest 20% share 1.4%.”90

Ecological Crisis – Acid Rain, Ozone Depletion, Water and Air Pollution, Toxic Buildup, Strip Mining, Deforestation, Erosion & Topsoil Depletion; Greenhouse Effect, Ice Age, Nuclear Winter, Asteroids threatening the Planet. Gabel continues:

ìOn top of these outrageous conditions are layered the alarming environmental problems confronting the world:

ï Around the planet, 26 billion tons of topsoil are being eroded per year from the world´s farmland. That´s 3 million tons per hour.

ï Deserts advance at a rate of nearly 15 million acres per year.

ï 10 million acres of rain forest are destroyed annually.

ï Over 200 million tons of waste are added to the atmosphere each year.

ï Over six billion tons of carbon from fossil fuel burning were added to the atmosphere last year.

ï There is a 6 million square mile hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, and a 4.5 to 5% loss of ozone over the Northern Hemisphere.

ï The planet has warmed at least 1∞ C in the last century, and given the annual carbon, CO2, CFC, and methane transmissions into the atmosphere, it will rise another 2.5∞ to 5.5∞ in the coming century.

ï There are over 31,000 hazardous waste sites in the US alone, while in Europe, Estonia, and Lithuania acid rain has damaged over 122.6 million acres of forest.

ï There are over 130,000 tons of known nuclear waste in the world, some of which will remain poisonous to the planet for another 100,000 years.

ìAnd, last but not least, keeping the pressure on humanity to produce as much as possible from the Earth-driving the juggernaut described above-is the world´s population which is increasing by about 90 million people each year, or about the population of all of Mexico.”

Today, our human ignorance is creating conflict and indifference leveraged with the power of time-binding. This is the source of our human crisis.

Conflict and indifference mixed with ever more powerful technology is resulting in a formula for human extinction. Ours is not a crisis of high technology, but of low humanology.

We, the People, – That´s us, you and me, and ~6,230,392,000  others as well. We are the real victims of the present adversary-neutral culture and our adversary-neutral governments. We the People is where the buck really stops in modern culture. It is we the People who will lose our lives and our childrens´ future in a high-technological war/accident made probable by massive high-technological weapon buildup and the continuing global dissemination of these weapons.

It is we the People who will lose our jobs, our businesses, our homes, and possessions in a global economic collapse made probable by continually increasing federal and trade deficits by our adversary-neutral governments.

It is we the People that have the least power of all the players, and paradoxically the most power.

When we the People are united, we become the strongest force in human culture for change. But, presently we the People are in a state of confusion and disorganization. Presently, we the People are influenced heavily by the diverse rhetoric bombarded us from all directions, not to mention the powerful lobbying of the all the special interests. Presently, most of we the People are unaware of the relationship between our overwhelming problems and the adversary-neutral mechanisms that have dominated our human history.

And so today we the People find ourselves helpless and ineffective. Today we the People are embedded in crisis, and paradox, and we find ourselves facing the end times.


The above essay is from my online book  CRISIS–Danger & Opportunity. Since our remodel of the SynEARTH network a year ago, our byline for News for a Synergic Earth has been:

Help and support others in the same manner that you would like them to help and support you.

This morning, I changed it to:

News of the Best of Times and the Worst of Times–Living in Paradox.

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