In the beginning there was no religion — there was simply the way to BE, a primordial muck of undefined convictions arising from family, ecosystem, and experience with events. People have been writing about this a lot in the last few decades. Partly because we are like pigs with buckets on our heads, prevented from eating because we can see or operate the way we have been. We thought it was because we were pigs, but slowly realize that there are buckets on our heads, which are our expectations and our assumptions about life.
So how do we get the buckets off our heads? How do we keep from being dazzled when the light returns? Was it really just greed for what was on the bottom of the bucket that got our heads stuck in there or did someone do this to us? And what about our nature as pigs? Can we never win horse races or sing in operas? How did we even find out such things exist?
The earliest and most daunting realization is that there is no salvation in the sense of some place or condition or organization that will make us complete, happy, and better than everyone else. Everything changes, moves, and goes on. Yet most people devote most of their lives to holding everything as much the same as possible, even when they complain about being uncomfortable and not being able to find that ideal moment they vaguely remember from infancy when everything was provided. Hopefully.
Maybe sex? It’s an interesting fact from uncensored vids of everything we didn’t want to know, that people who artificially inseminate pigs have to get on their backs because the weight of the boar is a trigger for conception. The weight of the autocrat bearing down on the population? What gets conceived but rebellion. On the same terms as the overthrown dictator.
The bucket comes in part from being intolerably unhappy or in pain, wanting not to know. The bodies of animals shut down when there is no motivation, no hope, no memory. I have no proof, but expect that the great majority of the throngs of people on this planet are so miserable that they have stopped feeling. They really cannot tell the difference between being enslaved or set free if there’s nothing to eat, no shelter, and no other humans for attachment. The rest of us cope with them by shutting down awareness of them along with their actual being. Otherwise their existence can be nearly unbearable unless some fantasy is invented.
We know enough to realize that today’s citizens were created decades ago by cultural child-raising and child-educating practices. We ask all the time what we did wrong to put buckets on our children’s heads, but never ask what kind of tomorrow’s citizens we are creating today. There are people who are saying kids are permanently damaged by the necessity of closing down schools. There are also people who are saying what a relief it is to have children escape the lock-step staging of public education. There are also people who go into schools to shoot children en masse, but though people say they want to know what that’s about, they really don’t. They just hire more people with guns.
I admit that the bucket over my head is probably a computer/internet instrument. For this pig it’s a little hole where I can peer out with my little pig eye. I try to jiggle the bucket around so I can see different things, though none of them is very encouraging.
It seems necessary to go to questions that have nothing to do with metaphors of pigs and buckets. What most people just can’t and won’t see is that they are part of a inconceivable reality of cosmos, planet, geology and time. Everyone is temporary, doomed to die. Everyone is an interaction, a matter of responding to everything else — over which no one has control. But some can perceive or learn certain relationships and actions that at least help. None of it has anything to justice or entitlement or deservingness. Much of it is not even predictable.
Due to that metaphorical bucket I have not realized until now that people are NOT all equal, not all intelligent, not all capable of love, not all doing much more than getting through the day until the end. Everyone deserves a chance. There is no evil, just prejudice. If someone is understood, they will reform.
No longer is it a compliment to tell someone — maybe a child — “Hey! You might become the president of the United States!” But it has never been more true that anyone, no matter how stupid or evil, can become the President of the United States. And the next time the Confederacy of Treason wants to break away, it might be best for all concerned to let them go.
Dazzled by brutal realizations, how do we focus on what to do now. How can we stop being such egomaniacs and sports fans that we can give up our binaries and the conviction that if things go wrong it’s because of some monster plotting against us. It is now clear that the root of the problem — ONE root of the problem — is that a majority (not all) of Republican senators can block reform, remove all oversight, and by backing the president enforce their preferred world, which elevates them above the rest of us through bookkeeping, which is as fungible as they had hoped. One hundred senators, a simple majority of them Republican, and evidently a major of those fifty bought off. Maybe thirty old men running the United States of America.
But not as fungible (exchangeable, transformational) as they had hoped, since we are even able to find the four billion dollars meant for Covid-19 testing and determine it was diverted to pay off Trump’s personal debt in January. Evidently he doesn’t generally believe in paying debts most of the time, but for some reason this one seems important to him, esp if he’s no longer president by then. At the moment he’s still sane enough to try to avoid death. But it won’t be long now before he forgets.
It is flatly blinding to have grown up with the 20th century, believing in high ideals, living through deep scandals and their subsequent reforms, and now facing the depth of international crime. I mean, I can take precautions against a virus, I’m getting enough to eat and my shelter— challenged by a deteriorating roof— is still good enough for now. But to see whole rows of pigs with buckets over their heads, discarding jackets and tapping pencils . . .
Yet I still remember that it was over a hundred degrees F. in the Arctic yesterday and wonder whether gravity will fail so we all fly off into black empty space. No religion is adequate. None of them is good enough. Is the concept just another bucket?