Monday, December 10, 2007

Politics is Not Truth (June 22, 2007)

When I was young I would love to immerse myself in ideas, the grander the better, full of hope and solutions, bringing with them the seductive power of theory and projection, uncluttered by the mundanity of everyday pain and repetition.

Now I love just the Truth, the hard raw unassailable Truth, ignored by most and unattractive to the rest. That which conflicts with habitual thinking and comfortable prejudice is always inconvenient. Why be an outsider if one can follow the herd, bolster one’s communal identity and hard-earned security blanket?

But the Truth is that pure clear water that easily fogs up with prejudice, that clogs up with preconceptions. It’s that clarity that sometimes comes with age, when the ego recedes and time is short. Youth has courage, it has spit and polish, but age can grow wisdom, part the clouds like Moses and see the Promised Land, a land not of perfection, but merely Truth.

When God created Adam and Eve he gave choice with vision, vision to see the self and the world and the choice to understand the difference.

Prejudice is feeling the self and presuming the vision. Abraham, the world’s first Renaissance man, understood Truth to be greater than any ego, any emotion, any person and he thereupon divined the divine. He understood the purity of consciousness, the value of Truth and set the path that inevitably led to the Ten Commandments, that ambivalent love affair of an irascible tribe of wanderers with a punitive and caring God who never let His children forget both the existence and the pain of Truth.

The people of the Book, the texts brimming with lessons in the convoluted experience of personal Truth, have been burnt for millennia in the fires of untruth, the brimstone of hate and prejudice. Twelve million remain, a thorn in the side of every fundamentalist, every fascist, every tyrant. These 12 million are but one quarter of one percent of this varied and ever-changing world, yet they adhere to the Truth as a clam to its shell, unattractive to those peoples around, an irritating historical relic and an inconvenient Truth if there ever was one.

Hitler understood he could irrevocably persuade the German people to his Nazi Jihad ­- as for the rest they would merely cower or he would overwhelm them: Except for the people of the Book, those ancient acolytes who have no idols, no competing loyalties and no ultimate fantasies before God. Hitler understood he would never sway this ancient people, never bribe them all, never remove their veil of Truth and so he arrived at his Final Solution - the crossroads to his intended domination of the world.

Whether one be religious or secular, dark-skinned or light-skinned, Truth is the ultimate civilization, the ultimate mark of humanity, that essential aberration that brings always a minority closer to the divine, to our salvation and whatever preceded us all.

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