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Thu Sep 26, 2019, 02:08 PM

The Abyss is Gazing Back

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster; for if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into you."

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886


And so it begins.

In this cloven America, both sides have been fighting monsters, gazing into the abyss.

Each side believes the monsters they battle are the real monsters, as opposed to the strawmen and chimeras the other side rages against.

Science validates these monsters. God validates those monsters.

On each side, we swing the mallets of righteous rage and fraught rhetoric against the humanity of those on the other side, seeing them only in the context of the monsters in the abyss.

And we, of course, know we are the ones on the side of Light.

We have been gazing into the abyss for nearly three years, now.

Three years of staring down the monsters of fascism, greed, xenophobia and all forms of hatred.

What monsters have they been staring at, all this while?

I know the words they use to describe the monsters they see.

To me, the words morph into one meta-terror: Fear that every certainty they believed in, every familiar state of being that comforted them and gave them security, is being eaten away from them by the jaws of Change, driven by people Not Like Them.

Now our monsters, our abyss, are gazing back at us, eyes inflamed with that terror.

If we are to interrupt this seeming juggernaut of dissolution and devolution, this death-spiral of differences versus common humanity, what are our options?

To pander to that fear, by holding off with the lancet and the surgeon's knife, is one way of becoming a monster.

To ignore, or worse, to inflame that fear with triumphant claims against its reality and its effects on those so terrorized, that too is a way of becoming a monster.

There are important reasons to sanction, important reasons to let the painful consequences of folly provide learning for the fools. We cannot sweep evil under the rug and move on, in the name of "restoring normalcy" or attempts to create an illusory unity.

But it is also a good time for one more from Nietzsche:

“But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful."

Thus Spake Zarathustra


The challenge is at hand, our choices are to rise to it, or descend.

philosophically,
Bright

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TygrBright Sep 2019 OP
yonder Sep 2019 #1
alwaysinasnit Sep 2019 #2

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 02:38 PM

1. Excellent post.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 03:00 PM

2. k&r. Eloquent and thought-provoking. Thanks Bright!

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