Anger, Despite, and Frustration

I try to avoid the mainstream news media and their commentary. I have found my mood is more even and settled whenever I am able to get away with not being exposed to these published and broadcast items.

I walk out quite often into my home town centre; and there I see how very deprived so many people’s lives appear to me to be. Of course nearly everyone has a mobile phone and wireless access, at Starbucks or in passing McDonalds etc; even the people begging they very often have a phone.

Their deprivation is cultural and educational; because they for the most part, if they are not immigrants, belong to that sector of the UK population whose parents were also similarly deprived and their schooling has been unable to shift that initial bias towards following suit within the same mileau

Their lives are in my opinion severely circumscribed; and extend not very far beyond gadgets and nail and beauty parlours, gambling, drinks, and sport, TV, and movies. Where these people in this sector of society know something it is usually practical knowledge; such as a car mechanic, or a catering worker; or a shop worker might. But even so their knowledge is delimited even here. A mechanic will be likely to be more in title than in name very often ;being employed at a repair garage which deals only with trye changes and exhaust pipe replacements and so on; light bulbs and oil changes. Fewer among them are able and capable with actual deep servicing and maintenance of cars and vehicles.

Where there are among them people with a hobby or pastime or interest which has allowed them some deeper specialised knowledge these persons are generally of an older generation; a generation which is old enough to remember a time before virtual life, and before the host of diversions and distractions from doing solid practical things began to be marketed.

My home town is a bit atypical. It houses a large number of new immigrants; say one in five persons in the town centre during the hours of any working day seems to be such. The remaining four in five, either they are mothers bringing up their children or else, especially the men, mostly unemployed or not seeking work. Most of these are under, often well under, fifty years old

Our city thus carries a largish underclass amongst its citizenry; a fair portion, running into ten or twenty or more percent of its inhabitants, who seem to be able to make ends meet by them scraping and scrounging; doing the odd deal and black economy work or sales etc; and who rarely if ever pay income tax or come to that, when they are running a vehicle, they frequently pay no road tax, take out no insurance, and may not even hold a driving license.

In these respects our city is a receptacle which attracts many here to live because it is cheap (comparatively) and housing is available; and no-one in authority much takes any notice of them so long as they don’t do something which sends a police squad car out to apprehend them.

There are a fair number of better off people here too; who live on the outskirts and on the surrounding hills and away from the seething melee of those who frequent town centre on a working day. These better off persons almost all are employed or are self-employed. They are likewise maybe specialists in a limited way in what they do for a living; but beyond this very few visit a theatre, a museum, a classical concert, a bookshop, or a library. These activities are ever more receding into becoming minority venues and pastimes. Many have always been minority pastimes in many cities of the UK; but the great press of virtual gadgets and access to music, games, movies,, sport, news, etc etc all day 24.7 has taken further toll on these minority activities even moreso in the past ten or twenty years. All over the UK.

In the main then, I am sad to say, and I do not mean to be exclusive or nasty; my home town and perhaps most of the UK inhabitants are relatively uncultured in any refined sense and are content with salons, hair and nail; pets, sport, TV, movies (the more hectic and shocking the better) and betting shops, beer and vaping or ganga; and that’s about it. Few I feel ever find themselves asking themselves questions about their existence; about what might be the right or best behaviour, in short I would say that 85% plus of our people are content to lead unexamined lives which I, like Plato, feel are not worth living.

All this sounds like a condemnation from me of 85%+ of our people here. Well the title of my essay arrives into context here – one day I am angry, frustrated, dismissive and even derogatory about thes peeole and about this state of affairs – the next day I may just as equally feel a pity and a desperate wish to change things for what I think is the better for us all. I am utterly torn.

My origins are from that class of person whose life opportunities are nugatory more or less from their day of birth; because of athe accident of their parentage and of their formative social envirnoment. Thus I am not talking nonsense; I know very well the limitations of life at that end of the social scale. I was lucky maybe? I somehow got an education.

There is another class of person, some few of whom live in my home town; but most of whom swarm like Dick Whittington to London and the great metropolises of our land, where the ‘streets are paved with gold’; for gold is usually their desire, along with an ambition to be somebody and to get a career and to hold some sway of power and infulence in some way or in some area of life.

These might be the same persons as the theatre-going set and the concert hall set, the opera set and the museum, the arts festival and the gallery set. Most of them are, I’d say. Some few prefer rock n roll to Tchaikovsky or Birtwhistle; and prefer Jason Statham to The Royal Shakespeare Company or The South Bank and so on. Ability to make divisions of social classes by way of their preferences in leisure pursuits has melted down somewhat considerably here too in the past two or three decades.

But yet there is still a fairly small privileged set of high earners in high status professions who distinguish their social arrivals in part by their espousing of the high art and culture of tradition in Britain.

This set is comprised mostly if not all of our privately educated men and women; the so-called Public School set. Eton, Harrow, Gordonstoune, Marlborough, Merchant Taylors, Cheltenham. Llandovery. Schools and colleges which here produce still the persons who are to be the ruling classes in the course of two or theree decades after their having matriculated to Oxford or to Cambridge.

This sparsely sized upper crust is nurtured from an early age to become those few who have a sense of themselves as the people to be happily weilding authority over others. They are bred for and educated for the plum positions in British life; to take these up as naturally as if they were born to them.

Without doubt many of these persons are too busy being somebody to much care about or to spend much time on existential questions and so on examining their lives in any non-career centred non-power-based way. They are also no doubt most of them (you may think me jaundiced, but evidence is ample to show it) raised inevitably to despise those others whom they wield authority over; those of the rank and file of people like those whom I have described as populating my home town. I do not believe the born-to-rule classes are wholly at fault for this tendency of theirs to despise the lesser orders of our society. Their whole minority has been such a one that has shown them and reinforced in them their assumed superiority and their presumed right to privilege to rule and to run the nation. The majority of them are unable to overcome such powerful and longterm ingrained inculcation of prejudice; even should they find they want to.

This section of the upper crust of our society then cannot be looked to for such qualities as sympathetic understanding of and empathy with lesser kinds of fellow countrymen and women. Hence such qualities as mercy are in fact strained in their apprehensions of these lesser orders; and such qualities do not rise naturally in their hearts at the sight of so many shiftless and/or deprived persons to be ruled over and to be directed.

The ruling classes are taught from even before the age of six, the age at which they leave home to board at private schools, that they are important somebodys in life; and I believe that the greater the impression they receive of themselves as being distinctively ‘the people who matter’ then the greater the area of their consciousness they devote to thinking about the grandeur of themselves, about their aims and desires, and about their great plans for their lives. There is then literally less virtual space left in their minds available for use in their consideration of and empathy with others; even of those of their own ilk; and especially not with or for others who are not like them; such as that great mass of people whom they have been led to see as being the ‘also rans’ in life; who have to be ruled over and to be kept contented on a diet fed to them of pap and blinkers.

I am on thin ground here would say many readers. Our liberal democracy cherishes those words ‘the freedom of the inividual’ and ‘life,libery and the pursuit of happiness’. Were I to suggest or promote ‘interference’ in this enshrined outlook; either religious or political interference, I would be gunned down in flames by a million snipers. The fact that, as many of my other essays have shown and evidenced very fully, most of us are shepherded and vigorously encouraged in what to think and what to do and what not to think and what not to do; this fact I am sorry to say is never if at all raised as it being an affront to ‘the liberty of the individual ‘ and to the credo of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.

Thus it is fine and dandy for those few persons who rule and have authority and sway over us; for them to direct us and to steer us and tell us what is good and what is bad and what is ok to do and what is not; and for them then to claim that these things that they push upon us are the sole and best and the true and the finest thing to be had, all for our good and in our best interests.

Yes we have many blessings which we enjoy daily; and things which many peoples elsewhere do not have fo rthem to enjoy them. Notwithstanding these blessings there is better, far better, to be had for all and any persons, regardless of their location in the world regardless of their station in the world. The words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet come to mind here:

I could be bounded in a nutshell

and count myself a king of infinite space;

were it not I had bad dreams”

And then there are John Milton’s words in his poem “Paradise Lost”:

The mind is its own place and it can make

A hell of Heaven, a Heaven of hell”

Thus I am saying that a great majority of people here in UK are well absorbed into the commonly available social whirls, whether they are wielding power and sway or having power and sway wielded upon them; they all are deeply into following avidly their own passions in the shape of careers and ambitions; or else there are others wholly enamoured of the latest gadgets and games, sport and TV. And yet there remains apart from these a small number of persons, in which I would hope to want to include myself, who stand apart from the spurious smokescreen manifestations of social whirls; and this small number look upon these melees, brawls and bashes for what they are.

This is that they are variously all diversions, digressions and deflections from the actual business of life. Their seeming importance in daily life, their seeming to be daily life; may be taken with a large grain of salt.

Because I am from that great mass of people whom I consider to be underprivileged culturally and educationally, and because of this fact of my my origins; my perspective I believe has allowed me an amount of insight into the mass of common life; and yet myself being a ‘refugee from a ghetto family’ I have been unable to join, perhaps found myself unwilling to join, and perhaps unwanted to be joined, with the set of power and sway wielders; with persons to whose standard I have been educated. Because of all this I have been for much of my life perhaps like Caliban and saying to myself; ‘You taught me language and my profit on it is that I know how to curse’.

But not for all of my life, indeed. Even amongst those who accept privilege as a right; who are those few who monopolise the opera and the balcony boxes at The National Theatre and so on; whom by birthright they believe themselves entitled to claim of a course near all of that bling they know as ‘the glittering prizes’ of life; even amongst these, as well as there being also some few from within my class of person; has arisen from time to time a clutch of people of earnest; a clutch of people not contented to go ever with the flow, and not happy to fit into the square hole of our mores and customs their round pegs of being and doing.

This clutch of people are those who are uneasy with assuming a complacency about existence; who have aims which are almost a mission, for themselves to explore their everyday situations, which have been laid upon them by the anatomical fact of their births and brought to bear on them by their physical presence in the world. Some of these have been truly great men and women, and some others, perhaps like me, have been enabled to become a lowly one among their number, and by way of our reading and learning from them and from their deeds, become familiar with those things in life which represent true understanding; and which the greatest ones by their endeavours have unearthed and brought into the light of day for all who wish to do so be able to see them.

There are then the very greatest of masters. The literally Divine Jesus the Christ first and foremost; there is the Supremely Enlightened Buddha; also Moses; The Hebrew Prophets; but only so few that two hands of fingers are too many to count them on.

There are then someof the finest followers of these Great Masters; people like Ghandi, John the Baptist; Gamaliel (the great one); Maimonedes; and poets like the two great twentieth century masters W B Yeats and T S Eliot; and a whole host of Early Church Martyrs and Reformation Martyrs; men and women; together with divinity wrtiters from several generations thereafter and who were enabled to arise by and out of the martyred faithful Reformation times.

Science iand scientists are not to be lef tout; science has had its greats in this respect also. There have been Newton; Einstein; Galileo; all were profound thinkers in existential ways as well as in the natural sciences.

At this present time of ours perhaps, another blessed age may be able to arise wherein it might become possible for a great number, most of us of the lesser illustrious camp-followers, to be able to camp at the foothills of these great high mountains of men and women; and so to be able to benefit from the discoveries of their scaled heights and great achievements?

In this age of ours now more persons globally than ever before are able to read and write; and have access to the web, a place which remains blessedly uncontrolled and maybe uncontrollable by the people of sway and power; and we have acces to English as a language widely understood across the world. The conditions appear to be very right for a great rebirth of liberation of spirit for humankind.

And also ours is a time wherein that strangle hold of public media and opinion-forming commentators, that is, of those privileged in authority; who call the shots on what is to be said and what is not to be said publicly, whoi decide on what angle is to be taken on this story and what angle is to be held back publicly on that story; ours is a time when these “superiors’” grips and lockdowns stand ready and able to be broken and thrown off. So that actual open debate has great presently great potential to be able to happen; and to happen apart from and without the overwhelming “white noise radio interference” coming streaming that class of persons who are considered by themselves to have been born to governance and to be regulators.

The poet W B Yeats was himself caught up in times and in a society wherein a pincer claw of high status recalictrant privilege set its face firmly against lesser classes and their brute rage of violent struggle. Yeats saw neither situation, the high status stonewallers, nor the lower statuses of blind passionate resistance; as being a position fromwhich emanated much truth or any light; he saw the conflict between the two opposing sets of persons, in Ireland in the early years of the twentieth century, as being a clash between parties neither of whom promised any sound solution nor even showed a half-reasonable outlook.

His words on these clashes with a great insight say:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

and hence he says;

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;”

Yeats’ words emphasise that here in this situation was no room available for principle to be enacted, no persons of principle available; instead on the one hand an anarchic violent rage; on the other at best a pretence of principle but no fibre to hold to it.

The pressures of division set up between Yeats’ described two extremes of temperament are akin to those I myself percieve to be present noiw in UK between our currentprivileged rulers and the great mass of the lesser classes who accept and are subject to their rule. There is no simple division of parties or classes into all sheep and all goats in this division of Yeats’ of the best and the worst as it is drawn by him in his poem; nor do I myself suppose otherwise regarding the two distinct divisons between rulers and ruled I see as being currently in play in British society.

But as a result of UK persons in general being owners of either of these two Yeatsian temperaments in regard to another group, class or set of UK persons in society, ‘The ceremony of innocence is drowned’ for all who partake in the polarisation and in the dichotemy. This “ceremony of innocence”, as I take it, being dependent on being observed on a sufficient amount of self-sacrificing propitiation for wiping away offence being available widely enough across society for to begin a truly forward movement towards reconciliation and harmony, wholeness and a general spiritual wellbeing. This predicate of suffient self-sacrificial propitatory googwill is what is glaringly lacking; and at present is unable to be offered. This is to say that wayward passions on the one hand and a lack of fibre to stay with a principle on the other; each and both of these temperaments represent a falling away in individuals from a state of personal integrity.

Such an integrity is that quality which presupposes and demands a presence of sincerity and of authenticity; and these two qualities in their turn when set together with that necessary outlook of a general goodwill, are able to combine so as to encourage from their possessors that self-sacrificial propitiation, which is requisite so that its possesors are enabled to attempt real and lasting resolutions to conflicts and divisions, and to temperaments ever talking at cross purposes. Thus, as I read it, a widespread individual willingness to self-sacrificial propitiation is indeed that state of being which predicates the possibility of any ‘ceremony of innocence’ of which Yeats writes. Presently, in UK, all such “is drowned.

And this is the lack which typifies the general character of and the major fault at the present time within British society; in all its ranks and classes. Too little, if at all any, self-sacrificial willingness, for the sake of making propitiation, is able to be directed towards leading our diverse communities and classes into an amicable resolution. Such a resolution would be manifested in a presence, and a presence felt, of individual personal wholeness.

Yet there is not enough here available for us as a nation to regain our health and vitality; our direction and our sense of higher life purposes. And indeed the global movement as a whole appears to me also to be acclimatising the same social divides and conflicts, the same silos of social lives, into many societies in many parts of the world. The same self-sacrificial propitiatory willingness is lacking, so that these societies also are presenting as being societies nursing similar divisions, pressures, and distractions to ours in the UK

When confronted by sudden crisis such societies generally find they have no resource, no capital to draw upon. Those citizens in their ranks who are those “lacking all conviction” are becoming ennervated and so paralysed from being able to act effectively; and then there are those citizens who are “full of passionate intensity” and who foment in themselves anarchic and confused actions and responses. Both kinds of citizens’ responses will tend to worsen the situation of any crisis.

Let us look at the poetry of T S Eliot, Yeats’ contemporary and fellow poet, where it delineates the temperaments of certain high class persons and thos eof certain low class persons in 1920s British society. The two divers persons in their classs as represented in the poem I believe Eliot wanted his audience to read them as being typical figures of their time and class. They are delineated in the second part of his 1920s poem The Waste Land which is titled A Game of Chess. A wealthy high class woman asks herself shakily:

My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.

Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.

What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?

I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

Lack of firm resolution and lack of all conviction. No resource. No capital.

Whilst set next to this woman’s near nervous collapse in A Game of Chess is a working woman’s chatter being spiteful to and about a neighbour:

…if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.

You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.

(And her only thirty-one.)

I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,

It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.

(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)

The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.

You are a proper fool, I said.

Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,

What you get married for if you don’t want children”

Full of passionate intensity. Chaotic unreasoning barbs. No resource. No capital.

The opinionated gossip and the obsessively anxious lady; two outlooks bound up wholly with self and self-referencing and with self’s concerns. Neither of these types of citizen are in or even close to that situation which elsewhere in his verse Eliot tells us forms his conclusion on how we dare to survive existentially as individuals and as human beings;

The awful daring of a moment’s surrender

Which an age of prudence can never retract

By this, and this only, we have existed

Which is not to be found in our obituaries

Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider

Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor

In our empty rooms”

That ‘surrender’ is to something bigger, better than us; a self-sacrifice of our wiful wills to that bigger better something. Of which something Eliot writes his sense of encountering in an earlier poem

I am moved by fancies that are curled

Around these images, and cling:

The notion of some infinitely gentle

Infinitely suffering thing.”

How then, is the question, is anyone able to attempt to start to unfreeze this deadlock, this pincer grip of dilemma bearing upon all parties in our UK society; a society being insufficiently willing to offer or possibly incapable of offering an adequate propitiation of self-sacrifice to a something, an entity, a principle, a faith, which is larger than and inclusive of all its individuals, parties and classes, and which is ultimately founded on benevolence. To be able to do and to do such a thing I believe would be to begin a first move towards re-establishing individual personal integrities and also group integrities; and would also be a first move towards a solultion for our present division of oppositions.

Arnold Wesker is a British playwright whose play of the 1960s titled ‘Chips with Everything’ tackled tsome of the problems arising out of conflicts in social classes in Britain; and it discusses some of the perceptions classes have of one another and of themselves In his drama Wesker presents us with an Officers Mess Christmas Party in the British Army. Some background is needed here.

Officers in Britain are drawn from a higher social class than are other ranks. Other ranks in the 1950s, which is when the action of the drama is set, were nearly all conscripts; whereas officers were likely to be career volunteers. There was thus a gulf between officers and other ranks upon which was based much of the authority and assurance of officers over the other ranks.

The officers at the Christmas Party in Wesker’s drama ask certain men of other ranks to put on some entertainment for them; and a young conscript other rank gets up on stage and impersonates Elvis Presley by singing ‘Hound Dog’. Imaginary guitar and all. A proud and more educated Scotsman from among the other ranks who are present, becomes furious at this spectacle, because he sees that the officers are laughing at, ridiculing the Elvis impersonation and the impersonator also. The impersonator himself is unaware of this smug derision of his entertainment going on and of the dark pleasure it is giving to the officers.

The Scot himself agitated takes the stage and recites loudly and with confidence some strong lines of verse from Robert Burns; taken from Burns’ poem titled ‘ A Man’s A Man for All That”. The lines which the Scots other rank chose included:

You see yon birkie called a Lord

Who struts and stares and all that

Though hundreds worship at his word

He’s but a coof for all that

For all that and all that

His ribband, star, and all that,

The rank is but the guinea’s stamp

The man’s the gold for all that”

The Scot from other ranks has attempted to put the officers back in their box; and he has imputed to them that they have been out of order in deriding the Elvis impersonator, and by their derision having poured scorn on the class of persons who see something to admire in rock n roll and who adulate Elvis and his like. This drama is set in a time when rock n roll was newly arrived in UK; and many persons who felt themselves above such fads and antics looked down on and despised this dawn of a new youth culture, and they despised also those who were fans of it. It was common and tawdry in their eyes as were the persons who feted it.

The Scot had shown the officers that there are ordinary people like himself and like the poet Burns also (who was himself a ploughman); are capable of noble thoughts of independence of mind, of autnomy of volition and opinion; that ordinary persons do have their dignities and also their dignitaries; honoured and respected men and women amongst their number. The Scots other rank had attempted to confront the officers with their own disdain by him choosingto cite that very poem of Burns’ which shows a counterpointed disdain for ‘jumped-up’ lordly men and women of title and rank and privilege.

But yet this imputed rebuke of the officers at bottom and by way of its raising of social and class issues remains merely a spat, an internal wrangle, between members of two socially opposed groups in conflict; it offers nothing that might be a strong lasting resolution to the OCD of mutually-abrading sectors of society, who are playing one another off against each other; like two fighting men beating one another to bits inside a sealed and circumscribed arena.

How might one go about leveraging such a situation into a larger and freer air; thus liberating these opposing and conflicting, conflicted and constrained groups and sets of people; all of them as it were milling about in a huge swarm within their self-delimited area of virtual mental and social space, and them all unaware of a possibility of a larger space, a truly liberal freedom, to which to appeal, and for them to discover?

Something is required, experience of some sort of epiphany, which is able to stir in people feelings attached to newly-considered thoughts, which formerly may not have made their salutary impressions upon them.

Of course this is a very tall order. The Lord Jesus himself says (very ironically when one considers Jesus’ own Resurrection) about this kind of attempt at awakening , so to speak, those who are, as it were, asleep:

‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

This ask is of such a tall order that it is perhaps not humanly possible? And yet people as I have claimed and I hope have shown, do attain to reaching such a state of awakedness – how so?

Well, I believe that we have reached the point which is about as far as reasoning alone can take us. Now do not scorn at your alerted expectation to have from me hereonwards talk of ‘leaps of faith’ or of descents into ‘mumbo jumbo’ as this essay now proceeds.

Make some slack for a while. There are very good reasons and evidences which show most clearly how all of us whether theists or not theists, or else whether believers or non-believers; all of us – are wholly pschologically dependent on a metaphysic of some kind in order for our minds to function and so are able to make sense of the world. We need a metaphysic, acknowledged or unacknowleged, consciously aware of it or not aware of it, for us to be able to place value on the things we approve and desrie and for us to be able to abhor the things we greatly dislike. Bob Dylan puts it nicely: this his take on this general dependence of each human person on a something or a someone as being a basis for that metaphysic which bears the weight of our human comprehensions of the world. He sings:

“Gotta Serve Somebody”

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might be a rock’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
Might have money and drugs at your commands, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord you might even own banks.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may call me Terry, you may call me Jimmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say.

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Well, Dylan’s song speaks clearly of that necessity of service being pressed upon each one of us by the terms and circumstances of our existence. We serve our ideals, our delights, our hatreds, our passions, our loves, our hopes, our aims, our wishes, our beliefs. The Lord Jesus says once again:

where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

and in another place he says:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

These sayings are undoubtable because wholly true – we feel their truthfulness in our inmost being.

So, now that I am about to launch into metaphysics please do not turn your back – be aware you may get what you wish for.

Humankind neither en bloc nor as individual persons is able to help her/himself to grasp from common existence that access to that freer and true and wholly liberational realm wherein one is able to act to push along a resolution of one’s own inner conflicts and anxieties, and have oneself made whole. A wholeness which in its turn revereberates and concatenates through all society in the same manner and by the same agency so as to set up and foster the same – resolutions, reconciliations, wholeness. Yet certain persons do achieve at least some awareness and peace of mind from having entered such a realm of thought and existence – this I think one is able to see is possible for oneself by looking at what I have written here and at other essays elsewhere. How then does this come about; if humans cannot help themselves herein, how then is the trick done?

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

And so it is that:

Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

.thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Take this passage metaphorically if you canot stomach it as it stands. Take it as being allegorical of a change which comes over a person once that person becomes committed to God and to Jesus Christ; that change being characterised by a person gaining an access to that wider freer liberated and true world, a world better than and yet emcompassing of, though also beyond, this present commonplace presumptive world. Or else, if you are able to, take it literally as well as it being seen as metaphor; literally is the better interpretation; but both interpretations are able to be borne by the words.

Jesus Christ promises us; note that he promises us; ‘life, and life in abundance’ and he promises that when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,”; and Jesus also promises to you “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

There is a lot more to be said. But you can find that ‘lot more’ very easily yourself. Open a Bible and read.

Taking it in a solely spiritual sense, the old Marxist protest slogan remains true: “No Resolution without Revolution” – no answers, no grasp of things, until turning oneself over to Christ, who is the Person who is able to deliver to you those promises he makes so assuredly to us; and in an overwhelming surplus of heart’s treasure.

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