Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Human Story

From beginning to end there's a thread to the story of mankind. It's an ongoing narrative that connects all human endeavors, from our dreams to our nightmares. It's called the Stream Of Love. It is relentless and unstoppable in its fury, beyond all measure and comprehension. And in the end, it either saves us or destroys us.

Since the end of the year 1811 an intense arming and concentration of western European forces had begun, and in the year 1812 those forces - millions of men (including those who transported and fed the army) - moved from west to east, to the borders of Russia, towards which, since the year 1811, the forces of Russia had been drawn in exactly the same way. On the twelfth of June, the forces of western Europe crossed the borders of Russia, and war began - that is, en event took place contrary to human reason and to the whole human nature. Millions of people committed against each other such a countless number of villainies, deceptions, betrayals, thefts, forgeries and distributions of false banknotes, robberies, arsons, and murders as the annals of all the law courts in the world could not assemble in the whole centuries, and which, at the period of time, the people who committed them did not look upon them as crimes.

The Stream of Love is the hidden hand that upends the plans of man or carries them to fruition, depending if said plans are in accordance with the Stream. There are no strokes of grand luck - either good or bad - that doom or exalt our designs. Instead, it's just a matter of being in harmony with the Stream's force. It was no accident Hitler was not killed on the battlefield of WWI. It was no accident Lennon met McCartney. The history was already written.

What produces this extraordinary event? What were its causes? Historians say with naive assurance that the causes of this event were the offense inflicted upon the duke of Oldenburg, the non-observance of the Continental System, Napoleon's love of power, [Tsar] Alexander's firmness, diplomatic mistakes, and so on.

Consequently, it needed only that Metternich, Rumyantsev, or Talleyrand, between levee and rout, make a little better effort and write a more skillful dispatch, or that Napoleon write to Alexander: "Monsieur, mon frere, je consens a rendre le duche au duc d'Oldenbourg" ("Dear sir, my brother, I agree to give the duchy back to the duke of Oldenburg") - and there would have been no war.

Oftentimes we say, "If only the body had not hit the ground it would not have died!" Which is true but outside the realm of our reality to expect not to hit the ground after leaping from a tall cliff. It's a false parsing of the history of the event to blame the ground for the death but many will see it as reasonable and undeniable because the force of gravity is not connected to the event in their minds. And so oftentimes do we ignore the force of Love that irrepressibly flows through the course of human events.

Understandably, that was how the matter presented itself to contemporaries. Understandably, it seemed to Napoleon that the war was caused by the intrigues of England (as he said, in fact, on the island of St. Helena); understandably, to the members of the English Parliament it seemed that the war was caused by Napoleon's love of power; to prince Oldenburg it seemed that that the war was caused by the violence done to him; to the merchants it seemed that the war was caused by the Continental System, which was ruining Europe; to the old soldiers and generals it seemed that the chief cause was the need to make use of them; to the legitimists of that time, that it was necessary to restore "le bons principes"; and to the diplomats of that time, that it had all happened because the alliance between Russia and Austria in 1809 had not been concealed skillfully enough from Napoleon and because memorandum no. 178 had been clumsily worded.

Understandably, these and a countless, endless number of other causes, the number fo which depends on countless different points of view, presented themselves to contemporaries; but for us, the descendants, who contemplate the enormity of the event in all its scope and delve into its simple and terrible meaning, these causes seem insufficient. For us, it is not understandable that millions of Christians killed and tortured because Napoleon was a lover of power, Alexander was firm, English policy cunning, and the duke of Oldenburg offended.

Just another weekend hippie

We catch ourselves asking, "What if Napoleon [or whomever] had not existed?", asked in the same vein of "What if gravity had not existed for the falling body?" It's a moot question and to ask it is to wallow in irrelevancy (which is a favorite pastime of many!). Had we in the world been in accordance with the Stream in that time, we'd never have thrown the body off the cliff and Napoleon would be a name unknown to history. But this was all part of the larger struggle with our love.

The actions of Napoleon and Alexander, on whose word it seems to have depended whether the event took place or not, were as little willed as the action of each soldier who went into the campaign by lot or conscription. This could not be otherwise, because for the will of Napoleon and Alexander (the men on whom the event seemed to depend) to be fulfilled, the coincidence of countless circumstances was necessary, without any one of which the event could not have taken place. It was necessary that millions of men, in whose hands the actual power lay, the soldiers who shot, transported provisions and cannon - it was necessary that they agree to fulfill this will of isolated and weak men and be brought to that by a countless number of complex, diverse causes.

When one chooses to close one's eyes the Stream of Love does not stop to accommodate that decision. And in the course of that inevitable movement, a rock comes to cause a stumble. The stumbled one curses the rock, asking why the world could not be free of rocks just as the man who builds his house on sand laments the storm that washes it away. So it is we blame the liars whose deceit brings despair after we've asked to be told lies. All things begin and end with their accordance to the Stream of Love.

There are two sides to each man's life: his personal life, which is the more free the more abstract its interests, and his elemental, swarmlike life, where man inevitably fulfills the laws prescribed for him.

Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals. An action once committed is irrevocable,, and its effect, coinciding in time with millions of actions of other people, acquires historical significance. The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the greater the number of people he is connected with, the more power he has over other people, the more obvious is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.
"The hearts of kings are in the hands of God."

Kings are the slaves of history.

History, that is, the unconscious, swarmlike life of mankind, uses every moment of a king's life as an instrument for its purposes.

Those who stand in the way of the Stream of Love will be washed away like mud from a rock. Even today we stand in wretched defiance, hoping against hope. We fear the Stream, not trusting where it will carry us even as we cry out for heaven on earth. In words clever to our ignorant ears we hope to deny our fate but they have as much meaning as words from a falling man who denies gravity's fate.

Love is coming, coming like a dam burst from the hills and it is our choice to stand in its way or ride the wave. And in this final wave we'll find our final destiny: Life.

"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

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