Can’t Shake It

I would love to not pay attention. 

And yet, I feel compelled to do more than while away my time as the world goes on around me. 

So I try to put what’s happening together, to paint a coherent picture, and I usually don’t like the results. And so I worry. 

I worry about how we use history as a how-to guide and not a cautionary tale. No matter the lessons the record provides, we seem to return, like a dog to its vomit, to the worst of what humanity has to offer. 

I worry about what kind of world I’ve brought my son into, what kind of inheritance he and his progeny will have–though I will be dead, I still worry about them. 

I worry about eternity

And I worry if there is any hope for us in the here and now.

All around is division and hatred and the rumblings of things more sinister. And there’s no end in sight. That’s life, right?

Division isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Different ideas and philosophies need to be contrasted against each other and weighed to see which ones are beneficial and which ones are harmful. But there comes a point where there needs to be some kind of reconciliation. 

Humanity is like the universe: It expands and it contracts, splitting apart only to repeat the process again. 

Civilizations rise and fall. People gather and empires expand until they reach critical mass and then the whole thing collapses under its own weight. 

The end game is the whole of the Earth, and unlike in the past, total global control is feasible. 

We will be smushed into an ugly mass…and then we will split apart again. The Tower of Babel all over again. Who knows how terrible this process will be?

It’s almost as if humanity is too big not to fail. 

And so I worry. But I try to put it aside and live my life. “Let me just take care of my own little corner of the world,” I tell myself. “We’d all be better off if that’s what each of us did.

Would we, though? Isn’t not worrying sort of how we got here in the first place?

Many of these worries will never come to pass, I know. What is anxiety but worrying about things that haven’t happened yet? And I don’t let anxieties control my life. But sometimes when you try to read the tea leaves and predict your next moves, and the moves of others, you can’t help but worry. 

There is a weird tension in our nature. Humans are control freaks on the one hand and want nothing more than someone to tell us what to do on the other. 

We are controllers or controllees. Some fall too far on either side of this spectrum. 

Most don’t even realize this spectrum exists. 

Controllers know what’s best for humanity, and they get awfully testy when people don’t listen. 

And controllees…controllees just want to live a life free of responsibility. This also explains their reactions. 

Most of us, whether aware of it or not, balance these impulses. If we didn’t, there would never have been a civil society in human history. 

It’s not a balance of good versus evil, because no one needs evil in them. It’s a balance of freedom versus slavery, choosing versus being told what to do. We all crave a bit of both. Don’t kid yourselves. 

And if you’re not even aware of this, if you don’t worry, I don’t know what to say. 

It would also be great to not have to worry about the hereafter, or what you do having repercussions throughout all eternity. 

Wouldn’t it?

I mean, things seem so bleak. Human history seems great, if you’re in the controller class. For the rest of us, Western civilization has been a blip of joy in a mostly grim story. 

Freedom is an anamolly, folks. Get it while it’s hot. 

And so I can’t shake it. I can’t shake the feeling that this world isn’t all that there is. I can’t shake the feeling that we will never get it right on our own. I can’t see the world and not believe in man as a fallen creature. 

Sometimes I wish I could throw all worries about the spirit and what happens when you die out of the window and get on with the business of getting what I can before I die. Why worry? 

Just stop all the worrying…you’re going to die anyway. What the point?

Why worry…?

Because the stakes are too high. We don’t owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the future.

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and @DaytimeRenegade

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