A couple of decades ago, as walls in Europe fell, one felt as if perhaps humanity was on a good path. There was a sense of the old restrictions falling away and the smell of opportunity was in the air. One felt as if the forces of chaos were momentarily in retreat and the forces of light began to move forward. People wanted their freedom, they were ready to embrace the new structures that were emerging and the ugly side of chaos – nationalism – was in retreat.
Contrast that with today.
Nationalism is rampant again seized upon by Politicians eager to point fingers at scapegoats like immigrants, Mexicans, Homosexuals and any other group perceived to be the villain and easy to blame. The UK wants out of the EU, Russia is invading and annexing, ISIS and its ilk are over running and enforcing its vicious satanic form of religion; nationalists are everywhere pulling apart structures designed to create liberty, equality and fraternity and religious zealots and bigots have re-emerged. Just for good measure, the two are often actually one and the same. The forces of chaos sense their opportunity to bring darkness and extinguish much of the light.
I read an interesting blog article today in which the writer discovered an important truth. He comments on ‘social reflection’. He discovered that the world reflects back what you give it. In many ways, he discovered perhaps, that “Love is Acceptance“. We constantly measure others as a reflection of ourselves – by projecting ourselves onto them. We essentially blame everyone except ourselves for our plight. We turn a blind eye to injustice and even worse, support the forces of chaos and their finger pointing by blocking empathy.
Nationalism is one pit of chaos in which people group together in some myth of common identity and shared values (not OUR own values but that of a group, clan or gang), and we have seen over and over what nationalism can do. Waving your St. George flag, Stars and Stripes, St. Andrews Cross or whatever seems harmless enough in of itself but it is a symptom of this need to hide within a group and take on the characteristics of that group. From there it is but a short step away for a Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or Adolf Hitler to cleverly and innocuously lead the group into Hell. The same applies to religion. The need to belong allows us to differentiate. It allows us to conveniently mute our reactions allowing things we would normally not allow. It allows us to project the part of ourselves we dislike onto an external reality and then rather than eradicate that we do not like within ourselves, we persecute those we have reflected it upon. As Nick Verron also reflected upon, we block our empathy in the process.
What I see happening right now is a wave of resurgence of nationalism, religious zealotry and chaos. The balance of those who seek to blame others as opposed to accept personal responsibility has tipped in favor of chaos and darkness again. For anyone planning to vote for splitting, for pitting one nation against another, for stopping some other group having their basic needs satisfied, I say think again. Put yourself in others shoes and walk as they do. This is the path to Hell. You are walking away from your inner light and towards chaos and darkness. Rather, it is time to accept responsibility and reflect on the microcosm within each of us that reflects and creates such chaos in the macrocosm that we all share.