“The charm dissolves apace,
And, as the morning steals upon the night,
Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
Their clearer reason.
Begins to swell: and the approaching tide
Will shortly fill the reasonable shores
That now lie foul and muddy.”
― William Shakespeare
Understanding is a precarious thing and coming to it may be torturous. Oft times we think we have a handle on things and at best it is a compromise. We’ve settled on a position because it is easier than accepting that the universe is a wondrous complicated place with no easy answers yet many competing right wrong ones. Most of us need more security than that it seems. So we make our compromise and choose our positions and argue for them as if they were absolute truth. We may even get into fights both verbal and physically over them.
Which belief is the right one? Who’s deity is stronger? Who has the right to what land and with what justification? Who has the right to retaliate and how hard and under what provocation? Who has the right to exist and under what circumstances? People who have made similar positional compromises band together and drag others along with them. Innocent bystanders get hurt in the process. The water becomes muddier and muddier and all hope of a greater understanding vanishes. Yet sometimes in the midst of all this there is hope.
People not fully indoctrinated to a position start to realize the folly of the extremists. Little by little they walk away from the conflict and seek a new better way of being. It may happen slowly at first with a conversation or two but somewhere in there remains the hope of clarity. Therein lies the road to wisdom that we are capable of. Until then innocence will always be threatened, if only our own.
Click on images to see full-sized: