Did I write about this before? It seems like somethin’ I’da already wrote about. Whether I did or not, we’re gonna go on ahead with it.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that afore I was a Christian, I spent 20ish years digging into the various and sundry religions of the world, which is why I know that the concept of causality is one that has been bandied about pretty thoroughly by the Buddhists. The thing that I mostly remember is the idea that thinking of things in an “A follows from B” kinda way is a fallacy because A and B are actually just different sides of one thing which would properly be called AB. The usual metaphor is a fence with a hole in it. You’re looking at the hole in the fence and you see a cat’s head. A moment later, you see a cat’s tail. This experience repeats many times, the cat’s head always being followed by the tail, so you very logically conclude that a cat’s head causes a cat’s tail, which is obviously wrong. There is no causal relationship between a head and a tail – both are part of one thing which is a cat.

This shit matters in Buddhism because Buddhism is about seeing things as they are, not as you think they are, which is an advanced philosophical concept that my rotten kid understands, though they mostly get it in an artistic way because it’s one of the fundamentals of drawing – draw what you see, not what you think you see. It’s incredibly simple, but very difficult. I guess.

The cat behind the fence thing is slightly tricky because it deals with time. The hole in the fence is the moment you’re experiencing as “now”, which is the only moment you can ever experience, and the head and tail are the constantly changing events of reality, but they are not separated things – they are all part of one great thing, which is not actually real. When that makes sense, you’re starting to catch on.

I’m sitting here in August, 2021. We’re between waves of what will surely be a pandemic that lasts for years, which is happening within climate change, which is driving wildfires the size of Rhode Island in various parts of North America and Europe. Meanwhile, the various talking heads that get interviewed on NPR are yammering about the economy, which is broken beyond repair and which wasn’t that great for the majority of people to begin with. Seriously, they had on some shithead from Florida who was going on about people’s rights to send their kids to school with no mask on and how important jobs are and I was like “Muthafucka, dead kids don’t go to school and it’s gonna be hard for anybody to go work when the next hurricane rolls over your peninsula”. But they don’t care. And I’m not pointing at the GOP here, acause it’s pretty obvious that the Dems ain’t doing anything different. Both parties are in the same pocket and they got no interest in saving anyone. It’s like being in the Old Testament – ya know all those stories about some weirdo going around telling everybody they better get right or things’re gonna get ugly and everybody’s all “yeah, whatever” and then shit gets real all over them seven ways to Sunday and somebody says “oh shit, that weirdo was a prophet”. And yeah, they were, but prophecy isn’t telling the future. Prophecy is saying what God wants said. When prophets say “Society is fucked up and if it don’t change, things’re gonna go bad”, they’re not predicting anything – they’re stating the obvious. And usually there’s been a bunch of ’em stating the obvious for a long time – in the case of climate change, people been sounding the alarm for about fifty years.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just dropped a report. Apparently, they were a bit more emphatic this time because the news is all about how serious it is as if there was any fuckin’ reason to think that anybody who didn’t already know climate change was real was gonna wise up all of a sudden. Or that those who do know that climate change is real were actually gonna do anything about it. Nuh-uh. Ain’t gonna happen.

Realistically, things are probably worse than we think.

In the OT, the cataclysm that destroys a city or a nation is presented as God’s wrath. The prophets told people to get right; the people didn’t listen, so God destroyed everything. I think that’s more of a statement about the OT writers’ understanding of causality than an actual statement about God. I mean, you can drop an egg off the roof and say that God broke the egg and that would true because God created a universe in which gravity made the egg fall and it broke when it hit the ground, but that’s kind of terrible logic. The OT writers didn’t intentionally misrepresent God, but they did present God in a way that seems kinda off to our modern sensibilities – and that’s really what I’m trying to get around to getting around to here.

God created a world in which certain things happen. A society based on economic injustice will have social unrest, including the occasional riot. That’s just baked into the cake. Such a society will endure the internal strife until it collapses. The collapse might be delayed – either by brutal oppression or by the “bread and circuses” approach, both of which worked for a while in Rome – but collapse is inevitable. Another that will inevitably happen in God’s world is that pumping the atmosphere full of gases that trap the sun’s heat will cause the planet to heat up. Duh. This isn’t a matter of one thing causing the other – cat’s head/tail – it’s a matter of the two things being sides of one thing. The collapse of Rome was a direct result of Rome.

God isn’t going to destroy the earth. There was a rainbow in the sky yesterday. Me and the kid had a conversation about Noah and the rainbow and the rainbow as the symbol of LGBTQ folx. I think that’s spot-on, by the way. God isn’t angry – His weapon is still hung on the wall. God will not hurl thunderbolts and lava at us because we picked up sticks on Saturday.

Climate change and racial injustice and economic injustice and the fires in Oregon and Arizona and Greece and the daily mass shootings and the white supremacists marching in the streets and the riots and even the pandemic, all of that shit – that’s the cat’s tail. Or part of it. Everything that is happening now is exactly what had to happen because the collective “we” made it happen.

I am the weirdo saying “hey y’all, shit ain’t right.” I wondfer what’s gonna happen next.


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