Gen.3:5 - For God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Councilman Wants Birth Control for Pigeons
That was the headline of an article I read earlier today. Evidently this New York City councilman has a solution to the problem of pigeons using terminals for toilets. It sounds like a simple solution. But there's a difference between simple and superficial.
That's the problem. We have a perverse love affair with superficiality. We want problems solved without understanding why we have them, generally resulting in a return of the problem or transference of it somewhere else without ever solving it. We're then content to live with it until it breaks out in a more violent form we can't ignore. It's the old story of sweeping things under the rug until there's too much under the rug to ignore.
Essentially we see ourselves as separated from everything else. We think we're separate from our environment so we throw trash on the ground or dump a couch by the road thinking it's no longer our problem. We think we're separate from others so we don't mind disregarding the manners and customs that are the glue required for there to be such a thing as community. We think we're separate from reality and so try to make things work that a few minutes of common sense thinking would reveal as ultimate madness. So the sense of separateness is really blindness that comes with a great and heavy price.
If I'm part of something, a group, family, neighborhood, etc., I don't have to strain, all things being equal, to make my influence felt. The fact that I'm a part means that my connection is warm and counts for something. I have a voice. It may count for little or much depending on the case, but it's there. If I'm separate and don't take the time to forge a connection first, the only way to make my influence felt is to impose my will in some way. I don't ask to get in line, I just barge in. If I need something, I take it from someone else. If I don't like your viewpoint, I try to cancel yours out by force. If I want people to stop taking heroin, I give them methadone. If I want them to stop having babies, I give them condoms. Obviously, I could go on. Superficial solutions that sound simple. But what are their fruits?
Some scientists have seen themselves as separate. So they manipulated the DNA of certain plants to achieve a specific purpose as if that purpose could be separated from how the plants interact with the total environment. Maybe it achieves their purpose but later, when the plant seeds spread, unforeseen problems arise. Or maybe certain insects like bees are bred to achieve a particular result without foreseeing the killer bees they would unwittingly produce. To site a painful example we all know maybe we go to war, separated from reality by arrogance, thinking it will be a slam dunk only to have it metastasize into a long, brutal conflict lasting for years.
We can all use our own lives as a measuring stick and look back on stupid decisions we made because we wanted to impose our wills on a situation or another person. In hindsight we see how a little patience and thought would have saved us a lot of pain. But control freaks are paid in the wages of pain. There are simple solutions to some problems we see as immensely complicated. The simple solution to racism is humility, because a humble person would not consider him or herself better than another based on ethnicity. But we're control freaks who can't tell superficial from simple. So we have to have President's Panels on racism, appoint committees to "study the problem" and craft endless legislation while all the time anyone practicing do unto others as you would be done by is bypassing the whole problem.
In the meantime we set over ourselves rulers who think they will solve a problem by attacking it as a separate issue from everything else. We do the same on an individual basis so they aren't likely to change, especially when they're using tax money to "facilitate a solution". Did you know that "facilitate" is a bureaucrat's favorite word? Whenever you see it, look for a bottleneck.
We see ourselves as separate because we see ourselves as little gods, and there"s only room for one of those in any given case. If everybody's a god somebody has to be subdued to somebody else's will or give up godhood. Giving up godhood is the doorway to freedom and the beginning of healing from being separated from everything. But control freaks won't let go of the wire that electrocutes them. They should be wearing leather and chains and carrying whips to identify themselves.