The Land of Forgetfulness

Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?  -A Psalm

In the land of forgetfulness we seldom question corporate owned media, pharmaceutical companies owned in part by policy makers, (Rumsfeld and Gilead Science), academic institutions propped up by oil companies, churches writing prescriptions for the unruffled life.

In the land of forgetfulness we follow religious leaders who divide their sheep into fractious blocks and call it rightly dividing the word of truth. As if what mattered was right creed over right action. As if truth was found in ascent and not in doing…the triumph of doctrine over love. As if the recent Catholic overture to conservative Anglicans means there is a change in the air.

The church has lost the capacity to induce crisis. And it’s crisis we need in these times of pseudo-crisis. The state of the economy, the swine flu, Iran’s nuclear achievements, terrorist threats, global warming, these together—while obviously issues that demand the best of our intelligence and action—still do not add up to a first order crisis. Fear and ignorance is our crisis. Lack of courage, stunted moral intelligence, and stagnant mercy is our crisis. We’ve forgotten this, and that’s the crisis.

In the land of forgetfulness we herald a jaw set foolishly only because it’s set. In my city we just finished doing the soft-shoe around an unrepentant ex-American president calling him kin because he’s a proponent of amassing, protecting, acquiring, and consolidating.

We’ve forgotten that his administration was a moral crisis. A crisis that could have cleared the air. Could of offered us a new look at where we are going, even offered us a startling glimmer of who we are becoming. Here in Canada we have simply imitated the policies and procedures of our more powerful neighbour. Did we suppose by electing a Christian Prime Minister there was change in the air?

No question we are passionate about our beliefs and our principles. We need no prophet to arouse our passions about that. But our beliefs lack substance and our desires are anemic, mere mimicry of the perceived powerful. We swell our heads and wear ourselves out to be like them.

The prophets we need today must dowse us with cold water, wake us to what it might mean to be human. It’s true that becoming human is so difficult that we’re legitimately shocked by amount of courage it requires. The temptation is to stay to the well marked well guarded roads. To keep our ears shut to the minority voice–whether right, left or centre. But that wilderness voice is our salvation.

Today, as in times past, protest, using the principles of courage, nonviolence and truth, what Ghandi called Satyagraha, may be the only way to recover our humanity.

Should we envision and live our lives in Love, without worrying about what’s achieved, we may just see our "reflection high above the wall." And in that light the anarchy of mercy may take hold.


  1. On the one hand, ouch! Skillfully and powerfully written.

    (One the other hand – isn’t it true that you have this platform because of corporate-owned media?)

  2. If you mean this Blog, I don’t think so. (You may have to explain to me how this works.) If you mean the newspaper articels, then I suppose, yes. Although they haven’t published everything I’ve submitted. And friends I know have been censored. A generation ago the field was more diverse. Today? A single entity owning most of the media outlets can’t be healthy. At the same time it would be a mistake not to use what’s there, but I don’t think because I use corporate-owned media I need therefore to be supportive of it, or think I’m hypocritical for using it. Besides, what with Conservative tax consessions for big business I’m pretty sure I’ve subsidized those very corporations somewhere along the way. But thanks for dig:)

  3. God bless the people who choose to not forget…mostly because the pain can be just too much for humans to bear…

    But pain relief can come in just the most simple of acts…like giving a cup of cold water…at least it starts there…



  4. But it is hard work to find out what is really going on for a specific issue, and even more work to assess it and arrive at an independent conclusion for oneself. Sooo much easier to be spoon fed first the answer, then the question, and free up time for other pursuits…

  5. Nailed it Fred. And isn’t the sequence telling? After all, to sit with a question, well, how disconcerting.

    Yes, it’s painful and even costly to refuse a stock answer, but how else to grow?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *