I rode the bike out in the last light to see what remained of the sunset over the Coastal Range. As I made the loop back to the house, on an impulse I stopped for a beer at “The Handlebar,” a sports bar with vintage bikes hanging in the corners.
The bar was full, but there was a table by the window. Two female friends at the next table got up after 10 minutes and left. I wondered who would sit there next.
I didn’t have to wait long. A young couple walked in, the guy with a sparse, scraggly beard and reversed baseball cap, the gal with fashionably torn jeans down to her knees.
They sat down, the guy with his back to me. White, gothic lettering on the fronted back of his black cap proudly pronounced: “Get Dead.”
I don’t feel any special mission to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” but that’s too much. The legions of dead are far too comfortable.
I thought of Brad Pitt’s allegorical movie of a few years ago, “World War Z.” At the end, just as it appears the world will be completely overrun by highly infectious, flesh-biting zombies, the Pitt character realizes that the living dead can only attack healthy people and render them into zombies.
So he injects himself with a fatal virus (anti-virus handy) and walks among them, invisible as the zombie teeth-gnashers stream around him like a river of human disease.
In ‘real life,’ it’s actually just the opposite. Living and growing human beings are invisible to the dead. In this godforsaken country, supersaturated with darkness and deadness, how many are left? Not many I fear.
Evil exists, and it’s increasing. To my knowledge, there has never been an adequate philosophy of evil, much less science of evil. Theological worldviews are only making matters worse.
Evangelical Christians are so arrogant in their spiritual certainty, so sure they serve God and the Lord, that they believe they can use the evil streaming through the president they helped elect to serve their own righteous ends. That makes them even more evil than the Conduit in Chief, Donald Trump.
The obsession with conspiracy theories is largely driven the futile and foolish attempt to render the metaphysical forces of darkness entirely physical, as if we can arrive at an adequate explanation by attributing evil to the ‘Illuminati,’ the ‘Elders of Zion,’ or some secret cabal behind the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Trump.
The day after Americans elected the most evil man ever to occupy the White House, Barack Obama famously said, “I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes.” Well it’s here.
But just what is the apocalypse? Is it the end of humanity, or the end of this world? Does it bear any resemblance to Jewish and Christian writings from about 200 b.c to 200 a.d., marked by the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom?
The voodoo of Catholic exorcism notwithstanding, there are two kinds of possession to my mind, in which dark entities generated by human consciousness control a weak individual. Call them demons if you like, but they exist. As the saying goes, the greatest triumph of the devil in the modern age is convincing people it doesn’t exist.
The first kind of ‘possession’ is where someone is completely taken over by some thing, and little if any of the natural personality and character is left.
The second and much more common form of possession occurs when a totally self-centered person, who has quit on humanity, indeed on life, thereby makes themselves readily available to manipulation by the dark forces in human consciousness. I call such people ‘conduits,’ and they now number over 90% in America.
In early November, I witnessed the apocalypse in microcosm with the fire that incinerated the town (whose name will go down in ironic infamy) of Paradise. Named the Camp Fire, the roiling black and purple cloud filling the sky that morning was at once unearthly and all too worldly. What’s coming will make it seem like a campfire.
The apocalypse has already begun, but there will be no divine intervention that destroys the powers of evil and raises the righteous to a messianic kingdom. Whatever the imminent cataclysm (a world war when Trump is completely cornered?), only living human beings can open the space for the emergence of a new human being.
Not giving a damn is the coward’s way. The dead can come back to life if they want to with all their being. Perhaps even the fully possessed can.
For the dwindling number of human beings who have remained inwardly alive, don’t quit, our moment is nearly at hand.