GUMPTION
by David Eide .

Who has the gumption to say that they know what this "age" is about? At best you can simply look outside to what we can reach intelligently and peer inside ourselves to see how the senses are dealing with the impressions. Behind are the backgrounds of traditions and daily contact with people who are going through the same process.

It is evidently fully absorbing the people as all ages do. It has been attempting to define itself the last 100 years or so. Is it successful? Do people know now what the modern world is? Do, in fact, people know now what they did not know, in the core and essence of things, 200 years ago or 500 or 1000 years ago?

It certainly attempts to comprehend and exploit the opportunities at hand. After all, technology has put wings on even the poorest individual and has, in effect, lifted the whole shouting match nth degrees above what prevailed in former times.

The technology comes with an evil twin, a shadow that buries itself in the ambition and arrogance of the times and breaks out when it wants to.

A great stir is afoot. It is not war; it is the people clamoring for some satisfaction to what they see in themselves as a possibility, whether it is in Eastern Europe, China, South Africa, Ireland, or the Middle-East. Institutions of iron fall at the insistence of the bullhorn and rally. "No more lies!" "It has all been lies previously!"

The immensely successful part of the world is now burdened by a horrible boredom that puts pressure on people to do bizarre things.

What small, efficient word packed with great significance describes the dilemma of the modern world?

Loss.

It's loss that drives the fear and the boldness. It is a humanity free to develop as never before but entangled along the way by addiction, hopelessness; a great sneer on the face of the battered human being.

It's quite obvious that the species is going to have to produce the types of individuals who are willing to sacrifice for the health of the planet. Those, in other words, with wide scope, undaunted by the immensity of problems.

The modern world, the "age" is disjointed so they say, which means that almost anything can happen, that something you never thought existed could leap out at you at any moment. It means that there does not exist too many corollaries for the way we live so it is a transitory way of life; one that refuses to settle any place or gain, much less admit to satisfaction.

They say it is the loss of God. Perhaps this is so. No question God is irrelevant to a vast number of people, all of whom have a stake in the world. God does not speak to the modern world, that is another one of the central dilemmas. And at the very least that means that men cannot communicate or rely on the past and what the past had said about God. And that means that God only exists for those who actively seek to find God.

For the creative type it is the crucial question since the creative has to be inspired. Is the creative inspired by the modern world? In some of its aspects perhaps but not as a totality, a whole. Inspired in the sense of bringing the very best, the fullest essense of a person up and out of his body and inherited sensibility.

The poet says, "Only those who went further than anyone else to create meaning for a world that is meaningless; they are not only praiseworthy but, in a sense, they are meaning itself."

Perhaps the modern world is a vast contest between the gods and the machines. The poetic mind ventures it is at times. It thinks, "even if the gods die and fade from the scene taking with them the devils and hell-worlds and purgatories and such, still there would be evil and the potential for good. How can evil be resolved if gods no longer have efficacy? And how can the good be prompted out of the living without the gods?"

The scientist and philosopher can kill off the gods and replace them with rational thought and, under the right conditions, make successful science and philosophy. But, does it lead to anything else? And if not it is isolated from the most profound questions and conditions available.

The dilemma of the modern world is that we must think on those things that we keep attempting to banish from consciousness.

What would a purely rational person do, finally? He would naturally, at some point, seek power.

* * * * * * * *

Here and there are pinholes through which we see glory.

We are the people called on to save planet Earth.

We are the people with intimations of life a thousand light years away.

We are the people who want abundance and want to share that abundance so that free people can live peacefully.

We are the people exposed to more knowledge and information than any that has ever existed and are still wondering what to do with it.

We are the people who sicken from our own excesses.

We are the people trying tame humanity away from its hostility.

We are the people who split the sun with our ambitions.

We are the people responsible for the success or failure of the 21st century.

* * * * * * * *

I think the age wants to be sophisticated, wants to get out of its hide-bound origins.

It is brazen and rootless and is only shamed by monstrous disaster. Perhaps greater and more monstrous disasters await it in the future.

It is stimulated as no other period in human history; stimulated beyond the bounds of common sense turning the stimulated inside, out and revealing the barbarity of human nature.

It is bodies piling on bodies in the cities and towns.

It is the movement of traffic along the freeways and avenues, radios on, children peering out to the brief convoy of automobiles cruising by a corn field.

It is the good and evil of money.

It is experiment and the failure that is seeded in the successes and the successes in the failures.

One creates seeing the world evaporate before one’s eyes.

Where does it come from?

Where did it arise?

Where is it going?

Can I have it, can I partake of it?

Fabulous and horrifying scenes drop from the innocent cloud. Death!

Menacing sounds percolate from a desolate city, devoured in an instant by a poisoned sky.

1989


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