The Good Gets Better (The Bad Gets Worse!)

It’s the old Yin Yang thang. Every time I hear or see something beautiful, wonderful, and good, I know it will be balanced out by something in the world equally ugly, terrible, and bad. “Twas ever thus,” as Doctor Natural would say. Perhaps centuries from now, when the entire planet is living in harmony and all the world’s citizens have expanded their consciousnesses to that place where love and peace reside, there will probably be a threat from the outside… perhaps an alien species or a speeding asteroid… which will offset the progress we think we have made… the progress we old hippies used to call the Aquarian Age.

We hippies knew this truth all along. Many thought we were naive “sky farmers,” our heads in the clouds, our hearts in our hands, and our beliefs guiding our actions. Discovering the truths led many into esoteric fields: holistic and natural healing, reading auras, palms, and stars, seeking teachers of the higher planes of thought until there was no thought at all. No thing, no matter; no matter, no thing. The goal was thoughtlessness and the experience of that place where all activity of the mind disappeared… all that was left was the void, which could be the blackest, bottomless hole or the brightest, ever expanding sun. Both, yet neither, are the Void.

While traveling that path, I encountered many colorful characters, some I instinctively knew to be unintentional self-deluded charlatans, others I instinctively knew to be telling the truth. One of those was a college professor of political science, who predicted in 1961 that the Third World War would take place in the Middle East. I believed him with good reason, and for the past week the news has been overflowing with what seems the inevitable implosion of all civilized government throughout the countries in that part of the world. My belief in what he said seems to be being validated before my eyes.

However, this needs to happen and the United States should do nothing about it, except to evacuate all US citizens. We should stay completely out of this bloody fray that once again is borne from the evil we call Religion, responsible for more death, torture, repression and hate than any other single cause, though I am sure Money and Greed take a close second in making this world a mockery of the beautiful garden it could be if we all willed it to be.

As I studied the teachings of this certain professor, it became clear that since the end of WWI, and in its aftermath, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire; politicians have been dividing up the world to suit their own political, military, and economic interests. However, 1948 was the year the world’s fate of never-ending political and military atrocities was sealed with the creation of Israel. Three white, rich and powerful men decided to take away land from one country to form another. They created arbitrary borders with no thought to natural boundaries, ethnicities, religions or stages of political and social development.

Sixty-six years later, we are suffering the results of their stupidity. Almost all the “countries” they created have territorial disputes with their neighbors. Shias hate the Sunnis, Muslims hate the Hindus, Arabs hate the Jews. Who the hell thought it was a great idea to create Israel? Sorry, but Zionism has no special place in this writer’s heart. Judaism is a religion and not a decree from god that Jews should have a homeland at the expense of taking land away from the Palestinians. Oh, people will quote the bible, but to me the bible holds no weight and is just a series of contradictory tales.

I do have great sympathy for Holocaust survivors, but they (and we) would have been much better off if we had given them a part of Texas for their homeland. They would have turned that culturally sterile and barren land into a garden of eden and changed the course of history. In accommodating one group of people by creating Israel, we made Palestinians second class citizens, took away their land, and the repercussions have been heard loud and clear throughout the Middle East. Zionists are arrogant. I do not like them. They keep building settlements on land that is not theirs though the entire world knows doing so does nothing to promote peace. But what is, is. The least they can do is return to their 1948 boundaries and stop encroaching on what is left of Palestine. A two-state solution is the only viable one, given we cannot change the past. Jerusalem should be an independent city-state like the Vatican.

Today we have turmoil in Iraq. What the hell? We should have never invaded Iraq. All those poor soldiers dead, injured, and mentally traumatized for nothing! Bush was an idiot with Cheney, the devil incarnate, pulling his strings. But what is, is. Where do we go from here? We go home and spend our talent, time and treasure on ourselves, our infrastructure, our health, our schools, and our environment. Stay out of the fray!

Another thing I learned from my hippie days… The test of whether you learned your lesson or not is if you stop making the same mistake. If you make the same mistake, you have not learned the lesson. When you stop making the same mistake, the lesson is learned. So, United States of America… stop making the same mistakes. The triumvirate leaders of post-war 1948 and their successors… stop making the same mistakes. Learn the lesson once and for all!

Though there will be a lot of bloodshed and a lot of suffering, it is time for the people of the Middle East to resolve their own conflicts. It is time for them to figure it out. It is time for them to make their own boundaries, even if it means a tri-state solution in Iraq. No one enjoys seeing mass slaughters, executions, beheadings, rapes, etc… but I’ve had it with intervening in countries that are not yet “enlightened” enough to employ democracy as its governing principle. I’ve had it with the notion that we are responsible for “nation-building.” Even we, the people of the United States, struggle to enlighten our brothers and sisters to live among an extremely diverse populace in peace, but at least we have the political infrastructure in place to enforce a semblance of equality and the time usually comes when enforcement is unnecessary because the semblance of equality has become internalized and therefore, a reality. (OK… we patiently await the Deep South and a few other parts of the country to get their act together and start living in the NOW.)

USA! USA! USA! Oh, how I hate this chauvinistic chant! I have always considered the USA to be very far behind many European countries when it comes to social and economic equality, health and education. Why do we lie to ourselves and insist we are number One? But even Europe has been disappointing me with their anti-immigration stances and the disparity of wealth. How wonderful it would be if the middle class would re-emerge with gusto, if there were a universal, single-payer health care system, free education, and renewable energy on a grand scale. How wonderful if all decisions made were based on scientific fact and not Fox News lies and sensationalism. How wonderful it would be if we truly respected the environment and each of our fellow human beings.

And just when I can say USA! with the rest of them because I know we have accomplished all the things we worked for and dreamed for as hippies, just then… when all is good, I am certain there will be an equally bad threat from the outside. Everything in the universe lives by the rules of Yin and Yang. When the good gets better, the bad gets worse!

What to do? I think it’s time to get “holy” again, and by that I do not mean praying to a god who exists outside ourselves, but to recognize the god that is each of us. It’s time to take the good with the bad, the bad with the good and to follow that thin line between them, the very thin line between Yin and Yang. The “dirty, fucking hippies” were right all along! Maybe someday, someone who has the ear of all the people will finally admit it and say it loud and proud!

Phil Polizatto, The Unapologetic Hippie.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Good Gets Better (The Bad Gets Worse!)

  1. Phil Polizatto

    Jerry, I am humbled by your knowledge of history and thank you for shedding more detailed light on how our world was arbitrarily divided since World War I. I do believe we are on the same page regarding further incursions into Palestine by the Israeli’s and I do believe, though Jewish tradition flows through your blood, you are a secularist, just as I am Catholic by birth, but do not practice it.

    I did not intend for Israel to be the topic of the article, but rather the US presence in the Middle East. More importantly, I wanted to stress the Yin and Yang of our existence. I watch “So You Think You Can Dance” and I am amazed at the athleticism and acrobatics which have become integral to jazz and ballet. I delight in seeing Marriage Equality being embraced by more and more Americans. I watch a documentary on the good works of volunteers all over the world. I see the good getting better, but know from my experience I should get ready to see the bad getting worse. That is, in essence, what I was trying to say.

    Nevertheless, you have educated us all and for that I thank you very much.

    Phil

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  2. jerryw2014

    Phil: 1948? Let’s see: the boundaries of the Middle East, with the exception of the partition of Palestine, happened after World War I with the final breakup of the remains of the old Ottoman Empire and creation of totally artificial states like Iraq and Yugoslavia. Then there was the redrawing of the maps in 1945 after the end of WWII. 1947, the independence of India and its partition into India and Pakistan. 1948? The State of Israel is born with a United Nations-mandated partition of Palestine. So are you saying that you date the “sealing of our fate” to the creation of Israel? And who are the three men you’re talking about? Truman, Stalin and Attlee? (Churchill, I remind you, was voted out of office after WWII). Zionism wasn’t created out of whole cloth in 1948, it was an idea about 70 years old by that time.

    Now, I have as little use for Religion as you do, but growing up Jewish and having been force fed the holy books thru my childhood, it’s quite clear that Judaism and the land of Israel are as bound together as any entity can possibly be. For the entire 2000 year Diaspora, the dream of returning to Israel was part and parcel of virtually every prayer and commentary, as in “if I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning.” Did the Visigoths train their children never to forget Castile and Leon? No, they melted into the population and became a part of Spain. Are there Huns alive today who lay claim to Italy? The Jews are unique: Israel = the Jews = Israel.

    But now we come to the injustice precipitated upon the Palestinians. My feeling is that if every Jewish woman in the USA had donated her furs and jewels to a compensation fund for them, they might have been more willing to accept the partition instead of starting a war. No question they remain uncompensated. And I defer to no one in my dismay with the current government of Israel and their illegal settlements and apartheid state. But no one will get anywhere by denying the existence and future existence of Israel. The Holocaust is burned into the brain of every Jew. And because they have to for the survival of their people, the Mossad (the Israeli intelligence service) will always be smarter than anyone else, more valiant than anyone else, more attached to the levers of world power than anyone else. This is a truth that must be lived with and accommodated.

    Jerry

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    1. Phil Polizatto

      Norm! Hope you’re well. I see you’re as busy as ever. I get all your emails. Pleases me that you are still the activist and still going strong. Me? I had to sort things out with myself. Let’s just say I took a hiatus… lol. Slowly getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for the welcome back.

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