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The Greatest Sacrifice Part 1:  Heroes, Existentalism vs. Nilihism

    For some time now, I have considered the scope and depth of society as it currently stands, and I have realized this:  most people are indeed slaves, ensnared by  ignorance and fear in its many forms so that they may spend their existence pining away for the unattainable, seeking to satisfy the unsatisfiable expectations of others, struggling under the back-breaking load of fickle and contradictory messages within much cultural dogma.  So many people, driven by fear of failing in their futile quest to satisfy the unsatisfiable, attempt to construct themselves as some sort of hero, or champion, of one thing or another.  Now now, I am not saying that all causes are futile, just those that have no clear consequence of a beneficial sort, that are built up on blind presuppositions without consideration of the fallout that their actions will loose over the rest of humanity or the world at large.  The clearest indication of a false hero and/or false cause is the degree to which one or the other is hollow...a false hero doubts his/her own cause or knows deep down that some aspect of the cause is, well, false cannot indefinitely tow the line and will fail to act convincingly...everything from their arguments to their body language will in some subtle way reveal their reservations.  The most profound false hero is he/she which seems convinced they are correct, even when evidence points away from their assertions...one could blindly dismiss them as mad, but I believe that they still, on some level, are cabable of being shown irrefutable fact and turned to a more pragmatic path.  Of course, it depends on whether the person doing the turning is armed with convincing data, and the person otherwise presumed to be mad is capable of listening and wants to try something different.  It is true...there can be false heros of true causes, but there can never be true heros of false causes, for the determining factor of any hero is truth as measured by the eventual consequences. 
    Does the cause satisfy the concern for which it has been crafted?  If a cause falls short of its goals or accomplishes nothing, its heros, no matter how well meaning, will fail, for they are not equipped with the tools to build the outcome they promise.  The cause precedes the hero.  Their toolbox is empty, or is filled with things that are not designed for the purpose they have set out to fulfill (I have seen such toolboxes and even whole toolrooms, either mostly empty for filled with things that are mostly useless for building much of anything, and it isn't a pretty sight).  True, some heroes will not know how to use the tools, where the toolroom is, or even how to get into it, but that is a case of false heroes following true causes, something that I may or may not discuss later.

    So, what are valid causes, if I were to outline examples of such?  What courses of action would have some tangible benefit?  Well, truth be said there is a degree of subjectivity that comes into play here, but a basic way of determining the flavor of such subjectivity would be to divide up the base origins of most outlooks along two veins:  the existential, and the nihilistic (definition in this case being a viewpoint that existence is senseless and useless).  Those that value existence will seek to find understanding and corresponding paths that preserve their own existence and that of things and people at large.  Those that embrace nihilism of the type outlined will either embrace apathy or will follow a course that will nominally undermine existence...one could argue that inaction in some situations is tantamount to being opposed to existence.  So really, it all boils down to this:  are you of a personality that cherishes existence in some form or forms, or are you just tired and want things, perhaps all things, to come to an end?  It is possible to be a mongrel of existentialism and nihilism...in fact, most people are, which makes this so much more complicated...Sally may love carrots, but Pete may deny their nutritional virtues to the point that he wants to banish carrots from the soils of Earth forever.  Pete may love tomatoes, but Sally may retch every time she sees a glistening slice of one on a plate at the dinner table.

    So, what does this have to do with the concept of heroism or rather heroic causes?  Well, it basically outlines that causes can be quite varied if they are based on individualized, and some might argue trivial, differences to build whole causes around.  Besides, a selfish hero isn't really much of a hero and really is more of a villain, for he/she only cares about their own interests and is likely crusading against the interests of all others in order to have their own view stamped over those of all others.  They aren't likely to be very convincing either...Sally proclaiming the virtues of carrots would make little difference to Peter, and Peter worshipping the interior texture of the freshly cut tomato wouldn't turn Sally's eyes or ears hither except in revulsion.  I would argue that the most sensible causes, the true causes, are those that everyone could agree upon if made aware of them...but are such real?  On a very general, inclusive existential basis, I would say they do...one basic cause would be the very fate of Earth itself....if all life on the planet were to be in danger of extinction, this definitely is something that would impede all existential threads of value and belief regardless of all lesser differences. 

    Some argue that on a very basic level that this is already happening, that this very primary cause already exists.  I personally have seen much evidence of this and agree but I wonder:  why do so many others seem to not care?  The truth is, it's not that they don't care, but as with many causes they are ignorant of the facts, partially by low interest in the simmering environmental crisis due to it's seeming lack of immediacy, and partially due to the sheer volume of misinformation generated by those people who, by a combination of ignorance and their fear-bias against change (they fear possibly losing what they have if they benefit from the current condition), seek to maintain the illusion of a world order that they believe will continue to benefit them regardless of what may happen.

The Greatest Sacrifice Part 2:  On the Trail of the Universal Hero

    Earlier in Part 1, I rambled on and on using an elementary understanding of various buzz words like "hero," "cause," "existence," and "nihilism," in an attempt to discover, or refute, the notion that all of these concepts can relate to each other in a meaningful way. While being a complete fool who will most likely fail to smoothly tie these things together, this is my blog, and so I will now continue where I left off...hopefully, I will stick to my original points and ultimately draw a blueprint for what the most universal hero archetype would look like, and what sort of cause(s) they would likely champion. For those who are eager to cry such things as "vanguardist!" while reading Part 1 and/or Part 2 due to possible implications of what I write, please wait until you have read everything I say before shouting the "V" word to your heart's content. Also, I apologize if in my ignorance I brusquely portray myself as having a lofty understanding of all existence...I don't mean to offend anyone's views, and being an individual I am entitled to my own long list of shortcomings. But anyways, here I go...

***Part 2 Begins in Earnest***

    So, in realizing the limitations imposed on those who would change the world for their own and other's sakes, where will the "true" heroes of tomorrow come from, or rather what causes will spawn them? Is there any way to really, really know whether a cause, rotund in pregnancy, itself is "true" and will give birth to active champions who strive for a tomorrow that in some way is improved over today, or whether a stillborn outcome is the result?

    Well, as I had begun to argue, the only true causes that can be said to be of the greatest good are those that benefit the greatest number of people. I say benefit, not please...parity between viewpoints is within grasp, but pleasing a near infinity of individuals is not...this is why I contend I am not making a classic utilitarian argument.  Such causes would by necessity need to not only tolerate but respect individual viewpoints. Due to the very general, fundamental nature of the greater good as defined here, such causes would be equally as general and fundamental: those that champion the preservation of our mutual frame of interaction, and those that champion our mutual existence as constituents of that frame, essentially environmentalism and humanitarianism.  If Peter and Sally were to follow this approach, they would agree that however much they may dislike the other's vegetable of choice, the real travesty would be if the garden itself were sown with salt...that aside, they can each enjoy their carrots and tomatos respectively as there is plenty of room for both to grow in the same garden.

    But what would such a hero do in order to inspire the proverbial Peters and Sallys of the world? What form would they come in? Many have claimed to represent a "greater good," claimed to have all the answers for what is "needed" at a given time, but one could argue that many (maybe all) were acting in their self interests. Can a hero do anything else but act selfishly? I suppose it depends...can a person, once realizing the effect that mutual respect has on the potential survivability of their individual philosphy (or they themselves in some situations), be considered selfish for being willing to compromise with others who may not conform to their views? If they are in a weak position, one could argue that compromise (or even downright supplication) is the only tool left open to them and so by using it they are merely acting. If they are in a position that is one of traditional advantage, of them having clear ready potential to impose their individual views upon others but instead resort to compromise, are they then selfish? I would argue no...they are acting with a clear intent to balance their perspective with that of others involved in a situation and so are working towards an enduring model that tends to emphasize consensus (democracy?) rather than a very temporary gain for themselves (it is no coincidence that an uncompromising leader who makes decisions based only on their own biases is not long succeeded by them...once they step down, die, or are removed, their personality cult melts away and the balances shift...they are eventually forgotten).

  So, a true universalist hero is capable of compromise, and acts, if not unselfishly, less selfishly...whether they are in a position of advantage or disadvantage.   If compromise and balance are the keys to the universalist hero's existence, then what other constituent parts might have a place in their ontology? 

The Greatest Sacrifice Part 3:  Humility, Compassion, and the Comedian

    So, after tossing around the previously discussed concepts for some time, this is what I have to offer, without further rambling.  We have learned that a true universalist hero, or one who claims to aspire to the aid and fulfillment of all of humanity, must aspire to tolerate the views of the greatest number of people possible, must be capable of compromise, and through that, respect.
Moreover, the prerequisite to doing this is the diminishing of ego...the recommended way to do this is meditation, though self effacement is a good practice too, or the two combined together.  By doing this, the existence and needs of others become more apparent, as the absorption into one's self becomes less, allowing for greater outward focus.  However, it is advised that one don't completely disintegrate their ego...that way lies death and the scattering of an individual consciousness across all time, infinity (this is the goal of buddhic enlightenment, but is not very useful if one is to be an avatar of compassion in this world).  Of course, that really all depends on whether you believe in that sort of thing, but that is what I argue. 

    So, what examples are there of universalist heroes of the past?  Well, I'm going to take this down a somewhat spiritual path (please, hold the rotten tomatoes and so forth...I haven't finished).  Christ, Krishna, Buddha...in activists, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Stephen Colbert.  All of these figures, with perhaps the exception of Krishna (if you consider evil spirits to be alive), are nonviolent beings who helped set humanity forward by demonstrating compassion, and using a number of teaching devices...Of the majority of these folks, humor was undoubtedly a major tool and a mark of their spiritual consciousness.

    Everyone laughs, even the biggest a**hole.  Truly evil people are often people who have forgotten how to laugh sincerely, "from the belly" as they say, but they are not beyond reach of a spiritually gifted comic.

Did Christ Laugh?

In my studies, I have determined that he couldn't have been anything but a comedian in his delivery of parable after parable, using humor as both an attention grabber and as a way of lifting people up from the mire of their sullen existences with the healing power of laughter.  Not to say that there wasn't meaning to his parables...it is possible to have deeper meaning, yet for something to be hillarious.  The stories were there to make people think, meditate, and throughout the process of consideration, perpetuate their elevated spiritual state through state-dependence (humor,demonstrated love story = laughter, recognition of love, thought, perpetuation of original meaning in context).  The Achilles heel of the New Testament is that there is virtually no discussion on what emotional techique was used by Christ, or exhibited by Christ...in a society like the West that rates low in emotional intelligence, it is not surprising that few have wondered whether Christ was a divine comedian among the other things he is considered to be.


In all studies of Krishna, it is well-known that the avatar was a prankster, using humor to drive away darkness and exhibit his love for humanity while bringing humanity together through one common paradigm (well, at least India, though one could argue that all manifestations of the compassionate avatar are really one, facets of the same gem, that exists in all-time, and intersect each moment, maintaining the potential to exist in a chronological slip-stream at any moment in history, anywhere, in a symbolized form, even while it being possible for it to be felt regardless of the absence of a tangible agent). 


The 'various' Buddhas were all regarded as having senses of humor, though the one that is reputed to have the greatest is one that has not yet existed:  Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future.  In literature, Maitreya is purported to be a being that will come in humanity's time of greatest need, and will draw all humanity together using love, and laughter, or at least that's a common interpretation of what prophetic texts exist regarding this figure.

Ghandi and the King:

    Well, I am certain they laughed alot, but their use of humor in stylistic form can be questioned, so until I have more evidence on that, I will just note them for their nonviolent approach.

Stephen Colbert:

    Ok, I'm not claiming the man is the Messiah or whatever, but he is an activist and a social engineer, shall we say a prophet of the future of love and compassion that we could have...it takes balls to stand up mere feet away from the most warlike president, in front of some of the most powerful warhawks in the country, and say what he did at the Press Correspondant's Dinner.  Whether he was right or wrong on each point well...you're free to debate.  Nevertheless, he radiates as a genuine caring person, selfless in his willingness to jeopardize himself for a chance at a peaceful and compassionate world.  And, he definitely is a comedian, and was even successful in getting Bush to laugh at some of his jokes despite the otherwise smoldering looks the man gave him.  Also, he is rated as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.  Comedians are on the rise...the true Messiah's coming is near?  Alright, alright...nevermind that for now.

The Universalist Comedian Hero Archetype:

The true, enduring engine of change in our world in the future will be initiated nonviolently by the comedians of the world, and, if one believes the greater compassionate religions of the world, will be lead by an avatar of love and compassion who laughs and inspires laughter in equal measures.  Praise the comedian nearest you, and raise them up high, and find the comedian in yourself...you will love yourself more if you take yourself less seriously, and you will love your neighbor more if you can see their flaws as comic absurdities that can be appreciated.

This Is the Treatise I Never Wrote So Concisely Before:

And I, until I undergo greater spiritual refinement in the alchemy of enlightenment, am Elijah, The Clown Prophet.  Pleased to meet ya *wink*

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