Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bible Fragment - From Wasteland

Journal Entry #17

I was asked today if I believe angels exist.

It was the fat man again. Looking down at me in the way only a man convinced of his own intellectual superiority can look down on a taller man. He asked in that same condescending tone, without really expecting a reply.

Today I decided to give him one.

I stepped momentarily away from the world around us and spoke of angels; what they stood for, or rather, the meanings human beings ascribe to them. Words floated forward such as goodness, and light. Generic, unworkable concepts that tell us little of substance.

I spoke of magic and the supernatural — where basically anything can occur without reason or repercussion. I spoke of physics and the laws of nature — for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I spoke of duality, and of Lucifer — a fallen angel from the Christian pantheon and wondered: if one angel could fall, why not many?

As I watched the human beings swirl around us, oblivious to all but their own self interest, I verbalized the unasked question. If angels exist, then must not their opposite also exist? If there are things of light, then somewhere, must there not also be things of darkness? We recognize them perhaps as nothing more than a wisp of a feeling, but no matter how superior we feel, how advanced we become, this ancient feeling persists.

As adults we have become logical and pragmatic; we rationalize and compartmentalize. We have lost the flexibility of our young minds, and realize that if confronted by these dark things our minds would snap.

It's not the knife we fear, but the thought of the knife. It's not the odd, quiet neighbor that disturbs us, but the thought of what he may be doing in the basement of the house he's never invited us in to see. And in those thoughts, we wonder what it would mean to our perception of reality if one day, when we awoke, we found ourselves lying naked, bound and gagged in that basement, with our odd, quiet neighbor staring down at us. So we put those thoughts away.

It's why most of us cannot look at a person in a wheelchair, or stand to be near the infirm, and the insane — to do so brings us nearer those locked rooms in our minds. It's why we conform and consume, and cling to religions that assure us we are among those chosen to ascend. If people can rationalize something, then they can convince themselves they no longer need fear that something.

And yet that ancient whisper remains.

I was asked today if I believe angels exist. Stepping back into the world I turned to my questioner and asked a question of my own. Knowing what I just told you could be true — wouldn't it be best if they didn't?

As the pious, superiority slowly vanished from his face, he mumbled something about an appointment, and with a backward glance turned, and walked quickly away.

And as he disappeared into the crowd — plump thighs chafing with each hurried step — a thought came to me and I smiled. Perhaps I'll pay him a visit and put my theory to the test. I know where he lives.

From Jacob's Journal in Wasteland
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