On (The Real) Heaven

The world is a hotbed of violent activity. As time moves forward, we make technological and theoretical progress, but violence is still widespread. A world conflict is brewing.

The reasons are clear:

  • The Middle East is a region dominated by superstition, prejudice and ancient rivalry, and confrontation is part of the norm there.
  • Latin America is resource-rich but oppressed, and prone to violence.
  • China has no regard for personal liberty and squeezes every ounce of goodwill out of its citizens as it strives to become the world’s largest economy.
  • The West has failed to address the shortfalls of its once innovative models, kicking the can down the road, its ever-increasing austerity functioning more like chemotherapy, saving the patient by killing him/her/us.

My hope lies with the scientists. They’ve dealt with crises (of culture, conscience, and enterprise) like these before. Remember the industrial age when men and women of knowledge came up with technologies they didn’t completely understand, but which changed the way we went about things? Time for another round! Enthusiasm, impetus, and renewed prosperity are but a few discoveries away, care of people of knowledge, all without adding more toxins to the surrounding environment.

To move ahead you must first cut loose the weight that drags you down

At least one expects.

On the other hand, there’s merit in the position that: To move ahead you must first cut loose the weight that drags you down. Deal with the problem, the bullies, the bandits, the bigots, the fan-farers and know-it-alls. Have an argument, clear the air, move on, get things done.

In globalized terms, this involves an unsavory process, like the overhauling of economic systems, or the gutting of top-end corruption in the board rooms — and the shredding bottom-end corruption that focuses on entitlements — pointing out failure where it needs to be corrected, promoting ability, balancing the budgets on both welfare and wealthfare.

It means armed conflict with the thugs who are hell-bent on imposing their inflexible and rigid ideologies on us.

It means confronting those who abuse the system.

It involves the foregoing of dreams of empire. Going back to true republican ideals — the notion of a republic driven by an informed, involved, accountable citizenry, not vested interest and shadow politics.

It’s either that or a drastic shift to a state of emergency, whereby the few will rule with a steady and hopefully benevolent hand until the ship gets back on track.

I don’t like any of the above options. They’re too bleak and violent, too political and moralistic. Benevolent dictatorships bring trouble. Republicanism of the pure kind is a utopia, and even if it does get implemented, it will involve war.

No, I prefer the first way, the cool scientific MO where discovery opens the path. It’s a less complicated and more efficient approach, practical and pragmatic, the stuff of progress.

That’s where the solution is: in space … we need to go out there so that we may reboot

But I can’t discount the other options, the conflagration-and-conflict part of the process, because that would be a blatant disregard not only of the current situation but also, like it or not, of how organization works.

Which is why I smile when I hear religions asking their subjects to pray to the heavens for salvation. Ironically, that’s where the solution is: in space, away from Earth, which we squelch dry with our self-righteous arguments over who’s more divine, more worthy, or better suited to do business and lead the way. We need a fresh perspective on life. Out there, in space, outside looking in, detached from our mundane affairs, our everyday madness — we need to go out there so that we may reboot, expand our world, and set out a new frontier, offering this tired planet a breather from our seven-billion-soon-to-become-ten-billion-strong angst.

I hope the secularists realize this, and fast. The religious salvation agenda is one of the ways to tap the heavens. The way out will be easier if the religions of the world embrace it.

Let’s promote a futuristic vision that will lead us into the heavens in a way that matters, in this life, not the next.