I feel fortunate to have grown up writing by hand, then learning to type on a typewriter, and so on and so forth, to get up to the present day where I often dictate what I “write” into my phone.
This would’ve been incomprehensible forty or fifty years ago. It was sci-fi when I was a kid, Captain Kirk and his communicator and beam me up, Scotty, as the stalwart crew allowed their atoms to disassemble and reassemble, trusting their infallible technology to get them to their destination in one piece.
I remember one Star Trek episode where either the transporter failed, or some evil aliens did something nefarious. A crew member or two were reduced to small pyramid-shaped chunks of the minerals that make up a human body without its predominant component of H2O.
One of the evil ones picked up this styrofoam-like chunk of “human” and crumbled it in their hand.
So much for infallible technology.
The parallel to enduring the “bad” so we can appreciate the “good” is a bit of a stretch, but makes sense to me. Only someone who learned to type on a twenty-pound IBM Selectric can marvel from the depths of their soul at speaking, and the words magically appearing on a screen.
You cannot truly know what glory is unless you’ve fallen flat on your face. The impoverished-waif-turned-millionaire exhibits compassion in a way their compatriots at the pinnacle of the food chain cannot.
Fictional clichés with roots in truth.
I wonder if the intensifying suffering on this planet is some version of this apparent truth: that we must suffer mightily to truly comprehend the beauty of the good? That we won’t really understand just how good it is, unless we’re aware of the deep evil that went before? Duality playing out in spades.
Numerous sources have been reminding us, with increasing frequency, that the darkness must be brought to light. That it can’t simply be covered up and allowed to tunnel underground just to pop up again in a few years or millennia.
Bringing dark to light apparently means that mind-boggling ugliness and unpalatable truths must become common knowledge within the general population of Earth.
It also appears to mean that the remnants of the bad are allowed to stomp gleefully through swaths of humanity, scattering disease and despair right and left as they march toward the eternal doorway and finally, not one minute too soon, exit this plane.
A substantial part of me recoils at what seems like massive unfairness. Hey, wait! Haven’t millions if not billions of us already suffered aplenty throughout our lifetimes? Many, many lifetimes, in fact?
It’s natural to trot out facile spiritual responses to my lament, chief among them, “It’s all per soul agreement and karma. Everyone has chosen exactly the life and experiences they desire, at soul level, to have…”
But I need a new way of perceiving this, because I’m looking with a jaundiced eye at the karma-soul agreement thing. Recalling my from-handwriting-to-dictating-by-phone fable offers a parallel I can deeply comprehend.
Because as it turns out, I’m very glad that I experienced the progression from handwriting to typewriting and then finally the introduction of computer typewriting and the evolution to now.
I would have no understanding of the miracle that it is if I had not been without the miracle.
I extrapolate that to, I would have no genuine appreciation of the delights to come, when they finally do come, if I hadn’t experienced this…this…what we’re in now.
I loved my Selectric typewriter at my first job. It had a backspace erase! The tacky surface of the correction tape lifted your errors and you could retype the right thing.
I loved it, but I don’t want to go back to it. I rarely want to revisit old technology except as a mode of nostalgia, and a way to compare to Now.
Once this darkness is gone, and I do believe it’s on its way out, I personally never wish to revisit it or this dense third-dimensional reality we’ve all been slogging through for millennia.
Bring on the miracles. I’m ready.