Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The disease


It is what sustains us. It is all that stands between humanity and extinction. And how it does its job. Instinct? We haven't got much of that, anymore. That's what keeps the animals alive. But we do have hope. And that will keep us here long after the creatures have gone.

Hope is our cure.

And what is the disease? Is it our cruel, natural human condition? And what is that? The desire to kill, steal and destroy? Why do we do that? Because we want to live, and we want to live well. And the reason for that? It is because we hope for a better future. Hope.

Hope is our disease.

Our everlasting beacon of salvation and doom. Hope is what saves us from what we're doing to ourselves, and it is what keeps us doing just that.

Remember that story about Pandora's box? Apparently some bitter god or titan gave mankind and his wife a box, as a gift, but instructed that they never open it. She got so curious that she opened it anyway.

Out of the box flew creatures, embodying disease and suffering and misery and all the things that are bad in this world. Pandora shut the box, but by the time she did evil had already been unleashed on mankind.

And there was only one creature left in the box. A sad little critter named hope. And Pandora kept it and nursed it and cared for it.

Question: WHY would there be ANY good in that box?

It's an interesting story. But I don't know if I can deny hope the right to exist. Consider heaven and hell. Hell hasn't got a sting if it's citizens haven't got hope. If they couldn't dream of a better existence, then hell would be no worse than any other place in this universe.

Even if we couldn't hope for a heaven, then what use would anything better than the now exist? Mankind would lose his will to live. Hope is all we have to live for.

Is there nothing else we ought to live for?

Of course I'm bitter, I suppose. I too have hope. Lots of it. And honestly that hope isn't based on anything solid or real. So when the universe disappoints me I'll come crashing down from my cloud of hope. I know this. I know that I will be disappointed. And yet I cannot discourage hope.

I'd rather hope for something I'll have someday, rather than only for something I only might have, or worse might never have at all. I suppose it's meant to make me reach further than I might, if I'd hoped only for something I knew I could reach.

How simple and deplorable such a life would be, one in which I only reached for what I knew I could have. I'd never ask for more, from myself or anybody else.

I'd really hoped to pass judgment on hope and find it guilty. Yet once again hope has disappointed me. The worst part? That it might be a good thing, this disappointment.

Hope makes us miserable, but our misery might not be in vain.

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