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Live Vicarious

Feb. 16, 2017, noon

Humanity is not evil. That's a definitive; rather than that, we simply deceive ourselves into thinking in a certain way. We live our everyday lives and push through whatever is presented to us whether it be problem or triumph. Which if we encounter the former, we simply get a prescription to the newest mood adjustment or performance enhancing drug and move on. We continue our march into the oblivion at the end of the tunnel that we walk. It's normal. It's society. It's right. It is what is supposed to be done.

But that tunnel is made of glass; many choose to never look outside its walls. Many form their own blinders through ideals, and prejudice, and hate, and war. Make no mistake, these men and women are not forced to do this by anything other than their own minds and even then all their minds need is to be pushed to look outside the glass. To be clear, the government is not making you follow this path. This path is chosen by the individual and the individual alone.

People choose to remain inside the prescribed path and to never look about their glass tunnel because outside it is horrifying. To look outside the glass is to accept that humanity is not perfect in any sense of the word. It is to accept that humanity is high capable of violent and that we are capable of terrible things. Most cannot fathom this. Most who view it get caught up in the dark and never are able to see the light. They simply see humanity as evil. We are not.

There is an opposite to everything. It takes a special state of mind to see the inverse of the world outside the glass. If we are capable of evil, and if we are capable of great acts of violence then we are capable of good and we are capable of great acts of art. They're in the same playing field. They're both primal. Humans have been making art since we have been making war. This separates us from the animals and keeps us from ascending any higher. A true double edged sword.

However, to see this inverse, one must accept the reality that humanity is capable of great acts of violence. Most can see humanity is capable of great acts of art; all you have to do is look on cave walls, in a museum, or even, in modern times, an internet art site. Most cannot see humanity is capable of great acts of violence only because they refuse to let their minds accept the thoughts that run through their heads. The ones they lie about; to themselves and their acquaintances. Deep down, everyone is fascinated by destruction. We watch cars race, never admitting to ourselves that we enjoy the crashes. We watch the news, never admitting to ourselves that we enjoy the sight of disasters that will never affect us. We watch people die over and over in films and pay ridiculous amounts of money to simulate the annihilation of entire armies in video games. We hide our tendencies for the world. We refuse to look out the glass and into the world. We refuse to accept what we have known for centuries. Humanity is not evil! We are simply humanity and we are capable of great acts of violence! However, we are just as capable of executing great acts of art.

I would like to believe that we all know which of these we should cultivate. But to do this we must accept the dark, to be washed in the light. This is what that ancient sentence meant, and what it will mean.