I am sitting here at my computer, stunned to my core with the horror that has taken place in Connecticut. I know Newton and Danbury, having hitchhiked there as a teenager running away from home and to a friend’s house. A good friend lived there for many years as did my father. It is an archetypal place. The best of New England in many ways.
Danbury used to be a typical New England town and Newton a suburb. Danbury was the hat town but now that hats are out of fashion it faced the same crises single industry towns across the country have faced. It adapted. Today, there is a much more Latin flavor. Newtown is one of those small Connecticut towns packed with vague history.
Evil visited Newtown today. A classroom full of kindergartners was massacred. We don’t know why, but really, there is no answer for this. It simply is. There can be no justification or rationalization. There can be no politicization. Satan descended upon Newton. One can call it madness or resentment or getting even, but these excuses fall far short.
Dualism, the belief in good and evil goes far back into prehistory with the Egyptians and Chinese. It is found in the order and life of Osiris and the death and chaos of Seth and in Plato and Zoroastrianism and in Christianity. In Buddhist philosophy, one rises through states of grace to nirvana or is cast down for evil conduct. In Plato and Aristotle and Confucian philosophy it is right conduct. It’s funny how the modern interpreters have lost this fundamental truth.
Evil lives in Freud’s id and in Christian sin and the central Hindu concept of Dharma. it is universal.
27 people were gunned down today, most of them kindergartners. Our most vulnerable and most hopeful The best of us in so many ways. Those children were thinking of Hannukah and Christmas and probably a pageant and Christmas trees and baby Jesus. And toys.
And now they are gone in the most violent manner imaginable. With screams and sudden impact and blood strewn everywhere.
Evil is afoot in our world. This morning a man in China stabbed 22 children. I looked up the Seven Deadly Sins today and had to reflect. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride are everywhere it seems. The moral compass is badly askew.
There is a war on Faith. And yet faith is the only solace. Just as Evil exists so does Good. And yet Man in his pride and his hubris learns a little and assumes he knows all.
The universe before expands at the speed of light or faster and the complexity of existence is witnessed at the submolecular level and keeps on throwing curve balls, and as C.S. Lewis put it “Traditional values are to be ‘debunked’ and mankind to be cut out into some fresh shape at the will of some lucky few people in one lucky generation who learned how to do it.”
As we see an ever more complex and incredible universe emerge around us, we have forgotton that Isaiah wrote in 750 BC “for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. As high as the havens are