This month celebrates the triumph of what is most ignoble in the human spirit, the desire and capacity to shove an opinion down somebody’s throat. Special recognition is given to the puppeteers whose armies of billions of zealots are so ready to hand.
One glance at social media in these physically disconnected times suggests that there are zealots everywhere, more than you can defeat in battle or even point a stick at. What they all seem to have in common, these stalwarts of the perennial conflict with imperfection, is the knowledge that something true is threatened with extinction.
The allure of totalitarianism is not particularly the opportunity to perfect others, but the absolute imperative to perpetuate the conditions for an identity, as a white supremacist, a queer person, a person of colour, a nationalist humiliated by history, the list goes on, or simply anyone otherwise perfect on the verge of being ignored. “Freedom!” the anti-lockdown protesters spit. I suspect they mean freedom from you.
In the beginning was time. First they diseased the future, and then they erased the past. Live in the now, they said. To fuse future and past into a present is the finitive compulsion of the zealot, but what happens to a past with no future is a black hole which haunts him. Time itself is something true threatened with extinction, like a chook running around without its head. The roots of the Tree of Life are dangling in mid-air.
Trees grow from the top, where the chloroplasts are. Is the Galactic Centre the crown of our tree or its roots wrapped around a spiritual black hole, winter in the North, summer in the South? Centres are full of zealots, and so passe.
Poet, Saint and Fool are far behind, propped in the lowest sephirot of the Tree of Man, somewhere back there among the ragged hills of youth and romance, not visible from the artificial park whose laps we avatars continue to call a journey, though it have no beginning and no end. Zealots, the shriek of the cockatoos means only, you’re facing the wrong direction. There has ever been a ready antidote to ideology.