Skookum Jack wrote:
They may very well exist in the spiritual realm (if there is one) but they truly do exist on this plane of reality. Entities such as corporations, nations, churches, ad infinitum; (...)
Ah ok, I had not realised you meant it like that!
Skookum Jack wrote:
These are the mechanizations of Melkor?
Why yes, you could see it like that. At least partially, and also partially because of the freedom people have to act deviating from the will of the Valar (because they're free they're also free to behave like idiots).
Though, personally, I would not bother myself to refer to it like that unless in the context of "primordial cause" or something like that.
I certainly don't see it as some Evil Minions of Morgoth actively playing a game of Evil Chess with the world. But thats just my opinion.
But yes, it's rather blindingly obvious that group entities seem to have a will of their own and, especially in the US, have way too much power. It's been one of my main concerns for a long time.
Skookum Jack wrote:I'm trying to align my thinking with your worldview. It's a bit of shift.
I don't think it's all that different. It is of little significance whether you label something "Morgoth" or "Demiurge".
What's more interesting is "what are you going to do about it?"
And also keep in mind that we don't necessarily think the same, including about this subject.
Skookum Jack wrote:
Perhaps I have been lost in despair. My attempts to contact the spiritual realm have always fallen flat. Jesus never answered. No message was delivered. Buddhism seems no better than resignation to hopelessness, (...)
I've neither heard a "voice from the sky" in answers to my prayers (back when I identified more like Catholic).
But I've most certainly noticed something in the imaginal realm, which I think is where it can be found indeed.
Just to make sure: whatever I found there didn't hand me a readymade solution or absolute moral advise. I don't think it works like that, at least not very often.
It might give you something else, maybe much more worthwhile: a sense of connection to something greater.
Skookum Jack wrote:Buddhism seems no better than resignation to hopelessnes, which might be the best answer of all.
I've looked into Buddhism as well, sometime before I found this. It was very helpful to learn to meditate.
But that that "resignation to hopelessness" that is central to it feels completely alien to me. It supposedly works for some, but I'm different.
Skookum Jack wrote:Things are bad and going to get worse. That's fact.
This is the only thing that I really disagree with. I'm not denying any of the problematic issues you mention but you do seem rather mired down by them.
For one thing: "things are going to get worse" is not
a fact - it's a prediction. You might feel pretty certain about it; but it's not a "fact" because the future hasn't happened yet.
I think that this is a pitfall to watch out for because despair is not a very helpful state to be in (at least, I would think so).
Look, I'm not advocating a kind of stick-your-head-in-the-sand happy-puppy kind of blissful ignorance of the very significant problems we have. But still I think practically no-one is aware how great the influence of the media actually is on how the situation is perceived and thus how they feel about it.
It's especially worrying that this sets up a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy feedback loop: the more glum people feel, the less they're prone to change things (despair has foremost a paralysing effect) and the more likely it is that their fears will be realised.
There's even a feedback mechanism that influences your mood according to the physical expression on your face: there's a Chinese proverb that says "if you wan to be happy, hold a pencil between your lips. If you want to be angry, hold it between your teeth."
Actually, if I could point to one overarching theme in the Lord of the Rings, it is surely this: that you must never give up hope, and that despair is the enemy's greatest weapon.