“A MESSAGE FOR ALL OF HUMANITY” [The Great Dictator (1940) – Charlie Chaplin]

Partial footage of a film from over 70 years ago, delivering a powerful speech that remains just as relevant today…

If only we could comprehend that the kingdom of heaven does indeed exist within us and if we could find a way to bring that into fruition. I won’t pretend to know if it is likely to ever be brought about en masse, especially when we see ourselves now, all these decades later, numbed and seeking escape from a human project that feels as though it’s beyond our capability to control or redirect.

I don’t know what the future will hold, though I suspect darker days lie ahead. Perhaps the important thing here is to keep alive and with us the spirit of our higher potential. Because we’re going to need its inspiration…

Very much wish I had a more hopeful and optimistic view to share with others. All I know to say is that the potential does exist, but we each have a choice in how it unfolds. It is not guaranteed to turn out right in the end. A better tomorrow does not come by way of dreams and wishes and fantasies, and choices made in the past do effect the choices available going forward. We do not have access to a blank slate where we might start anew; we have only what we’ve managed to construct thus far. It remains a question of where to go from here. To simply defeat those in power currently cannot guarantee improvement going forward, not when we possess no coherent vision for what would genuinely constitute a worthwhile improvement. To defeat the powers-that-be of today might only open up positions for new forms of corruption to flourish in the vacuum created. We do not know. That is not meant to be pessimistic, only realistic and cautious.

I think on these matters quite a lot and try to imagine how we might transcend this maze of our own making. Humans have the bad habit of jumping from one extreme to the next, lacking in long-term vision. This is part of the paradox of our being, and I’m not sure how we ever overcome it, assuming that is possible by this point. I do fear the new boss won’t be as different from the old boss as we like to hope.

This is a very tangled web we humans have managed to weave, and I wonder sometimes if deliverance and salvation can’t help but be individual in nature since we cannot seem to collectively agree on much and our hodge-podged strivings more often than not lead us deeper down into the labyrinth we wish to escape. So what, God, are we to do with this?

I feel this potential within us everyday and yet it remains a mystery as to how to unlock it. What will it take? Mere street protests on their own are not enough. Voting is not enough. Indeed, it appears a big part of the answer lies in reckoning with our own personal corruption and what our short-sighted ambitions are turning us into. We become slaves because we allow this to be so. So many would rather live on their knees than die on their feet, and I’m not entirely sure I can fault us for being inclined this way. For as much as humans have evolved, perhaps it’s not as much as we would like to believe…

Maybe the focus on the masses winds up being a waste of time and is energy better spent on looking inward and working within the immediate spheres of influence where we do have some measure of real power. And maybe that’s far more powerful than we tend to give credit, contrary to how high-minded we’re geared toward being in modern times.

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4 Responses to “A MESSAGE FOR ALL OF HUMANITY” [The Great Dictator (1940) – Charlie Chaplin]

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    I think a lot of it is bound up in our materialist greed — something most religions are pretty clear about it being a Bad Thing. I don’t know how we unwind our avarice. Maybe, as with any addict, it requires us truly hitting rock bottom before we realize the choices are: [1] Change. [2] Die.

    • Byenia says:

      Yeah, though I fear by the time enough humans do wake up, we’ll be well past the point of being able to reverse our direction, if we’re not already beyond that point now.

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