Story 6 - Shared Roses.
"The king never found the answer to his puzzle. He died shortly thereafter by the sword of an assassin. The question, thus, remains still to be answered. The king took the puzzle with him to his grave. But shall the same be said of us?
"Perhaps it was too late to write the new songs after the perversion had gone too deep. Perhaps those new songs should have been written at the moment of victory that gave the kingdom its freedom. The new songs, then, should have raised the curtains still higher to inspire bonds of love in which people reach out to enrich one another's life. Maybe there comes a point when it is too late to compose those songs and to sing them. Maybe it is too late for us too, to do the same again today. Still, we must not give up hope. There always remains some hope, because the principles for human freedom and for a bright new world are forever the same. They are as valid today as they have always been."
At this point it was Sylvia who had tears in her eyes. "Yes, we can do this," she said.
"I feel something incredibly good is unfolding here," I said to her. "I also feel that its unfolding is in danger."
She didn't reply. Moments later she nodded.
I told her another story after this, to add a sense of urgency.
I told her the story of a king whose people had become enslaved in another kingdom. They became enslaved in the very kingdom in which they had found refuge in earlier times. As slaves, they were badly treated, especially so in later years. Because of this anguish, their own king found a way to free the people. By his efforts and leadership a great exodus was allowed. But as the people left the land of their enslavers, on the way out, they liberally looted their previous host to the point that they now possessed great properties in gold and jewels. As one might expect, they became corrupted by their golden properties. They created idols of gold. And as the idols grew their humanity became lost. They became worse than their masters had been. As a consequence, the king who had rescued them led them deep into a dessert and kept them there for thirty years until the older people had all died whose property ideology had prevented them from forming a viable new nation. Only after the purge was finally complete, were the people allowed to go on and become a nation.
"That's the story of the Israelis," Sylvia replied.
"If you refer to the State of Israel, the answer is no," I countered her. "If the state of Israel continues to pursue the path it has chosen, which is indeed worse than that of their former oppressors, the state of Israel will destroy itself and its people with it. But this is not what my story is about. My story is that of the Israelite's exit from Egypt in ancient times. The king is Moses. According to Scriptures, Moses kept the Israelites in a dessert for thirty years for the reason that the story explained. Apparently the people had corrupted themselves too deeply for any practical redemption to be possible."
Sylvia nodded her head. "That's the challenge we face today, isn't it?" she asked. "We must ask ourselves if we are not already beyond the point of no return
in our nuclear armed world, for any practical redemption to happen. What do you think, Pete? Has today's society already regressed beyond the point of any hope of becoming human again?"
I suggested that this question needs to be asked again and again. I suggested however, that we have tools today that weren't developed in Moses' times. "We have the scientific intellectual tradition of 2,500 years of humanist development to support us, with principles established that Moses couldn't have dreamed of. By utilizing the best of this tradition society becomes redeemable."
"Still, we can't say that there isn't a threshold of no return," Sylvia replied. "We could have an accidentally unfolding nuclear war tomorrow, and that would be the end of us
all. We are right to call this the Cold War, because have become stone cold