Marie Antoinette’s Enlightenment: Let Them Eat Money

What is light? It’s a tricky thing to define, depending on it’s intended meaning. But darkness is usually defined as the absence of light.

Being a lone candle in the world is no easy task. In order to shine, you have to burn. For how long, though? As long as you burn, you shine. Which may be true in the actual and literal meaning of being a candle in the dark, but in the metaphorical sense, it is not true.

One may shine at one’s most brightest while one is the lone candle burning, but burning forever in order to shine, through that flame of misery, makes no sense, unless you have some saviour complex – and happy saviours saved more people than …wait, what about Jesus?

His misery and suffering was his persecution and ultimate self sacrifice. Other than that, he seems to be a serene, calm and cool dude. Is keeping your Zen, being immune to suffering?

Well, no. But it does enable you to keep your Zen in the face of it, and thus make it manageable, regardless of what it may be that causes it. Did Jesus always keep his Zen? Well, no.

He went apeshit in the temple and told the people off.

I am at the time of writing this at a Monastery in Southern France. I am sitting on a bench below a tree, below the stars, before a stupa seeing the Buddha sitting in the lit up darkness, asking questions and voicing my concerns. However telepathically, with a statue.

What are my concerns? My concerns are Earth. The people, animals and plants that thrive here, or at least, used to, before humanity saw in themselves a superiority and divine claim to rule all life. I am ashamed to be human at times.

In the background (judging from the direction of the sound, it’s really the foreground) La Bamba by Ritchie Valens is blasting out from some festive thing in the not-so-far distance. It was up until precisely 30 minutes ago, Saturday. And as Sunday clocks in, a party of humans are drunk on fermented grape and likely doing the social pastime ritual known as dancing.

Oblivious to the threat their own kind pose to their own kind. Not to mention all other kind in their shared world. On my way here, I met a young British couple. They belong to the first generation that has never seen a world without the internet. They said they had read that they will be the generation that will suffer the most from nostalgia from when things were simpler. Less connected and digital.

And continued to ask; what direction is technology going? The answer is obvious. The last 50 years has brought about quantum leaps in technology, just as the previous 50 prior to them did. A man told me, when I was 12 or 13 years old, in the mid to late the 1990’s, that the most supreme and state of the art commercial satellites available at the time, were in military use already in the 1950’s.

Given the nature of technological development, and the rate in which advances have been made, a five year old piece of consumer technology is ancient. So, how about state of the art high tech, over the span of 40 years?

If your high end laptop was made available for your grandkids in 40 years, and presented as the best thing out there, and the kids never knew of tech other than what grandpa had offered, would they even begin to fathom what kind of gadgets old gramps had in his man-cave?

What direction is technology taking us?

The way things are looking now, mankind is set to become an interplanetary species.

The question is whether we will survive to see that ever happen, at the rate we are destroying the planet. In a place like an Indian metropolis; unless drastic measures are taken, there will be no air to breathe in and around 30 years time, making it, for what ever time it takes for nature to reclaim it, an uninhabitable desert of death. Forget clean air, I’m talking about no air at all, Places like Delhi will have smog and pollution that will kill anything that breathes it. Think I’m exaggerating? The already polluted air in some Indian cities, is already giving people lung cancer just from walking outside. In 30 years we’re talking about literal, unbreathable, fume.

The 20/20 vision of our collective leadership seems to be blind. What’s the point of pointing out the Emperor being naked, if none can see it, anyway? Right? Or, perhaps.. hm?

So the most extreme cynics might go: “So what? Overpopulation is a problem, and India has it worst.” Well, fuck you buddy. India is home to wildlife, vegetable, herb and fruit crops that we cannot afford to lose. You think you are independent of the developing world, in the intricate web of interconnectedness that is the soon-to-be 2020’s?

20/20 is referred to as perfect vision. The vision presented by many politicians, also in India, is mind numbingly blind. I met a man in northern India, that mockingly asked me if I was an “eco warrior”.

Sir, if you are not, your countrymen are all dead in a few decades unless they live in an altitude where the smog and filth does not reach them, and the rest will become refugees in a world that is ever more reluctant on helping those less fortunate.

Solar energy is becoming ever more efficient, and ever more cheap. The power the fossil fuel industry wields in the world is absolutely staggering. The way one can hold entire nations hostage by limiting their supply of energy; energy that is available and abound in other forms, and that costs less to harness and to generate, and that can be stored in batteries, rather than barrels. How is battery technology coming along?

I have seen wristwatches which run on solar power, and that charge the battery from sunlight, making battery replacement essentially a non issue. Are people really trying to tell me, that solar- wind- and hydro-electrical power plants have not thought of developing batteries for storing and preserving the energy that is generated and then lost or not used?

I am no expert on the field, much less an engineer, so I might have planted both my feet deep into my own mouth here, but, really? Are we going to hand over the life expectancy of Planet Earth to people who pump out her blood to burn it and suffocate her, and by that kill all her children? …for money?

If Shiva and Jesus buddied up and came back, who would Jesus go off on a Rant of Holy Wrath against, and go “The fucker is yours, Shiva” when he’s done with them?

Would The Temple that made his father’s purity into a house of commerce still be intact, after The Destroyer went all Hanuman on it? I dont know. But I kind of want Shiva and Jesus to buddy up to save us. Then we can bring Marie Antoinette back and Let Them Eat Money!

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