Kindness and Civil War: A Manifesto of Sorts
Many know my grandfather had the heart of a lion.
(Many do not know, however, that he also had a lifetime ban from the local zoo.) (2022)
Mixed Media on Paper
29.7 x 29.7 cm
I, Gabriel, am publicly calling for a full out conspiracy against the (bankrupt) states of the world. This must be a popular conspiracy, of maybe billions of fixed souls.
We have reached a time in human history where every person will one day need to choose between becoming a future player, or a future game figure. Kindness and Civil War is every person’s way to opt out of both.
Unfortunately for many, one of the keys to success in this conspiracy I am calling for is to be found in the social experience of dementia as it can be seen in cases of Alzheimer‘s disease. While this disease and related forms of disability are very strange, anxiety provoking and dreadful to most people, they seem to have also become relatively easy and convenient to put out of ones mind. While you might not yet be able to understand why, overcoming this state of self-distraction and denial is the one of the greatest, most urgent challenges of our age.
For those under 70 or so, this reality, its images and fears are even easier to avoid due to the fact that so very few under 70 will become disabled in such a way. In addition, the tendency for most persons to socialize with those near their own age makes it so they will have few if any friends likely to be disabled in this way. The exceptions to this may involve elderly family members but, if you are under say 40, this is often more of a situation for the children of those family members (your parents’ generation) and less for you (their less immediate relatives). Whatever the case, dealing with these kinds of disability in yourself or others is perhaps the most avoided and avoidable situation in a contemporary life. In the end, we tell ourselves, it is really not worth worrying about, especially because there is no cure, and no way to change the brain, heart and body to avoid it.
But consider this. Have you ever thought of how convenient this situation is, how such a common tragedy happening to so many individuals, friends and family members remains so well ignored by so many supposedly there to protect and defend us? Why is this? Have you ever considered there might be something strange going on, something bigger going on that makes these persons not really try to deal with it, to help us become more immune to the ravages of such disabilities? Have you ever considered there might be something hidden, having to do with how we are discouraged from studying and changing brains, hearts, and bodies in ways that may make a cure or coping more likely? What could be the possible reasons why those whom could do relatively nothing, or allow so little to be done? Could there be some set of vested interests that they are protecting, maybe even without completely knowing what all of these interests might be?
Oddly enough, while so many of us over the course of our lives will direct our energies to so many causes in the name of history, posterity, the nation, its children, and even overall public health, very few of us, unless forced to as a member of the healthcare profession, will ever positively affect those suffering from such disabilities or even work to lessen our own future suffering. Even those who link liberation, health and welfare to the virtues of selfishness or self-interest have no interest in working to lessen their own direct or indirect suffering. In fact, these persons may be the least likely to do so. Curious.
This being the situation, one might say that Alzheimer’s and related disabilities are being accepted by very many as some sort of unavoidable, end-of-life punishment that only Scrooge-like selfishness and money grubbing will be able to save us from, using money to live out our last years beyond the power of others. Ironically, though, this behavior seems only to expedite and more likely assure the very demise such persons are so confident they are avoiding.
Out of this comes the story of Masks in the Sun, and the need to take part in one of the related as if reality exercise called Kindness and Civil War.
Can films combined with as if reality exercises, things that are supposed to be entertainment, enhance and improve your destiny and that of others, even decades from now?
You have only time to spend, a little reading to do and share, a little mystery to encounter, but so much to gain in answering this question. Masks in the Sun and Kindness and Civil War are neither exercises in reality nor fantasy. They involve an alternate reality of sufferers, dreamers, and players that make us stronger, more just and loving, and more prepared to encounter the meaning of life itself. If you think of wild, entertaining, all engrossing and fantastical experience when you hear the term “delirious,” and if you have come to feel distraction is an acceptable, manageable norm, you especially need to experience Masks in the Sun and play through Kindness and Civil War.
St. Gabriel, Autonomous Province of Michigan