The Ballot or the Bullet

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Certain moments in history are so profoundly prophetic in nature that one struggles to refute the intervention of the divine. Such moments — like MLK Jr’s last speech, given only one day before his assassination — are almost undeniable evidence that God does his work through certain individuals, sent by Him to teach us and correct the course of humanity. Such individuals are heroes of faith, putting aside selfish desires and conquering the natural human tendencies toward fear and satisfaction of base urges. These figures dominate religious literature: see Moses and Jesus Christ for example.

“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”

~ Lao Tzu

The modern individual does not know himself: he is completely unaware of the depth and intricacies of his being. With his basic needs for survival met, the meaning of his life is not clear. He voluntarily chooses for himself whether he wishes to pick up his cross, to live each moment with meaning and to the best of his abilities, or to let go of his reason and passions, the rudder and sails which guide his soul, and allow himself to be pulled wherever the tide pleases. Through intense meditation, purposeful living and radical humility, we can connect with ourselves and the divine.

AT

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