The serenity and silence of a landscape free of all but a tiny tribe of select people. Free, too, of the gossip and cluttered, useless thoughts that seem to sustain human interactions. This quiet, calm, soothing, absolutely tranquil place probably exists only in my mind. But there was a time, when the population of the planet was an infinitesimal fraction of what it is today. When peace prevailed. Human voices were soft, woven into a tapestry of sound that clothed the creatures that roamed Earth with a level of comfort that has long since been lost. Violence between predator and prey interrupted the harmony of life in those times, but that regular brutality provided a natural pause between periods of acute satisfaction—just as death concluded life in an eternal cycle that unendingly refreshed the meaning of experience. Noise has since replaced sound. Growling, hissing masses of selfish, demanding people competing for limited space have replaced little bands of nomadic friends who seek to do no more than put distance between themselves and chaotic madness. Worsening friction has set fire to the edges of what we generously call civilization. Heat, in the form of glowing veins of unquenchable embers beneath our feet, has begun to move from the edges to the center. Fables tell us the phoenix eventually will rise from the ashes, renewing all we have carelessly burned. But the lessons of fables are for naught in the absence of morality.


Without practical execution, philosophy is wasted. But we take our philosophies too seriously, assuming the sudden emergence from our brains of meaningful revelations is relevant and educational. Time that perhaps should be spent questioning our revelations often is instead spent justifying their legitimacy.


If I had absolute control over the world, I would be eating tacos right now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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