Hope


hope The phenomenon of Hope in humanity is enduring and amazing.

Intrinsic to the mind of humanity - human consciousness - is the phenomenon
of hope. Through the ages the human mind has craved hope, acted on hope, suffered to hope, and striven to hope.  In the context of greater history, hope is something that has a feature which no-one can define, and which contains a secret of its own.

In Western cultures for example, many of the genre of movies have as a central theme the notion of hope - of "going home". But what is this home that is referred to, how was it misbegotten, and what exactly is it that is hoped to return to?

As well, humanity remains hopeful that there will be a second coming of the "Christ", or "Messiah". But what exactly is the Christ, and why is this knowledge lost? And why  is there a correspondence
in the human mind to both believe and hope for the return? What exactly is the return and  what exactly is humanity hoping will occur if the return happens? So what is the source of this desire
we call hope?

Hope seems to be an expression of desire and/or expectation. In some things, the object of hope
is evident - such as hoping for a car, or a job, or what have you. But these trivial desires are not
the type of hope that is in force when a great portion of humanity expresses hope as a craving for something that is lost or something they never had.

There seems to be a much deeper type of hope, a craving in fact for something that is indefinable, yet  which is widespread and evidenced in such things as religions, politics, for a better life, and so on. But what exactly is the object of this craving? In many first world countries people have all their legitimate and other material needs met, yet they hunger and crave for something else, something more of a spiritual nature.

When there is a spiritual hunger, that is sometimes manifest as a material hunger - and people who appear to hope for the tangibles of their society are often just expressing a spiritual need that the fulfillment for cannot be seen, found, or articulated. And so, sometimes people mistakenly seek to satisfy this spiritual hunger with money, materialism, alcohol, drugs, religions, or other expressions
of the craving that cannot be met, and hence cannot be satisfied.

But people continue to seek and to hope for some type of solution, some type of relief from some unnamed and unseen and unobservable phenomena or something that cannot be pinned down.
And, this craving has been present in all the religious texts, all the literature, all the systematic belief systems and especially in all the combined trends of these within and across cultures since humanity had the ability to communicate this need.

The Literary critic Northrop Frye wrote two remarkable works on the same theme - "The Great Code", which was an academic treatment, and "Words With Power", for a more general audience. In these works he compared the Bible and Literature, and examined the Bible as Literature itself in order to discover whether there were similarities in purpose. His concluding paragraph in Words With Power alludes to the argument and the recognition that something has indeed been lost - and there is a
hope that it may be given humanity again:

When we become intolerably oppressed by the mystery of human existence
and by what seems the utter impotence of God to do or even care anything
about human suffering, we enter the stage of Eliots' "Word in the desert", and
hear all the rhetoric of ideologues, expurgating, revising, setting straight,
rationalizing, proclaiming the time of the renovation.

 

After that, perhaps, the terrifying and welcome voice may begin, annihilating
everything we thought we knew, and restoring everything we never have lost.


Certainly there is a consensus that something has been lost and/or seeks to be recovered. Frye's work resonated with people around the world, it was translated into 22 languages. So what is
intrinsic to the spiritual realm that might have got lost and which humanity hopes for and seeks?

For example, we see that Bibles seek to guide and instruct humanity - to present behavioral and moral codes to provide a standard of life and give some structure to live by. But that begs the
question as to what went wrong that Bibles needed to be written at all. It assumes some important knowledge was lost to humanity - or some other guiding force or principles were absent.


Frye did not provide the answer, though he did understand the question - "What is wrong?" and sought the answer in his lifelong work personally, and attempted to give some clue as to the nature
of the craving, though he was unable to provide the answer. The book Words With Power was the
last of his life and career, a lifelong hope one might assume. 

If there is a great voice, what might that be? Part of the secret is that the voice, while welcome, will not be terrifying, and nor will it annihilate anything. That is the great part of the secret that has been discovered - what truly will happen.

This knowledge was once known to humanity - a profound question is to ask how a voice of knowledge could be terrible, and concomitantly - how hope itself could become terrible? The
simple answer is that humanity fears that hope is baseless - but what is terrible is that the very
mind that creates hope does not realize that the very fact of creating hope indicates that hope can indeed be realized, or rather, the object of hope in the truest sense of that which created "original hope" is a product of the human mind and condition - and for that precise reason is attainable. 

The reason for this is that nature is neither foolish, arrogant,  nor capricious - nature's design in hope is to succor the need of humanity - one of nature's own creations.





More to come.
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