Rev Paul N. Papas II
April 1, 2018
Instead of learning from history it appears we are trying to repeat the old bad ways with a high tech twist.
Old ways are not necessarily bad ways while at the same token not all new ways are good.
I would think most people would not want live in a time before Due Process was considered a Right to be guaranteed.
Due process is required for committing someone to a psychiatric facility. In the old days people who were a problem to someone with power would just make arrangements to have a person committed. Once committed; the person was discredited, no longer believed and the family, business or political problem was resolved. Today proper notice must be given and hearings held.
Many of the Mental Health issues that were once ‘treated’ with extreme measures, such physical or chemical lobotomies can be addressed with the help of caring, knowledgeable people. PTSD, once called shell shock, fear, anxiety, and depression are among those which can be treated with the help of caring, knowledgeable people. Getting to the root of the problem is the beginning of true lasting healing.
Homeowners had much less protection in the old days than they do today before a foreclosure. There are many horror stories people loosing their homes for a variety of reasons including seizing the wrong property. Mortgage lenders are not generally known for their forgiveness.
The Ancient World Was Pro-Death
Down through history, many have believed that death could solve problems.
About the middle of the 6th century before Christ, a boy was born to a wealthy nobleman in India in the province of Bihar. His name is Mahavira. His parents, though well-to-do, belonged to a sect that looked upon birth as a curse, and upon suicide as a blessed privilege. When their son, Mahavira, reached his 31st year they ended their lives by voluntary starvation.
The young man, moved to the depths of his soul, renounced the world and its cruel ways, divested himself of all clothing, and wandered through western Bengal as an ascetic. From his life a new sect was born, the Jains, which had a considerable effect upon India, including Gandhi, the revered man we know who would starve himself to death on the basis of policy.
Some notable ancient Greeks also believed that death could solve some things. A Greek scholar, D.W. Palmer, compiled an impressive list of quotations from Greek lyric poetry, drama, philosophy, and rhetoric to establish the fact that in the Greek world there was a widespread belief that death is preferred for those whose life is a burden. By it one was delivered from the troubles of earthly existence; death brings rest from one’s labors.
Socrates expressed this on one occasion when he said: “And if there is no consciousness but it is like a sleep when the sleeper does not even see a dream, death would be a wonderful gain” (Socrates’ words in Plato, Ap. 40, C-D). Josephus, the historian, wrote about the oppressed of his time: “They had no opportunity to put up a strong fight, but reckoned it a gain if they died, a misfortune to live” (Josephus, Ant. 15. 158).
Our culture seems to be devolving back into a culture of death during my lifetime as witnessed by violent rhetoric, violent actions and lawlessness reported in the media.
The Easter faith is counter to such “pro-death” views. It opts for life. When death starts to look inviting, one must be reminded that one “is still here,” and to that fact one must bow.