After years of protest I got an iPhone last year, and of course became seduced by it. Now I have a British accented, personal computer assistant, Siri, who responds to my every wish (and even occasionally jokes with me). I love her, and have come to depend on her to take me wherever I want to go. Alas, Siri got me lost last week because I couldn’t adequately explain which of the five restaurants (all with the same name) I wanted to be guided to. I had to turn her off and found myself unable to decide which direction to go.
I finally got it sorted out, but it reminded me of one of the profound teachers in my life, a Hopi medicine man when he found out I was a psychiatrist said what he knew about how to keep the mind happy was having a good path and a direction to walk in life… otherwise you go mad. He also shared an ancient Hopi prophecy that predicted the coming of a time of destruction and madness. The Hopi predicted centuries ago that humankind would face destruction as the result of an explosion he called a “gourd of ashes”. Death, disease, and pestilence would spread over the earth, people would become sick, and in the absence of the old landmarks they would lose their way, wander aimlessly, lose their way, and go mad. The atomic bomb did indeed happen, and disease and pestilence certainly followed… but until now we haven’t all gone mad.
Alas, that time may have arrived; I just got lost on the road last week, but as a Nation I think we have finally lost our path and are going mad. Whatever the outcome of this Presidential election, it will leave behind a dark cloud of isolationism, fear, and self-protection; it will launch a new Alt-Right movement in this Country bringing together racists, separatists, and conspiracy theorists. This legacy threatens our historic path of equality, freedom, liberty and justice for all, and when we lose our path and purpose we will fulfill the ancient Hopi prophecy.
P.S. I am interested in your thoughts, and in the next several weeks am going to move from a Schlagbyte written response format, to a Schlagchat format in which we can talk face-to-face around this new digital fireplace. I’ll let you know when it begins.