Karma. “What goes around comes around” (stated in many different ways by many different civilizations and religions) is a universally held belief; there’s a connection between the past, present, and future—and the inevitable workings of justice.
An individual might, upon death, scoot past injudicious acts without reprisals, (from an earthly perspective, anyway), but as part of a collective (a nation, for example), multiple lifespans might replicate the deeds and corroborate the charges due (karma)—and apply the lot to the nation as a whole. The universe is obligated to respond. Citizens living under a government believed by many to have sown the seeds of corruption far too long, might feel a silent sort of stalking, a vague sense of dread hovering over the country like an ominous cloud (the oblivious can only blunt some of these feelings).
The past can’t be undone, but knowing what's been done already can be a sign of what’s to come. Bringing the past forward allows for a free ascent; it bears witness to the present. With the predictability of an unaltered, limitless pattern, the historical present speaks to the future. That’s where “rediscovering history” (Paha Sapa Press’s motto) becomes an all-important mission. Getting the facts straight about the past can correct the course of the future; adjust the inception point to alter its aim. It is written:
One must start with the right premise or miss the truth by a thousand suns.
In some communities, thought has been given to relative time; how projections affect the present day. Might the future, as a parallel mirror to the ascension of a more enlightened past, be capable of descending into now? The conjunction of different times could create something entirely new; draw a different picture to clear the way for a better day. By extension too, with time stretched out both ways, the horizon could brighten and the past, not so dark, would be noted for what's worthy of keeping and what's best to discard. Credit the past for illuminating both.
Not long after America declared its nationhood and independence from foreign control, like a living contagion, an invasive cancer that has yet to be excised, it privately reproduced more of its distressing self. America didn’t shed the oppressive attitude that once ruled it—the one it so righteously fled. Instead, the germ of British imperialism wormed its way inside the mind of the newly minted nation. Brash, pubescent America had succeeded in winning its freedom from overt control, but the covert command, like a ghost captain, still stirs the ship.
Almost from the beginning, America adopted the imperialist swagger of the British. This confidence, fueled by newly formed factories of military arms, produced a behavior that still prevails today. Patterns developed, habituated and became part of the national identity. Lies, so blatantly obvious, coming from the highest ranks of government mouths, seem more surreal than anything else. Certainly everyone sees the king has no clothes. But, do his suitors? It may be that things have digressed so far that good-hearts can't swallow the truth without choking.
Chapter 32, in the book, Chinese Proverbs: Illustrated—annotated too! contains the proverb,
Men in the game are blind to what observers see clearly
Corrupted and obsessed, clinging to an attitude that’s been discredited before our nation even birthed itself, the same selfish, condescending mentality gives the reins (unwittingly?) to the invisible puppeteer who watches with glee the ensuing chaotic regional wars.
America is in the game. But, the clever manipulators will have a price to pay. Revealed as foolish and blind, they'll come to realize what the people already know: The game is up. Let the blinders come off for good.