Updated: Sep 11, 2022
La Tempesta by Giorgione (ca. 1500)
I am almost done re-reading a truly great novel called A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin in which the painting above plays a pivotal role. The term "The Great War" is generally understood to refer to World War 1, and in fact the main character of the novel is embroiled in the consequences of World War 1 for most of the novel. But to me the other perhaps equally valid interpretation of the term "The Great War" refers to the lifelong battle each one of us faces to keep the human spirit alive.
Nature is a dynamic force which constantly challenges us to adapt to its changing faces, and in doing so, strengthens us. I am not above the laws of God or nature, and I believe that much of the world's unhappiness is based on the disappointment of people who are angry that they can't make nature conform to their needs, wants and desires instead of rising to meet the challenges nature presents us with at every turn. This accounts for the proliferation of interest in virtual reality and is a classic example of the dilemma people face when they think they are above the laws of nature.
Virtual reality is clever but without a soul. The growing acceptance of the dominance of computer/internet-based life experiences over natural and ethically based life experiences is the reason humans seem to be giving up. The loss of our humanity is in essence the great war we are faced with now.
There was a time before computers and the internet when we were able to rally together for a common cause. Now the common causes based on our shared reality have been replaced by competing views of reality based on lies generated by narcissistic self-interest. The coming generations deserve better but unfortunately, they are being programmed to accept the falsehoods at ever younger ages and consider the rest of us who know what is getting lost, to be out of touch.