In the final analysis, the human spirit
knows that the foundation of dictatorship, as well as a democratic
government rests on its choice of consent, its willing cooperation, its
acquiescence and support.
Storm and Strife
Posted November 10, 2003 thepeoplesvoice.org
I had an epiphany last night.
What began as a nightmare transformed itself into a vision of hope. I dreamt
I was plodding my way through a horrific sandstorm. This ill wind was so
dense I was incapable of seeing my own hand before my face. Yet farther into
the distance I could discern an incessant incandescent glimmering of light;
a solitary beacon in this all-encompassing velvet darkness.
A rivalry existed between every breath and step I took both possessing the
inherent uncertainty of its predecessor and its sequel. Finally, after what
seemed an endless journey there before me at my feet, tempest tossed, was a
flame whose life force could not be denied.
I dropped to my knees, the blanket that served to give me shelter in this
perilous storm, now as I hovered above and slowly descended upon the flame
it availed itself as a tent. Using my hands and feet I anchored the blanket
into the sand. Shrouded below it, I and this magnificent flame, both of us
existing amidst nature's will and storm.
I placed my cheek against the sand next to the flame. There was no wick. I
could detect it making a sound that was a cross between a quickly burning
fuse and that of filling a car tire with air from a compressor hose. But
what was its source, what sustained this flame?
Slowly and deliberately I began to palm the sand away from its base making a
circle six inches in diameter. With this to my amazement the flame grew
But what was its source? What sustained this flame? My curiosity got the
best of me. In a short while I had dug myself almost below it. A flame with
nothing above and nothing below - an illumination in and of itself breathing
the air we shared.
Caught up in the moment, unable to explain or decipher its existence, unsure
of its beginning or end, a smirk washed across my lips as something ominous
occurred. I was uncertain if this brief state of mind was primal or
instinctual - but nevertheless, I had this overwhelming desire to snuff this
flame although knowing full well my participation in this endgame would only
result in my returning to total darkness.
Once that desire had passed wonder took its place. While I observed the
whole spectrum of light, all of human history, all the aspects of life's
dilemmas seemed encompassed within the flame. It was as if I had happened
upon a flame eternal, time immortal, and "the soul of the world",
not in a mythical or theological sense. But I felt, here before me was the
flame we philosophically speak about, what we call the human spirit. The
human spirit, the ultimate survivor of centuries of epic violence endowed
with self-determination, sovereignty, the virility and proclivity to be
enthralled, unfettered and emancipated from the paradigm of brute force,
perverted theocracy and blood lust.
The human spirit clawing its way up from the bowels of the dark ages,
gasping the breath of the renaissance, seeking the knowledge of the age of
enlightenment; the human spirit rebellious, seditious, willing to give its
life for liberation and deliverance from unfathomable odds. The human spirit
gives its allegiance, fidelity and veracity to the genesis of an idea
manifesting itself into the reality of freedom and liberty.
This eternal flame, the human spirit is the final arbiter of its fate; its
inextinguishable burning desire to seek a peaceful existence; "a vision
of the world with a commonality of purpose, a plan with a conviction for a
future. A world with a universal standard of human rights, freedom of
speech, religion, freedom from fear and want; a foundation built on right
not might knowing full well that the world cannot be right until all its
people live free from hunger, censorship and the dread of bombs."
The human spirit is scorching the globe, inciting a worldwide revolution
with conscience contemplation "as to the natural dignity of man, the
honor and happiness of its character. A contemplation of our inherent
natural rights, the right to existence, intellectual rights, rights of the
mind, the right to judge ones own cause, the right as an individual to
comfort and happiness and a common understanding that we do not possess the
right to be injurious of others."
The human spirit the world over is re-examining its social compact. As a
member of society we speak of our civil rights built upon the bedrock
foundation of our natural rights - we join together as a common stock to
provide security and protection.
The human spirit finds itself vulnerable - anew; awaiting the next cataclysm
at the hands of those that rule by the age old principles of fear and
terror. The human spirit recognizes its adversary, its nemesis, those who
rule with promises of order and law.
The Lords of Creation command the charge towards the latest crusade snorting
with missionary zeal with arrogance and a swagger that cannot be denied. The
human spirit has a familiarity with the ways of the world, with wars of
conquest, barbarism, genocide, the devaluation of human life, its own
mortality and the horrendous extent of human misery.
The human spirit understands that fear breeds repression and repression
breeds hate. And the around the world the human spirit recognizes the
corruption of their governments, the pillaging of their heritage and the
mocking travesty of its nation's ideals. There is a complete loss of trust
of government and government officials.
Those who govern speak empty noble words of liberation, freedom and
democracy. Yet the human spirit is unwavering in its determination to rid
itself from the chains of oppression. With courage, honor, sacrifice and the
nobility of purpose once again, the human spirit believes that "mankind
did not enter into society to become worse then he was before nor to have
fewer rights then he had before, but to have those rights better
The human spirit no longer agrees to be governed by force or fraud, nor by
its partnership in the twisted idol of church and state, nor will it agree
to turn its future, its life, liberty and pursuit of happiness over to just
any madman who affects to be master to both temporal and spiritual
realities, nor to one who speaks of ruling by divine right.
No, it is only willing to work towards the common interest of society and
the common right of man. The 21st century has become a portal to a house of
mirrors beginning in the western hemisphere of the Americas and refracting
around the globe.
The human spirit has no choice but to re-evaluate and reflect on what is
said compared to what is meant. In this carney atmosphere our heritage is no
longer a given, no longer gratis upon birth. Trust is no longer the whole
truth and nothing but the truth; no longer absolute, no longer indisputable
or undeniable or for that matter, demonstrable.
What we are left with is a truth that is inferred, and assumption that is
different shades of revealed truth. A cross my heart hope to die kind of
truth. Those who govern offer truth with a catch contingent on whatever is
expedient for the moment.
The human spirit has a memory that does not become lapsed due to injustices.
"It recognizes that government must have arisen either out of the
people or over them. It recognizes that governments which arise out of
society is in contradistinction to those which arose out of superstition and
conquest." If the human spirit were to examine the pathology of
democracy the facts would show that 'individuals themselves, each in his own
personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to
produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have
the right to arise, and the only principle on which they have the right to
If the human spirit were to define what is meant by a Constitution "it
is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we must fix also a standard
significance to it. A Constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact.
It is not an ideal, but a real existence, and whenever it cannot be produced
in visible form, there is none. A constitution is an antecedent to a
government, and a government is only a creature of a constitution. The
constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the
people constituting a government. It is the body of elements, to which you
can refer, and quote article by article, and which contains the principles
on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall
be organized, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, duration of
congresspersons; the powers which the executive part of the government shall
have; and define, everything that relates to the complete organization of a
civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it
shall be bound.
"A constitution, therefore, is to a government, what the laws made
afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of
judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts
in conformity to the laws made: and the government is like manner governed
by the Constitution. The authority of future congresses will be to legislate
according to the principles and forms prescribed in that constitution.
"Alterations, amendments, or additions that are necessary, the
Constitution will point out the mode by which such things shall be done, and
not leave it to the discretionary power of a future government. A government
on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society
are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it
would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and whenever such
a right is setup, it shows there is no Constitution."
The human spirit is as sure of this as it is tomorrow's sunrise and will
accept and expect nothing less in its compact to be governed. James Madison
said, "All governments rest on opinion."
The human spirit has learned well the lessons
of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
If society, if governments no longer represent the people, no longer
appreciates diversity; no longer has religious and ethnic tolerance, if
democracy no longer has constitutional limits, checks and balances
accountability, access to information, due process, the right to criticize,
tolerance of dissent, speech and association, if it does not abhor
censorship - then it is not what it says it is.
In the final analysis, the human spirit knows that the foundation of
dictatorship, as well as a democratic government rests on its choice of
consent, its willing cooperation, its acquiescence and support. But the true
test for the human spirit is whether the concept of freedom and liberty are
more powerful than originally thought.
'Tis the set of the soul that decides our goal, and not the storm and
 - FDR Speech: "Enduring Peace"
[2 – 6]. Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man"
******** ENDS *********
© Philip J. Rappa 2003
Bio: Philip J. Rappa is President of
Together Forever Changing, Inc.; a national non-profit organization whose
mission is to educate, stimulate, and invigorate the citizenry to the
dangers inherent in the US Patriot Acts. He is also an award-winning writer,
filmmaker, documentarian, lecturer, and humanitarian.