Lunch with Hannah
“I feel it comin’ back again; like a rolling thunder chasin’ the wind; forces pullin’ from the center of the earth again; I can feel it,” sang Live hauntingly.
The teacher stared at two places at once, out the window, and into the future, and slowly shook his head. He recalled sitting on the edge of the ocean watching waves crash against the rocky beach. One wave looked so much like the next. So much like history. This has all happened before. Soon it would be the final wave.
He sat by himself at a table for two. Time to fill the empty chair. Suddenly she was there.
“So good to see you, Hannah,” the teacher greeted with his eyes lowered out of respect. He moved the chair out, seated her and made her comfortable, nodding to the waitress to bring Hannah’s favorite. It was the same as his.
“What are you seeing?” she asked halfway through her glass. She already knew the answer, but she enjoyed drawing him out.
“Lying,” he answered bluntly. “But, worse than lying. The sheep don’t care. It simply doesn’t matter to them.”
Hannah took another sip. “You know we’re not coming from the same place, but I can help you. It’s hard for you to conceive of this, so pay attention. What I saw was that people adhered to a stronger power than truth.”
She saw the teacher frown and push his chair back slightly. She knew why he was disagreeing. But she also knew he would listen. She was telling him something he needed to learn.
“Not for you, or others of your ilk, mind you. Still, there was a stronger power for those I studied. It was the power of organization. The populace deeply yearned to belong to an organization. Misguided perhaps, but they would do anything to have a place and purpose within the organization.”
“I’m looking at a guy who initially ran on the platform of being a community organizer.”
“Exactly,” Hannah emphasized. “I saw the same in my day. Here is the underlying principle. The sheep in the organization believe that ‘organized’ mankind is omnipotent. Literally. They desperately want to be part of that. They want a place and purpose within an omnipotent organization.”
“How absurd,” the teacher replied. “The organization fails all the time. How can it be omnipotent?”
“You miss the point,” Hannah lectured. “Let me explain. In my day, the propaganda machine was an amazing part of the organization. However, everyone knew the propaganda was fictitious. Of course it was supported by ‘science.’ You know, ‘science proved’ racial superiority and inferiority. Are you seeing any of that?”
“Indeed. ‘Science’ proves global warming,” he snorted, then paused. “And the organization believes this as ‘fact.’”
Hannah nodded. “Back to my point. The members of the organization believe the organization to be omnipotent. So much so, in fact, that failures are irrelevant. Given enough time all will be accomplished. Any resistance or opposition or temporary failure is merely a bump in the road. In the end, the global and total success of the organization is inevitable.”
“That’s why,” she continued, “lying is not an issue for them as it would be for you. You see, lying proves the superiority of the organization. They can lie and it’s irrelevant. In fact, the bigger the lie, the more it proves their power to speak it and not pay the price for it. It proves their superiority. They all know it’s a lie. They are simply pushing the boundaries of how much they can get away with. Like I said, the bigger the lie, the more they prove their power and the more the members of the organization love it.”
‘Rule by Fiat’
“What else are you seeing?”
“Rule by fiat,” the teacher snorted again in disgust. “In my lifetime I have not seen the likes of it. A law is passed, albeit by backroom deals and completely partisan, but still passed. Then, after it is law, it is simply changed at will. Some parts are enforced, others aren’t. The determining factor isn’t ‘law,’ it’s political expediency.”
“Of course,” Hannah said. “I saw the same. The decades leading up to my time were the decades of imperialism. Foreign lands were claimed and simply ruled by fiat. Those put in charge of governance had never governed anything. They simply declared a law and then observed how it worked. Whatever changes they deemed necessary they made. There was no stability, they didn’t know what they were doing. It led to a world-wide disaster.”
“I predicted the greatest challenge for your generation would be the confrontation of evil. Was I right?”
“You were both right and wrong. It is our greatest challenge. However, no one has taken it up. This is not yet the time. The current leader of the organization is but a numbskull. We have lost entirely the battle for truth, however. The sheep are completely blind. The next leader will take full advantage.”
“And you?” Hannah asked.
“I still side with true omnipotence. For me it’s more about search and rescue than change.”
They finished their glasses in silence. Hannah vanished.
“Goodbye, Mrs. Arendt,” he nodded graciously to the empty space.
Fleetwood Mac, in a deceptive lilt, sang, “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies; tell me tell me lies.”
Bob Branden is the host of the podcast twomenandabible.podomatic.com/
Write a column!
What’s on your mind? Share your insights with the rest of the community. What’s going well, not so well? Send your submission to ValleyVoices@vaildaily.com.