By Christine Mason
Consider all of human history. Where does the darkness today fit? How dark are our days? We are in the midst of a period of seemingly unending violence, where for some inhabiting this planet with us, rationale thinking seems to have vanished. This, I believe, has serious implications for education. However, back to our topic at hand. For comparison’s sake, let’s turn to the 12th Century, a time in England when King John was facing his own battles:
“Constance: This day, all things begun come to ill end,
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change…
King Phillip (of France): Thy rage sham burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire:
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.”
King John, Act III, Scene 1, the French King’s Pavillion. In this Shakespearan tragedy (written in the 15th Century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth), Constance, mother of Arthur, is seeking help from King Phillip to save the life of Arthur. Arthur, however, dies accidentally in the midst of everything and Constance is grieving. Yet, in her audience with King Phillip, he seems disinclined to have any empathy or sympathy. Admittedly, I have chosen to quote from two of the more minor characters; however, the theme of hopelessness prevails throughout the play. Without making this a blog post all about King John, let me quote from one learning guide.
” King Philip of France is a worthy opponent for King John—but that doesn’t mean that he’s an especially interesting or attractive figure. Mainly, he seems a good match for King John in his negative qualities: both men are shifty, self-interested, and prone to picking fights, and both suffer from short attention spans…. King John is all about a lousy monarch who’s willing to do just about anything (like murder his nephew and wage war) to maintain control of the crown.” ( I was able to find a fairly complete analysis online at Shmoop.com.)
So, to my point. People around the world seem to be in a perpetual state of grief and shock. Killings, war, hatred, mourning. Almost like a Shakespearean tragedy. One tragedy after another. It is a difficult time with non-stop murders, each more horrific than the last. Surely, new courses of action are needed. However, is it all doomsday and is our only recourse a white knight in shining armor? Is that a solution (is the white knight ever a solution?) or rather a fantasy?
From my perspective, I always remember the words of my yoga teacher, Yogi Bhajan, who said that today’s 21st Century problems will not be solved by politics and government, but rather by hearts and souls. . . that it will be our individual and collective consciousness and will that brings about healing, resolution and peace.