more lifting of veils

Lifting the veil conjures up images of a radiant bride or, just as easily, of a veil of secrecy. The secrecy is always there for good reason – depending on your point of view.

Some of the shameful aspects of society are being revealed here in Australia by virtue of Royal Commissions. The Churches reveal a level of paedophilia which is, no doubt, present in Hollywood as equally – but who really knows – as in political life. Here, “a Royal Commission is the highest form of inquiry on matters of public importance.” It seems to work. It’s thorough, asks awkward questions which require truthful answers. Our banking sector is now under the spotlight, much scuffling of feet and averted gazes and more to come…. but as the ‘Big 4 Banks’ have just raised interest rates, a ‘heartfelt’ change in behaviour based on ethics is remote. And the Aged Care sector is about to have a similar scrutiny. The Disability sector won’t be added to the terms of inquiry at present. Having worked in that sector I know intimately the flaws of the system.

The greatest flaw is to be so concerned with cutting costs, in the governmental system of Group Homes and the added necessity of making a profit in the private sector, that staffing is cut to the bone by which I mean that ‘one’ is the lowest limit in staffing and therefore it’s used with all the complications and cutting corners that this approach manifests.

I recognise that I’m fortunate to live in society which actually has a health system which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and which has a social system which sees Disability and Aged Care as something that affects all of us and thus needs governmental resources. A society which has enough rule of law to allow for Royal Commissions which expose corruption.

Quite what it all means in terms of changing the definition of what is acceptable and what is not is not clear.

We still live in a society here which has refugees languishing for years on Manus Island in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ process which has no resolution in sight. It’s the same with the homeless and those close to it. In an oddly related way we now have strawberries laced with needles turning up in shops – what a vile terrorist type of mentality would dream up such wickedness.

It’s the level of evil behaviour being exposed everywhere which makes me pause and reflect that there really is an unavoidable dichotomy, a splitting in two, an ‘either this or that’ choice in life in which the political decision of ‘this and that’ is a pale shadow.

The Golden Rule – ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ coupled with ‘Do unto others as you’d have done to yourself’ IS the revolutionary choice when the other way of life is summed up in ‘What’s in it for me?’ It’s one approach or the other – ‘yer gotta serve somebody.’

Hmm …. Fine and plausible to be able to make that choice in personal life but what about the real world. That’s the world of corporate capitalism where ethics aren’t written into the company policy unless advertising spin is needed. It’s given us the Military –Industrial complex for which War is essential, the same complex that President Eisenhower warned about in 1961.

What does it profit a man that he win the world but lose his soul? I have a soul, it’s not belief, it’s knowledge. I have to add that it doesn’t make me knowledgeable about anything else but it does add weight to that sense many know, that ‘this is not all there is – there’s more to life than meets the eye.’

While people are people, able to laugh, cry and experience many of the same trials and tribulations, the culture and religion point to sharp differences through which conflict becomes unavoidable.

I’m aware of the Balfour Declaration, written by Britain in 1917 and which paved the way for the later establishment of the State of Israel. It’s puzzled me, off and on, as to how it is possible that this occurred or, more to the point, was accepted. The reason for that puzzlement being an understanding that the Jews, having broken a covenant with God and after the destruction of the temple, were dispersed to other parts of the world, there to live peacefully until God restored Israel. If Judaism is a religion then it runs contrary to that faith to bypass God’s command and take by force the land of Palestine.

It puzzled me until I educated myself – not that it took much research – and recognised that Zionism is a political force and not a religious force. It explains why Israel is not called Israel by many but is called The Zionist State of Israel. Profound difference in its inception and makes a mockery of deep faith or ethical behaviour.

Just as there are more varieties of Christianity than you can poke a stick at so the same holds true for Judaism and it was a delight and an education to hear Rabbi Dovid Weiss make clear the religious position regarding the Zionist State of Israel.

I’m sure it’s not the only religious position but it is another lifting of a veil.

That’s the thorny issue with being ‘The Chosen People.’ It’s either understood as ‘I’m special (for no obvious reason to the rest of humanity) and I can do as I like because I’m born to rule’ or – the more sane understanding – ‘What a responsibility to be Chosen. That responsibility requires that I’m to be an example, an ethical example to the rest of humanity.’

Can’t do that with deceit as a tool.