I saw the movie Pi this week. It is an incredibly moving, and disturbing, movie. It was filmed in black and white – inÂ grainy, high contrast. They used obsolete PCs, and they glued old circuit boards together and called it a mainframe. It was seriously low budget. It was about good and evil, obsession and migraines, patternsÂ and the Universe.
It was great – especially if you are like me and have a background in science.
Patterns and the Universe. Have you noticed them? There is a rhythm, a beat, to the Universe. Sometimes it pulses quietly. Other times it pounds. And, when it’s syncopated and unpredictable, it’s only because we can’t hear the underlying tempo. Â
It will never cease to amaze me.
Just look at History. It always seems to follow a pattern. And, the people around us never seem to see themselves doing that. Â
Take Schicklgruber, for instance. In fact, let’s call it the Schicklgruber Pattern.Â (It has a certain ring to it.)Â Â
Just over 80 years ago, there was this Austrian guy,Â Schicklgruber, whoÂ wrote a book called My Struggle. It was a book full of madness and evil, and we dismissed it and him. However, there were those who took notice and listened andÂ chose him to be the leader of their country.
That author was more commonly known as Adolf Hitler, and his book was Mein Kampf.Â Â
We chose to ignore the mad polemicist from Austria andÂ paid the price for that ignorance with more than 50 million dead. You would think that when 50 million die, you’d remember a thing like that. You’d remember how it happened, and you’d be careful to never let history repeat itself. You wouldÂ NEVER let another Schicklgruber happen again.Â
So, why are we choosing to ignore our own Schicklgruber?
Why have we ignoredÂ this new version ofÂ Hitler?
The madmanÂ from Iran has made plans that will double, even triple or quadruple, the dead of World War II. He, like Hitler, seeks to exterminate the Jews and destroy Europe and North America. And, all that we can do is wag our finger at him.
We are rushing headlong towards a repeat ofÂ an 80 year old pattern. Why? Why are we doing this? Have we lost our minds?
Not quite. Part of the problem lies in a failure of imagination. We just cannot imagine how someoneÂ can be as evil as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.Â How can a man be THAT evil?
Except that we know that men can be that evil. There have been plenty of Schicklgrubers to inspire our imaginations. The problem isn’t in our imagination.Â
The problemÂ lies in the fact that youÂ cannot see Evil untilÂ you know what is good.Â You cannot know what evil is untilÂ you place yourself among the good. Unfortunately, doing that requires making decisions, taking action, making a change. It’s inconvenient. It’sÂ even painful.
So, you put it off.Â There’s always tomorrow. There areÂ so manyÂ thingsÂ that vie for your attention that goodness… well, it must take second place in your mind. And anyway, we must be pragmatic. Doing the right thing,Â being good, just gets in the way.
A little lie here, or a little lie there,Â helps keep things moving, right? We need a certain amount ofÂ deception to keep our society moving along, right?Â Â
Except, that was the pattern we followed in the previous century. During theÂ early decades of the previous century, the average person felt the same way – and wound up with Herr Schicklgruber.Â
We have put offÂ making painful choices. We have lost sight of what is good, which means that we are doomed to a blindness to evil. We are stuck with thisÂ century’s Schicklgruber.Â Â
Because there is a pattern.Â Â