Chapter 16 - The Mozart Paradox
The streets were empty as we walked, but the night was still warm. "I am happy tonight," said Olive and smiled, "because I know I am no longer alone. The substance that I feel in performing music is unfolding in this new and remarkable way. It is like light itself. By it, we, as mankind, have become increasingly drawn into one single whole, maybe without even knowing it. That's also how I see Mozart's Figaro. I know, that when you return to your own country after the conference is over, you will take the memory of this night with you, a memory of something precious, something to fight with, not just something to fight for. We both need this. We must fight with all the riches we have within us, and we must never allow ourselves to forget that these riches must outweigh all the so-called riches of all the empires on Earth. We must fight together with all our might. Nothing else matters. Unity and life are one. So, my dear Peter, you must not forget that there is at least one person in Russia now, whom you know, who loves you as a human being, whom you are making a little richer in your own way by just being alive, as we touch one-another, and by whom you are enriched in return. That's something precious to take home with you, isn't it?"
We walked along the bank of a river for part of the way. We came to the river when the houses ended. The street had trailed out into a small park with a playground in the middle, surrounded by willow trees. From there a trail led to the riverbank. The trail seemed well used, but there was no one there at night. We were alone, eerily alone. A partial noon could be seen now and then, through ragged gaps in the clouds.
Walking along the bank of the river in the moonlight reminded me of Mozart's Figaro opera that Olive had talked about earlier. The stands of trees, like shadows below the embankment, appeared as images of a garden that made the scene reminiscent of the Count's moonlight rendezvous that opened the door to the high point of the opera. "The moonlight scene here reminds me of the Count's outpouring of love to Susanna," I said to Olive. "Since Mozart didn't ridicule the Count," I added, "but supported the deeply human legitimacy of his case with a passage of beautiful music, I wonder why Mozart didn't let the opera end on that brighter note that he thereby established, and with it remove all the barriers? Why did he let the opera fall back to the conventional 'small-world' setting, though leaving a tiny door open?"
"Oh, does this puzzle you?" Olive answered. "Why should this puzzle you, Peter?"
"I am posing the question, because it appears to be relevant," I said. "It seems to relate to the four levels of society recognizing its humanity, which the woman from India had talked about. The Count's loving reflected the color of universal Love. The development of universal loving pertains to the third level, the level of scientifically reaching up to the sublime, does it not? There, one comes face to face with the universal principles of our humanity. I find it odd that Mozart would close the door to this attainment once the attainment has been made, and then let the opera trail out on a lower level, though with an open door to the world above the mere moral level. By so doing he leaves the audience in a rather precarious state, doesn't he?"
"What are you getting at, Peter?" Olive interrupted.
"I am looking at something that maybe important, Olive. The woman from India talked about four levels. At the lowest level we see ourselves living like animals. That's the imperial fascist domain. For as long as we find ourselves living at this frozen imperial level, depopulation cannot be avoided, whether it is by nuclear war, or diseases, or by poverty. One way or another depopulation will happen, because if mankind insists on living like animals that don't have the capacity to create their own resources for living, the Earth will indeed become too small to support the present population, whereby we are doomed. We would certainly be doomed in an Ice Age. Our only hope lies in pulling ourselves out of this perceptional deep freeze that we are currently in, and solve the problem from a higher level of perception where we begin to recognize ourselves as human beings with the humanist energy that can uplift also the botanic world and protect it in order to meet our needs, and this even in an Ice Age environment. This puts us onto the second level, the moral level. At the moral level, depopulation is no longer that easily possible. However, the moral domain is a transitional one. Nothing is cast in concrete at this level. The slightest slipup, the slightest negation of our humanity, can drag us back down into the imperial fascist domain where mankind regards itself as animals. This means that we are not secure yet at the second level. Everything is precarious there, because at this stage we are not going far enough. Morality is a philosophical thing, a doctrinal thing, rather than a power that is anchored in the discovery and understanding of Universal Truth. It is a low-energy state that is coincident with zero-science in terms of our humanist development. This means that depopulation cannot be avoided by mankind falling scientifically 'asleep' at the merely moral level. Therefore it will happen, one way or another if we remain at this level. Then, being 'asleep' we will slide back down into the imperial trap.
"We can only live securely when we pull ourselves up to the third level and live at the leading edge of science, aiming for the sublime. The principles that we discover in progressive development, and build on, come to light as our resources. Here we find our sublimity that is anchored at the fourth level, in the Principle of Universal Love and the principle of the Second Renaissance, the Principle of the Advantage of the Other, and so forth. Once we live by the imperatives of these profound aspects of Universal Principle, depopulation is no longer possible, because we are then committed and empowered to move full steam ahead in the right direction, the direction marked by our divine Soul and Mind where Science is anchored. Thereby we are safe. We are safe, not because depopulation will thereby be prevented, but because it will no longer be thinkable and therefore not be possible. Our unfolding love for our humanity makes depopulation unthinkable and impossible to be carried out. Nobody talks about such notions as 'resolve' at this level. The bestial no longer roams the forest of human thinking there. Once the sublime is touched in our development, and Love is put on the table as a universal principle, we simply cannot slip back to a lower level where we regard ourselves as animals and live that way. It just won't happen.
"But Mozart allows this to happen in his opera, Figaro," I continued. "In a real live renaissance setting, the reverting back to a lower state would never happen. The ending of the Figaro opera would then have been written so that the Count's expanded love, as a step forward in universal loving, would be understood as natural, be acknowledged as such, and would be maintained. Mozart would have presented a tremendously challenging ending with this, no doubt, by putthing this forward, especially in an imperial age, I grant you that, but it would have been a more natural ending. In fact it would have been the more likely ending even now, although no one of today's audience would admit that either."
"I think you have discovered one of the paradoxes that Mozart laid before us to ponder over," said Olive. "In fact, I believe it is essential for us to ponder this paradox, especially in the nuclear weapons age. We say that at the first level, the bottom level, the imperial fascist level, mankind recognizes itself as being devoid of any sense of humanity and lives like animals. We both certainly agree that nuclear war is inevitable at this level of the zero-energetic humanist environment where we regard ourselves as animals. And so it will happen. At the next higher level, at the moral level of living, I think we would destroy all of our nuclear weapons and celebrate the fact. But the knowledge to build them would remain. Peace would be passive at this level, but not active. Without an active principle as an imperative for peace, we would likely rebuild the nuclear weapons at some point and we would be back to where we started from, whereby nuclear war would become inevitable again and would likely happen. However, when we step up to the third level and the leading edge of it, we burn the bridges behind us to go back. While the knowledge to build nuclear bombs would still remain with us, as it will never go away, it would become effectively irrelevant by the operating principles of our humanity. At the level of the sublime it is irrelevant whether weapons can be built that can destroy us, because we would never use those weapons, and therefore we would never bother to build them."
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