How vested should we be when we’re really just sojourners here? This could include a lot of topics, but for the moment I’m thinking in terms of nations, cultures, civilizations, etc. I’m going to start with the question: How vested should we be in what we see as our civilization? Rome fell. First in the West and then, eventually, the Eastern Roman Empire fell as well, though it took around 1000 years to complete the job. I think I was around. No civilization lasts it seems, but I have to wonder whether it is best to be in the fight to save a dying world or to let it go. It is normal to flee and seek a place of safety. The Cathars did, and the last of their holiest fled to their own place of refuge—Montsegur. They might just as well have burned with the rest, for Montsegur also fell in the end, and their own turn at the stake was merely delayed a bit. Once again, I think I may have been around. If my suspicions are correct, I fled the French Revolution and its Jacobins with my parent, who then proceeded to once again paint portraits for the upper class in Imperial Russia. Later, in another “probable” lifetime, I most likely watched aghast from afar as another Revolution (just as terrible in the long run) destroyed what had been my former “world” in Imperial Russia. Ironically, I think it may have been my turn, next time around, to die under the bayonet of the Russian Bolsheviks as they invaded from the East in WWII. So, I had the dubious honor of being present when Communist “Jacobins” ultimately defeated National Socialist “Jacobins.” As you can see, I use the term “Jacobin” fairly loosely, but it serves its purpose, for all of the ones I label “Jacobins” seem to be ultimately cut from the same cloth. They are the opportunistic infection that invades the wounds caused by injustice in, or injury to, the “body politic”. They claim to be allies of the oppressed, but ultimately they seek control and domination, or are the unwitting dupes and “useful idiots” of those who do. They are the infection that ultimately kills the infected host, transforms it into the equivalent of a rabid animal, or leaves it weakened for conquest by outside predators. I will not say who I think fills this description at present, for that is not the question I am trying to answer. It is just that I find myself visited at times now by what seems to be a familiar feeling of hopelessness and despair at what also seems to be a never-ending cycle of collapse and destruction. Why despair? Because—fool that I am--I have once again become vested as I apparently always do in the “civilization” I currently call “home”. But should I? Should you? Civilizations come and go. We also come and go. We are in many respects just “ships passing in the night.” Why then should we allow ourselves to become vested in a particular culture or civilization? I have my thoughts on the matter, but I also would like to hear yours. In addition, what should we do when we see things crumbling into dust and the barbarian hordes rushing in? If it has not yet come to that, it may soon be here. Also, where could you go if you fled? This is extremely important as most of Western Civilization seems to be “infected” to some degree. Where could you flee to that would not be much worse or merely another Montsegur in the end? These are not theoretical questions. I don’t think the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, or the Nazi takeover could have been predicted 10 years before they happened. What seems impossible can materialize very quickly when the situation is ripe and a crisis pushes things over the edge. Cordially, S&S PS--I'm not sure exactly where to put this topic, but this seems as good a spot as any, for it really does have a spiritual aspect.