What you need to know:
- Immobile, relatively insignificant in the animal kingdom, and rather boring, its internal organic developments notwithstanding, Chrysalis has this humanlike delusion that it is the centre of the universe.
As we cross from one year to another, human beings always remind me of the Insect Play by the Brothers Capek. I am thinking specifically of Chrysalis, a butterfly pupa, one of the characters in the play.
Immobile, relatively insignificant in the animal kingdom, and rather boring, its internal organic developments notwithstanding, Chrysalis has this humanlike delusion that it is the centre of the universe.
Approaching maturity, Chrysalis contemplates and announces its eventual emergence from the cocoon as a major cosmological event. The whole universe must pay attention!
At the turning of the year, many people find it hard to disengage their emotions from the Earth and Sun-related 12-month cycle and enter the consciousness of an infinitely vast universe, perhaps even multiple universes; a hard but very rewarding spiritual exercise.
We often choose the easy course; the imagination that our little world, which of course because of our civilisation is slightly larger than the (pupa) butterfly’s, is the axis of all creation. Churches, bars and beaches get crowded.
Our huge little achievements at the office; our huge little house; our huge little chunk of land after the ‘squatters’ have been driven off; our huge little SUV that occupies two parking spaces; our huge little trophy after a sports triumph; our huge tiny Chwezi heritage; a population that grovels and licks our boots because we have power, or money, or both; these seemingly large things in our little worlds box us in cocoons that limit our imagination of the infinite, ultimately blinding us to our relative insignificance.
Such is our arrogance, an ancient trait, and so great is our delusion, that when we imagine a master magician who could make us, we construct Him in our image!
And we imagine that he craves to be worshipped like our kings, or presidents, or war heroes.
Trapped in the paradox of self-glorification and self-humiliation, we grovel before Him but compensate ourselves by deluding ourselves that God will do our bidding, giving us whatever we want if we give Him burnt offerings, or pay in cash; pay through the priest.
Enter the pastor, the super Levite, or the con man, the merchant of miracles and destroyer of demons. He knows how and where to catch the gullible, and knows how desperately they want a 2023 that is better than 2022.
Pay. Pay. A master at his work, on Monday he will laugh to the bank.
But how did you have a bad 2022 and bad previous years when you paid for all of them to be good years?
Idiot. I am also an idiot; that is why I am only God’s dog, not a prophet. But as His dog, I know that God is in stasis. He has proclaimed nothing for 2023.
Men and women will fight their struggles unaided, except by their fellow humans.
In Moscow, with the blessing of Russian Orthodox priests, a barbarian will continue bombing Ukraine’s cities with the impunity of a mad monster.
In Afghanistan, Taliban fascists, the women’s nightmare, will continue fouling the name of God.
In Uganda, your bishops and Imams are too timid to wake God up. And your pastors and witchdoctors would rather jostle for recognition and favours from State House than scream and goad God to come to life and deliver a more humane and less corrupt nation. With God still resting, we pray in vain.
As citizens, we are on our own. Only we and our labour and our resistance can improve our little worlds in 2023.
Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.