When reality hits, it will hit hard

There is a phenomenon called "super-saturation."  It occurs when a liquid has been mixed with a solid substance (think hot water and sugar), not just to the point of saturation, but even beyond that.  It is where we are, but it is a temporary condition.  At the slightest disturbance, the excess contaminants (say, sugar) literally fall, or precipitate, to the bottom of the liquid.

A comparable thing happens to societies and cultures.  Nations can survive for a time on "false prosperity."  (Think of a tall, thin pole standing upright on one end.)  Everything seems to be going smoothly.  Everyone has money, goods, and services.  Then come the signs of looming danger.  A bank cannot pay its depositors, or a large business cannot pay its debts, or the government keeps printing ever more money to give the illusion of managing the budget.

Despite all the efforts of government, reality eventually sets in.  Society becomes super-saturated with contaminants.  The bills can no longer be paid.  The credit card is past due, and the checking account is overdrawn.  Paper money is suddenly seen less as money, more as paper — or in our case, ones and zeroes in a computer.  Ordinary people can no longer afford basic necessities.

Political and military forces step in to remedy the matter, but they make things only worse.  Destruction ensues, often in the form of tyranny, war, or both.

A profound real-world example of this is the fall of the Weimar Republic of Germany (1918–33), which led to the rise of Nazism and World War 2.  Hyper-inflation set in, and it was said that workers were paid twice a day — every day — so that they could buy food before the prices went up, which they did at dizzying speed.  Every attempted remedy made things continually worse.  Catastrophe ensued.

After World War 2, measures were taken to prevent another Great Depression.  They seemed to work, but gradually, over many years, the economy became once again saturated with debt.  We now owe more than 30 trillion dollars, much of it to our enemies — and this does not include future commitments and liabilities.  The interest payments alone threaten to bankrupt us.

Moreover, the culture has become saturated with the breakdown of the traditional family structure.  The work ethic has vanished in large portions of the population.  The military cannot find enough recruits.  We are now at the stage of super-saturation, with corruption, debt, and debauchery leading the list.  All this has come about due to one cause — to keep the government in power, at any cost to the people being ruled.

The impending disturbance that will bring it all crashing down cannot be precisely foretold, but that is because there are so many possible events that it is inevitable that one of them will occur.  One need only look at the headlines to see it.  Black swans abound.  Worse yet, many threats are under-reported, or distorted to conceal their true magnitude.

Is it hopeless?  The short answer is yes.  Nothing in the short term can pay off the debt, restore the work ethic, and return public morals to the levels of sanity.

We are in for a long slog.  A painful, brutal process lies ahead.  Our children's grandchildren are inheriting from us a terrible future, of biblical proportions — literally, just as the Bible foretells.

Fortunately, the end will be a happy one.  That is assured.

Until then, however, each of us will be tested to the utmost.  The solution is not collective, but individual.  Each of us is required — it is not an option — to attend to his own spiritual development.  Each of us must develop an impossible courage and strength, made possible for us only by God Himself.

For those among us who have grown soft, this may seem like the worst possible news.  It will be ignored and denied by many.  The rest of us will reject whatever softness has crept into our souls.  We will seek, and we shall find, the strength and courage to do the right thing, each in his own life, however large or small his reach may be.

The long answer is one of hope, but also, to draw from Sir Winston Churchill, one of blood and sweat, toil and tears.  God never told us it will be easy, but as with the pains of childbirth, it will be well worth it.

Image via Picryl.

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