The Epiphany of The Ten PrinciplesBy Dennis Speed
Jan. 6—In what acted as a simultaneous commemoration of (Western) Epiphany and (Eastern) Christmas Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the request of Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, declared a ceasefire in the special military operation, beginning at noon on January 6, and ending midnight Christmas Day, January 7. Such a “Christmas truce” had been advocated by many religious figures in the trans-Atlantic sector as well, and featured as one expression of the anti-war, pro-economic development “Ten Principles” campaign of the Schiller Institute. Though Ukraine’s leadership refused the truce, Christians throughout the world, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, now being suppressed in that “bastion of democracy and tolerance,” now know who actually respects the idea, “Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
Recall the December 19 Schiller Institute statement, “One Step Away from the Nuclear Annihilation of Mankind—A Christmas Truce for All!” This included the promotion of the international performance of the polyphonic composition “Dona Nobis Pacem” by small and large choruses, an action which happened in many places before and on December 24-25, the traditional date of Christmas celebration in Western Christianity. The same should be encouraged throughout this Eastern Christmas weekend and after. (For those that wish, that song might be usefully combined with the “We Shall Overcome” anthem going into the January 14-16 celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.)
In its fundamental objective, that action, that spiritual exercise, has now proven to be successful. The fact that it was denounced by Ukraine, by the United States government, and by some in NATO, is a self-indictment. What does that say about the image of man that those governments, and their weapons of war, actually represent?
On the Day of Epiphany, it had in times past been a tradition to submerge oneself in ice water. Perhaps that practice should be resumed by officials in the non-truce observing governments. That, or a similar systemic, axiom-busting shock must be delivered to the brain, mind and soul-dead institutions of self-government, the “democracies” of the trans-Atlantic sector. Only Classical principles of poetry are equal to this task; no pragmatic politics will work. One might here best recall classicist Ray McGovern’s admonition that a Metanoia, an inversion of mindset—like that manifested by President John F. Kennedy only months after the Cuban Missile Crisis in his proposal for a joint U.S./U.S.S.R. mission to the Moon—is the only sure pathway to peace. But undergoing a Metanoia, the hubris-killing rejection of axioms, is a choice.
Metanoia is what Hamlet refused to undergo, in terror, when confronted by, not the ghost of his murdered father, but the need to summon the passion necessary for the mission that his father’s ghost, also named Hamlet, entrusts to him. But it is not Hamlet who is tragic. It is the rot of Denmark which Hamlet refuses to rise above, which is the substance of tragedy, as with us today. Is this not our present circumstance in the democracies of the trans-Atlantic, that employ economic hit men and “jackal” assassins as their enforcers of “human rights” and “saving the planet” for financial oligarchies?
Consider Shakespeare’s King Hamlet/Hamlet dialogue of Act 1, Scene 5. Reflect upon the people of the United States, once again confronted this past month with the truth of their prescience about the international assassination bureau responsible for the death of JFK:
Ghost: …Now, Hamlet, hear.
’Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused; but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.
Hamlet: O, my prophetic soul!
In Hamlet’s epiphany about the murder of his father king, Hamlet’s ghost does not tell Hamlet anything that Hamlet did not already know. So it is in fact with the American people, whether they presently have “the files” on the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, or not.
Epiphany is also associated with the idea of gift. Three Wise Men, the Magi, are traditionally said to arrive twelve days after the birth of Jesus bearing gold, as an expression of earthly power; frankincense, expressing the divine nature; and myrrh, used in embalming, to stand for human mortality. While the gifts are offerings, all three represent capacities (“Capax Dei”), not given to Jesus, but acknowledged by the “gentile kings” as “in Him.” They have made a Dante-like journey of recognition, through their study of the heavens, as in the Paradiso, and it is this that is embodied in the metaphor of the gifts. They journeyed to receive a gift, not to give one.
The Vatican recently demonstrated, through a spiritual exercise of the principle of epiphany, its capacity to carry out the “ontological diplomacy” that Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa carried out in his organizing of the 1439 Council of Florence, which sought to unify East and West. The Pope’s recent apology to the Russian people, so rapidly accepted by that government, which responded a day later that “The incident is over; the matter is closed” is an example of such diplomacy, and an epiphany-gift to mankind. Its price was an admission of a fault, leading to the beginning of the re-establishment of a potential basis for trust.
In a thermonuclear age, if all trust is gone, the presently escalating conflicts can end only one way. But without an understanding of the ontological—not pragmatic—basis for agreement upon the nature of humanity, how can diplomacy of this higher order occur? World peace can never be achieved through geopolitical materialism, which is inherently Malthusian, and therefore, anti-human. Destruction and war are, ultimately, the only product geopolitics can reap.
Another example of higher diplomacy: Take the forum that Helga Zepp-LaRouche has organized for this coming Tuesday, “What About International Law, Mrs. Merkel?” The invitation for this event states in part that “For years (former Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President François Hollande) have repeated the mantra that the sanctions against Russia could be lifted only if the Minsk Agreement was to be fully implemented. But if the conclusion of this agreement was nothing but lip service, what was their intention?”
This referred to Merkel’s “revelation” last month that “The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give time to Ukraine. It also used this time to become stronger as can be seen today. The Ukraine of 2014-2015 is not modern Ukraine.” Many, including most recently Germany’s Oscar Lafontaine and France’s Pierre de Gaulle, have denounced both Hollande and Merkel for it. But the title of the forum refers to an episode from Goethe’s Faust. Have France and Germany made a deal with the devil?
If the American people refuse to dismantle the international assassination bureau that has not only murdered American Presidents, but leaders in Germany, Italy, the Congo, Iran, and now obscenely threatens to “decapitate Russia,” that is, assassinate Vladimir Putin, how long is it acceptable to say, “well, it isn’t really the people, it’s just their leaders?” Where do those leaders come from? If, as has sometimes been asserted, “people get the governments they deserve,” whose responsibility is it to lead? The American Revolution institutionalized the “Joan of Arc” principle of societal change. We are all people “endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and therefore (here is an epiphany) unalienable responsibility. Whenever any government becomes destructive of the ends of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is not only the right but the duty of the governed to not merely “alter or to abolish it,” but to “institute new government, laying its foundation upon such principles and organizing its powers in such form” as shall bring about those changes in physical economy and the conditions of life essential to the promotion of the General Welfare of the society as a whole.
In these upcoming days of the New Year, Independent candidate Diane Sare’s policy conference this Sunday, January 8; Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s Tuesday, January 10 forum; and the Saturday, January 14 symposium “Resurrect the True Mission of Dr. Martin Luther King: Stop NATO’s World War, and Dismantle the ‘JFK International Assassination Bureau’” are occasions that are all aimed at revealing to and confronting people with the surprise, the Metanoia, that their actions, steeped in the Ten Principles for a New International Development and Security Architecture, are the gift that humanity needs to catalyze a new birth of justice and freedom. We are our own “gift of the Magi” should we choose to be, rather than not to be, so.