“The State of Men’s Hearts”

Source: Wikimedia Commons LIcense: CC 3.0 Contributor: Podvalov

“The State of Men’s Hearts” is a common phrase heard in Catholic circles. You’re shocked, right? What you may not know, is that the rest of the phrase basically goes like this:

“Man cannot know the state of men’s hearts.”  It’s an axiom that is used as a constant  in moral calculus. You cannot know if that person “really means it” when they repent. You have to assume he is, because to abandon a sincere heart to Satan is a grave injustice.

By Roman Zacharij (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Roman Zacharij (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Similarly, when Russian news anchors march off the screen in disgust, we cannot know if some steel jawed KGB agent (perhaps) stands in the shadows to “insure their sincerity” or not. We cannot know if they do this merely because it is dramatic, raises the ratings, and perhaps encourages the average prole that he is telling truth.

So many here in the States say, “She was telling blatant propaganda for TWO YEARS! How can we trust they mean it now?”  Perhaps a convert can explain.

First of all, I’ve always been a fan of Reagan’s “Trust, but Verify.” Yep, even when I was a so-called Leftist. I could not deny that this was a sane approach, no matter who said it.  I also had a hard time believing that a person who would say something like this was totally stupid. Misguided, perhaps, but hey, stupid smart people are everywhere, right?

But those were the 1990’s. (he said it earlier, but it became popular around 1992-ish give or take) That was a different time. So long ago that the vast majority of bloggers don’t even remember them. Even a substantial fraction of them who lived through it.  As like a distant golden age as it feels now, take my word for it that it wasn’t. Neither were the Fifties, the Sixties, nor the Eighties.  I never personally lived through the Fifties or Sixties, but even hard core ideologues infected with honesty have to admit this to be true.

By Почта Украины Penarc [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

End digression. There is a reasonable way to look at why someone would go along to get along, hoping and praying that things were really getting better.

Oh, come on. Sure, he has faults, but we didn’t vote in a real commie.  I mean granma misses things about the old ways, but doesn’t really want them back, right?

Wait. We did.  Holy crap.

Believe it or not, this kind of realization is not instantaneous. You can deny the reality in front of your face for quite a while until it occurs to you that to continue to ignore the truth will cause incalculable harm.

Then you realize that to ignore this thing will cause more harm  even than standing up and being counted. Because conversion, even in the political realm is a matter of soul, rather than intellect. The soul persuades the intellect. The soul is what demands honesty.  The intellect knows that reasoning without it is much easier.

There is another issue. Russia has been free of it’s old chains for a relatively short period of time. Humans are a creature of habit. If we are more comfortable, little things don’t annoy us personally, then perhaps we let things slide a little bit. Look around. It has been happening here for over 100 years.  Over time, it really adds up.

But, tanks rolling into the Crimea is a hard thing to ignore. Even Obama couldn’t manage it. Soon, old memories, put in mothballs, come back. On arrival, smells worse than they did when we put them away. Suddenly you start seeing the way things are. Closing your eyes on the way you want to see is a tough process.  The euphoria inspired by the freedom to do and say what you want (in theory, at least) is so intoxicating, it can be easy to ignore the easy slide back into old habits.  It is a function of human nature, and keeps us from worrying our pretty  heads about the small stuff.

Take it from someone with OCD that this is a sanity saving measure. Like everything, there is a cost. Small gradual changes that might foretell disaster often get ignored in favor of a comforting story that it’s a temporary thing, and will pass.

When disaster strikes, your conscience wakes, and your soul moves you back to the truth you’d ignored to stay settled and comfortable. The consequences become stark and unfriendly. You are moved to action because you know it is right in your heart. You move because you cannot live with yourself to let things slide any further.

For now, I will say that perhaps the Russian media is shocked out of complacence. Perhaps those news anchors don’t do the research themselves, and actually believed the news that they were given? Perhaps they felt a cognitive dissonance in the back of their minds, and ignored it until things were really real?

Of course I’m going to keep an ear cocked for false flags. Even sincere people can make a mistake, or be misled due to this and that. We all have off days– even off years were we lose our minds. A death in the family can make truth look less important.  Even sincere people can be bullied into lying despite themselves.  There are far more explanations possible than willful deception.

We should also keep in mind that this move against the Ukraine was not a popular move among the Russian people.

By Alex Tora or Alex K in Ukranian and Japanese wiki (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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