(116) Melyn (II)
Palingenesis. Rebirth—everybody wants it, for their nation or for themselves. The Christians say you just need to be washed in the blood of the lamb—sounds drastic. Probably not drastic enough. In reality, very few people are prepared to do what it takes to be reborn, either personally or as a society. Sure—they talk about it. They talk a lot—talk is cheap, talk is painless. They’re hustling, they’re building up to it—they’re getting round to it. Rebirth hurts.
It’s the same as with a fat person—the first few weeks when they begin to lose weight hurt; then, after a while, they cannot imagine how they lived any other way. First, they take the weight off—then, if they start to exercise as well, they feel “good pain”; the pain that strengthens, not just the pain that renews. It’s the first steps that hurt the most—afterwards, they cannot believe they lived any other way, seems inconceivable. Yet at the time, it feels like pain to take the sweetness away—the false sweetness.
Still, it’s easy to talk about—the diet, the gym, the national renewal. You know it’s going to hurt—actually, not for that long; for the equivalent of two weeks, not so bad—it’s just that first hump you have to get over. A lecture is futile: shame, bribery, exhortation—a shout in the ear. All useless. The change has to come from within; the person has to experience metanoia—a change of heart; just a small one, so terribly small—almost imperceptible, yet it’s there; and everything grows from that. Yet you cannot force it, you can only show the path to people—you can knock on a deaf man’s door forever, after all. Yet for most, it is all talk—most will not turn away from the lies; they will not even stop the little lies they tell day in and day out, yet they will still claim to seek to restore their nation.