The Standard

Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

We have now left behind the High Age of Reason and entered the Epoch of Lowered Standards and Values- in art, music, family, communication, religion, prophecy, and life itself. It is no longer qualifications that count, but gender, skin color, speculations and feelings that meet the Brave New World quicksilver standard of mediocrity.

If indeed there is no unchanging standard by which to measure humanity’s behavior and values, then all things are the same – they are what they are – men are the same as wolves or warring ants – and simply must be constrained by secular laws with teeth to keep them from devouring each the other, while some folks are simply decent enough and even altruistic enough for whatever has made them such. My sense is that the human is unlimited in his ability to descend into utter hell of depravity as we have seen in the Nazi Holocaust etc. etc., but at the same time unlimited as to his potential to rise high into the skies and do good.  But without a solid standard of measurement there can be no real knowledge of good or evil, as one man’s good is another’s evil, according to his taste and circumstance. That potential is alluded to in the story of the Tower of Babel, which might be worth reviewing.

But once a timeless standard of measurement is encountered, then the fog may clear before our eyes. I personally considered all I did in my youth as quite reasonable because I knew I was always Honest in doing them- until I encountered a standard of measurement so far above my own that I understood by contrast the depravity of my position. It is a very high standard that is unattainable, but the eternal standard nonetheless. I might liken it somewhat to the artistic standard of Michelangelo without which I might erroneously and pridefully consider my own art to be the very best in the world, but in humbly becoming aware of the truly greater than I, I may then work to achieve toward that standard as my goal, though I may never quite reach it, but my art will certainly improve. And perhaps even life itself.

I was born before the plastic credit card which is attached electronically to numbers and little else, when the dollar bill still had the reality of backing in gold or silver- ‘the Gold Standard’- and value was measured by actual worth. Today, according to my query to the US Federal Reserve, the dollar’s value is backed only by “Faith”, which is why it is written on that bill, “In God We Trust.” Many of our other ‘values’ have gone the way of the dollar bill, including family, friendship, the nation and unborn babies, which are tossed into the trash when inconvenient, further lowering the value of human life, and overall life in general. May our values recover their origins by the unchanging standard of measurement on the scales of reality.