How i believe in the looking-glass world


"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
- Arundhati Roy

I believe in the looking-glass world, where the first are last and the last are first, where the meek will inherit the earth and those who are despised are honorable. I see power as a mark of Cain and wealth as a potential symbol of a soul already vended.

This is the world Jesus laid out in the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5.

But this belief is counterfactual. The last are last and the first are first, the world is a cruel place where goodness is often unrewarded, unnoticed, or even punished. On the other hand, those who are suborned by this world are often rewarded with rank and prestige.

Why do I believe so recklessly in this world that I cannot see, a world that runs counter to all I have observed watching the world of power through the window of the television, where men and women lie to each other and sell their allegiances? What makes me believe that love is the most powerful force in the universe, that the universe is on the side of justice? Why would I believe these things when, in 2007, 923 million people are undernourished? When, in 2008, nearly 3.2 percent of US adult citizens were in jail?

Why would I even call what people do for power a lie, implying that they are betraying their created goodness or that there is a truth that they belie with their actions?

To believe in things unseen is faith. And on a good day, I have hope and faith. On a good day I can see pieces of another world poking through the holes in the fabric of this reality.

Especially in the morning I cannot see this world. Sometimes I stare this world in the face in the harsh morning light and I see only a gray death for the visions of a new world.

But I know it is only we who hold the new world in bondage in the cellar, that she is struggling to emerge, pale and blinking, into the sun.

So I am able to hope, but not just hope, to struggle to birth this world in my own soul.

But when I cannot see her, I require faith.

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremiah John. I'm a sf/f writer and activist.

I just completed a dystopian science fiction novel. I run a website which I created that connects farms with churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity, as one does, while I was in the clink.