We are Chimera!
Last night while sitting before my work computer I felt the gaze of a watching creature. I have written about evil and the supernatural lately, so perhaps this feeling echoed my latent paranoia. In the dark shadows behind my computer I noticed this object.
My reproduction of a famous sculpture recreates the mythical creature, the chimera. The beast has the head of a lioness, a serpent for a tail, eagle claws for feet, and a goat head protruding from its midsection. The chimera arose in Greek mythology as a monstrous fire breathing beast composed of many animal parts. Homer described the chimera in his Iliad as “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire.” The hypothesis about the origin of this myth refers to an area in southwest Turkey. Hikers on the “Lycian Way” encountered an area of over two dozen vents in the ground spewing forth flaming methane.
In modern times, the term chimera has come to represent a single organism composed of genetically distinct cells resulting in male and female organs, two different blood types, or subtle variations of form. This situation can occur in animals by organ transplantation such as a bone marrow transplant that can change someone’s blood type. in 1953, a human chimera was discovered to have blood containing two different blood types. Apparently this resulted from her twin brother’s cells living in her body.
In my latest book, “The 11th Demon: The ark of Chaos” a demon assumes the shape of the mythological chimera. The mixture of differing animal parts is both horrifying and symbolic of the subject matter — chaos. And, unfortunately, chaos is all about us in today’s society. Ironic as it may seem, we are more highly organized than ever and yet our everyday lives seem ruled by chaos and confusion. I believe one reason for this is information overload. Being more connected than ever and having an almost infinite amount of information at our beck and call does not mean we are any better at communication or community.
In the past few weeks I have read more than one blog post claiming we no longer need God. One reason, the writers postulated, for needing God was ignorance. When something horrific and dangerous happened to us in the past — say a hiker along the Lycian Way gets toasted by a flaming vent of burning gas from the underworld — we would appeal to God for answers. These posts indicate that we now have ALL of the answers we would ever need. No need to seek wisdom from God. Just Google it! Google has become our God.
The problem with the Internet is that it is a chimera! It is a disparate, chaotic array of information. And, information does not equal truth. Information does not equal wisdom. One can find any article, any blog post, any source of information on the Internet to support any theory, any belief, or any assertion even though there is no truth or facts behind that source. It brings to mind the old adage when I was young, “It was on television so it must be true”.
How can we find our way out of the current chaos? First, we have to recognize there is chaos. There is disorder in the midst of apparent order. Want to know why fast food restaurants are flourishing in the midst of a greater emphasis on healthy eating? It’s because we are confronted with so many choices — a consumer chimera — we cannot and will not take the time to think about our decisions and we take the path of least resistance. This is called “analysis paralysis”. I talk about this in my upcoming book, “Hope Again: A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression” which will be out in September.
Second realize there are too many choices. Too much information. Too little sleep and rest. Too little time to analyze and choose to do the hard thing; the right thing. Is it no wonder our lives are filled with gentle chaos? Is it no wonder we are chimeras, roaring with the fire of frustration, compartmentalized into bits and pieces of this creature and that?
As a Christian, I realize that Christ taught we are whole, unique individuals created in the image of God to be complete. He came to complete us. When confronted with Legion, a man possessed by dozens of demons, Jesus Christ compelled the demons to enter a herd of pigs so that the man would become whole; one, unified in mind and spirit. The image of this man sitting calmly at the feet of the Savior while his demons run headlong snorting and squealing over a cliff into the tumultuous waters of the sea are an apt metaphor for our choices today. Will we be possessed by the spirit of chimera; the spirit of chaos that whirls all about us? Or, will we choose to let those wild pigs run away FROM us, leaving us in peace and contentment?
Finally, the choice is difficult. Our culture encourages us to be chimeras. But, we must resist that urge and turn our backs on chaos and embrace wholeness and internal unity of mind and spirit. I believe the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth take us down this path away from chaos and confusion and into “a peace that passes all human understanding.”
To read more about the chimera, check out my latest book, “The 11th Demon: The Ark of Chaos” by clicking on the ORDER tab on this page or at the book website.
Posted on May 22, 2014, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction, Steel Chronicles and tagged analysis paralysis, anxiety, Chaos, chimera, confusion, demons, Depression, information overload, insomnia, legion, pigs, stress. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on We are Chimera!.