What is Justice?

Justice is not apparent in an unjust world.

One cannot look at someone with privilege and say “If I had that- or even a little bit of that, then that would be justice for me”. It cannot be done so simply, because THAT which is had in a time of injustice is had BECAUSE of injustice. Whether it be food on the table, or clothes on our back.

What is truly Just for us, what is truly deserved, is inconceivable to our minds which can merely grasp a reality from the concepts it is offered. Naturally, if what is offered is mixed with the unjust, then how can we hope to recognise that which is purely Just?

Nay, our minds continuously fall short of this observation which is why every revolution based on mere imagination has gradually crumpled, sliding back into the rubble pile of injustice from whence it sprang. We rebuild out of these same materials and hope to make it better, but it is only made worse for wear…and time tells us exactly how robust any of our plans really are.

Democracy, freedom, slavery, tyranny. They were quadruplets of their time. Good cops and bad cops of imagination.

A spiritual person will tell you that Justice–True unsullied Justice– is only conceivable through our heart. That is because our hearts perceive reality via a different lens…one which has its foundations in complete justice, in the godly realms of immortality, in the truths which are by definition ROBUST, because they are good.

How powerful would it be if we could see only with our hearts and rid ourselves of the scars of the mind? Perhaps our memories would brighten, and our prospects would be elevated. So with our thoughts we probe the heart for truths—YET, our hearts are too kind to disappoint us, so there we grapple in the dark, pretending to be inspired. Inventing within in a tunnel of noise, filling our expectations with the blood coursing between our ears…thinking we are hearing the sounds of our heart, but we are only hearing the chemicals of anticipation increasing it’s palpitation, drumming up our hopes for what is ultimately a re-creation.

Justice is not apparent in an unjust world.

Reaching for the justice of which we cannot conceive is like reaching for the stars from a cliff. In a moment of anticipation we jump, feeling nearer to the dreams we imagined, only to realise with a sinking feeling that we are falling, down down down again. Will we survive this time?

They say giants fall the hardest, and we are giants every time we pretend to know the direction in which we ought to go. We have debates and long conversations, we draw plans, sign documents, toast. We think and think and all our thoughts are made of the stuff from which we are seeking to escape. We are running from the cold darkness of our own great shadows by increasing the fat between our limbs, and consequently, increasing the breadth of our shadows.

Perhaps if we stand nearer to the light we will escape the cold reality of our mistakes, repeated over and over, and historically documented, only to be rediscovered by archaeologists seeking to preserve our heritage. And when we notice the pattern in these things and we lament, and cry out that this was not what we had expected, then we realise with a sorrow undesired, that our minds fall short of wondering– that we do not answer anything which has not already been answered…and that we are not unique because we are the same.

Our question remains, what is justice?

It echoes through time and in our apparent struggle to decide whether or not we will arrive at its conclusion, we fight, we kill, we run, we stay, we burn, we build. But, what is just for you and what is just for me? How do we reconcile these things which keep coming up like unrelenting weeds…at times ignored, and at other times frantically addressed?

Could we decide what is Just when our reality is coloured by the duality of light and darkness? Could we determine the truth in an entirely constructed–and therefore temporary–world-view? What is the deeper reason with which we could decipher the messages of the heart, without expectations, without memories, or hopes, without ideas or convictions….? Is there such an intellect, and how could it be exercised?

The answer comes like a poison dart to our minds…our world must go black so we disappear into the fragments of what we call sacrifice. Burning our egos in the fires of our sacredness, and yet with no outcome in mind. How strange would it be to give our bodies and our imaginations to something which they cannot perceive?…and how strange would it be to realise our non-existence? Perhaps as our corpses shrink and shrivel in the earth we will finally understand why our minds fell short of answering the question that they could not adequately ask.

“What is justice?”

Our hearts reply, “Justice is not apparent in an unjust world.”

But our minds strike back –like deadly adders– to the truth, “AND WHAT, will you explain, are we to do with that?”

Our hearts give pause, and then, “Nothing.”

The Sacrifice of Isaac, by Pedro Orrente. c. 1616.

The Sacrifice of Isaac, by Pedro Orrente. c. 1616.


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