Cancelling the Future

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readOct 26, 2023

As I grow older and wait to die, a seemingly interminable process, some things remain the same over the course of my life. Not all of my likes and dislikes are the same as they were when Dwight Eisenhower was president. I still love to read. Television is less interesting. My relationship with candies and sweets are still a real downfall. I actually like vegetables.

Our world remains a spider’s web of spiritual paradoxes. We are beset by personal and global paroxysms. Those upheavals lay soulless traps which too often entice us away from the depths of our inner selves. We are drawn into the madness of desires for what we do not need. We see the bright lights of what others tell us we are supposed to want or believe. It leads us to the cliff of self-righteous madness. One step too far and we are over the cliff.

We lose our souls.

It seemed like we had enough of that with the terrifying war in Ukraine and Russia, but now we have another war some eight hundred miles south. It’s striking how people on both sides of both wars say that if someone, anyone, is not one of them then that person should die.

We must be the same nationality. We must be the same ethnic background and race. We must be the same religion. If any of our friends are not their friends, we either get rid of those people or else.

Or else we must be killed, too.

The first time I heard that chauvinistic jargon from someone who was not American was in university. I had a good friend whom I respected and admired for all of the hard work he did just to get to America for an education. He was also a good guy and lots of fun. He once told me that his country was more important than our friendship. Because we were not the same nationality, the same religion and race, if there were ever a war he would put his nation above our friendship.

Would that I could say most Americans or almost anybody I have met in my life puts humans as a whole before their specific tribe, their clan, their nation. I could, but it would be a lie. Out of a paucity of spirit, a hunger for soul, most of us humans have either lost or forgotten the reason we are here. Why it is that we were born, exist and have work to do.

Our work, that real work we have to do, comes from the depths of our spirits.

I put friendship above nationality. Humans have souls. Countries are lands where people live. In my experience, if I am not…

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Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.