We are in trouble because we are human. If there were the slightest possibility, I would have suggested to Mr. Webster a long time ago to prohibit the use of the epithet, flawless, on any human being. A flawless diamond, possibly, but not a flawless member of the human species. On this, history (not the versions usually and placatingly put forth by chroniclers contemporary to the age) stands as witness to the entertaining flaw in knighthood and canonization, both approved, administered, and conferred by one flawed human being upon another who, even in the most precise application of probability, can not be flawless.
Three scores and ten have provided me with the observation that it is wiser to dwell more on the imperfection of man than to heap accolades on the Who's Who. The greats are commendably deserving of praise and respect, but the urgency of the day is how to tip the scales from the teemingly, apathetically, and unawarely overflawed in favor of the less flawed.
Alas! The problem is: the flaws are inextricably marrowed in our human nature and no human solution is possible for correcting the Dilemmatic Inequilibrium between duty and desire as these collide in human affairs. This monstrous phenomenon encompasses every facet of every human activity....personal, familial, communal, commercial, political, religious, national, or global. The eternal demand, consciously or instinctively, is to make a choice between duty and desire.
The tragedy is: while having both (in the purest sense of fulfillment) is an impossibility, the choosing of one to the neglect of the other is the surest road to conflict and strife....to turmoil and death, be it the death of love, morality, friendship, peace or...the soul.
Every human activity is preceded by a choice between duty and desire. And, whichever choice is made (to the neglect and sidetracking of the other), a monkey wrench is thrown into the ensuing collision. No one can please both simultaneously and that explains why human beings are always in trouble and why peace (whether personal or global) is freaked to remain an illusion.
The Chinese pronunciation of the word, peace, is ho ping. But, hoping alone can not bring us the peace we so longingly want. For now, we can only search inward or implore upward.
We need to understand ourselves first and others next. Then, make the difficult choice between duty and desire, so naggingly and indelibly etched into our fleshly nature.
This book intends to show that, in every facet of humanity, the invisible tug of war between duty and desire goes on unendingly and, in its ruthlessly unresolving process, human beings are incapable of becoming flawless, especially on their own. And therein resides the origin of the human plight, when Adam and Eve bequeathed upon humankind the fatal fruit of the First Choice.
Are we really the intelligent gods that we think we are? Or, should we lend an ear to the instructional silence of the stars? Shall we insist on our own capability and the unyielding pride of the human spirit? And, can we not learn from the genius Jose Garcia Villa who wrote such beautiful (but chillingly revealing) poetry when he proposes that God, the Creator, should pose this query to man, the created, whose name (despite his flaws) is Genius: "Murderest thou Me Who Am thy Fountainhead?"
Every incident in this novel (as it is also similarly true with the incidents in the life of every person, every family, every nation, and the community of nations) intends to support my observation that the Dilemmatic Inequilibrium between duty and desire is the universal culprit-accomplice of human nature, responsible for the wars that we don't want and for the peace that we don't have...yet.
An armor is a man-made shield, a protective device. The academic question still is: can any perfection come out of the much-celebrated "human ingenuity" of the imperfect man?
(MORE INSIDE) By Mariano Ngan