PEARL

THE REAL OR UNREAL

The face of our time exhibits quite new and to us unfamiliar and often seemingly strange features, bearing no comparison with any epoch of the past. Indeed, a departure from the past is evident everywhere. What was or should have been will not return, nor be retrieved or continued. A gulf has opened up here, because – something new, something unprecedented, unexplored, is about to arise and be formed.

We all perceive it somehow, all around the world and across cultures, and we cannot stop thinking about it. It overpowers all life of quiet desperation. Over the last century a seemingly unending chain of cataclysmic events, both natural and man-made, has shaken everything to its foundations, not only in the earthly but also in spiritual terms. Now, new foundations must be looked for and new goals have to be found.

It is often said that a new dawn is rising, more so this time after the tumultuous new that has etched its deepest traces into our souls. However, pride, terror and fear are strangely intermingled in this concept. With pride and self-satisfaction we look upon the tremendous achievements of the highly-bred intellect, which is capable of achieving such incredible things in all fields of human endeavour, be they in space exploration, both manned and unmanned, automation and robotics, genetics, medicine, computer science, transportation, energy generation, just to name a few. There is the talk that we will soon be ready to ‘dominate nature’ by manipulating and modifying the genetic material of both plants and animals, maybe even humans, to create ‘perfect’ species. What an illusion! What has taken nature to perfect over millions of years of evolution, we profess to ‘improve’ in a few generations. The audacity of these cravings is directly and incessantly confronted by the gruelling fear of the consequences of these activities. As for dominating nature, it only takes the next earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, wildfire, tsunami or hurricane to show

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Contributors
A full-time clarinetist in an orchestra, Paul Schmitt’s lifelong quest to discover answers to seemingly unanswerable questions about human origin and existence, how the order of the world is organised, and whether man is a ‘biochemical machine’ or we