I suspect that my grandfather’s life was real in a sense that my father’s life hasn’t quite been, and my life is not at all. The crucial difference is the lack of self-consciousness, and that self-consciousness is yet another hallmark of the perpetual, infantilised adolescents we have all become, monsters of introspection hovering twitchily on the edge of self-obsession, peering into the abyss of our own inner disconnection, occasionally aware that while the unexamined life may not be worth living, the life which only exists to be examined is barely manageable; barely indeed a life.
Half an exercise. For connoisseurs, and for the refreshment of their spirits.
We’re not lost, not too much.
We walk amidst a lavish abundance, one of beauty in minuscule moments and also in breathtaking excesses yet muse almost exclusively on its absence and seem to only find comfort in the bleakness of realising how distant it appears to be.
How quickly do we look for protection within the limits of accepted virtue and how much do we forfeit when we capitulate in the face of this shame we don’t see imposed?
Three and a a rule
I submit that euphoria as a result of experiencing incomprehensible and overwhelming beauty is an extension of breathing, of sleeping and dreaming; a warm skin in full bloom, growing; a function of the body, not shameful and most certainly not distinguishing.
That is however neither what we are taught nor is it what we teach. We are taught to worship and enforce the median and we mostly comply, afraid, unaware or both, of its dissonant implications.
Isn’t education more valuable when it reveals our endless capacity to resonate? Isn’t it nobler then? As humans we already know the tears to be shed in the face of gloom and despair. It seems to follow that we also ought to know the wonder to be sensed in the face of glory.
Six and a rule
I submit that learning to resonate to beauty is the single most important lesson we can receive or offer and that the process of discovering it is in itself recursive, a marvelous canon to our infinity.
The fear of isolation is real; after all, once embraced, who can truly see the divide between one’s quiet path, no matter how lush, and the cliff beside it, the one that leads to a black ocean of despair, abandonment, anger, and resignation? Thus we take solace in the opinion of others as they take in ours, as to how we should be led, if not also as to the final destination.
Do we really need this constant feedback on our mental whereabouts? Do we once stop to consider that we may well not be that easy to lead astray and that the others, those whose feedback we use, as they use ours to carry on, may just be exactly as unaware of their inner good skills at direction as we are? Are we not squandering our unique foresight (which is frightening sometimes, yes), in the name of the false security of a characterless herd?
Nine and a rule
I submit that the very essence of our humanity is precisely how we each experience elevation in our own unique way; not only does the contemplation of that which silences us make us more human but also the realisation of that blooming in others around us. Only by sharing the excitement of all our astonishments do they become completely our own.
It sometimes seems as if there is far too much which is worthy of absorption; how can we possibly appreciate and catalogue everything and also have the time to correlate it with everything else, without dedicating a whole life to it, without becoming an hermit? Isn’t life simply moving too fast?
It is endearing to see how easily and quickly we fall in love with filing systems, categories, and folders, as if they or any other devices were able to contain the flood. We are constantly told that the world is moving faster and faster and that renouncing to comprehend it will forever leave us standing, that we might just as well be dead, that this is a task of supreme priority in detriment of those around us if need be.
Twelve and a rule
I submit that it is only by slowing down to near immobility that we can wholly perceive both the real speed of the world moving around us and the false and trivial myth of its acceleration. Only then can we finally sense its slow, monumental, almost imperceptible cadence, of which all other urgencies are but a declination.
The cacophony of recipes for catering to one’s self-aggrandizement is staggering; it has become an industry of astonishing proportions, a putrid cesspit of competitors all trying to claim to have found the one, easy to follow, fool-proof sequence of steps to solving all of life’s mysteries and more. Just give me 14.99€, and I’ll show you who you are and what you can become, they say.
Are we not mistaking those recipes for something that they’re not? Have we lost so much confidence in ourselves that we so readily believe that our inner life is in any way different from the outer one? That we trust an outsider to show us an hypothetical map to our very core? That there is such a thing as a method at all, any method?
Fifteen and a conjugation
I submit that there is nothing we must do to empower and amplify the tuning fork within, that we just need to stop, sit down, listen and see, that we need to learn to be exactly and only with ourselves as it is the only true path to truly being with everyone else.
In the end it isn’t important to perfect our openness to wonder at all. Without it, however, we’ll forever be a shadow of ourselves.
Air. Again and to the end.
We are not lost, no. We are just a little in awe of all the opulence.