Sunday, May 24, 2015

I can try


May 14. Lianyungang, China.

No matter how difficult my relationship with others becomes, I see that somehow I come back, every day, to a new effort to start everything all over again.

When I was at the All and Everything conference, this subject of relationship came up over and over again. Perhaps it's because my presentation was specifically about intentional suffering, and the point that it must be engaged in in relationship with other people — not as a solitary activity. Much more could be said about that; and I will be publishing excerpts of the discussion that followed my presentation of the paper over the next few weeks in this space. (This is done with the permission of the organizers.) 

Let this essay, then, serve as a sort of introduction to those excerpts.

The question of relationship expanded for me as we engaged in these discussions. We live in a cosmos of relationships; and if one studies the cosmology presented in Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, one eventually sees that the restructuring of what was once a "mechanical" — automatically functioning — universe, the "original" universe, turned it into a universe of relationships. This is one of the critical points introduced in the chapter The Holy Planet Purgatory. That chapter, by the way, contains many interesting technical details, and it is easy to sink into the quicksand, since so many of them are subject to a great range of interpretation — because of our natures, inevitably, subjective. But the overarching cosmology, the cosmology of relationship, is unambiguous, and it involves an exchange of materials or substances.

Whether we know it or not, we are engaging in that exchange of materials and substances not only from a physiochemical point of view, and an electromagnetic point of view (the two, after all, are not separate things in physical sciences, but inextricably linked) but also from an ethereal point of view, that is, from the perspective of emanations, which — although they may be, in the strictest sense, also electromagnetic phenomenon — actually move into quantum space where such terms are far less useful. Emanation, for example, which takes place instantaneously across space, unlike radiation, which must travel through it through time, is clearly linked to quantum entanglement, which displays principles based on the idea of emanation, that is, linkage across distances of space that is not affected by time, but takes place instantaneously.

In any event, I didn't mean to get into this complicated discussion of physics. The point is that we are constantly engaged in relationship. We must attend to our inner relationships; but we cannot ignore the outer, in fact, it is absolutely essential to the creation and maintenance of our own inner universe. 

And I think it is this willingness to forget the bad things that have taken place in the past, this willingness to start every day as though it were possible to somehow reconstruct a goodness, is what keeps me going. I have had this confidence in that action in me since I was a small child; in fact, I can't remember any time in which I didn't have it. My mother reminds me that when I was a very small child, and she said something couldn't be done, or would be very difficult, I would always reply: we can try.


I suppose that this belief in an essential goodness and an ability to start over and find a way to it is na├»ve. At least some might say it is; and they are probably right, because we are all, it is apparent, creatures who have lost their way. 

Nonetheless, I cannot live in the hopelessness that presents itself and wages war against my inner effort; it is my duty and responsibility to stand up over and over again in the face of the bad things that happen and the hopelessness that wants me to believe in it, and say no. It may well be that people are always going to behave badly and be cruel, and it may well be that I will always have some part of me that wants to respond in kind; but I have to do better—

because I do not want to die feeling that have failed to try.

Hosanna.

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