"It is the function of the artist to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: To show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows." -William S Burroughs
The Recurring Haromony of the Soul
The truest things speak to me, resound in my head, light up my neurons, cause my stomach to jump and my heart to race. And when I speak them aloud, tears come unbidden to my eyes. It is truly a shame and an honor to be a human being who believes in logic, and yet is truly driven by emotion, against the matter of the fact if need be. If anything, this is my fault, and it is one I cling to desperately.
One recurring theme, which many sources have rung in my heart, has been that of the all powerful, transformative nature of love.
I think the first resounding was the story of Jesus, the concept and practice of truly loving your enemy.
When I read Enders Game, this bell was rung again: "I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
Something about this seemed to overcome the monkey brain, even if for a short time. Perhaps an accident of evolution in mammalian brain, perhaps something more. Whatever it is, I have always been content to let love lead me around like a fool. Ender discovered, in learning and understanding his enemy, truly knowing what things led them to be who they are, that he loved them. This was something that tore him apart.
When I read Stranger in a Strand Land, the perfect love of water brothers was another resounding in my head. I remember being moved to tears when the group all shared water at the press conference.
Kurt Vonnegut was another confirmation: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
When I was introduced to Buddhist ideas, and the concept of individuality being ultimately an illusion, the concept of love took on another dimension, that perhaps perfect love is really the truth, in the back of all of our heads, perhaps in the depths of matter itself, that if we take down all these walls of individualism, we realize that you're me, and I'm you. That there is to separation between us, that we're nothing, but we're also everything in equal measure.
The description of "Namaste" that I first read caused that same tingle in my brain: "I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us."
My view of love as part of the human experience has also been tempered by Martin Luther King Jr.: “What happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites - polar opposites - so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. It was this misinterpretation that caused Nietzsche, who was a philosopher of the will to power, to reject the Christian concept of love. It was this same misinterpretation which induced Christian theologians to reject the Nietzschean philosophy of the will to power in the name of the Christian idea of love. Now, we’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
I'm not sure how to wrap this all up into one cohesive thing. What I think I want my practice to be, as much as possible, is to try to treat everyone like they are myself, living another life, because they may very well be just that. And even if all of this is idealist wishful thinking, I have never regretted acting out of love, and I don't think I ever will.
I hope I can figure out a way to make someone else's brain resound with truth some day. I think it's one of the ways people can really change the world.
Thank you to all of my teachers out there, including you, Mr.Card.
Posts: 10 | Registered: Nov 2006
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