Consider each moment when despair flees before a realization that all is well, despite one’s tragedies and the world’s, mortality, crime and hypocrisy, despite injustice, that it’s possible for all to feel even in the most impossible circumstances a faint benevolence passing and subtle. Suppose that others yet born will thrive in total disregard that we ever lived, and our small earth, smaller for its disputes, will also vanish, and even the limited frontier of tomorrow’s attention will ignore us not a block, field or a conversation away from where we live and die, that our greatness is simply that we can perceive. A stark picture surfaces: the universe, even if it cannot love back can be loved … and invisible to us, many others and the unborn may, even in crisis, so absurdly love, since for a few moments a wave destined to crash upon a beach of nothingness, rolled anyway, with beauty and power.
We speak here not of the replacement of self but its invention.
We impose a puzzle over what we perceive then call it a “complex”.
We respond to one name (self) not many, but within earshot — a symphony.
May we live to re-define the self as love with our every step on earth?
We rebel every time we call ourselves human.
The lover’s struggle is to resist narrowing emotion into a formula, or it slowly passes from poetic metaphor to cliché. Love is a poetry, the re-invention of another as a hero or princess, as the greatest person in the world, even if one fully realizes their flaws. And each of us must be a true poet to love. We are poets when we dream each night. It’s not strictly about writing or verse. We conjure out of nothing films with “scripts” nearly all night every night to rest and revive from a contracted and often cruel waking world. We are all in practice for love quite naturally as dreamers. But the waking dream of love means to constantly practice and compose if one wills beyond infatuation and serial romance. Love is waking to a dream of another soul as the poem of one’s life.
If we could print our imaginations on the stars, document our inmost lives on the disappearing ink of space, type a record of our fate, a phantom script of wistful longing, a thin, beige, dreamlike Paris or Platonic Atlantis that neither time, futility, nor transience could erase, make a film of all we’ve done from birth to death, to save and see, all the elate & sad greatness we lived before we died, the colossal efforts & puny magistrations, lost dawns, dusks, dreams, realized goals, moments of humiliation and grace — to distill the love, wisdom, the febrile kiss of our lives, then let the waves do their work, plant our footprints on moving sand to extract this wave-scroll of phenomena — thrust from an ocean of nothingness preserving our All — — would retrieving this chart, script or film – our past, our fate – change or merely confirm what we choose now?
Could somehow our minds, when idling from our intent replace it’s open space – freedom — with a “phantom architecture” that’s not a philosophy but where there might be one? More modestly, an inverted dome or cone “propped” by an unconscious logic of oppositions (like a crystal?), which are actually illogical before psychological evidence and the everyday? The mind is invisible and so is math and its space imaginary but the mind’s visionary invisibility matches the mathematical just as it births its recognition. The mathematical is “there” to replace, to open up the imaginary space called mind, when we are not doing it ourselves. Could it further be that the psychological “tweezers” (?) or deft observation needed to extract but one thorn from such a mind (a haystack at midnight?) might evoke its natural radiance like a solar system’s star restored to light?
Wisdom counsels us to bend with the wind. We are finite and must let go even of life. Yet if expectations must yield when may our resolve rise? It still requires one stiffen facial muscles to smile. Circling the sun on earth, in our brief series of days we face wind, darkness and cold: crimes of neglect & madness, the herd’s reproach & convention’s revenge, long, difficult projects, poverty, aging, the ice of rejection — we need to bend yet stay resolute — to let go and resist.
In our invisible absence, from nothingness, our consciousness becomes All to appear as never before in freedom. Can we accept loss and remain revolutionary in our resolve to remake the world?
Perhaps like a painter with a full palette before a blank canvas of events we can leave the world untouched or incarnate as color and shade in action, as we choose. Or as an astronomer studies light in space to the far reaches of the universe our perception can shift from spectral blue to red as we approach or withdraw at will.
Perhaps wisdom is a synthesis of intuition and knowledge, innocence and experience, inaction and action? We can let the energy animating the universe (Tao) flow through us in effortless efficacy without severing our identity with nature. We can stand out and up, resolutely, for the creation of new truth. We can pursue peace within and try … to change the world.
Creativity is the origin of love, scientific discovery, coolness in crisis, why genius has been mystified as a “birthright”, “star” or destiny. Perhaps the star Persian sages followed to Jesus’ cradle revealed not divine birth but life’s promise of light if we are true to our creativity? All scales of estimation of honor, money and influence disappear with us. Success is an arrangement between mortals. Our hidden nihilism is the font of tragedy and comedy; truth and its negation.
Truth in exile will eventually discharge its light and power. Its profile haunts our shadows. As a slender spiral of smoke swirls to the sky born aloft by angry winds we’re thundered from our nests: hallways, dining room table, desk, the bed of our dreams and nightmares – to face a startling finale: the end of our exile. The thunder’s all bluster but if we bring the lightning down and let it spread across the page of our future we can leave our past to open a cloudless sky. We mourn our past in ashes until we face our future’s phoenix. What does the light foretell? Peace will come with truth only. For beauty sleeps with the power released when we die to be reborn — in freedom.