Sunday, October 6, 2019

It's lovely when it works!

As fulfilling and exceptional as so many of our routine performances and daily obligations may be fashioned, it's a treat when things work out without all the effort. A young life dedicated to study, self-improvement and work may yield distinction in a trade or profession, a sense of accomplishment and the reward of money. Some never know when or how to quit but rather insist upon extracting everything they can from the flower to the root. In other instances the endurance is remodelled to the ethereal ointment of borderless care for another. Each of these undertakings and commitments exacts its own price. Certainly the expansion of intellect and skill is an unquestionable application. One cannot but admire the perseverance of another. And charity of any description is redoubtable. But anyone on the wrong side of seventy knows that those erstwhile achievements are poor fodder in the declining years. Where precisely one draws the red line for the diminution of age is always going to be variable. But it is patently clear that no matter what your status or what you've accomplished, when things go swimmingly for no other reason than the sun in the sky, the wind in your hair and the unwitting collision of time, place and company, there's nothing can compete!

We may clothe our human nature as ingenious but the blunt truth is that our mottled intellect simmers in the stew of our five senses; namely, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Upon each of these primary ingredients we build our castles in Spain. The obvious coalition with intellect, spirit, sentiment, friendship, love and ambition does nothing to dilute the necessity and force of the senses. The dichotomy of body and mind will forever persist. Yet this does in no way eliminate the effect of one upon the other. The point I am making here is that the visceral and the cerebral dynamics of the human race are neither competitive nor exclusionary. Living with the mind and the body is the family of experience, that inescapable alliance and legacy. Similarly it is the submission to those evolutions which acquaints us sometimes unintentionally with the most uplifting and resourceful paradigms.

I so often like to quip, "You say to me what is the answer; and I say to you what is the question?" The difference is the very significant one of perspective; namely, how do you see the world? Perspective is more than the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface; that is, the object isn't trickery. Whatever the view, the target is always to give the right impression - whether height, depth or overall narrative and attitude. To succeed with geometric precision our analysis of life must be both collinear and concurrent. The easiest way I have found to achieve that objective is to submit to the persuasion of one's native appetites (including gut reactions) and one's mental idealism (including conscious experience). It is an ambition fraught with philosophic debate but which nonetheless admits of the facility of life's magic. Adhering to the plain initiative is the real challenge.

There are so many instances of complication in our social undertakings. Recall how relieving it is to obscure the promotions of design; and instead to rely upon the discovery of uncalculated knowledge. Our lives are like piers cluttered with barnacles of imposition. Standing with clarity in the sea of existence is no easy matter as we are constantly swept over by the turbulence of our surroundings. How welcome then a day of manifest simplicity and unparalleled accommodation! These moments happen but infrequently. When however they do occur their elevation is nonpareil!

"Human beings are too important to be treated as mere symptoms of the past.  They have a value which is independent of any temporal processes - which is eternal and must be felt for its own sake."

Excerpt Giles Lytton Strachey, "Eminent Victorians"

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