So Red The Rose
“Hell is other people.” J.P. Sartre
Now I remember why I turned my back to you 30 years ago. Those years of greed and ruin could almost have been forgiven because I assumed they didn’t know right from wrong, assumed they were products of their society, assumed, ultimately, they were evil.
And now the same hatred, division, derision, but different ends should make the means acceptable? The sadness for me is I know you know better so there’s no escape from this, you choose this.
So you’re up this cycle, make your hay. Don’t kid yourself that you’re actually changing anything . It’s the same girl in a different dress and no matter what she wears she’s still ugly, vulgar, repellent and cheap- so she suits you.
When you’re back down you’ll have never really been up. We illuminate or we do nothing.
When I ask my girl how she can bear this, the hatred, the venom, the grotesque creatures that surround us. She says “I forget how beautiful you are.”
I call you grotesque and she says I ‘m beautiful.
I guess it’s only by comparison so I should thank you for that and for driving her to me.
So, let me reiterate 30 years hence; you can all go to hell, the hell you carry around with you and make the rest of us live in.
There is a moment in adolescence when we stop being children and realize, come to a consciousness of, that we are each different, unique, individual, and alone. Teenage angst, existential despair; I’m not sure of a difference. At this time a variety of things can happen, among them: losing oneself and one’s identity in a community to feel less alone, turning to drugs and/or alcohol to feel less or remaining a child in a child’s world, ignoring the problem altogether. There are probably more but those are the ones I’m familiar with.
At some point they all break down and you find yourself alone, again, in this world with more time having been lost. It’s a question we can’t answer so we try to forget it any way we can . This is the price we pay for our consciousness; different, unique, individual and alone.
Using basic concepts from science and philosophy, let us take basic views of this question and explore them. If the price we pay for consciousness is to be alone, what is the benefit? What are the costs? Where is the counterbalance, the fulcrum, the tipping point? What is the cycle, how does this act in the present time? What is the manifestation, the lasting effect beyond our lives?
Taken one at a time:
The benefit: the easiest of them to see, diversity, our greatest strength. With so many viewpoints on common problems there is made available to us as many possible solutions. Yet, when we are angry, it is those differences that come to the fore, effortlessly. We first have to acknowledge there is a problem.
The costs: despair, addiction, zealotry, immaturity, to name a few. All are losses of that uniqueness that is so hard to bear.
The counterbalance: awareness. Seeing that all are alone and in that same community. Easily said but almost impossible to keep prescient along with our own identity.
The cycle: far too simply put, life. Consider life as a wheel. All our efforts push this wheel forward, not knowing where it is headed or even how it was started in this direction. No measure is reserved to slow or turn this wheel, or to even consider the wisdom of anything but progress in a straight line, still the shortest distance between two points (that has not changed), and no one remembers who set this course or to where it proceeds (if that was ever known) . At some point the inertia of life drags us along when we no longer desire the same destination, we glimpse something else but can not slow down. So we push ahead harder, thinking that will make the turn, but the scenery never changes in any significant way. The laws of conservation of matter and energy, very similar to the Taoist singularity of the yin/yang, state that for every action there is a equal reaction, matter stays the same, only the function of it varies. All stays in balance; for creation there is equal destruction.
There is no gentle way to say this, so boldly: We are not here to do, we are here to be. We are here to illuminate our lives, we are here to experience our senses, we are here to think and create; all else is ultimately futile, counter-productive, and a waste of our lives. That which we need, food water air and land is abundant and all else is unnecessary. We are made from this Earth and we want for nothing, but before you consider this madness on my part;
The manifestation: All we detest in this world stems from our inability to see ourselves as alone, together, and that you are not different from me in a significant way. We all pass our time on this Earth in that bond.
It is our clutching and grabbing at life that destroys it for the individual and for our civilization. It is the concept that our best destiny lies outside of ourselves. It is the futility of our existence, ultimately, as the universe disintegrates. It is the entropic nature of the cosmos that ensures that the light of stars will vanish and us with it.
We do nothing.
We are, we illuminate our lives, we are the same.
If life is a rose
so red the rose
red as the blood on the briar
of who would claim it.
One of my dear friends, a beta reader, after reading this far, looked up at me and said “Go to Hell for this.” It was the whimsical smile he had that told me he got the point. It really does make you feel better to realize why everyone else is deeply, fundamentally flawed and telling them to go to hell is very clarifying. You should try it.
I have also been told by my other beta reader not to refer to her as “my girl.” My woman sounds too cavemanish, my female friend sounds too clunky, so you tell me? I have referred to her as the house of my soul made most perfect with her, so I got that going for me. There is balance.
Now that you are all feeling nice and isolated, let the healing begin. I’ve been kicking this idea around for awhile and if you want to feel a little less alone in the world, try meditating. I hesitate to even bring it up but I’ve done some research; the most basic concept common to ALL religions and forms of spirituality is meditation and self-knowledge. I do it myself and it is not at all difficult to learn or practice.
The reason that I mention it is the people that I’ve meditated with have all said the the same thing after meditating for the first time: that they felt a sense of peace and that their senses felt reawakened and sharpened. So, instead of just having the bond of being alone, together, perhaps there is a more significant bond that unites us. I think if you are willing to tell everyone to go to hell, you should try this as well, but what do I know, right? I told you to go to hell, you!
Every time you point the finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you.