Saturday, 24 April 2010

But Here Must End The Story Of My Life; And Happy Were I In My Timely Death.

We would all like to see the unfolding story go better; even the most intractable sceptic or jaded cynic, given the power to feed the hungry or free the oppressed with a magical wave of the hand, would gladly take that opportunity. Maybe, they might say, people need their emotional pain and suffering; perhaps that is part of the necessary fullness of a life, and has its uses. But few see the merit of the mass suffering of people caught up in the story of others' greed and fear. If we are caught up in the story, the goals and the results become the only thing that matter, and we blunder on, using judgment best we can, to have the right goals, take the right actions, achieve the right results, and glean some kind of meaning from life.

Confined to the mind, the conclusions about what "the right thing" is can seem arbitrary. So some of us hone different skills, or invent them, or peel away this and that layer of personal fear to reveal these skills, that give the mean judgment of the mind some broader aid; these helpers are often called instincts, or energy, or flow, or God-consciousness. This frees the mind from the responsibility of figuring it all out, and the ego can then rely on forces deemed more universal to direct its actions. The energy of it all, say some, is love. Love is what we are, love guides us, love shows us the way. How does love act? Feel it, and do it; yet even in the cradle of this universal flow, individual's actions are wildly diverse and often at odds with each other. It can seem there is no way to direct the will in the best possible way, to the best possible actions, to reach the best possible solutions.

So, many individuals feel despair. Having done all they can do to identify suffering and relieve it, whether it be their own, or belonging to the people in their small circle, or to some beleaguered civilisation, they see their efforts as ineffectual. We want real solutions, tangible progress, perceptible unity, redemptive healing and measurable progress. Yet no matter what is attempted, it can often seem that perverse human nature intervenes, and the complexities of social interaction bog us down, and the attempt of the will to relieve suffering is scuppered by that underlying fear that motivates so many of our actions. Why, for instance, does Mugabe cling to power, promise the people of Zimbabwe the world, skim the best for himself and his cronies, and squander the resources of his country? Fear: fear of losing wealth and influence and power, which he has identified to be himself, which is all he has. Such a tidal wave of fear is not easily stopped. Such fear engenders all defenses, including murder, which people respond to with a mirror of fear. Such absolute corruption continues to be the bane of the world, if the usual judgments are applied.

All this process, as described, is a common story; the story of seeking meaning, of finding or deciding meaning to be the spreading of the doctrine and energy of love, of revealing what actions this entails, and attempting to apply these actions with mixed results. This, many believe, is the pinnacle of human experience. But what if this hodgepodge is already utopia? What if the goal isn't to fix it, but to participate in the fix, in whatever form that already takes? Maybe we are already doing exactly what we must, no matter what form that takes. Maybe it's OK for some of us humans to have blinders on, so some others can see what blinders are. Maybe it's unfolding exactly as it should, as it must, in the only way it can. There is no other way. An infinite number of possibilities exist in the imagination on an infinite number of time-lines. Any of them might be how the story unfolds. None of them are wrong.


The clip is shamelessly sentimental, and a triumph of tight, wordless storytelling. The people at Pixar aren't content to just produce fantastic images; they also give us poignancy and the portrayal of a mundane life that becomes a universal expression of love, joy, tenacity and regret. It's part of the montage depicting Carl and Ellie's life together in the film Up. Enjoy.

15 comments:

Svante Odmark said...

Lovely! And, Suzanne, I must say your English is gleaming with the milky beauty of a galaxy. ;)

No One In Particular said...

Thanks Svante. High praise!

Svante Odmark said...

Yes. :)

FK said...

As usual Suzanne when I read your blog I find myself nodding "Hmmmm." Love the clip fro Up - remember thinking how beautiful that was.

Reading your post I also remembered an email I recently got - a quote from Osho that our greatest fear is of the opinion of others.

No One In Particular said...

SCREW the opinion of others! Osho was a wuss. Just kidding.

Every single time I see the Up clip, I weep...or at least, weeping arises in awareness, or whatever blah-de-blah. I guess I'm the wuss!

Bob Seal said...

1 whimsical weeping wuss wondered wistfully, was a wuss waiting while other wusses weep.

who wuss wondering?
I wuss.

;-) wild wonderful wishes x

No One In Particular said...

Hey Bob, no one can call you a wuss.

piers said...

Really inciteful, Suzanne. Just seems like everything 'we' do is a vain attempt to negate our own impending and inescapable absence. Mugabe is a great example - the most 'powerful' are almost always the most afraid!

Lightning said...

Tears were arising even before I got to the film clip...
Thank you
x

Brenda (betaphi) said...

Hey Suzanne. I'm such a fan. Your writing just gets better and better. I even learned a new word this time, scuppered. You keep reminding me to accept what is in all its many forms. I recall Lisa and the ladies going on and on about Up when it first came out. I really want to see that show now. Upness to all of us!

No One In Particular said...

Hi Piers and Lightning. Tears and fear - just life.

No One In Particular said...

Hi Brenda, I'm a fan right back atcha. There are so many fantastic vernacularisms I've learned in 22 years in the UK - scupper, although that one may be purely nautical; daft (crazy/stupid), "hoover" used as a verb, and my favourite, "mad as a box of frogs".

Barry said...

Thank you for this, Suzanne - and for the Pixar clip.

I suspect that many of us believe (or want) love to be a feeling - a good feeling that somehow signals that we're good people.

But as I go through this life, I'm becoming more convinced that love is an action that has little to do with feeling-states. Rather, it's simply the doing of what needs to be done. When we do it responsibly (in response, not reaction), then perhaps that's genuine love.

No One In Particular said...

Hey Barry, thanks for stopping by - and it doesn't matter what love is!

Shamash said...

Wow, what a powerful film clip. I must say, I always go for the video clip first, as they're usually great fun. This one was a bit sad, in a nice way, and I managed to hold back the tears - dunno why i did that. Serious question - how do you find these cool films?

There are very few blog posts I agree with these day, but I agree with this one. Everything is going just as it's supposed to be, including the desire to change the way things are.

Thanks Suzanne! :)

Shamash