Sunday, August 24, 2014

Last post of year one

If I could make myself believe something fantastical, it would be that there is a key in the form of some scientific or emotional or philosophical insight, or even attitude or character transfiguration that, by someone’s arriving at it, would physically open the door to the true universe.  Like an incantation spoken that unearths a secret passageway, this piece of knowledge would bring the trumpet choir and peel back the cosmic surface, revealing the Insides of meaning and happiness.

Unfortunately, this is not only an impossible fantasy, it is a sick one.  It is sick because of a paradox: When a person is blindly one with himself and blindly attached to the world by being it, there is all meaning because there is none.  For him, like a child, it is impossible to even conceive that there is a truth or value exterior to what exists.  This is the difference between a held, loved baby and one in marasmus and shock.  The child in shock, split from himself, will someday need meaning to fill the absence, will be a thinker, a searcher.  He will hope for something richer than him, and Self defining.

I’m saying it is errant to try to find meaning in one’s life.  Look, instead, for what you love, as I, age seven, once loved a summer night with fireflies and friends, and the little turtles.  In some residual way, they remain the bedrock love of my life.  What is the bedrock love of yours?

We, old friends, are ninety years old and sitting around a campfire.  The smoke floats into the night sky, but not up to heaven: It’s curtailed by our world, the arc of our own time.  We talk about the happy and sad things and the people in our lives.  But I propose we also invoke the bedrocks – a summer lightning bug night, a first puppy, puppy love at nine years old on vacation in the Poconos, square dancing in third grade, the first feeling of goodness about people.  The beginning in the end, the permanence, the given meaning.  I think here we’ve captured the jewel beneath everything: the answer, that the universe joins.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.