December 26 2013
Once, our governing stories taught us to recognize our inner wounds as evidence of something wrong, something insidiously evil and flawed about being human. We had many names for those sore spots, those aching reminders of our brokenness: mental illness, flaws, original sin, failure.
Today, there are inscrutable stirrings in the dark: the landmarks are shifting and we are being moved to ask previously impossible questions: what if we are not fundamentally flawed as our strong myths suggest? What if to err and err over again is to be truly divine in ways we do not yet understand? What if our lives are dancing fields of 'false norths' - each pointing not to some absolute, inerrant compass point but to the magnetic centers of our own humming hearts? What if we are here to be saints of imperfection? What if we are magnificent in ways that transcend how intelligent we are, how situated and balanced we are, how morally coherent we are, how disciplined we are, or how powerful we are?
The answers are not clear, but the questions refuse to leave. Perhaps it's because there is a growing sophistication in our collective consciousness - a maturity that hides behind the apparent stupidity, angst and cultural self-immolation that defines our generation. We are seeing that our many promised heavens - perfect and resolute as they are - lack the meaningfulness needed to make them worthwhile.
Of what use is a shape without contours and edges? Of what use is a mind that is existentially closed to the musical seductions of its own strings? Of what use is total happiness, infinite and blinding, without the memories of grief and the purging of sadness? Of what use is a song that does not dip and rise, faltering in the lukewarm falsetto of the mundane, falling into the painful abysses of the tenor, and then soaring on the crests of an awakening soprano? We need all kinds of minds….all kinds of moments. A world rid of sadness and grief, of difference and weirdness is a heaven we couldn't possibly tolerate. The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Painting by Edward Hopper
Shared from the Mankind Project - https://www.facebook.com/theManKindProject
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