In Silence, Remembering

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NASA/HST - NGC 1300

In Silence, Remembering

ἔγω δὲ φίλημμ᾽ ἀβροσύναν […] τοῦτο καί μοι
τὸ λάμπρον ἔρως ἀελίω καὶ τὸ κάλον λέλογχε  [1]

There is, as I fallibly feel and understand it, nothing more now for me to do, save live reclusive in silence, remembering, heedful of hope of human change and of the beautiful numinosity of a personal love, of life itself; a beauty so often known by us yet so often obscured or profaned or destroyed by our selfishness, our hubris, and the suffering we thus cause and inflict when we forget or scorn or are unaware of ourselves as but one fragile error-prone, microcosmic and affecting, connexion to all Life who but briefly exists on one planet orbiting one star in one galaxy in a cosmos of billions of such star-filled galaxies.

No more, thus, are there articles, essays, or missives, for me to write; no more replies, in answer to queries, to be sent by modern communication means or even via fountain pen lightly impressed upon paper. Indeed, there is no more contact with others; no more interference in the lives of others, no more presumptive knowing. Enough said and written; far too much; with much – most – valureless, rejected, disowned:

“Writings disowned are everything – apart from some poetry and my Greek translations – written before 2002; everything written about National-Socialism, politics, ‘folk culture’, and Islam before 2010; everything – with only a few exceptions – written about The Numinous Way before 2011; and several items about The Numinous Way written since 2011.”

For the stark and uneasy truth is

“…that I have no real, no definitive, answers for anyone, including myself. All I have now is a definite uncertitude of knowing, and certain feelings, some intuitions, some reflexions, a few certainly fallible suggestions arising mostly from reflexions concerning that, my lamentable, past, and thus – perhaps – just a scent, just a scent, of some understanding concerning some-things, perfumed as this understanding is with ineffable sadness.” [2]

Thus all I now really, personally, feel may (just may) – of my multitudinous decades-long, effusions – communicate something of some small and worthwhile interest are my Recuyle of Pathei-Mathos, the compilations De Novo Caelo et Nova Terra and Pathei-Mathos – A Path To Humility, and the few poems in the collection Relict. Some few thousand words from, perhaps, a quarter million, or more.

There is also no need nor desire, within, for me (as some others in recent years have suggested) to “get involved with social change” (or to “go out into the world and try to give something back”) since there is, as I wrote in reply to a personal correspondent last month [3], the reality, the knowing, of me

having made, and knowing and feeling I made, so many mistakes, shown such poor judgement, been so arrogant, so selfish, for so many decades – for most of my adult life. Given this reality, I simply do not trust myself anymore not to cause suffering, not to make even more mistakes, not to show poor judgement again. Just as I know my responsibility, my blame, for those my past mistakes and their human consequences.

Thus, why would I want to inflict myself on the world anymore? External engagement might in theory (just might) be possible for me again were I to have the guidance, the oversight, of others; a moral authoritative framework provided by good people I could empathize with and trust to guide, advise, correct me. But even then, even then given my past propensity to be hubriatic and selfish, I might veer away from doing what was right.

For the simple honest truth is that I now feel, in my very being, that I have no right to, can find no justification for me to – beyond that necessitated by personal honour in the immediacy of the moment – interfere in the lives of others, in however small a way even if my initial motives might be (or seemed to me to be) good. For who I am to judge, decide, things beyond the purvue of empathy and a very personal honour? I am just one fallible exceedingly error-prone human being with a long proven history of impersonal interference, of hubriatic, suffering-causing, and selfish, deeds. Someone who does not trust himself anymore and who values and tries to cultivate wu-wei. Which is the major reason why some months ago I ceased to write (to pontificate) – about anything; leaving me with only some few and sporadic, and soon also to cease [4], personal correspondences such as this.

In effect, I feel I am not – by being reclusive – retreating from the world, just seeking not to inflict my error-prone self on the world, on others. An error-prone self, a person, I admit I now do not like very much. Which is why there is also no longer any desire, not even any secret desire, to share my life, in however small or complete a way, with anyone or even with others be they friends old or new. Of course I could be wrong, and am just being silly or stupid. But it is how I have come to feel.

All I now have therefore are the brief human contacts that this type of reclusive non-religious life allows or finds is fitting. The smile, the cheery return of a ‘hello’ or a ‘good morning’ when a person is passed while out walking. Or perchance talk of the weather. No reason for me to be gruff, aloof or rude. Quite the contrary – a need to smile; to be polite; perhaps even a little charming and briefly. As if such small so human things so briefly made might be some minuscule emanation of that wordless quiet quite inexplicable inner joy and peace which somehow in some strange manner seems to flow within when I am out, outdoors, wherever whenever, able thus to feel the freshness of the air, see clouds and sky, feel this living planet as Nature lives and changes, and be again one particular if fragile brief mortal emanation, one microcosmic none-harming connexion, to all Life. For there, alive, it is as if I am who and what I now should be: no thought, no words, to spoil or soil earth, wind, sky, sea, clouds, heavens, or water.

But yes, there is a certain inner emptiness, and often, and bearing grief and sadness, when alone indoors. Inner vacant sometimes colding spaces which perhaps a belief in God – or the gods – might fill, and which certainly a partner or prayer or both would warm and dissipate. Yet this certain inner emptiness, such sadness, I sense is perhaps is as it should be for me, as part expiation for the varied harm my varied pasts – in this one life – have caused.

So many, so very many many, others in so many places world-wide far less fortunate than I, so that I have to – must – accept my pottering hopefully now non-harmful way of life, remembering. Always remembering that θάνατος δὲ τότ᾽ ἔσσεται, ὁππότε κεν δὴ Μοῖραι ἐπικλώσωσ᾽ and the suffering I personally have caused, balanced (perhaps) as such remembering is by a (perhaps naive) hope that someone or some many may learn and change as I seemed to have learnt and changed: learned to see, to feel, to try to gently be, the goodness we humans are capable of and have often shown ourselves to be capable of. A goodness revealed by empathy, and thus presenting to us an understanding of innocence, peace, forgiveness, honour, love and joy, far beyond any words I know.

The grievous reprehensible sadness-causing mistake I as extremist, with my fanatical hubriatic certitude of knowing, made for some forty years – and which all extremists of whatever kind always make – was/is to place some idea, some ideal, some dogma, some abstraction, before the innocence of human beings and before those quite simple things which empathy and pathei-mathos reveal and which express our humanity:

“…the desire for personal love and the need to be loyally loved; the need for a family and the bonds of love within a family that lead to the desire to protect, care for, work for, and if necessary defend one’s loved ones. The desire for a certain security and stability and peace, manifest in a home, in sufficiency of food, in playfulness, in friends, in tolerance, in a lack of danger. The need for the dignity, the self-respect, that work, that giving love and being loved, provide…”

and a knowing of, a feeling for, and acknowledgement of, innocence: where those who are personally unknown to us are unjudged by us and are given the benefit of the doubt, since this presumption of innocence of others – until or unless direct personal experience, and individual and empathic knowing of them, proves otherwise – is the fair, the reasoned, the numinous, the human, thing to do.

That reprehensible mistake I made is why extremists embody and manifest hate and violence and conflict; because extremists dehumanize, as well as so often enjoying and needing the exhilaration, the sense of identity, the ‘enemies’, that hate and violence and conflict and abstractions give birth to and always thereafter nurture. A dehumanization so evident in the truth that extremists place some goal, some idea, some ideal, some dogma, some abstraction, some political/social/religious agenda, before a personal love, before a personal loyalty, before stability, peace, and innocence; blind as extremists mostly are – willfully or neglectfully, or naturally because of their character – to the good and to the good people of human intentions which and who exist and which and who have existed in those societies such extremists almost invariably, because of their hubriatic certitude-of-knowing, seek to undermine, destabilize, decimate, overturn, revolutionize, or destroy.

But I have no chanted, sung, or contemplative Opus Dei to try, in monastic peace and with hope and faith, to balance – Soli Deo Honor et Gloria – the unwise deeds of so many; nor any longer a desire or need to interfere in the lives of others. So there is for me only the living of each moment as it passes: no aim, no goal. Instead:

The smile of joy when Sun of Summer
Presents again this Paradise of Earth
For I am only tears, falling

David Myatt
December 5th 2012

[1]

I love delicate softness:
For me, love has brought the brightness
And the beauty of the Sun ….

Sappho, poetic fragment: P. Oxyrhynchus. XV (1922) nr. 1787 fr. 1 et 2

[2] Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of My Unknowing, May 2012

[3] My Error-Prone Self, November 2012

[4] And now – December 2012 – ceased.


Image credit: NASA/HST – NGC 1300