Such A Failure Of Understanding
There is such a failure of understanding, at least by me . Such a failure because there seems no end to such human-made suffering – such killing, human upon human, such human-made emotionally-induced violence, such destruction – that we men in our majority cause and have caused, world-wide, year following year, decade following decade, century upon century, millennia after millennia.
For millennia, any and every cause – any ideology, any faith, any belief, any personal emotion, personal loyalty, a chain-of-command – has hallowed our violence, our hatred, our killing. Every century we seem to invent some new excuse – or regurgitate some old excuse – for our unempathic behaviour.
Yet compassion, hope of peace, personal and familial love – those now so familiar muliebral virtues – endure and continue to enchant at least some of us. So much so that many men continue to believe in God, in Allah, or in some inscrutable mechanism such as karma. Are we men then the phenotype of Janus?
Perhaps we are. But can our human culture of pathei-mathos perhaps change, redeem, us? Yet again I do not know, and can only once again hope even given that:
I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
So I am returned to whence and where I was, the only fallible personal certainty now being personal and familial love.
An extract from an e-mail to a friend, inspired by Gymnopédie No. 1 (Erik Satie) played by Lavinia Meijer,
with a footnote added, and some emendations made, post scriptum
 εἶτα τὸν τὰ χαλεπὰ γνῶναι δυνάμενον καὶ μὴ ῥᾴδια ἀνθρώπῳ γιγνώσκειν τοῦτον σοφόν. “Yet the wise person is the one able to understand such complex matters as seem incomprehensible to other human beings.”
Thus it follows – quod erat demonstrandum – that I am still far, so very far, from being wise.