Leaving the forest

Like Cynthia Ozick, as a little kid I was a Romantic, devoted to total immersion and pure experience rather than deliberate interaction with it. And as one’s real surroundings are often not enough for someone not yet ready to participate actively in life, this frequently took the displaced form of indulgence in fantasy and the imagination. Eventually, as an awareness of my own place and doings in this world began to take hold, this shadowy hedonism came to seem less defensible. And then a fixation, at least on the intellectual level, with duties and rules of conduct. One comes to see that immersion in experience is never complete, because experience slips irrevocably into the past. And the only form of nostalgia which is not tinged with loss is a memory of having behaved admirably or at least decently. Because we cannot continue to enjoy our past lives, but can only hope to be able to respect them. But I think now that a sense of obligation to others is not really sufficient either. Like the Law, it tends to shut down alternatives rather than putting us willingly on the right road, to drag us reluctantly through life rather than driving us by inner volition. Only love can do that. Which is where an element of misanthropy is fatal. Sometimes I look on those who simply love more than I with plain bemusement. And I often feel greater compassion for little animals than people, not because I value their lives more, but because people are competitors. All living creatures, animals, plants and people alike, compete and fight to secure the good things in life, but a small dog or cat, like a baby, is no danger to me in trying to get its share. But in human society everyone has a certain status, so that just by virtue of their existence people come into competition.  This may have a semi-rational basis, but it is all just internalized as instinct.  In any case, it suggests that to cultivate a kindlier way of life perhaps requires changing one’s view of others more than one’s view of what deeds are allowable. And that the attitude embodied by Goethe’s words “Wer immer strebend sich bemüht, den können wir erlösen” (“Whoever tries with every effort, him can we save”), perhaps does not represent the right psychology.

One Response to “Leaving the forest”

  1. helen Says:

    Why did that stupid guy find the truth that the earth is round , oh , appoxiciate elliptical .Yeah , human being should know truth , but the more they want to know , the more they make the world complicated . Actually they will never the whole truth , they can never explain the truth completely perfect .Just like the earth is not completely round, and never. Someone will say : If that way , the world will be proceed , there will not be this word “ international “ The world really developed rapidly since the human beings knew the world is round, because we can connunicate through all over the world. We are forced to make a deal and to share , and we are called “most-favored nation “ . Isn’t it equal that in the past , the developed guys ( countries) invaded and bellied the weak ones , because what , because the body can not function well in the present climate . And in the currently , in the advanced civilized the world , the strong guys still take advantage of the weak in an advanced and civilized way ( they import raw material in a very low price from the developing countries , and export their technical products in a very very high price ) Who is yelling at : everyone is equal, you have right to choose, you have right to pursuit the happiness of life . It works only in the world where the rulers make the rules . For others , someone stands up : this is not equal , we should fight for our right . Yeah, that is right , but rice can not grow in the cold climate, so you can not succeed in fighting . The world is full of flasehood and lies , among the countries , also among the people. Words from the people’s mouths are just to make themselves round ( perfect ) , no one is totally true to others, maybe it is unecessary , sometimes , the falsehood shapes the world more nice. But if there is a world , where are pure right or pure wrong , pure black or pure white , I will be the first person to get a “ Black “ or “ White “ Card , even at the cost of life. Though I am a little extreme sometimes, I never think about killing myself , and I live very well in this world . Just adjust yourself to the world , the environment and the people ( that is called Devotion ) ,meanwhile , keep your own characteristic ( that is called creation ) , and you are a great successsful person .

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