The Construction of Soul and World

 

The psyche (the soul) and the world are both organized, at the highest levels of human existence, with language, through communication. Things are not as they appear when the outcome has been neither intended nor desired. Being has not been sorted into its proper categories, when it is not behaving. When something goes wrong, even perception itself must be questioned, along with evaluation, thought and action. When error announces itself, undifferentiated chaos is at hand. Its reptilian form paralyzes and confuses. But dragons, which do exist (perhaps more than anything else exists) also hoard gold. In that collapse into the terrible mess of uncomprehended Being lurks the possibility of new and benevolent order. Clarity of thought–courageous clarity of thought–is necessary to call it forth.

The problem itself must be admitted to, as close to the time of its emergence as possible. “I’m unhappy,” is a good start (not “I have a right to be unhappy,” because that is still questionable, at the beginning of the problem‑solving process). Perhaps your unhappiness is justified, under the current circumstances. Perhaps any reasonable person would be displeased and miserable to be where you are. Alternatively, perhaps, you are just whiny and immature? Consider both at least equally probable, as terrible as such consideration might appear. Just exactly how immature might you be? There’s a potentially bottomless pit. But at least you might rectify it, if you can admit to it.

We parse the complex, tangled chaos, and specify the nature of things, including ourselves. It is in this way that our creative, communicative exploration continually generates and regenerates the world. We are shaped and informed by what we voluntarily encounter, and we shape what we inhabit, as well, in that encounter. This is difficult, but the difficulty is not relevant, because the alternative is worse.

Maybe our errant husband ignored the dinner conversation of his wife because he hated his job and was tired and resentful. Maybe he hated his job because his career was forced on him by his father and he was too weak or “loyal” to object. Maybe she put up with his lack of attention because she believed that forthright objection itself was rude and immoral. Maybe she hated her own father’s anger and decided, when very young, that all aggression and assertiveness were morally wrong. Maybe she thought her husband wouldn’t love her if she had any opinions of her own. It is very difficult to put such things in order–but damaged machinery will continue to malfunction if its problems are neither diagnosed nor fixed.

 

Wheat from Chaff

 

Precision specifies. When something terrible happens, it is precision that separates the unique terrible thing that has actually happened from all the other, equally terrible things that might have happened–but did not. If you wake up in pain, you might be dying. You might be dying slowly and terribly from one of a diverse number of painful, horrible diseases. If you refuse to tell your doctor about your pain, then what you have is unspecified: it could be any of those diseases–and it certainly (since you have avoided the diagnostic conversation–the act of articulation) is something unspeakable. But if you talk to your doctor, all those terrible possible diseases will collapse, with luck, into just one terrible (or not so terrible) disease, or even into nothing. Then you can laugh at your previous fears, and if something really is wrong, well, you’re prepared. Precision may leave the tragedy intact, but it chases away the ghouls and the demons.

What you hear in the forest but cannot see might be a tiger. It might even be a conspiracy of tigers, each hungrier and more vicious than the other, led by a crocodile. But it might not be, too. If you turn and look, perhaps you’ll see that it’s just a squirrel. (I know someone who was actually chased by a squirrel.) Something is out there in the woods. You know that with certainty. But often it’s only a squirrel. If you refuse to look, however, then it’s a dragon, and you’re no knight: you’re a mouse confronting a lion; a rabbit, paralyzed by the gaze of a wolf. And I am not saying that it’s always a squirrel. Often it’s something truly terrible. But even what is terrible in actuality often pales in significance compared to what is terrible in imagination. And often what cannot be confronted because of its horror in imagination can in fact be confronted when reduced to its‑still‑admittedly‑terrible actuality.

If you shirk the responsibility of confronting the unexpected, even when it appears in manageable doses, reality itself will become unsustainably disorganized and chaotic. Then it will grow bigger and swallow all order, all sense, and all predictability. Ignored reality transforms itself (reverts back) into the great Goddess of Chaos, the great reptilian Monster of the Unknown–the great predatory beast against which mankind has struggled since the dawn of time. If the gap between pretence and reality goes unmentioned, it will widen, you will fall into it, and the consequences will not be good. Ignored reality manifests itself in an abyss of confusion and suffering.

Be careful with what you tell yourself and others about what you have done, what you are doing, and where you are going. Search for the correct words. Organize those words into the correct sentences, and those sentences into the correct paragraphs. The past can be redeemed, when reduced by precise language to its essence. The present can flow by without robbing the future if its realities are spoken out clearly. With careful thought and language, the singular, stellar destiny that justifies existence can be extracted from the multitude of murky and unpleasant futures that are far more likely to manifest themselves of their own accord. This is how the Eye and the Word make habitable order.

Don’t hide baby monsters under the carpet. They will flourish. They will grow large in the dark. Then, when you least expect it, they will jump out and devour you. You will descend into an indeterminate, confusing hell, instead of ascending into the heaven of virtue and clarity. Courageous and truthful words will render your reality simple, pristine, well‑defined and habitable.

If you identify things, with careful attention and language, you bring them forward as viable, obedient objects, detaching them from their underlying near‑universal interconnectedness. You simplify them. You make them specific and useful, and reduce their complexity. You make it possible to live with them and use them without dying from that complexity, with its attendant uncertainty and anxiety. If you leave things vague, then you’ll never know what is one thing and what is another. Everything will bleed into everything else. This makes the world too complex to be managed.

You have to consciously define the topic of a conversation, particularly when it is difficult–or it becomes about everything, and everything is too much. This is so frequently why couples cease communicating. Every argument degenerates into every problem that ever emerged in the past, every problem that exists now, and every terrible thing that is likely to happen in the future. No one can have a discussion about “everything.” Instead, you can say, “This exact, precise thing–that is what is making me unhappy. This exact, precise thing–that is what I want, as an alternative (although I am open to suggestions, if they are specific). This exact, precise thing–that is what you could deliver, so that I will stop making your life and mine miserable.” But to do that, you have to think : What is wrong, exactly ? What do I want, exactly ? You must speak forthrightly and call forth the habitable world from chaos. You must use honest precise speech to do that. If instead you shrink away and hide, what you are hiding from will transform itself into the giant dragon that lurks under your bed and in your forest and in the dark recesses of your mind–and it will devour you.

You must determine where you have been in your life, so that you can know where you are now. If you don’t know where you are, precisely, then you could be anywhere. Anywhere is too many places to be, and some of those places are very bad. You must determine where you have been in your life, because otherwise you can’t get to where you’re going. You can’t get from point A to point B unless you are already at point A, and if you’re just “anywhere” the chances you are at point A are very small indeed.

You must determine where you are going in your life, because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with (and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse).

Say what you mean, so that you can find out what you mean. Act out what you say, so you can find out what happens. Then pay attention. Note your errors. Articulate them. Strive to correct them. That is how you discover the meaning of your life. That will protect you from the tragedy of your life. How could it be otherwise?

Confront the chaos of Being. Take aim against a sea of troubles. Specify your destination, and chart your course. Admit to what you want. Tell those around you who you are. Narrow, and gaze attentively, and move forward, forthrightly.

Be precise in your speech.

 

 

  

    

 

RULE 11

Дата: 2018-09-13, просмотров: 44.