Thursday, April 07, 2011

By Accident

We have lived, and grown, and were born mostly by accident. The moments of our lives have laways been overgrown with unruly complexity. I like that phrase--"unruly complexity". It indicates something that's not quite random, but never, except for short bursts, predictable. Chaos, maybe. An idea big enough for implacable necessity while still retaining an air of inscrutability. For that is the impression we get from nature: a story unfolding to its own narrative pattern we're not mature enough to grasp. (Yet? The inclusion of that word are the limits of my optimism.)

Earthquakes and hurricanes, happening in that spot, to those people who strive for life just as much as you. (Indeed, even more, because they're not the elites--the "bored gods".) They called this the Augustinean Devil--predictably unpredictable, unchangingly implacable. Implacable only by our lack of energy, our lack of "will". Call this Fate.

And then the thousand chance encounters per day. The popping bubbles of strangers's faces teaching you the finer arts of forgetting. Of forgetting longing, forgetting oneself in the crowd. When these chance encounters (chance indicating only imperfect knowledge, not metaphysical insight) turn ugly, when a Buddha is stabbed by a Psychopath for an iPod on the subway, that's when we see the Manichean Devil: the trickster enemy, whose tactics change in a thousand ways. This enemy must be conquered first, and conquered a thousand times in a row, before we can even consider tackling the second enemy, the pitiless gaze of Fate. Unfortunately, Fate has other "plans". (It doesn't really make sense to speak of plans for somethnig that, if you want to impute agency to it, deserves a kind of agency totally divorced from human agency. Fate works in mysterious ways.)

Consider: "our condition consists of trying to impose pixellated perception on a fractal universe."


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