Boxes, Echoes

Before the weekend, I wrote about how part of experience may be in a listening to save force, or effort. That very day, I had a chance to talk to a workman I didn't know - and listened to his litany about how the world is so unfair that institutions are a lost cause and one must focus only on eeking out a living.
It struck me how that mentality degrades humanity; how easy it is for people who lack a critical apparatus to mangle their intellect. It is true that this is a very hard time for ever more people but to discard offhand the option to look for the beauty in the day to day (no one said it was easy, but isn't it necessary), is to willingly submit to the powers that be. Perhaps such a person is in danger: intelligent but jaded, grassroots but cavernously pessimistic. One of the things I try to teach is that critical intelligence is also creative, and ought to be applied towards seeing a way towards respectful, civic freedom. It occurred to me that the cliché 'think outside the box' applies here, where the box is the closure of lack of faith.
So the question becomes how to heal the righteously indignant. Of course, there is no healing or teaching if someone already thinks they know the answers, which is the curse of wild intelligence. Maybe what I mean is how to heal around that pain: via a talking cure. Ferlinghetti says that The New Yorker and NYRB "don't know what to do with poetry these days", and laments that the printing press silenced the oral force of poetry, describing folk musicians as the true poets. I found my way back to Johnny Cash and was astounded at the force of the words. I like the beginning of this recording of What Is Truth?, my favourite is Like A Soldier.
The songs give heightened meaning to "having a voice," unless one is so modern as to think that one's voice must always be one's own. But that was the nymph Echo's problem centuries ago - until she was stripped of it, sent to the other extreme of mindless repetition. And while many would say that words are empty - as empty as a hollow echo - I think that is only true if the purpose of words is not understood. This misunderstanding is perpetuated by the sheer volume of words carelessly bandied about.
Like in caves. It is a time of darkness despite all the lights we put on, even far above us on satellites. I think of the enlightened soul or shaman who learned how to see through the darkness. The darkness is never meant to be the final destination: merely the test. Hopefully, during this test, we do not contort ourselves into boxes. There are plenty of studies that can remind even those who think they are swimming the ocean of knowledge that they are actually wading in the shallow shore.
So much talking, not all voices being heard. There is much sadness, Cash sings of men in black: it is healthy to mourn, mourning is one of the processes that heal.



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