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What does this mean to our lives? The realization of dreams require the suppression and extermination of not only nightmares but other dreams. No matter how gentle the weapons of choice may appear, they are weapons nonetheless. Whether it be the mandates of justice, the visions of the divine, or the knowledge of learned men, some aspect of life will be lost, taken, or irrevocably changed. When one has avoided some pain or sought a great pleasure, another has discovered a new way to hurt; one only amasses a fortune at the expense of another’s great treasure. So if the screams of the fallen cannot be avoided nor the dreams of the unfortunate be realized then is life cruel, evil, or to blame? No, there are no evils for there are no victims; no culpability because no law has been broken. Just as the self is an illusion so is its pain. All approve of the suffering subconsciously despite their conscious disapproval in the same way the dreamer approves of his unexpected dreams. The “rightness”, the absolute obviousness, the most undeniable aspects of, our feelings and thoughts are processed/bodies. These aspects of our mental lives are subject to the same mechanics of motion and power. Our feelings and thoughts are products of ever evolving and ever changing bodies pitted against one another. This includes “us”. Every aspect of our cognition is at war to create and sustain our experience and identity: parts of our fear with parts of our courage, parts of our pain with parts of our joy, our memory clashes with the present; our language crosses swords with our instincts, and our ideas send armies to battle their falsity. A person is the total activity of various processes, just as an organ is the total activity of the tissues and their cells. What we have come to call our lives, proclaimed as true, and claimed as our own is the tide of the war. Never forget the tide can be turned. A castle and a cemetery are opinions. What is laid to waste and reduced to rubble may be celebrated or mourned, and what takes its place will be loved and hated once more, but never will the rubble reciprocate either sentiment or understand any ceremony held in its name. There are no sacred flags. All banners of war were meant to be loved and burned for no perspective is final nor may any dream be shared by all. The momentum of all forces and the position of all bodies are sacred, so when the tide shifts, the victory is the same.
You can know this if you have ever woken from a dream. The content of the dream fades and submits to the new reality. The pain that was lived in that world was real but it was not evil for when your eyes opened, it was no longer capable of being thought of in that way. The conditions, standard, and subject from which such an evaluation could occur, no longer existed. The pain of a world you do not live or breathe is not capable of maintaining relevance. It serves its purpose then becomes forgotten or abstracted. Upon what humans call death, with the same revolutionary spirit, our present experience and understanding concerning our pain are deposed. Endless birth and death; Insufferable misery and uncompromising joy, all in the blink of an eye. Our lives a mistaken hypothesis, but we cannot see an alternative or any evidence to the contrary so our concepts and our pain falsely assume the role of laws. Perspectives are a function and demonstration of the capacity, opportunity, and vulnerability of beings.
You can live this if you ever come to love something more than yourself. The level of destruction birthed is not measured nor scrutinized when protecting something that precious. All parts of you move; they aspire with the same passion to acquire and protect that precious thing. With the same grace, all other things move as they have to acquire and protect their own treasures. Our wars are waged by dreams, prayers, and works of art that refuse to let these set of eyes, be the last that lay sight on what they carry and embody. Can you not see that there is the same aim and joy behind your enemies’ sword? The sigh of relief that comes when a battle ceases and you are left standing is the same that would have been breathed in that battlefield if the men behind the swords traded places with those at the end. Let us not confuse war with senseless violence. Violence is not war; a war consists of violence but what makes it something more is that the violence is arranged and distributed symmetrically.
The leaves in the forest are all fated to fall but they do not possess the same speed, trajectory, and grace in their movement towards the bottom; nor do they come to rest in the same place at the end of their journey. Some fall near a puddle and shrivel, others crumble under the weight of something much greater than themselves, and many remain hidden from sight elevating others to a more beautiful angle where there is a perfect balance of sunlight and shadow. Yet their magnificence is made undeniably clear in their unified performance. For no forest where leaves all fall in the same place and are untouched by tragedy, can rival the forest where both tragedy and glory have visited the leaves. An autumn forest is not measured solely by the perspective of an ant consumed by the shadow of falling leaves, so too our reality is not to be seen or measured singularly. Our lives are myths, our identities but brief events, experiences of a much greater perspective that sees our unified performance with the same awe teeming in the forest on an autumn day.
Once you know this and you live this, then you can grasp the mystery of the world and see the concepts in your flesh. There can be no ontological grounding to this mystery we call reality. The normativity of opposing and ever-changing forms of cognition can never be established. Every possible concept, interpretation, and experience can be shared but not posited as true; it only takes a war with a set of equally intuitive experiences and rigorous interpretations to rewrite history, and the vision of the future. Outside our internal language nothing can be understood or named so we may only conceive of this relationship as eternal and empty but nonetheless present. We cannot rationally grasp nor conceptually fabricate a form for the mystery and yet its presence cannot be denied once the ground caves in, and all remains untouched floating in the senseless sea. This is the empty mystery. Our cells so not have the capacity to understand the nature of the body they give rise to and sustain and yet here we are. God has died but the image of something greater lives on. Beyond this tiny perspective we call life, there is an entirely new order of being. Once the phenomenal world permits an endless plurality of destinations and our noetic equipment loses its privilege, all models and proposals for reality must implicitly assume a more enduring order of life. The dream we have woken from can no longer said to be all there is, but neither can any other moment of our experience and understanding be labeled as such. We all have a story that directs the pain and purpose of our character. If you can supplant the story with a mystery then you may free yourself of literary standards and create something new; something which dissolves the distinction between spilled blood and spilled ink. Waking entails the overthrow of all knowledge; with every revolution there comes the process of reconceptualizing and revaluating to make the new governing order intelligible. There will always be something to wake from and into but always something nonetheless. Dispel the illusion that your operating system, stream of consciousness, soul, (however you wish to refer to the present collection of processes) is epistemic in nature and final in form. Sense and meaning are evolving features of the empty mystery…