Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Either/Or

It is either/or. Either there is an inertia in our relation to the world, which means there will always be pain while we work to re-adjust ourselves to the safe and good world we have lost. Or we are only restrained by a failure of will, in which case the world is not ours, we are detached from it. We feel the world is ours only when we have invested our inertia in it, developed habits and ways of life that respond to the good things we have found in it. This physical relation, the habits of our bodies, the repeated physical actions we take in the physical world, is what makes us feel part of it.

We know we can be detached. We can see all of life as play. See our attachments as temporary and replaceable. We can be reborn into new worlds at will. But we don't want to do this when we can be makers of the world we feel a part of, makers of the continuing story of our lives. Those stories are what people offer each other in their lives together, and which allow a good, democratic public life. (Public life cannot be sustained by continually reborn game players. They have no attachment to the public thing they make together, just as they have no real attachment to anything in the world.)

When you are no longer loved, when those you love are gone, and when you are in the midst of the violence of war, in the world or in your heart, where there is no security public or private, you can not see a way safely through. The world is inhospitable. You are physically out of sync, and you can't imagine how that will ever change, unless the war ends, and you don't see an end. You are attached in desire, but physically unattached. It is either/or. Your only choice is between removing desire, or changing the world so you can again feel attached to it.

But this is a matter of inertia. You are weakened by inability to live as you must to feel at home in the world. And at this time of weakness, it is necessary to change the world? Since it is so, what you do is begin first to recover security, to put yourself back into alignment. You suspect your competence, your sanity, to act on the world when you are lost in the world.

Myself, I chose to go back to the city where I was born, the place I grew up in minus the people I grew up with. I wait while the State of Israel, for a period approaching one year, goes on examining my marital status, while my annulled wife is out of contact and these words find her on-line, perhaps in Norway (someone there is very persistent visitor). These are moves played, but played seeking end to play, these are my efforts to battle inertia, alter myself physically and ready myself someday someplace to feel at home again.