Sunday 4 December 2016

Plumbing negativity and coming out of the other side

The modern condition is one of intense self-awareness to the point of doubting the value (and even the reality) of anything else - and then this doubt turning-back to attack the self - so that the solipsist moves from regarding everything as a product of his own thinking, to the dread that he himself is a transient delusion.

We are, it seems, meant to reach this point - although we are not meant to get stuck in it - but move through to the other side.

For some this is a once-for-all confrontation with 'the void' after which they re-engage with external life; but my experience has been one of reaching this point recurrently, and pretty frequently, throughout adult life.

Others have experienced the same (according to honest autobiographical accounts) - which may mean that the lesson has not yet been learnt and needs repeating - or, more constructively, that more and more can be learnt each time - leading to a greater depth and strength in the end.

The two temptations are falling back to an earlier position - which means that the problem has not been overcome; or to get stuck in the paradox. The difficulty is that - of course - that when in the still-point of doubt, there is no coherent reason for overcoming that doubt.

Help must come from outside the system of doubts, and doubts of doubts - which is, I guess, the value of the experience; yet that help must voluntarily be accepted: because our free will or agency can reject this help.

Furthermore, what seems to be help may be of harmful intent - may be preying-upon our doubts rather than overcoming them constructively.

Altogether there is need for discernment and wise choosing; and these can only be validated by assumptions that we feel sure are true, but without any 'evidence' that they are true (evidence being the very thing that we doubt).

The only possibility of genuine escape is if our assumptions include that we are made and destined for such times, such situations; such choices; and that providence will (if we let it) conspire to get us each through the problem.

This assumption seems to me both necessary, and validated - although it is, strictly, indefensible.