Monday Aphorism: Ironies

The best of times; the worst of times. Right now?

The human condition, almost freed from the necessity to work interminably for the few crumbs to maintain itself, cannot harness that freedom. Our theories of what is leisure, what is work, what is life and death, developed out of time when the human cry was for relief. And now we have relief; (and) know not what to do with it.

So afraid of death that we look for a messianic moment, we diminish life to a sorry story. So afraid of the dynamics of dealing with imbalance and bad possibilities, that we choose the worst we can imagine, not being able to sustain the imagination of what is good or best.

How do we imagine what is good or best? Attacks upon our ability to think, attacks upon knowledge, upon meaning when there is so much knowing available that it expands beyond itself before it barely touches the air.

Where are the so-good-story tellers that our good stories may occur in life? Or have we agreed that it is the anti-virtues, the greed, the hunger for power and money that dominates in some senses inexorably? Have we agreed that we are weak, that we cannot strive? The best of times, the best of minds were, but not are; not right now!

Time to grow ourselves. Time to seek the character within ourselves which will expand to envision a meaningful life. Time to live our expanding visions!

  • Harvey,

    I am a former student of yours (class of ’95). I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about you last week and was delighted to see that you have a web site. I recall the last lecture you gave to us as a graduating class. The distillation of that lecture was that the likelyhood that we as young adults would continue to read, think and write critically was marginal at best. I remember vowing at that moment to not let that happen to me. I continue to read, to observe the culture around me and to write and critique where I can. I want to thank you for your teaching and for the opportunity to continue on the discussion of culture here in this blog.

    The questions may remain the same but our understanding and growth as human beings continue. Striving, for me, leads to frustration especially in coming up against some of the barricades of modern culture. I still need to exchange my time for dollars, so that I may pay my mortgage. The scraps to survival have become intellectual for me. It is coming across your blog that has given me a sense of delight and intellectual sustenance.