Comedy or Tragedy
Stephen Victor photo
Act I Colluding
“…a man who lived a short distance from himself.” —James Joyce, “A Difficult Case”
Human life is but the loveliness of a passing fragrance. Few see it this way. Most are frequently fraught with challenging experiences leaving life hellishly difficult and long. Also many regard life’s fragrance with suspicion. It need not be this way. Life is more. Beauty is abundantly redolent.
Though Joyce’s descriptor is uncommon, we commonly live it out, unrecognized. Distant from sweetness. In this fray we are wont to trundle on — hastened — to do what we must. Meanwhile, bereavement lingers as subtext.
We, good cultural representatives, are ill-prepared — failing in our attempts to manage the effects of collective folly.
Many proceed dysfunctionally — nearly all drowsily possessing lemming-like proclivities.
Our conformity is our act of collusion — as we must — to the bequeathal of our human nature.
Act II Colliding
“What is madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance.” —Theodore Roethke
We soldier-on. In seeming oblivion. Chaffed.
Faint, freeze, fight, flight — resistances all. Each missing the mark.
Our denial collides — bumping against our sovereign autonomy — with our profound personal agency — our overwhelming creative potential — with what lies beyond the dream. Each collision colossal.
Act III Collaborative Cooperation
“Whether all is really lost or not depends entirely on whether or not I am lost.” —Vaclav Havel
The dance between the consciousness of whatever-it-is-we-are and our corporeal consciousness — the human nature of the animal in which we reside — is intended to be fraught. DNA changes only under pressure. This metaphor helps when considering the imperative of our colluding and colliding: Sirens call and we are thrown against the rocks — of necessity.
The animal consciousness of human nature is hardwired to evolve. The consciousness of whatever-it-is-we-are does not evolve — rather, it expands: The consciousness of our human nature — AND — the consciousness of whatever-it-is-we-are exist on the planet to be changed. The degree to which we change is proportional and consonant with the how of our responses to the vagaries of high and low pressures in our daily lives.
If we consent to the Mystery’s prompts to change, we begin our awakening within the dream of our life. This means we mature in self knowledge and develop skills to manage our attention and emotions — truly becoming adult — possessing the requisite skills for becoming functional in the management of our expression and experience. Said differently, we develop a strong healthy ego enabling us to participate effectively in life’s interdependent dance.
Awakening within the dream is the first phase in believing we are not lost. In this awakening we acquire the necessary self-deception of believing we have found ourselves. This is a noteworthy achievement! Few people do this.
Once awakened within the dream, the Mystery prompts us to awaken from the dream. Fewer still detect these prompts let alone awaken. Awakening within and from the dream are collaborative processes involving the consciousnesses of our animal body, whatever-it-is-we-are and the Mystery Herself. Truly finding ourselves — no longer being lost — is one of the successful outcomes of this cooperative undertaking. Another is the evaporation of our necessary self-deceptions.
Absent each awakening — and remaining awake, we humans do not know how to cooperate. Not in our most intimate relationships nor in the broader collective. Yet, cooperative collaboration is our greatest collective strength.
Love is the intersection between the worlds — the traffic circle — for those yet awakened, those awakening, those awakened to the dream and those awakened from the dream.
Love is an instrumentality: The instrument of awakening. It is the backstory of cooperation. Of intimacy and falling in love with the world — and Life Herself. It is the opening to having an Act III in your life.
Is there a third act in your life? Will there be?