— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
We suffer from passions about a divided mind, and about the illustrations and conceptions we make and give to ourselves to help us understand the human nature that we are. Western Civilization gave us a very conflicting sense of human nature when the papacy crowned kings and queens with divinity. Monarchs, in governmental matters, had an absolute power that made them right by nature of who they were, and to whom they were born. “On earth, as it was in heaven,” mankind proclaimed; and the 1% have been the law and the lawyers to this day.
As commoners, we have been looking for our divine natures ever since. Religiosity did no favor to our species. Governed by powers that professed to see all, we have grown egos that aspire to divine nature instead of human nature. Governments, in the name of god, created a hell on earth where all the abominations of “man’s inhumanity to man” were flogged and raped in the public square of humiliation and fear. Our Human Nature is closer to chipmunks and elephants and trees and rivers and lakes than it is to angels and gods…we are earthlings, not celestial beings.
We fear what has been passed down to us as visions of hell. and our visions of inflicted pain, most particularly brought on by greed and power. Even a cursory reading of Shakespeare, or other authors from middle ages and before, render us cold to see that hell was man’s creation. It was never gods. Divinity was used by the powers of man to cultivate an arena of sheep that could be led anywhere by the most unholy of shepherds. Was it evil, or was it evolution? Is evolution evil?
We are a part and parcel of nature and human nature. We can and should look at it with awe and reverence for its sheer mystery and beauty, but it is important to note that it does not look back at us. Mindfulness and consciousness can create truth and beauty, but not divine infinity. We are only human. We serve lust and aggression with the cold inaccuracies of nature as our guide. Kingdoms in other realms, populated with angels and old friends, and we at the right hand—well that may look like gold, but fools gold also glitters in the sun.
Prayer works, not because there are angels, but because we are human. Prayer, (another word for desire) is that internal activation of yearnings; it is psychic energy. The energy cathects to a thing or a cause represented by a word or an image and sublimates all other desires to that object.
A cool, late winter morning,
–the signs of spring in red budded tree tops,
and the gently moving yellow of the willows.
A narcissist bud is begging the sun to penetrate
its delicate membrane and impregnate it
with the energy of birth,
the bitter/sweet connection, the periodic table, the elements with which it breaths.
Narcissism ought not to be shy,
it lives with the same birth right as the lilac, blooming in the door-yard, by the Brooklyn Ferry, by Emerson’s Rhodora,
And the transcendentals,
Who failed to thrive one hundred years ago or more.
This gives me not my warm kindness.
I lie in state, conscious, but vulnerable with no object.
The damp wood smells slightly of a spring bog,
while the snow melts around the granite stone,
the only rock of ages that have been clef-ed for me.
The post card reads, wish you were here…
To which I reply, “yes! wish I was here with me as well.”
And, another morning kisses my eye lids
with colorless gray ideas,
with a forgotten hopefulness that you will one day return with your spoils of war.
Blessed art thou, Penelope, for you have inherited the yarn of time.
Go forth, you who are young in heart; the inheritance is short lived,
and we must, all, take the test of time, despite,
that we shall never pass it.
Mindfulness in psychoanalysis