“If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, then you must accept the terms it offers you.” –T.S. Eliot
Outcome is no more than the contributions we make either by will or by abstinence. We arrive at whatever point and to whatever moment decidedly aligned with all that came before where glory or tragedy are no less the reward dispensed or dispersed.
Seldom I think of music as mere coincidence or the sweetness of rhyme as accidental; serendipitous perhaps yet nonetheless an animate resolve seeking contact with a soul seared with pain and in need of binding.
“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.” – Henry David Thoreau
To each we must be willing, to one another we must be tireless and to ourselves we must be faithful to that which we bring to life as remarkable. To call upon our sense of that which lies beyond our touch, outside our vision yet resides within and about the image we seem barely capable of imagining. A love affair where Man binds with the Muse of Mastery and the pose gives way to Purpose.
The memory of September 11th remains quite thick and steeps a brackish mist though for a time it seemed it would fade and surrender to a unifying embrace; it remains a vigilant survivor. For what we hoped for as a respite from the pain we closed more than our eyes and now we may yet begin the journey ten years past as tensions continue in search of an answer to a question dissonance preys upon and hopes to void. Why must the price of failure also be the price of failure and why must humans build memorials in memory of ? How many more will be required to memorialize what we choose to ignore; lessons we’ve been taught though elect not to learn.
When I stir the mind for images of that wasted Day and every imprint our actions record upon each that follows I see the greatest loss of all: We have failed to honor ourselves with the teachings each surrendered life reveals for valor lies not in the indifferent or trite but only in the case when faced with the seemingly impossible, the irreconcilable and the un-survivable, one remains compelled to act. We act not from the fear of lose but that in the giving of one’s whole we witness loves exponential power and infinite capacity. This is our calling and remains as who we are. It is only our want of sensory validation that keeps us from knowing what has been there all along.
“If you would lift me up, you must be on higher ground.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are deluding ourselves by thinking our values are outward expressions to be broadcast at the point of a gun; as if to suggest that apocryphal convictions are impositions sufficient to coerce an opponent. One has only to look at our own internal processes, our own social, political and economic failures where the consequence of proven failure record the extremes of apocryphal convictions each clearly insufficient to silence the opposition. How then are we the anchor of meritorious resolve when scripted lunacy and rationed reason prove themselves dismal failures? How then do we compel the opposition to favor and adopt these methods when our testament breeds a growing discontent with mechanisms none dare claim as their own?
“What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.” -C. S. Lewis
More and more I have come to believe that the growing public dissonance is not just a benign form of discontent, it is far greater and far deeper than this. It is an internal conflict expressing itself in its most base and fundamental form. It is in-part a growing recognition, an intermittent parting of the fog which on occasion teases ones native sense of reason and simultaneously provokes both a growing fragmentation and an even greater sense of defiance the likes of which is increasingly peaked by an awakening to what has always been but is becoming more identifiable of what is and has always been an irreconcilable conflict. What is the irreconcilable conflict? The evidence is all around us; it is in our failed relationships, our failed economic and social policies; our failed sense of military imperialism, our failed sense of duty, security and personal convictions. Most importantly, a stagnant evolution away from the flawed illusions that once gave us comfort that now have become only tools of torment. In short, it is our flawed belief in omnipotent Man as creator and not as it should be; Man, as the divinely inspired extension of the Omnipotent Creator whose purpose is to express the expansive design and intention of the Creator.
Willingly we have accommodated the distortion of one of the most profound and affirming statements of all time:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
For a time these simple words were understood, but only for a time. Today, few possess the courage to express the depth of meaning this specific phrases imparts. You see, up to this point the idea or notion of a Creator was a message that was an incidental teaching accompanying the religious or practitioners of faith. This one statement was, for the very first time, not just a teaching or a profession of faith but now as a profound affirmation of fact and integral to the cause of Mankind as a precursor to and as a binding agent to all that followed: “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Many believe this statement to be an affirmation of Religion and this is a mistake; to believe it is a doctrinal statement or affirming attribution is to lessen its significance though admittedly one can, by reference to the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, understand how one might arrive at this particular orientation. Yet, as I move to a close, this is not the point of this writing which is to say, to engage in discourse on the meaning of this phrase in microscopic detail, it is however to serve as a reminder, as an article relying upon or as a unifying force.
However one chooses to compose or capture the sentiments of 9/11 is decidedly an individual covenant. In the greater sense and as an emblem of the time we live in it is an unquestionable tragedy imposing a stunning losses of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In most every form and expression of government’s brackish mist we witness the ceding to the lowest possible common denominator of ideals and ambitions and I doubt few of good conscience will object to this observation. We are not living our unifying force and as such the outcome is not at all consistent with our design, our purpose or our guiding principles.
Still, the events of 9/11 can be A Unifying Force that powerfully resonates for one and all. It can become not a durable emblem of loss but an enduring reminder of a profound and glorious departure. A time of ascension where Man resumed his journey of pursuing a cause worth perfecting; correcting his routines such that the principles guiding us are synonymous with those that define and lay as evidence not as to what we say but more so as to what we actually do. Then and only then will there be no Life or Liberty lost in the Pursuit of Happiness, there is only its perfecting of A Unifying Force.
“Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force – that thoughts rule the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is, you must know, inevitable that we will converge upon a common Ideal; I do believe it is time for this process to accelerate as I do not believe we are capable of enduring the pain our persistent defiance will undoubtedly compel.
“Lay still in silent moments frequent; lie in wait thy wisdoms press to still and guide thy troubled heart. In longing voice I did beseech thee to free the brine of torments and shun not my call for grace! Low, still and silent speaks when willing soul reveals; I did provide ye answer child, a time when I sent you.”
Curtis C. Greco, Founder