Friday, January 1, 2016

Tranquilized by trivia, yearning for those good ole pagan days

Looking out on Great Bay: 12/27/15
CC Jean Stimmell
What a wonderful solstice present!

Hiking along a pristine path
bordering Great Bay estuary
we came across evergreens
adorned with dried fruit
simple and natural
as if hung by pixies and elves
harkening back to pagan times
before the invisible hand
of rationality and “affluensia”
consumed our souls.

Ah yes, rationality and affluensia, the modern epidemic of denial: can see that basically our lives are, to a large extent, spent in avoiding confrontation with ourselves. And then you can begin to make sense of the enormous amount of our culture's daily activities, which attempt to distract us from ourselves, from deep reflection, from deep thinking, from existential confrontation. There's a wonderful phrase by the philosopher Kierkegaard, "tranquilization by the trivial." And I think our culture has mastered this better than any culture in history, simply because we have the wealth and means to do so. – Quote by Roy Walsh, psychiatry professor, in The Search For Meaning by Phillip L. Berman

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