Friday, November 04, 2005

The Noble Search

Meaning. . .

I remember someone who was a good friend tell me that he respected me for my search and my attempts to become a better person.

I believe many people have told me something to the same effect. Their words really didn't affect me.

That is, not until this week.

I started reading Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf. A passage in it addressed suicide and the character's intention not to seriously consider it until age 50. The passage also said something about people not actually doing it because of its sin quality, but committing suicide spiritually.

Also, the Steppenwolf suffers but not for any masochistic reason. Even though he wants to leave life, the Steppenwolf doesn't want to die without dignity. Committing suicide would not be dignified. Instead, he wants to fight back and have the vagaries of life kill him because fighting back and dying is more dignified than just giving up and killing your self.

Londo, in Babylon 5: In the Beginning, said that he respected that most of the humans. Another race with superior technology and nearly indestructible waged a holy war against the humans, but the humans fought back with all their might instead of surrendering, despite the innumerable casualties and most certain hopeless destruction of their race.

This week, I read an editorial about Allen Ginsburg. In it, the author invoked the spirit of the Beat Generation, or at least, the spirit of Ginsburg: that in the complacent '50s, Ginsburg and many of his fellows went on a search for meaning. They didn't rebel against the everyday just to rebel. The everyday had traces of human meaning. Ginsburg and his ilk wanted to recover that meaning.

I think I have an instinctual imperative to do these two things, fight against the river of complacent life and seek out genuine meaning for myself, humanity and the universe.

I shall make that something of a mission statement: to fight against the complacency of life and seek out genuine meaning for myself, humanity and the universe.

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