Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Yin and Yang of it all
Do things have to get really bad sometimes before people wake up? Did we "need" eight years of Bush in order to get riled up enough to go vote for someone like Barack Obama? If we were comfortable and happy, and the rest of the world felt OK about our country, would we be so willing (as we are all of a sudden) to try our hardest to stop being wasteful, greedy and stupid? I keep thinking about a simple relaxation exercise in which first you tense a muscle as tight as it will go, then completely let go. It makes me wonder about human nature, you know?
Eloquence is so often born from chaos, tragedy, oppression. I could name many examples. Here's just one: During the bleakest years of the U.S.S.R., Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the Gulag in such a profound and beautiful way that his book opened minds and hearts everywhere. Since the fall of communism, Moscow has become a rich casino city, kind of like a Russian Vegas. Are there Russians writing incredible books these days? I hope so.
It's true that lotus blooms rise up from the muck, but does this world really need muck, i.e. suffering, oppression, bigotry? Well?
Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. Maybe I should try to conceptualize this huge, beautiful upheaval in America more in terms of yin/yang, the pendulum swinging first this way, then that way. Maybe. What do you think?