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?

9 comments:

ArtSparker said...

It seems to me that it's a case of the body (politic) becoming ill by overindulging, and the information of illness takes a long time to travel to the brain. I wish Americans would get over congratulating themselves on their Greatness (American Exceptionalism?), which would open up the possibility of being -oh- sensible and kind.

Steve said...

Everything is cyclical. It would be nice if we could reach a point of equilibrium, perfect balance, but instead we seem to lean one way and then, realizing we've gone too far, we lean over the other way. Politics certainly works this way. Even the seasons do, in a way -- everything dies back at one extreme and flourishes at the other. Perfect constant balance isn't the way of the world, unfortunately!

I'm not saying Obama's intentions are too extreme, by the way -- but I imagine we'll lean rightward again as a nation at some point. It's inevitable.

lacochran said...

When I was young I would hear that the pendulum of politics swings about every 20 years. Now we're down to 8 years. That's a pretty good acceleration... especially if we can get to 4 years and line it up with every major election!

Robert said...

When I was younger and things were bad, I used to always tell myself: "Oh it isn't THAT bad!!" But in reality, things ALWAYS seem to get much worse... or so it seems. I was simply in denial. I tell ya, sometimes too much optimism isn't all that great! haha! jk. :-)

Hello Reya!! TGIW!!

tam said...

How interesting, my comment yesterday did not post. (This in a week when I'm complaining of feeling unheard!)
What I said was - I think that the further off balance we are the further and more wildly the pendulum swings. As Gaia herself demonstrates with her eloquent violence of late...
Well here's hoping the balance can be restored.
Thanks for sharing all your musings.

Lynne said...

Muck, suffering, oppression, bigotry, do we need them? I think we do somehow. If we lived in a perfect world where none of those things existed and everything and everybody were all on the same plane, what would there be to strive for? What would we do with ourselves? More than likely we would just sit around like lumps of clay instead of evolving.

(reading my comment back over before posting I don't think I came close to saying what I really meant to say. oh well, I'm posting it anyway.)

Val said...

I think we need the whole broad spectrum of every possibility - like sadness in order to know joy, and darkness to appreciate light properly etc etc
Its a pity we cant just get it right first time, but then i suppose it is one big giant huge learning curve for us all?
xxV

Val said...

oh yes and i just tagged you for a meme...

lettuce said...

m and i were talking about this the other day (sort of) in relation to increasing affluence - how it creeps up and people become accustomed to it, and tolerance levels imperceptibly shift and shift again...

i think the same is true with the muck and crap, people become accustomed to increasing levels of awfulness like the frog in the gently warming pan of water

:o/

i'd hate to think its a necessary part of life tho



these trees are magnificent

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