To what end this no end? None, and that is enough.

March 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear _______,

What you say of the foundational myth being torn asunder, never so much removed as it has been ripped apart and scattered, becoming platforms for ideologues on their best days and battlefields for tyrants on their worst, seems right. Because the craving for a purpose larger than oneself has never really subsided. It certainly has not for me.

I don’t say that with too large amount of ego, for it is as much a possible character flaw as a potential credit. Purpose is debilitating, I suspect, when it corrodes our actual experiences of the world—when we’re no longer engaging the world in which we’ve found ourselves. Life’s ‘larger purpose’, the fantasy of a foundational myth if ever there was one, seems most true to the extent it adequately serves as a motivation or marked contrast to our daily life.

My provisional answer to your question, then, is that I identify a profound purpose in the removal, ever at arm’s length, perhaps better to say a distancing, of the ‘me’ from whatever it is I happen to be doing. There’s no endgame to this kind of purpose, just shy of a bodily end anyway – and even then, I don’t see any reason that one’s individual consciousness marks out definitively what counts as ‘beginning’ or ‘end’. Life is inherently accumulative, and increasingly so in contemporary culture. Those who opt out of or are denied access to such a lifestyle, if not of profit then of gainful debt, also stand out; and though they’re the sort I tend to find more to my liking socially, they aren’t necessarily any closer to the purpose I’m failing adequately to describe. If nothing else, they are like those with whom their lifestyle stands opposed, accumulating time and experience. No, there seems no getting around that.

What if, though, there’s a black hole heavy density at the heart of that accumulation, into which it (the accumulation) is not progressing so much as it is already residing? And what if this density, this accumulation of all accumulation, yours and mine, and all in-between, including the accumulation of the not-accumulated — the ignored, the forgotten, the missed opportunities, etc. — this Everything is such that it is Nothing in particular at all? In this one could never place hope, or at least not as it tends to be preached about from those platforms or fought for on the battlefields mentioned above. Might it be, rather, a subtle reversal of Kant’s definition of beauty: a purpose without purposiveness. To what end this no end? None, and that is enough.

What if, indeed . . .

I apologize, I don’t at all know how that relates to what you said. But it sent my mind down a path, or maybe it just caught up to where I was already.



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