11.20.2009

Forgive Them Gaia, They Know Not What They Do (to themselves)

One of my favorite friends suggested this video to her friends on Facebook:



My response, in the spirit of "Devil's advocate," was probably really annoying. I said to her,
It may be my mood, but: the one good reason to die may be knowing that you deserve death, that the universe is justified in killing you off. Where is the poet of lamentations and regret? Where is the poet who will admit to breaking the law not with pride but with sorrow?

(Of course, I suppose we need just laws in order to be able to produce that poet...)
She responded:
Casey - the universe and the law - I don't see how you're connecting them. And if the universe is indeed justified in killing us off, doesn't that make the time we have here all the more worth living? Isn't that a machine against which we can rage without compromise?
And I re-responded:
I mean, yes -- of course. But the machine wins in the end, right? I'm off on one of my religious/mystical tangents lately, and coming at this from that angle... where all of the mystics tell us to give-in, to accept our portion, to say, "Not my will, but thy will be done."

Most of the stuff I've been reading lately is Christian/Gnostic in nature, and it points out that the purpose of the Law (the O.T.) was to show us that we deserve punishment. The poet you linked to--indeed most 'def' poets I have heard--speak in the spirit of raging against, rather than from a position of penitence.

I don't mean it as a judgment so much as a neutral observation. The yogis and gurus say much of the same, right?: recognize that *you are that* and then it will begin to change. If I can see that I have been unjust to others, injustice itself is weakened. I suppose I'm looking for more Simone Weil, and less Simone de Beauvoir. (Nice, huh?)

What do you think? I say all of this half tongue-in-cheek, of course, and wholly in the spirit of dialog. I really do think she's right about what she says, especially regarding the screwed up legal stuff.
I'm thinking that up-in-your-face rhetoric demanding "rights" usually fails, except for the one proclaiming her rights ...no, wait: especially for the one proclaiming her rights. That is, I'm sure it feels good to have a space to holler about how downtrodden you are, especially when you really are downtrodden, but I don't see that it provides any lasting peace to the proclaimers themselves. My thoughts turn to one of those Yoga Sutras of Patanjali again:
Accepting pain as help for purification, study of spiritual books, and surrender to the Supreme Being constitute Yoga in practice.
And the commentary from Satchindananda: "We will actually be happy to receive pain if we keep in mind its purifying effects. Such acceptance makes the mind steady and strong because, although it is easy to give pain to others, it is hard to accept without returning it."

4 comments:

Wishydig said...

i really don't like these performances. or the poetry really.

Casey said...

Good one.

Wishydig said...

by performances i don't mean your piece. i really mean that i don't like her performance or her poem. they're both inflated and conventional.

Casey said...

Oh... I thought you were ragging on me and Adryan. Yeah I didn't like her poem or performance much either, and I'm starting to think the genre is wearing thin.