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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/4/11

"We Would Rather Die In Our Dread"

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Message Phil Rockstroh
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"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." -- Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre's words notwithstanding, I am often asked by readers "practical" questions such as: "You view the empire to be in a state of profound decay, beyond repair and reclamation -- then how should we proceed from here?"

I answer, appropriating a phrase from James Hillman: simply proceed into "the thought of the heart and the soul of the world." The problem contains the solution. The poison serves as its anecdote. The vastness and complexity of life that (seemingly) endeavors to destroy me (in contrast) renders me more like myself, and therefore I become more fit for the struggle ahead.

Accordingly, Rainer Maria Rilke, from the opening stanza of the Duino Elegies:

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic
Orders? And even if one were to suddenly
take me to its heart, I would vanish into its
greater existence. For beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it serenely disdains
to destroy us.

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Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh

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