Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A New Heaven and a New Earth

“it is only that, acting upon his na├»ve conviction that what he wrote was dictated by an unseen voice and that his paintings were no more than reproductions of what the inner eye had already perceived, Blake threw a brilliant light into a realm that for most men is sheathed in darkness of disbelief.”

June Singer, The Unholy Bible

This is an interesting passage in light of what I now know about manic-depressive illness. Did Dr. Singer see that William Blake was manic in his “visions”? And if he was then his voices were real. Through his mania he heard things that those of us who are “normal” would never hear and saw things that we would never see.

It is both curious and exhilarating to me that those periods of mania are desirable in their less hypo forms by the people who experience them. Perhaps the hypo-manic stages are undesirable and frightening because they tip over into that realm that exists in each of us where the darkness, the evil, the uncontrollable, the Devil resides.

Tyger, tiger burning bright…

I wonder if the “new heaven and the new earth” is that place at which we arrive that is the final culmination of human life whereby unconscious and conscious come together and integrate to create a whole new human existence. A new heaven (unconscious) and a new Earth (conscious).

Monday, March 14, 2011

As of Yet Untitled

I see at last that all the knowledge

I wrung from the darkness—that the darkness flung me—
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness
And we call it wisdom. It is pain.
- Randall Jarrell

We insist on believing that there is meaning to and relief from our pain. It must end, there must be a way to be, a place to go where somehow we can find a way to make it stop and when finally at that place there will be something, some thing that will make it all obvious. There will be gifts, a magical, mystical power, maybe wisdom, bestowed and we will see so clearly how it was all worthwhile. A newfound sense of freedom is what I have always hoped for. A certain knowledge what would one day gloriously catapult me into some other as of yet unimagined way of being, some other as of yet unimagined way of seeing, some other as of yet unimagined way of living. An existence of joy and freedom – I will rise up with wings like eagles, I will run and not get weary – a profound release, an incredible lightness of being.

And then sometimes I resign myself to those words of Mr. Jarrell. Those thoughts are not true. That place of freedom and lightness of being does not exist, it will not come. This is just pain for no discernable purpose and this is just darkness for no other reason than the fact that pain breeds darkness.

I used to think those thoughts, and sometimes I still do. Mostly I exist in paragraph one but sometimes I slide into paragraph two. I’m learning to live with ambiguity.