Monday, July 18, 2011

A Philosophy of Cope

A Philosophy of Cope
by Scott Bradley

Human existence is a pilgrimage with no known destination other than the grave. This is to say, it is a great adventure of learning how to cope with the fact of our temporal existence. If this seems too pessimistic an assessment of things, I can only affirm you in your optimism and commend you in your philosophy of hope.

To be human is to hunger. We hunger until we die. To be human is to seek. We will seek until we die. To authentically realize our human reality is to ever hunger and seek, yet to always do so reflectively aware of the process and of the nature of our struggle. There is transcendence here. There is joy here. But never in the sense of having arrived, or, indeed, of being able to arrive. Authentic existence cannot surrender itself to the static and fixed, for it is itself precisely the dynamic and unfixed.

If you believe there is an end to your search — the Answer, the Truth — then yours is a philosophy of hope. And I again commend you to your way. Only I hope you will forgive me if I co-opt your belief and say, this is your philosophy of cope, and question whether it dwells in honesty.

To hope is human. This I would not dispute. Only I would have my hope dwell in honesty and reality. And this means, for me, that I can hope in the Mystery; I can entrust myself to the Inevitable and Unknowable and find consolation and transcendence in my coping therein. No end is assured. No answers are found. Yet all is well, simply by being Thus. This is for me the purest of Hope.

When I say that mine is a philosophy of cope, it is a way of perpetually unfixing myself from the inauthentic fixity of belief. It is not a negation of hope, but a way of preserving hope pure and true. I say many things here that may appear to be 'answers', yet though they are for me genuine expressions of ways to transcendence, not a one of them stands fixed in the flux and the flow that is life.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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