Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dust in the Wind

Scott Bradley

I, who boast of embracing the enjoyments of life so carefully and so particularly, find in them, when I look at them very keenly, little more than wind. But what of it? We are all wind. And even the wind, more wisely than we, loves to bluster and toss about and is content with its own functions, without desiring stability and solidity, qualities that do not belong to it.
– Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) (The Enlightened Mind; Mitchell)
Here is all that might be required for a healthy philosophy of life.

We may be but dust in the wind, but the dust and the wind are brother and sister, manifestations of the same source.

Of the human mind I think we can say that in it Nature has transcended itself, has brought into being something seemingly 'more' that itself, has enabled a fledgling release from the purely mechanical bonds of cause and effect; here, is some momentary measure of freedom of thought and of will. It is something dreadfully wonderful.

What is not wonderful? Humanity is no more wonderful than the wind and the stars and the smallest packet of possible existence — yet, how wonderful they all are.

Materialism is as likely an avenue of wonder and awe as any other. It is no more unreasonable to say the Universes are the source of themselves than to say they arise from a non-other Source. Our awe and our wonder, and our thankful hearts, need no other focus than this unknowable Mystery. Were we to explore and encompass all that can be known or experienced, we would but return to ourselves as on a Mobius loop.

The wind is "content in its own functions" and seeks not to be other than it is. The lucky wind. How like the wind we are, yet how unlike we wish to be. Idiot wind. We see images of rage and discontent in the streets, self-inflicted pain and anguish where it need not be. Yet given the occasion, how different are we?

The Xin-Xin Ming tells us that our propensity to liking and disliking is a "disease of the mind" and to the extent that it is source of so much of our grief, I suppose that it is. Yet is it not more a pang in the birth of emergent consciousness than some evil disease? Let us explore new and more contentful ways to be, but let us also be thankful and affirming of things as they are in their becoming.

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

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