The End of Hope (Part 1)
Sometimes life’s very repetitive almost circular nature can be overwhelmingly consistent. A familiarity sets in that breeds something worse than monotony, boredom. We get an arrogance that assumes all we have is all there is. This possibly innocent reflection is the beginning of a diseased sort of despair that ultimately has no cure. It is the stuck-ness of someone on the verge of suicide. It is the lack of sight (or insight) literally. There is no horizon, let alone beyond the horizon.
This again is why art is so important. It reminds us of the horizon, that there is something bigger than merely our tiny slice of the pie. It is pulls us into a connectedness with this greater reality. There is more. That there is more is sufficient to end crippling despair. Having any sorts of ideas about what that more is can be unnecessary initially. Just make a crack in the wall of finitude certainty and you have given a precious gift. There is more!
Without art kicking at the walls that block our sight, we have only political realities, only economics. Everything becomes extremely cause and effect, a fated locked-in system where the rich get there’s and the rest are left only to suffer. What is left is a sort of faceless rage underneath an overwhelming sea of passivity and despair. “This is all there is,” the sentiment though void of any contentment. The focus is exclusively on “ALL,” assuming an exhaustive scope of reality.
This is the arrogance of despair. It gives a sense of certainty that no human is meant to endure. There are no gaps. No holes. No theory. Just reality. Painful, heart-breaking, reality. This is it. Anything else is illusion from stark reality. While this on one hand can seem heroically honest, it fundamentally lacks any sort of humility. It claims full access to all of reality, an exclusive to the bottom layers of truth. Underneath it all, well, there is nothing. How martyr-ish! How arrogant.
Yet we feel the walls closing in often. When we try to breath, when we try to live outside of Murphy’s Law we can quickly sense the vertigo of trying to make it. It feels like we are on our own. The freedom we experienced suddenly turns on us. It is replaced with a rapid sort of discontent, or a sudden realization that we can not sustain this level of beauty and freedom. We are frightened back into our corner. We rehearse the lines, “I should have just stayed where I was.”
“What was I thinking?” Sort of a panicked hysteria settles in. “What are we going to do? How are we going to do this?” We stop trusting the journey, we stop trusting the sense of freedom, we stop believing that we are onto something.
Fear is a powerful thing. Not only does it keep people locked into place for many miserable years, it makes people long to be back who have left. It frightens those who have escaped to the point of reinterpreting the past to look much better.