Friday, May 11, 2012

Seriously, though, this is actually one more argument for the irrationality of action and life.

Sometimes you only know what you're leaving after you've left it.

I think the human perspective is so easily warped, so subjective, so limited in scope if potentially grand in accuracy, detail, and understanding, that sometimes you only perceive by retreating, abandoning, moving away...

And the sayings go that you'll only miss it when it's gone, but I think another case is true. Sometimes only in thrashing to get away do you realize precisely how necessary your escape was.

Some quantum mechanical part of my brain says that I've changed what I left, but I really don't think we change things fundamentally. The attacker does not get to say "you made me do this!" as he holds down a throat or pins a knee. Because all of us have the option to let others go.

Anyway, the first line was the only part I saw clearly of all this. Break free, friends. Sometimes that's the only way you'll see it clearly.


  1. I'm trying, Cuneyt. I'm trying.

  2. I think there's a counter-argument: there is no escape. You take your body and self with you everywhere. Everything is fucking contingent - something our Marxist friends refuse to accept, to their enduring shame. Letting do is one thing, maybe. But escape? I don't believe in unicorns...

  3. Jack, if you want to expand the point to absurdity, you're right. After all, we can't escape the universe, so escape is impossible.

    Or, if I see the world as a series of cages, each nested within others, I can see that there are some cages we can escape while still being held in others.

    I made a very small statement.

  4. I don't think it's too absurd to notice that most notions of escape are leftovers from Christian and Platonic and Vedic influences, and that they invariably come wrapped in equally odious ideas about progress and perfectibility.

  5. No, that's not absurd. But is that to say that I'm talking about progress and perfectibility? No. I sure hope that's what you mean.

    If you see me talking about a kind of escape and want to critique other notions of escape, feel free. I might as easily note that when you talk about justice or retaliation for cruelty, abuse, and so on, when you talk about executing the predators and the rapists, that you might echo Romano-Christian notions of punishing the defeated in war.

    But there we aren't actually discussing things, but likening the others' statements to other, more terrible things.

    So let me come back to a point. Are you accusing me of being a metaphysical escapist, a crypto-Christian? If so, please tell me. Because I was talking about knowing about abuse and domination after you've left the orbit of a person or institution or idea that's kept you down. I can talk about that without endorsing notions of total escape.

  6. Cuneyt,

    I'm not really addressing the very personal, above. Just the notion of escape, which lingers or holds on tenaciously, as the times vary, as remnants from mystical and religious doctrines which dominated societies, institutions, family beliefs and social mores for thousands of years.

    It's my observation that the very notion of the exit from trouble, or oppression, or despotism, or abuse is a remnant of transcendentalist or universalist mysticism. Where there wasn't an abiding celestial narrative of transmigration or heavenly exit, the notion of escape (even from cage to cage) did not take as strong a root as it has in other cultures than our own.

    Look at it epistemologically, perhaps: we are discussing how we believe what we know, and know what we believe about the possible, or the range of human choices, yes? These notions are largely cultural inheritances, passed by edification through family, rite, schooling.

    For those of us in the Christian West - the decay of Christendom, in fact - there is a powerful and seductive tradition of viewing problems as tests, as means of escape to a higher realm of existence. Even in our secular society, where notions of heaven have become more subtle and sublimated, we still maintain a culture wide set of beliefs about moral improvement, of ascension to better living, value, worth, power.

    It is my argument that we act out these beliefs without necessarily consciously deciding on them as beliefs. You framed the personal, above, as a matter of perspective through exit, as a way of looking back to clarify the absence of a past domination.

    I'm not suggesting at all that this makes you a crypto-Christian - but that perhaps the idea of exit, itself an inheritance, does not maybe correspond so much to observable data, but to the heritage of tradition that comes from being raised in a culture which conceives, generally, of advancement, relief, progress, progression, liberation as an escape from toil, mirroring the preceding belief in resurrection and redemption as an exit from the sinful body.

    Perhaps, Cuneyt, the observable data suggests an alternative, is the gist of my waste of your time: that it is not in the turning away that we gain perspective, but in the embrace of the contingent, including abuse and domination, that we learn to overcome it...

  7. should be "in cultures like our own."