Or, On the Virtue of Willfully Undertaking Tragedy
Dedicatio Volatilissimae Rei Balearium
Life is not as simple as any philosopher will tell you. It is not as simple as what I, a foolish sod, would tell you either. It is why I insist upon the idea of poesis, so that one may understand the poetry of their own lives as being distinctly and definitively capable of producing meaningfulness merely through carrying out your life itself in a poetic manner.
Only you, the subject, are capable of observing the nature of life, but I can at the very least assure you that, indeed, “life imitates art”, because the genesis of art was the genesis of the imitation of life — whether it be a cave painting, a play, or an epic. Furthermore, art itself is our only effective medium of communicating any subjective or argued objective experience unto others.
The question then becomes, what if your subjective experience itself can be made into an art expressed unto itself? The old twitter joke being “my life is like a movie” — but what is most funny about the lampooning of such an absurd claim is that it’s not exactly hard to accomplish this — there are great diversities of outcomes in such movies, and certainly this is the case with films which transcend consumerist ambitions and narratives. Again, returning to those forms of art which are thousands of years old, we find that this is even more so the case. So why is our gut reaction to “my life like a movie fr” that it is simply funny, and not serious? It is because the assumption is that any sort of artful life is to be triumphant rather than tragic.
Indeed, even within our own lives, whatever end we are destined for, every person has certain “epochs” in which their life changes character in some form or another — and in general, the impetus for such an epoch beginning is a change either from a life or aspect of one’s life which feels fruitful to one which feels unfortunate and painful. This can diverge across our different desires, and indeed certain triumphs in and of themselves can triumph over all other present tragedies. An example which immediately comes to me, is that of the extended family which finds itself happy, fruitful, and content with fate even when in poverty through its interfamilial love and material support.
And truly, what do you see as more beautiful, subjectively? Even if we compare the example of a happy upper-middle class family, one that has no monetary worries, two mentally stable parents, and some kids, compared with the romantic image of this vaguely impoverished family who perseveres their lot through the lot of family itself, what immediately feels more truthful and good? I think one’s interpretation of this can come with a lot of bias and potential brainworms, which may pollute their judgement, but in general I think that the latter story in this case would certainly make for a much more interesting movie or play than the former. What would even be the point? Dad goes out and makes money, mortgage paid off, etc etc, yes, they are happy. Yes, its usually what people aspire towards. However, what makes for better art?
This, again, is why materialism can be so dangerous, not only because it grows and augments our covetousness without end, but also because it gives a false impression of fulfillment and even holiness in stability. And, I should clarify here that my gripe is not with money nor capital itself, as to aspire towards such for the betterment of one’s own family or livelihood is indeed very noble given most of us are without choice. However, I mean to strike down the altar upon which the idea of stability has been placed; the idea that safety and comfort is the highest order of good is repulsive to me. Though I think it a natural impulse and attraction for those who are deep in a mire of confusion and anxiety over the state of affairs within their own life.
Thus, I must empathize with you here. To be nagged by anxiety of what may be, and what one may become can feel like an assault on the soul. However, I truly believe that this discomfort is not so much an assault on the soul but rather the soul becoming desperate for earthly expression. Some form or another of anxiety is felt before even the bravest of fighting men in battle, or so I am told — and there should be no shame in this — for it is merely their soul preparing for great risk aimed towards great glory. This is the virtue I speak of when discussing how submitting oneself to the Dionysian or Chaotic (or in the terms of my own Sodality: ad Ardorem or ad Coram, respectively).
If you, dear reader, prefer a life which is easy on the nerves, consider first whether it is merely youth which pangs you so. There is nothing great in this life without taking risk — and should that risk not pay off — your life is guaranteed to, at the very least, have been made far more interesting and unique for it. Poesis seems to demand this for completeness of life.
Furthermore, the virtue of taking such risk, at least in relatively petty or common cases (where it does not involve the final destruction of human lives or any such thing — there is no risk in such business, as all the roads beyond that point lead to great penitence in death), I genuinely believe often outweighs the virtues which may allow one to justify a cling towards stability.
But the choice is yours. I only ask that you remember that this life is very possibly your only, at least certainly per some metric, and you should consider it’s beauty in the broad scope of birth to natural death and leave others to do the same.
Omnia semper poesi. Everything always unto poetry.
Somnia tua cochlides semper impleri sis, cora,