25th August 2020

Symmetry, whether designated natural or dreadful displays for our constant confirmation the seeming inordinate preference for polar opposites in all things, animal, vegetable, or mineral.

The human mind and eye are particularly equipped to confirm this predisposition, to differentiate positive or negative, plus or minus, open or closed in all matters physical, spiritual, and emotional, thereby aligning all experience to the one universal precept.

Neutral, passive, unmoving is not a natural state for matter, not even for supposed inactive material. Crystalline, granular, and compressed materials all display the capacity for movement. Consider the creeping and retreating glaciers, the crossing and uncrossing tectonic plates, the rising and falling, expanding, and contracting oceans.

Day and night, light and dark, left and right, rise and fall, in and out are all expressions of a symmetry that constantly confounds any proposal of anarchic construct.

The concept of symmetry is much maligned by the modernist, requiring as it does an acceptance of a conformity to some degree, of an order, of a beginning, of progression and most assuredly an end, suggesting a direct alignment with the life force itself, shadowing, directly reflecting the path of existence experienced by all matter, initial to ultimate. Modernity has pronounced humankind special, entitled, deserving special consideration, whereas in fact our value is no more that the grains of sand within a desert, or no less than the blades of grass upon a plain. Mankind accepts equality very uneasily, cringing at the mere suggestion of not being intrinsic to the very nature of existence.  

There is no necessity for me to believe in myself, to believe in my import. If I exist then I am, if I am then ergo humanity is proven to be a spoke in the wheel. Not the hub, not the rim, most definitely not the axle, just one individual spoke disposed geometrically amidst a myriad of others. Belief in a system, being a component within a machine, a small part of something larger poses more questions than ever provides answers. Mankind’s Achilles heel is also our greatest strength, namely the ability to rationalize, to think through, if not logically then at least with some measure of clarity and perseverance.

Our ability to reason is unquestionably of benefit, the failure to accept our inability to fathom every answer a fault exponentially multiplied and indefatigably exemplified by the unwillingness to accept that shortcoming as integral to the continued probity of the human condition.

Acceptance of an inability to explain every circumstance or situation is a disconcerting mindset that creeps upon a body surreptitiously over time, insisting that clarity somehow smudges around the edges, becomes more accepting of occasional vagary. The more expansive knowledge the greater the distance betwixt certainty and doubt, the clearer comprehension the less rambunctious self-assurance. Hence the bard William Shakespeare has the otherwise steadfastly rational Horatio bidden by Hamlet in Act one scene five, “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Somewhere within this mysterious and unfathomable void made the more compelling by our inability to ignite a torch within the oxygen deprived confines exist the realms of belief, faith religious conviction, homes of possibilities vague and unbelievable enough to ensure our consciences accept of dismiss by pure personal suspicion and speculation, a   lacuna hungrily awaiting any and all superstition, magic, sorcery, delusion, myth, legend, whether probability, improbable, enriching, depleting, promoting, denying, strengthening, weakening, empowering or destroying, with  equal famished opportunism. None is immune, none can escape the all intrusive pull of the unknown, that dark cavernous space but the blink of an eye away from every waking moment, a state so pervasive that even the unsighted through injury or congenital abnormality can accurately characterize the shadow.

My seeming diatribe in no way suggests that I myself am immune from the dark labyrinth, mine own belief system exerts a presence far more fundamental and despotic than could easily be constructed in a mere few decades of existential pondering. Rooted in prehistory, aided and abetted by the multitudinous waves of fervor that have swept mine native isle for time immemorial, my faith elevates and castigates in equal measure, is beyond question or reason, refuses dilution or critical adaption, rather remains blistering upon my person akin to an ever renewing confirmation of  the hangman’s brand.

Was a time I covered the wound, hid the affronting mark rather than attempt to defend its taint, excuse the preconceptions and judgements any set of precepts must append to every facet of creation. I am inclined now to simply accept, apologize as necessary, mitigate if at all possible, but largely embrace the uniform than time, considerations, and experience, have critically manufactured for my pronouncement. There is no shame to be found in reflecting or redirecting personal truth, chagrin will only radiate from contrived or misdirected falsehood.

All knowledge by default includes a grain of ignorance, a sliver of irrelevance, a modicum of distraction, but the onus should be upon the listener to filtrate, not the narrator. Caveat emptor is ever, even in matters concerning the soul, the correct proposition for the wise.

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