And this is all part of that terrible fluidity of existence that I keep talking about. Nothing is a given. Nothing just is. Everything is open to questioning. Everything is ripe for a change at any moment.
The problem is that this is intolerable to the human psyche that values stability above all. That’s why the best things in life just are. My kid is my kid. Nothing can change that. God is “ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever-existing and eternally the same.” Eternally the same, got it? The best relationships are rooted in permanence. Predictability and routines heal. Upheaval and unpredictability wound. Moving house is considered a major trauma because it is. People aren’t furniture. Although even furniture will get damaged if you drag it around all the time.
4 thoughts on “Nothing Just Is”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine moving house every day – forever.”
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That’s very profound and spot-on. Can you tell me who said it? This is the perfect epigraph to my new book.
It sounds like a variation on Orwell’s “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” from Nineteen Eighty-Four.
May I also refer you to a wonderful essay by Simone Weil, The Need for Roots, (L’enracinement in the original French).
I think you’re describing existence in general, and you can’t fix that. Change is part of human life. You already mentioned permanent things – like God and your kid.
Another eternal thing many people, including me, take solace in is nature. I love gardening, watching things grow and change over the years. I wish I could live for hundreds of years to see trees’ lifecycles. The sun will always rise tomorrow, and spring will follow winter. The animals will have their young I will watch play outside.
Another thing to anchor you are pets. They grow old and die, but at least they can be constantly be by your side while they’re alive.
We’re living in the time of most advanced technology known to our species on this planet, with an accelerating rate of technological change. The main problem is how to manage that in combination with capitalism. Your answer is the nation state. But even inside the nation state, corporations’ main goal is to make money, which involves innovation, automation, and being as efficient as possible, and is pretty much in direct conflict with things beneficial for the human psyche.
I can only imaging this being different in a theocracy or a totalitarian state. Or a utopian state with access to a natural resource not found anywhere on the planet that humans require for modern life and can’t replace, where all of its citizens sharing in the wealth, instead of only the powerful elite.