I wonder if these guys would have imagined that the horror they were living through would be repeated again on some European battlefield a little over a hundred years later. The methods and machines may have to some extent changed but the sheer insanity and grinding brutality remain quite the same. Soldiers (and civilians) suffering […]
Imperialist wars such as this are the absurd brutalities upon which intergenerational trauma, reflexive fear and the inevitability of future conflicts are anchored. Putin will one day fade away from the world, leaving behind him only the bitter sorrow and haunting regrets of a broken people, on all sides of whichever borders prevail after this […]
Bad vibes are sticky, contagious in precisely the way good vibes are but they have a tendency to persist (as memory) much longer than the experiences that invoke them. There is no doubt that evolution has predisposed us to bias negativity over positivity as a function of survival in what was once a much more […]
As a species, we seem positively bound to cyclical, constructive inflation and reinvention of the artefacts, entities and cultural systems that quite naturally sediment in and as shared memory around such catastrophic historical episodes. The essence of history has been this headlong rush into cataclysmic violence, followed as denouement by much gentler growth and cultural […]
Feeling trapped? It’s just what we humans do and by goodness do we do it well. Endlessly orienting ourselves towards the games of self and other that culture, language and our psychological worlds bring upon us, we find ourselves hooked and strung across so many reciprocal obligations and complex social or economic responsibilities that there […]
A game of memory and sorrow.
Memory is neither friend nor foe and when we find ourselves afraid of the past or a suffering that still lives within us we often as reflex seek to fight it, but in pushing, rejecting, setting ourselves against a painful memory or experience that is perhaps so visceral and intimate that it incorporates and becomes […]
Trauma Bites Twice
Trauma bites twice. The first time is when we suffer what others or the world through them inflicts upon us. The second time is when we suffer what we force ourselves to endure because, having been so shaped and bruised by the unthinkingly callous cruelty and endemic darkness and ignorance of a life we never […]
Facing reality has always been my most unpalatable responsibility and were it not a necessary burden to attempt to bear to merely survive and play all these hollow games of meaningless repetition that this world incurs, I would have stopped trying many years ago. But survive we must and if in so doing this means […]
No achievement without danger…
No discovery without risk, no catharsis without suffering. The absence of presence in future knowledge is always the presence of absence in (and as) experience. No wisdom without pain, indeed, and as for information – no integration (or resonance) without difference (or alienation). Originally written as a comment here.
Why do we suffer?
I’m going for yet another deep (if relatively brief) dive on the question of suffering. The natural orientation of the Universe towards dissolution and decay or disorder is precisely the reason why we have life, sentience, experience and intelligence – the entropy of material dissolution is a precondition for the structural aggregation and compression of […]
How often we choose to live in a happy discomfort with which we have become so intimately accustomed. Even the possibility of freedom from these suffering chains we bear (like precious golden prizes) becomes more frightening than to face the difference of something new or undefined. This is why we so often settle for an […]
One thing that appears as something of a universal property of human behaviour is that we define ourselves much more by negative experiences than by or through positive ones; regardless of the extent to which we might prefer to maintain positive affirmations and self-perceptions – the darkness looms large in our imaginations. Most shared (national) […]