Another month, anothertragedy. The United States burns as injustice and unrest swirl together in a volatile cocktail all too predictable. The divisions sowed in our deep rooted righteousness propagate into fury and indignation producing hate so despised.
Black and White. Order and Chaos. Conscious and Unconscious. War and Peace. A divide is the easiest and most recognizable of the patterns of the symbolic we filter our understanding from whence all others derive. So goes my yibber yabber as I selfishly seek to understand why.
Four years ago, Vince gifted me The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. I, being the pompous and selfish git that I am, did not open the book until this month. It was assigned as reading in the 11th grade, but I was one of those kids who relied on summation to enrich analysis in a process known as bullshit. So, for the longest time I dismissed the book, the gift, thinking that I already understood the contents therein.
How wrong I was. Campbell's work is presented as a mix of story guide, academic analysis, and self-help book, all culminating in a experience that touches on the universal, simple, and profound. It's one of those books whose meaning grows deeper the more I learn - about myself, my craft, and the world around me. Writing is the process of rewriting, as understanding is the process reexamining, and -- I write about this stuff a lot, don't I?
So yeah, I've been thinking a lot about symbols lately with a definite slant towards the simple ones. In terms of creative output, it's been a great month. We've wandered the endless expanse of the Wastes, searched for treasure in the depths of a trash bin, and transcribed the rules that govern a universe.
All of which seems somewhat trivial as the world around us burns.
Will we ever know peace? Realize the dreams of a better tomorrow? Is paradise an idea we can only conceptualize, to be imagined but never realized, cursed by our own selfish relativity? And what happens when we can climb no higher, when our hands breach the vault of heaven itself?
Perhaps we live to find out.