Nature only means to please itself, and it wants for others to please it. From primordial spark, to sea, to shore, and up to the highest peak in the highest heaven; it doesn't toil over meaning or how it must carry on throughout the day. It isn't concerned for what tomorrow will bring, what danger lurks, or whether its affairs are in order. It isn't concerned for the color of its leaves or the pattern of its coat, and it certainly doesn't brood over disease. For our influence in this world, we are nature, as such, and we must know that all nature is to persist, to prevail, and to grow.
How do I seem, our minds dare to wonder? Who am I in this world? In whose eyes do we mean to ponder this all-important question? There are so many eyes we might choose to make such an inquiry into, and it would seem impossible to properly account for all of them. You can please some of the people, some of the time. And one may walk in faith, knowing we are along the same path as those so dear to us and so many before us.
To be a black man in a sea of white faces... I can't know this weight, the prejudice and anger, the pain of carrying the tribulations of my parents and grandparents in such recent history, and to still feel the sense of injustice pervasive in the world today. It's a burning rage that I suspect never leaves some people. The immediate and visceral feeling of exclusion and seclusion, though, this I do understand. Beneath the veil of appearances lies a familiar and uniquely human struggle to feel understood and accepted as an individual, and across the boundaries of one's apparent being. To be glowing, electrically impulsed as a conscious, living person in a sea of others much like us, beneath the surface of our apparent afflictions.
Do I understand you? Perhaps. At times it seems certain that we are of one flesh, united in our humanity, underneath the many layers of our earthly body and mortal bonds. How do I get there, I wonder, to the core of being where our differences fade away, to be eclipsed by what is whole; the essence of being where no apparent transgressions stand in the way of my heart as yours, and yours as mine. Creatio ex nihilo, something from nothing, and thus the universality of morals and experience is made known in our living, breathing moment. I can know your joy, pleasure and pain as my own, in some beautiful and intuitive sense.
Do you feel that?, it must occur to us to wonder. In this bewonderment, we might discover parts of ourselves we didn't know existed. You are there, as am I.
How can I think that?, it occurs to me to ask, and yet with careful consideration, I know many others can too.
In the mysteries, we understand that appearances can be deceiving, that the true nature of things lies beneath the surface of how we can see and know them. But also, we learn through careful observation that appearances can be suggestive of the inner nature of things. This isn't to say that how something or someone looks tells you how they are, but that the appearances might give you some indication for the sorts of experiences someone has had.
In the conception of the limitless, one runs up against a presupposition that they are, at once, of the limitless, and also the generative force of the limitless as such. And thus one arrives at a priori knowledge, both limitless and a limitation, where the free will made known in our lived experience is the conceptual infinite that one must act in accordance to, as they exercise free will here in the world of distinctions. The law itself is free will, insofar as one is afforded a conscious and self-legislating stake in the law as it is experienced. And the more pervasive an apparent law is, as is the case with laws of nature, the greater the degree to which it may be taken to represent free will.
The underlying condition of all voluntary action is the presupposition of free will, and all action is bound to furthering the liberties and goodness inherent to free will. The will is not merely subject to the law, but it is subject to it in such a way that it may be regarded as legislative of the law itself.
In order to conceive of free will as tangible, a contradiction arises where one must understand themselves as an appearance, representative of some underlying thing in itself, and one should go a step further and acknowledge that the appearances are grounded in things themselves. The appearances and actions of our living experience, inseparable from the grounding conditions of reality, are a diplomatic representation of laws hidden beneath what can be observed. Some distinction arises that requires an opaque layer of abstraction that makes the free will presentable and tangible in our lived experience, namely, the world of appearances. Perception, reason, and feeling, are all a practicality of the underlying nature, and also subject to it.
The underlying nature is to carry forward, showing that nature is both singular with, and also an expansion and emanation of free will, where progress and change are guaranteed. This is a key example of the fluid, mercurial element to nature, perhaps the essential notion of a priori knowledge as a binding principle in the expression of free will. Conceptually, this may appear as a limitation, but in practice, we must understand it as freedom. For something to exist, it must be distinct from something else, and at the same time, it is a part of all things which are as one.
Two Dreams from Last Sunday
It was mid-evening, and we were sprawled out on the couch in the living room. The lights were just bright enough that the room was dimly lit. I love your legs. Both of us were handsy as usual, although I was getting pretty sleepy.
You told me to meet you at the cove out by the lake in 30 minutes, which seemed like a good idea, but I also expected it to be a bit nippy at this time of night. Ordinarily, I'd be about ready to wind down for bed in an hour or two; nonetheless, I enjoyed the cove, and I was excited to have a reason to make the short trek out back. I wasn't sure why we were meeting at the cove, rather than walking together, but I took the chance to go off, shower, and check my email, as one does.
Soon after, I set off for the cove along a familiar path that we both knew well, along the tree-covered and grassy field behind the house. It was a short walk, no more than 10 or 15 minutes from the door, and it was pleasantly refreshing outside. Birds sang and swept from tree to tree in their synchronized spectacle, and a few deer were grazing in the outset. By this time, it was well into dusk, the moon lighting up the blue-grey sky, and still it was a rather comfortable and enviable summer night.
I felt like I'd been walking for some time now, and I expected to see the clearing to the cove off to the right, the slightly ashy dirt and pebbled path giving way to the fresh water at rest. I checked my watch, and it was, in fact, about 10 minutes since I had left, and so I continued on, enjoying the dusk breeze and looking forward to seeing you sitting along the cove, wistfully admiring the shore and the evergreen hills in the distance.
Finally, I came up on what appeared to be a break in the path that would lead to the water; you could spot it from about 100 yards in the distance. I was excited, and apprehensive, and it picked my pace up just a bit. I continued towards the run off, but for some reason, it didn't seem like I was getting closer. I kept walking before realizing there was a sort of parallax effect, where as I got closer, the trees would grow in a matter of seconds along the horizon, pushing the clearing to the cove back as quickly as I drew near. I became a bit nervous, and I started walking faster and faster, and still I couldn't close the distance between myself and the break in the path.
By now, I was running towards the horizon, and trees kept rising from the outset, blocking off any apparent exit from the path. At this point, I had to turn around, and I started jogging home. I hoped you'd realize I didn't turn up soon, and make your way back yourself. After a short distance, I could see what appeared to be the same cove clearing to the right, and I realized it had the same parallax effect as before, with the path continuing endlessly, as trees shrouded off into the distance. I looked back, now noticing that both directions were mirrored, and I realized I was trapped along this infinite path in each direction.
I woke up and went to the kitchen for some water, and to reflect on this unusual dream. Some dreams come as salient intuitions... It was about time to get back to sleep though; all this pipeline news is giving me the waswasa.
Now, I'm walking along what would appear to be a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn. It seemed like the distant future, as I couldn't imagine Brooklyn looking quite like this any time soon. It looked a little more like a hot zone in Iran than anywhere I knew of in the US. Buildings were falling apart, with chunks of corner units missing, and many had entire floors exposed to open air. The streets were covered in sand and rubble, and people were congregated around trash can bonfires in alleys. There was more trash than usual all over the ground.
A woman ran past me yelling "please help me", while a group of people chased after her in hot pursuit.
Where the hell was I?