In our English language how can we now mark the transition in relationships between the formality of “you are” and the caress of “thou art”? And when and why did we lose the rich language of intimacy?
The Jewish existentialist Martin Buber wrote – “To man the world is two-fold .. the attitude of man is two-fold .. the one primary word is the combination I-Thou, the other is the combination I-It”.
I-thou is a relationship of inner to inner, an authentic encounter that is the touchstone of existence. (I-thou creating “our”).
Of course, Buber wrote in German and Du has currency in contrast to Sie or Es, whereas in English we now reserve intimate addressing for our relationship with God. How ironic!
Surely thou-ness was clear in the minds of the scholars constructing the King James Bible in 1611. Perhaps the slow death of this way of celebrating friendship is linked to the four hundred year rise of materialism since the reformation?
Perhaps as the smoke clears and we see the I-It debris left by capitalism and atheism a new expression of thou-ness will appear.
Let us pray so.
Loneliness. The first and fundamental pain, which stems from the loss of birth. We arise from a state of Being ” a pulse in the eternal mind, no less”; and being born we are bounded. The edge that defines each as individual also encloses and imprisons. The pain of our loss is the absence of connection to all that is. The struggle toward consciousness – the vital urge that drives evolution – is surely the need to re-connect. It is a mistake to equate consciousness with thought or the ego. Consciousness observes the mind and emotion. Consciousness springs from the space between Ich und Du. It is the force (be with us!) that de Chardin names as Love. It is Jung’s insight – the drive toward integration (of opposites).
Without separation and boundary there is no form; no possibility of self-awareness, of perspective. Indeed there is no internal and no external. “Let there be light” – does not abolish dark, but separates from dark and becomes it’s opposite. Understanding can only spring from boundary, edge, individuality and separation.
But separation without re-integration is imprisonment, loss and loneliness. It is the narcissism of Ich und Es – the connection with the material rather than Being. Self-reflection instead of integration.
Boundaries are simply discontinuities. Lines in two dimensions, surfaces in three. On the other side, through the looking glass and in the land of the other – lies the answer to loneliness. My Nation, My Religion and My Life have borders beyond which are the Enemy, the Damned and Death. (Oh yes, and Loneliness). However Our universe has none of these – only Love.
Don’t believe me? Try smiling at a stranger and see how you feel when they smile back.
My daughter gave me a book. “The Power of Now”. Motivation? Uncertain, but does it matter. It’s another jolt forward into a different understanding of the world. Real and vibrant life is in the present. Here, Now.
It reminds me strongly however of a philosophy of my deeply ingrained Yorkshire father. He would say “Open tha’ e’en lad” – as an exhortation to live fully. (Open your eyes, lad).
Don’t these add up to the same philosophy? Open your eyes, live – live now. Live vibrantly and in the present. The past and the future are a chimera and distraction.
A wise daughter and a wise father. Surrounded!
Scotland will be wealthier as a independent nation. An independent Scotland will be one of the wealthiest nations on earth.
Statements that nats would have you believe. An intelligent friend of mine repeated these to me. So for her, and reprinted from David Smith’s article in the Sunday Times 22nd September (and not subsequently denied by the go-loners):
1. The UKs oil production has fallen steadily from a peak in 1998 of 125m tonnes to 40 m tonnes last year and is (independently) forecast to continue to fall
2. Scotland’s per capita public expenditure is 11% higher than the rest of the UK
3. Scotland has over 50% of GDP in the public sector (generating wealth?). This is 5 percentage points higher than the rest of the UK
4. Scotlands trade is 60% with the rest of the UK. In five years since split Czech and Slovak trading with each other fell by more than half. Over the decades since Ireland split with UK trading fell by more than 70%
Divorce from the UK that the Scots eg Keir Hadie built with the
rest of this island – fair enough if openly willed. Do that to be richer? I don’t think so.
We would all be impoverished. Oh, and yes I have an agenda. A man born in England – at home in Scotland over almost 30 years – I fear for an unnecessary release of racism. Continue reading