Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dear love, I'm neither so sublime nor you so ridiculous - is that how you think of us, La Gioconda and a persona of Mr. Atkinson's? Having queried to see for myself, the resultant merged image is not in my view a prime example of natural selection...

Dearest, I have been feeling off the last couple of days, I don't know what it is. Part of it is that it is hard to keep up this blog every single day. Even E.D. had her productive years, and the last two decades of her life didn't write much poetry at all, though Sewall wonders if her creative energies went into letter-writing possibly, a great deal of which now is lost. My post yesterday was a mess, so much so I could hardly figure out how to redeem it this morning. By late afternoon I was feeling a little more energetic and determined in the editorial department, and managed cleanup tweaks.

Anyway, that's how I'm feeling, a bit all over the place, like a scarecrow akimbo, limbs jutting out, packing bursting from the seams. I believe in the theory of evolution, I do, no question. I believe that species evolve... But I find myself with this inchoate sense or unease about it being construed as the grand unifying reductive Theory of Everything, and sometimes I find extemporizings on the subject to be dispiritedly (literally) - de-spirited, heartless. And I fear that the theory becomes a rationalization for cruel, heartless, selfish behavior. Because, as I personally have ever understood Darwin, I'm not sure that, for example, ancestral species as they selected mates for breeding by natural selection, did it quite so consciously and deliberately - to the point where it veers off into eugenics. And surely there's a difference between eugenics and natural selection. Also, I'm aware that there's a cultural phenomenon of "social Darwinism" - our supposedly classless, utterly ruthless system relies on it - but it makes me nervous if or when I sense that scientific expositions on the subject of evolution, end up reading like apologias for conquering civilizations, or ways of being, at every scale. I wonder then, if that's science, or a theory that is being taken too far, and I really wonder if even unconsciously the theory is reflective of the ruthless times we're in, where the "strongest" (megacorporations, the very wealthiest, and the like) with some sense of self-justification throw everything else under the bus.

Sometimes I think that the theory of evolution - as much as, again, I do believe in it, in a limited fashion - appeals very strongly to a certain type of person - one perhaps, who more readily objectifies. And by saying this, I am not, or don't intend, some potshot against someone very very dear to me... No, it's more that, I just don't experience the world, and others, and mind, and spirit, that way.

So you see, darling, I remember standing in a pew in front of you in the cathedral that morning, and the priest had taken a mindless gratuitous potshot at evolution, I've forgotten what he said exactly. I was very turned off. I am so not anywhere near an expert in any aspect of this, not on the theoretical side, or scientific, or religious. But it doesn't seem so black & white to me either, that either one accepts or rejects "evolution." Which inevitably splits down the atheist/theist line. I personally don't see it that way at all. But I am resistant to seeing the theory used as a one-size-fits-all answer to cover absolutely everything - it is too reductionist from my point of view. I reject the idea that It All has to boil down to one number, to one theorem - the drive towards reductionism is a bias in itself, one that I experientially (also phenomenologically) reject.

I feel very comfortable with an idea of God, who works in mysterious ways - among those mysteries, the amazing panoply of constantly unfurling & developing creation, over time, and encompassing change. And all the human dramas, and beautiful play among other species. And the fractal nature of even a fringe of trees against a sky -- it's all about complexity. And to my mind it's all the manifestation...

I see it as dynamic, and in flux, and I can see how evolution plays a part, of course I do, as life teemingly teems towards

The right soundtrack to my thoughts, at this point, might be the overture to Bach's Saint Matthew's Passion.

Ah, yet another post that's a mess. I'm sorry. And yet, I am still wrestling with this. I was badly treated, a very very long time ago, by someone I fell deeply in love with, forever as it turned out. He went off as though nothing had happened. And yet I know that I mean a lot to him, to this day, so it's transpired. And I just wonder about that, about how much his intellect, and theories about things, played a part in his actions, and his life as it has unfolded (of which I have not been a part and know next to nothing about). There's a part of my mind that metaphorically almost views his book as an autobiography - a reflection of his mind. Actually, he did write to me (later, and it's not in the book) that his book is quite conceptual - but do you know, I think that may go over a lot of people's heads. Perhaps precisely what he wrote to me, in an offhand message, about it being almost surrealist in intent - perhaps that clarification might have found a place in his book.

Look, I don't know, and I've been feeling guilty these days, because I have these strange mixed-up feelings, that could well be viewed as passive-aggressive, and I really don't want it to be that.

Okay, well here's another post that's a mess. I don't choose, I love you both. You're both naughty, and one's good. Which isn't to say that the other one isn't, but one is really, very, very good. Has evinced heart, as far as I could ever tell, the whole way.

I had an intimate time
with you
this morning
ah Montana...
oh Europe

and do you know
I've figured out the trick
I use both toys now
switch off as I need to
to great effect

I love you, very very much.

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