One thought on “Happy Yom Kippur!

  1. I have a tremendous bastard of a hangover, speaking of suffering and regret, so this comment will presumably be unintelligible. Feel free to consign it to virtual oblivion.

    But I read your wonderful article on Yom Kippur (in fact I read it out loud to a bemused but I’m sure now enlightened collection of fellow humans in my house), and thence further on the topic, and as I can scarcely spell my own face at the moment, or stand without jibbering, editing or functioning as a useful human is out, so I have decided to continue my attempts at reparation by throwing in my tuppenceworth on the concept of suffering as token of intent.

    The Allegorist in my blasted book believes in the necessity of suffering in order to bring worth into the world. That it is impossible to learn the true value of anything until it becomes fleeting. Then one must fight for it, and nail it down in order to study it further. It is useless unless fought for. Take the colour green. One man loves green, he is passionate about it. Another man, equally wise, loves burnt sienna. Neither colour has any worth in and of itself. But the man who loves burnt sienna, suddenly decides he cannot live in a world where burnt sienna is equal to any other colour. So he goes out and fights for it. Every charge is under a burnt sienna device. Every sufferance. He causes himself pain intentionally, in the name of this colour. He is vigilant also, towards this colour. In the end, when the colours are arrayed, there is one colour that has been fought for, one man has suffered for, and one man has been vigilant towards. Is that colour not then greater than the other colours? Is it not the subjective made absolute?

    I have spent a third of my feckless, semi-sentient life endeavouring to test the practical application of this theory. It works, certainly. But it also makes one very weary, the incessant fighting and suffering, and causes tremendous difficulties. It also, in essence, involves the intentional rewiring of your brain in a manner I believe is similar to that used in Gestalt therapy. Regardless, it took me eight years to realise that a falsely created absolute was no better than a falsely believed one, if recognising worth was all one was after. But I suppose in the absence of god, man is compelled to at least TRY to manufacture some absolutes, if only to learn what he values.

    Recently I happened upon a philosopher of similar disposition. And I fear I insulted him through misunderstanding his involvement in something which rails against my heart. And I ruined my health over this misunderstanding. And this is the way of the world, but not the ideal way, and one must keep fighting and suffering for that particular ideal, ere one drifts away forever.


    (Have you looked up Ivor Cutler yet? Now there’s an expert on suffering…)

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