As a young girl, I was delighted to read that Dean Inge had declared: “Originality does not consist of thinking of something for the first time, it consists of thinking it for yourself.”
Here is my ‘original’ thought.
In the Western world, at this time of year there are numerable performances of the Messiah. I have kept hearing about it as a forthcoming event and my niece has just enjoyed singing it.
In a recent dream, I was looking at a television screen with the last section of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’ but there was a gap between the last two lines and the last line was incorrect. I was anxious that people would get the wrong idea and asked a carer to write in the correct line. But what I chose came from the chorus “For unto us a child is born”; the line now read “Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
What sort of world would there be which contained a Prince of Peace? Before I had even turned six, there had been Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Obviously, there has been no peace in my generation, nor in any generations that has preceded me. Peace is either arrant nonsense or needs to be considered from a different dimension. Belatedly, I remembered “The peace that passeth all understanding” which must be a similar state to the Dao, nothing to do with peace in the Middle East or Northern Ireland.
Another area of life which requires us to think in another dimension is dreams. (For me, dreams contain considerable meaning.) Some years ago, I read a book detailing the dreams of a young woman dying of cancer. Her dreams pushed her to increased self-awareness and furthered her spiritual journey but did not deal with the cancer nor her approaching death.
In the same way, my dreams ignore the multiple sclerosis. They may have me in a wheelchair, stumbling, lurching on elbow crutches, standing or even walking but the dream itself has no connection with my condition. The nearest to a connection has been a dream which pointed out that I was struggling to keep in touch with my feminine side and this flaw in my nature might well be attributed to the responsibility/will power/control required of me by the M.S.
It would appear that the unconscious has no interest in our state of physical health but instead, extends us spiritually. What use is an evolutionary process towards spiritual growth that ends at our death?
Both these instances illustrate a view of the world which is not binary, not this or that. Instead, they emphasise this as well as that. Thus, M.S. is a heinous thief but has given me the gift of time wherein I can cherish my inner life and make contact with my own creativity. Paul’s death is both an obscene fact, but eventually my being forced to acknowledge life’s fragility bought me to an appreciation of the present moment and the belief that I was required to receive the beauty of the world both for me and for Paul. I had to make up for the fact that he wasn’t there any more
Not this or that, but definitely, this and that.