Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How do you know


How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?


                                                                    — William Blake


This reality we imagine — what is it? We humans, with our surface differences, our arts, cultures, religions, and philosophies, have made, and daily remake, through our faculties, organs, and senses, a world upon which we generally agree, a life we see as governed by immutable laws, a predictable pattern with established variables that occur within a visible spectrum, as if existence is not sufficient unto itself, but a mirror.

But what happens if we accept the possibility that everything is imagined, and that reality, as we assume and propose it, does not exist outside ourselves? What if life is a veil, which, though seductive and alluring, keeps us from seeing the face it serves to hide?

“Mom, can I go play at Billy’s house?”

“No. I told you to stay away from him.”

“But why?”

“Because he has an overactive imagination, that’s why. He’s not healthy to be around.”

“You mean he’s sick? He doesn’t look sick.”

Sigh.


Recently Linked: A special thanks to Trent Aitken-Smith for sharing yesterday’s entry, “I ask myself,” in UniqueScene. You can read more about Trent and his publication here.

Update:
In the Forum: the Legolas matter.

10 comments:

Two Tigers said...

You're on a roll, man...

But any post that begins with a Blake quote is fine by me!

William Michaelian said...

Ah, the enduring effectiveness of the Blake gambit...

awyn said...

A startling thought: that what exists outside ourselves is really only what's inside ourselves, recording.

Like turning on a lightbulb, some things make sense now. Thanks, William.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

oh that remaind me an the fabolous world of Amelie,
William I'm sure that this guys with overactive imagination soon or later they meet each other... like a magnet

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Annie. And beyond and within the bulb’s glow, questions remain. For that matter, life itself could be a question, a single unfolding thought, even a dream. And whatever it is, it does not have to be constant or always remain the same. We think it is, we want it to be, I suppose, because we are here individually for such a short time. But billions of light years might only be an idle daydream or the blink of an eye....

I think you’re right, Laura, and the magnet-meetings can take place even after the bodies and minds that harbored those imaginations have died....

Crissant said...

I think they would like to see us crazy!!!
Curious, Laura commented about Amelie...and reading it i remembered about Matrix. Both movies are good example of this game: real X unreal.
Good point, William!
Hugs!!!

William Michaelian said...

And if life is a movie, and we all have front row seats, then who is operating the popcorn machine? Hello, Crissant!

rahina q.h. said...

William, life can only be veiled as it seeps through our senses to give it a personal slant... it is exactly this problem i have with trying to achieve 'pure' seeing when painting as my brain gets in the way, doing calculations and rejiggling reality. i guess it may be unachieveable unless we lose all memorable thoughts that make up our schemata for interpretation (which would be drastic) or we go into a timeless zone and become nothing in order to achieve that purest egoless form... am i making any sense here?

Jean Spitzer said...

It's contagious? Maybe so.

William Michaelian said...

Rahina, you’re definitely making sense — at least you are to me, which you should, perhaps, find disturbing. I wonder at the seeming difficulty of it all. I wonder at our common assumption that we are condemned, almost, but not irrevocably, to missing what is always right here in front of us. Even if humans are the remnant of another race from a distant galaxy itself long since gone, we are not strangers here, we are of this life. We have our nature, the nature of our kind, and we have our limitations, both real and imagined. My feeling is that we don’t know, really, what we are capable of, and we’re afraid to find out. We’re capable of feeling and understanding things at a much deeper level than only with our senses and minds, which are colored by practical and other circumstances. Is life something outside of us, that we have to struggle to see and understand? Or is it something we have made up in order to try to understand ourselves?

Jean: so it seems, so it seems. Whatever it is, we’ve got it, and we can’t help passing it on.