Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Like unto ourselves


Are we humans basically, intrinsically flawed? I think not. I think we are human, just as birds are birds, trees are trees, and whales are whales — beings like unto ourselves, in other words, bound by our own true nature. Part of that nature demands, as it does of every form of life, that we reproduce. Another part calls upon us to seek, and to wonder. When we look up at the stars, we do more than yawn or marvel: we want to know what it is we’re seeing, how it came to be here, and what might one day become of it all. In the same way, we look into ourselves. That we sometimes draw erroneous conclusions proves no flaw; rather, it teaches us that some lessons take a thousand years to learn. I do not lament, therefore, the limits of my senses; I seek, instead, the depths of my perception. The more I see, and the better I understand, the less likely I am to do harm to others and undermine myself with fear. It is a long road. I know this through experience. The same holds for our entire race. We are not here to assume the worst. We are here to live and learn. That, too, is our nature. Barbers and surgeons no longer bleed their patients. Someday, if we survive, I think we will say the same of our crusades, our inquisitions, and our wars. And when we do, I think we might also say, “Like us, our ancestors finally understood that our work is here, and our life is now. Love.”


14 comments:

Jonathan Chant said...

Having made some mistakes today, I take comfort from these words.

Thanks William.

Jan said...

These words are so wise, William. I devour every word that you write. You express your thoughts in ways that I never could. This is why I love reading your books, and your blog~~~

temporal rooms said...

i am seeing flawed in a different light these days, more comfortable. thank you for this William. my shoulders just dropped a little more.

~robert

Stream Source said...

Unaware of The Pure Love that we are, at birth, we set out to find that which we are not, and this life is happy to oblige.

Perhaps the only grand finale of perfection we can ever hope to behold, in unison, is the one we design and so then come to feel in our heart and choose to see through our mind's eye. A lofty feat, enabled by the now.

William Michaelian said...

Having made some mistakes, Jonathan, or taken some necessary steps? I’m inclined to think the latter. Thank you.

Jan, I really don’t know whether this entry is wise or not; and I don’t really feel that these thoughts are mine; they must be yours as well, if they have registered with you so. As to their expression, like you, I write the only way I know how and hope for the best. Our friendship is built on words, and that goes both ways. We must be doing something right!

Robert, I do wonder about some of the burdens we assume — those, I mean, which are wrapped up in guilt or shame. There’s a tendency to feel bearing them ennobles us somehow; but they’re just as often a crutch or excuse. Again, I’m speaking from personal experience.

Donna, thank you. I don’t know what we are aware or unaware of at birth, or, really, at any other time. As for perfection, it seems our general use and understanding of the word assumes our flaw. Myself, I don’t strive or yearn for perfection. I’m not sure what it is. I’m not sure that we aren’t already perfect in some sense of the word. Who questions the perfection of the tigers and the whales and everything else that swims and crawls and breathes? We accept them all in full wonder as they are. As a race of beings, I think we are in unison and have been all along. We do differ from each other, but we do so just as other beings do. If we didn’t, that would mean we’re somehow outside of, or not subject to the same laws. That might be so; but at this point I’m not ready, or able, to see and accept that.

erin said...

ohhhh))))

xo
erin

William Michaelian said...

Erin, I doubt this post would have been written if I hadn’t first read this sentence in your journal 61:

i feel so lucky and i wonder how many times in my life i have thought through the empirical experience of my senses wrongly.

-K- said...

It's a very long road.
Today, for me, its a money fear. This weekend it might be that I'm afraid I won't be able to get everything done that I think absolutely must be done.

I appreaciate being reminded that everyone has these fears, and some are much more profound.

Now its time to struggle with the Word Verifications that seem to get more twisted every day.

I also appreciate the point "journal 61" makes about the possibility about being wrong or simply incorrect in my judgements.

William Michaelian said...

Just wait, Kevin, until we have to verify our verifications with other verifications. Or has that happened already? I’m sick of it myself. As it is, I’ve had to enable comment moderation on all but the most recent post in order to not subject visitors to idiotic spam.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m always a little surprised, and very grateful, when something I write makes sense to others.

manik sharma said...

Will,
Its the people who went wrong that know more about how they did it than the ones who've been right.like the men who lose a battle know more about how they lost than the ones who won knowing how they managed to win..but the question lies in who is to say what is right or wrong...really..Who ?

Stickup Artist said...

I once heard Arianna Huffington say that if you are not making mistakes, you are not doing anything interesting. I was happy to find out I was living a very interesting life indeed! All kidding aside, I think this is an apt quote and it served me well. I cut myself a lot of slack now, and others as well.

William Michaelian said...

Manik, I think that question is best asked and answered (if it really need be at all) individually, personally, and privately, one person at a time. Even when we hear what sounds like sound, logical advice, from what seems like a trustworthy source, it’s of little value until we examine it and understand it ourselves. And that especially goes for anything I say, which is inherently full of holes.

Stickup Artist, I think generosity towards others in that regard is of key importance. It might even be more beneficial to ourselves than to them. There’s a tendency, perhaps, to become more tolerant as we have more to tolerate in ourselves — that is, if we haven’t become completely blind, hardened, and embittered, in which case our “superiority” remains intact. But again, maybe we should think of mistakes as being mistakes only when we don’t learn from them.

Geckostone said...

Perfection? Striving? I think we're there already, flaws and all! At least I feel that way sometimes, like when I'm here reading all this,,,ahhhhhhhh!( let's see how long I can hold that bliss when I get the word verification wrong, lol!)Deb

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Deb. The bright side, of course, is that we still aren’t required to wear bar codes.....