Last night, Steve and I were watching the evening news, and experiencing all the sadness that it brought, when he turned to me and said, “I don’t feel like posting.”
He hesitated for a moment, and then quoted German philosopher Theodor Adorno: “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.”
Adorno argued that the extravagant cruelty of humanity against itself makes creative acts inherently selfish, self-centered, and indulgent in the extreme. “Self-satisfied contemplation,” he called it. So I understood what Steve was saying.
It can be difficult to believe, in the face of horror, that creativity can go on—that anything can go on. The images from Connecticut shock the soul. And seeing them over and over, with no chance for catharsis, can be emotionally exhausting.
Comfort came from Robert Moses, in a message to the readers of Namarupa. I thought I’d pass it along to you. He wrote:
Hearing troubling news on a daily or almost hourly basis these days is indeed unsettling. Yet there is always hope. There is always the glimpse of love no matter how clouded things may appear to be.
Robert suggests—prompted by a message from Ammachi—chanting what we recognize as the closing prayer of the practice. It’s ancient prayer from the Rg Veda, known much more widely as the “Mangala Mantra.” It’s a reminder that there is, of course, solace in the practice itself.
svasti prajabhyam paripalayantham nyayeana margena mahim maheesah
gobrahmanebhya shubamsthu nityam lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu
om santih santih santih
As we prepare to embark on our Sadhana Yatra, it was good to be reminded that the reason for the practice is to improve the world—that our leaders take the right path, that we be faithful, that the world will be happy, and that there will be peace. It was good to be reminded that there is still poetry, and that there is also love.
Posted by Bobbie