Enlightened Conflict

the contradictory feelings of Life

March 13th, 2016

life is contradiction squeeze

 

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“As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.”

 

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Charles Baudelaire

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It is amazing how things in Life seemingly swing to & fro between horror and ecstasy.

 

It begins in childhood as the simplistic joys of youth crash into the inevitable of simplistic horrors <think … the ecstasy of first pedaling of a bike and the horror or the first crash>.

 

compromise balance beamSome of us master the contradictory feeling … okay … we don’t master it we simply learn to manage it. We face horror and ecstasy with an equal sense it will not last … horror with hope attached and ecstasy with a little disappointment attached. I guess we just figure out a way of balancing the contradictory feelings.

 

In simplistic adult terms we often call it the inevitable ‘highs & lows” in Life.

 

Neither last forever.

 

Neither is the norm.

 

 

It doesn’t really matter what labels we put on it all … Life is a mixed bag of contradictory events, outcomes and feelings. More often than not horror is not indicative of Armageddon and ecstasy is not indicative of future ongoing bliss. More often than not we encounter moments and envision the moment as something bigger than it is.

 

Than we have another moment.

 

And another.

And, well, another. Until we don’t.

 

 

And in the end we most likely look back at the Life balance sheet of horror & ecstasy and see it is fairly balanced. And if we are lucky and did things the best we could whenever we could we most likely see that we have more ecstasy in our asset column than horror in the liability column.

 

I sometimes believe this is a lesson learned of experience.

 

Youth looks on with horror at horror thinking it represents the yawning sinkhole of eternal despair and alternatively looks on with the addict-like yearnings at ecstasy thinking it represents what Life should solely be.

Through experience we not only recognize we ultimately have to face this ongoing Life contradiction but also how, in some ways, to avoid horror and, on occasion, encounter ecstasy.

compromise balancing act

That said.

 

I sometimes wonder if by avoiding what may appear to be horror that, on occasion, we are also eliminating some possible ecstasy.

Because maybe Life was built as a system in which to be used to its fullest we were meant to bounce off of horror … and ecstasy.

 

What I don’t have to wonder about is the truth that most of us older folk reach a point where we will sacrifice ecstasy for contentment … with the intent to avoid horror. I am not suggesting that is ‘settling’ because it is actually Life management.

 

But.

Many of the young look on and ask us “is that really the trade you want to make with your Life?”

 

All most of us old folk can do is shrug our shoulders and say “it is a choice you need to make on your own.”

 

And I imagine that is my point in today’s philosophical ramblings.

 

Life is consistent in its contradiction of horror & ecstasy.

choices happend to be jungIt is what it is.

 

Therefore, it is your choice to make what it is for you.

 

There is no formula.

There is no one right way to choose to live Life.

 

In general … each person can choose the amount of horror and the amount of ecstasy … and the amount of whatever resides in between … to make up their Life.

In general … as you weave your way thru the contradiction of horror and ecstasy you will find that … well … you will choose what to become as a person.

 

 

 

Enlightened Conflict