Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hope is not Out There

How does it end? Whatever situation you are in - or even the entirety of life itself - how does it end? Does it end in victory for you? Rest? Satisfaction? Does the whole thing end utterly fucked up? Miserable? In defeat?

You can watch life's trends and try to predict the ending. You can tell when the situation is turning against you and you can tell when the situation is turning in your favor. But Fortune is fickle, and just because one day is full of warm fuzzies holds no bearing on whether the wheel might turn the next day and leave you with nausea and exhaustion.

However, for practical reasons, in life hope largely comes from within. In so far as we can study life's trends and study the way an action leads to a consequence, hope is a matter of phenomena and method (something like a science). However, insofar as we cannot see very far in front of our face, and insofar as life is full of mystery and twisting turns, hope is more a matter of creating a certain picture of the world and clinging to it through strength of will. Anxiety is little different, except that it points in another direction and it is far easier to cling to. Regardless we do not, on the whole, come to hope or anxiety because of data that the world provides to us, rather it is through the pictures that we use to make sense of that data.

This is to say, that if we see our lives growing greater and greater, that comes from our own vitality; if we see our lives ending in brokenness, that comes from our own acceptance. The world, however, will not allow us to see more than a few feet in front of our face. Our near circumstances are not something we can study. Our anticipations are context that we use to make sense of our present moment.

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