Most people have this amazing idea that hope is a fragile thing. They build all manner of defenses and snarl at anything or anyone that gets close to it; they guard it like the last, guttering flickers of a votive; always terrified that it will die, exhaust itself from too great an effort or, ridiculously, the tinest, unexpected puff of a breeze.
In truth, hope within humanity is one of the most feral and ferociously resilient forces. It is not fragile, but diamond; impossibly hard, practically infinite in its tenacity.
Why, then, such fear of its death? More interestingly, why such insistence upon curling about it and choking the very liberty one claims to be protecting? Do you see the contradiction?
It is a simple thing for me to admit that hope is an adamant and unassailable thing so long as a human is willing to draw breath. And I strongly suspect that the razor’s edge from which some humans slip is not in relation to seeing hope extinguish and then, despairing, themselves let slip life, but that it is an odd obsession with fear of that moment that they think to cheat by escaping having to experience it. Something of a pre-emptive strike, albeit it a remarkably stupid and unreasoning one.
Buddhist tradition posits that all things the alleviate suffering are gifts and should be embraced. And, seemingly in contradiction, also says that one should abandon all hope; leave behind any wish or expectation that things will be other than as they are…. some time ago, I asserted to myself that there was a resolution, a reconciliation in it, but it required loosing one’s hands from things; putting an end to the clinging.
My personal experience tells me that hoping, over time, actively breeds resentment, frustration, and anger. Additionally, it fosters bitterness and cynicism as well. Left to blossom without thought, it eventually creates the very despair that leads to that shadowy fork at which the notion of cheating the anticipated grief to watch the death of hope by dying becomes oddly “logical”.
Strange processing. I am thinking on this tonight because, in the last few months, I have had several friends speak to me of losing someone close to them to suicide. Something I caught on the stream tonight (Netflix) reminded me and, as usual, contemplation results.
I always tell people grieving and enduring loss by suicide that the act of suicide is the most utterly selfish act possible among humans. But the thing I do not say is that I also find it the most overtly evidenciary expression of mental incompetence possible in humans.
I mean, think about it for a moment — there are only four pathologies that lead to this act: narcissistic obsession, clinical depression, psychotic break, and hyper-realistic delusion. None of these are especially prone to supporting sustainable critical thought, let alone countering the full weight of an active episode of manifested behavior.
Hrm. I seem to have lost the train of thought. It likely has something to do with a certain pleasant interruption. Heh. What? Continue walking this gloomy consideration in …. hope…. (cough) of coming up with something meaningful to say rather than enjoy the delight of said pleasant interruption?
You must not know me that well. (grin)
Happy Friday Eve.