Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Without Flinching

Odilon Redon - Je suis toujours la grande Isis! Nul n'a encore soulevé mon voile! Mon fruit est le soleil! trans.
"I am still the great Isis! None has yet lifted my veil! My fruit is the Sun!" (1896)
There are two kinds of greatness. 

There is a false greatness. The history books are rife with it. 

False greatness becomes entranced with its own story. It fuels itself with the delusion that it is a masterpiece of its own making. But in relation to the crushing weight of reality, it is only a brittle and shallow thing. And in the end, it is reduced to rubble. 

True greatness does not live in a state of delusion. It does not fall for its own story. It arises out of nothingness, subsists in nothingness and returns to nothingness. Fullness within emptiness, emptiness within fullness. True greatness can watch itself be incinerated from within, without flinching. 

Great love, great beauty, great promise all lost in the self-perpetuating fire of the void-plenum. Yes, true greatness can watch itself be incinerated from within, without flinching. Knowing with an existential certainty that there is a greater beauty, a greater love, a greater promise yet to come, and that, yes, these too will be incinerated in turn. 

The great ones laugh when there is every reason not to. Choose laughter. Choose greatness. The heart that beats in you is the throbbing heart of the universe itself. All creation is loss. All loss is creation. A glorious, ceaseless shout ...

-- Richard Power
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