A Collection of Spectacles

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Society (and by society I mean American society, or maybe even Western society, as I can’t speak to the collectives of others) seems to need and thrive off of the juxtaposition of opposite, opposing values. Over the weekend, I had to read an excerpt from Giorgio Agamben’s book, and at one point, he examined this idea perfectly. “In the American Constitution one thus reads, without any distinction, ‘We the people of the United States.’ Yet when Lincoln invokes a ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’ in the Gettysburg Address, the repetition implicity opposes the first ‘people’ to another ‘people.'” In other words, the use of the word has come to mean both “people,” or the common person, the poor and disenfranchised, and “People,” the “whole political body” that is all-inclusive. The term then encompasses everyone, while also mentioning a very specific sect of people.  It successfully demonstrates the existence of both inclusion and exclusion, upon which laws are based.

Along the same vein, religion is a haven for such co-existing polar opposites. Abraham had to believe that killing his son was the right thing to do, for God told him to, but he simultaneously had to believe that God is love. To Kierkegaard, such a belief in two opposing views defined faith.

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Staring deeply into the pit of a flower (at a perceived 2x magnification) painted on the cotton comforter, I am aware of all of someone’s faults, yet I’m not bothered enough to leave. It is morning.

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Exercise that will remind you of your infinite place in this city and the universe:

Stand in the middle of the chaos, while swarms of people travel around you, and trace a skyscraper from its base to its tip. Note how some may be angered by this, by the simple fact that you’re refusing to move. Stopping and taking time out to smell the carcinogens is an act of civil disobedience against fast-paced society. Find where the two planes meet, the angle at which the man-made structure collides with the sky.  At this conjuncture, you may discover a million secrets. 

 

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Currently, my most pressing question is whether my problems, primarily this unhappiness that is seeded so deep that I am never sad in the classic sense, but instead suspended in a perpetual state of boredom, is my body’s way of responding to external pressures, or if something defective is internally ingrained. 

“…thought concerns what he terms ‘the lost symmetry of the blastosphere’ – the primitive precursor of the embryo that is the last structure to preserve perfect symmetry in all planes.” 

Because, as we grow into fully developed beings, we are never quite the same on both sides.

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