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Fragment II (Morning Song)

Fragment II


To live is to suffer; to live meaningfully is to live in a way that justifies that suffering. How, even if I lived a life of ultimate suffering, and things went as badly as they possibly could, would my life still be justified, still be one worth living?

Christ was crucified. He was born, he suffered, and he died. He carried the world on his shoulders like an Atlas who renewed his commitment to humanity in every moment. His Word reverberated throughout mankind and every action he took was unconditionally meaningful. Every human being carries the world on his shoulders like Christ whether he realizes it or not, and the more he wishes to release his burden, the greater the stakes of every choice he makes. This life must be difficult or else it would mean nothing. A life without danger or profound threats is not a life fully lived. The heroes whose stories we repeat again and again faced unimaginable challenges, and that is why they are heroes. To face extraordinary challenges is the design of life and the radical principle of the universe, and to cower from these challenges is to go against nature. But, there is no one without need of help.

With faith, worry begins to lose its figure and slowly evaporates before one’s eyes. The world reflects back the condition of your own mind and values, and there is no rational thought in this reflection but only an understanding that must be felt. Faith reveals a guiding power that lights the path to self-realization.

The Ground of Being

What is the word “God?” If we were to speak to the divine being would we call Him (Her? It?) God? The word is a word, not a name, because the divine has no name. God has no name because God is not a thing but an activity, not a noun but a verb, and just as Judaism cannot call God by name, so Islam cannot see God as an object. The divine being is a vibration that expresses itself through pattern and rhythm, and the vibration itself emerges from the Ground of Being, which itself is nothing but stillness.

If thoughts do not block your observation, then you perceive the world as it is. Thoughts are like leaves falling onto a glass ceiling, and we are lying on the floor looking up, trying to see the sky. The witnessing consciousness lays beneath all phenomena, and it is through pure witnessing that the opportunity to become oneself is made possible and the willing consciousness can make an uncorrupted choice. If you gaze clearly, doubt becomes impossible. But every individual must also look at his own shadow, enter a space of darkness and emptiness. If you look into the abyss long enough, it looks back at you, and then you are breathless and realize that the moment of reckoning has arrived.

To Hold a River in Time

Remember who you are, and the rest will carry on like a calm river. The self is in motion and can only be discerned in a single moment. The present flows in eternity and is beheld in the fullness of time, in the whole rather than the part, but to sculpt an image out of eternity is to become who you are and stand before God. It is to leave the particulars behind and confront the terrifying consequence of all existence, and stand without trembling, with open eyes, so that all dispassionate conceptions of oneself quickly dissolve.

Nothing great is accomplished without danger, and no self can be born without the death of another.

I must surrender my mind, now. I must give it to God. Let go of my understanding, relinquish thought. Every thought is an effort to grasp, to take something and hold it. But if you hold onto what is not you, then you do not perceive what you are and you understand nothing.


Almost midnight

What is it that defines me? I think my most substantial problem, and my greatest virtue, is that it is nothing finite. It is my mind, my mental self; it is the hope to understand, and to understand something good. My one concentrated wish is to be the one who deciphers it—what is it? It is the underlying principle that directs all things, and though we search the stars for its secrets, the stars themselves are contained within us. It has only been when I’ve looked inward that anything has changed and I’ve felt that I am closer to realizing who I should be on this Earth. I am in the third year of my doctoral studies, and each year I stand on looser footing. I feel better when I am out in the woods walking around, and I still climb trees even though any passerby who saw me would probably think I was stuck and call for help. It’s winter in Chicago, though, and I do not have boots or gloves. Nothing is really happening in my life right now, and there is much time for frustration. The only excitement comes from the adventures I create for myself. This life has little danger and not much opportunity for great feats. It is stupid, and you can only laugh about it for so long. I need to either do something much more intense or achieve an insight that gives me peace.

What thought must I come to? What realization must I have? Or will the thinking never end, and should I avoid it? What is the solution? I lose faith in anything good when I grow weak and apathetic, and I take all things at face value. Do I try to force faith?

*Something is going on in reality*

Faith is that choice to believe that what is going on is a good thing.

Perhaps, though, you should merely choose faith in yourself, faith that you are doing well, that, no matter what happens, you were, are, and forever will be here. And you are not alone; no one is alone with open arms, and anyone with a straight back and an open chest can handle either a blow or embrace. I’ve never been afraid of other people and in high school I got into too many fights. I’m still not shy of eye contact, but that is for better reasons now.

Let me be grateful for every moment I have on this Earth. I give thanks to all.


I had forgotten what it means to fear death in such a visceral way, but that is what happens after the (outrageous amount of) caffeine wears off. There is not really any avoiding it, just ignoring the thoughts. Do I really want to ignore these thoughts, though? If they’re bothering me, and they’re fears, is that not a sign that I should address them? But there’s nothing to do.

When you have authentically moved past the fear of death, the thought of it will not bother you even when you are weak. But you first must realize that you do not independently exist as a subject but are an action being performed according to the universal will, and once Amor Fati is etched into your bones your mind will be quiet.

...About an hour later, the same day

I see myself playing the role of Ivan, but I do not wholly identify with that role. I am not what I do, but my actions are a part of the larger me just as you are a part of the larger me, as well as the Chicago River flowing beneath where I write—what is a river? Is that something Ivan would ask? This life is simply a performance and not much else, a lengthy piece of theater in which I play the character of Ivan. He is a very interesting character, and I don’t think I would choose anyone else to play. That must be why I received this role, and now all I have to do is have a good time playing it.

And I’ll be sincere, even if not too serious. Simple and sincere. Do all that you can in this life and live it powerfully. I think this life must be infinitely meaningful, because I do not know how it could be any more meaningful.



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