‘The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of dusk’
Consider this: we exist on the horizon of reality. The sun sets on history, and we live always at the tail of it. We are unable to re-live that ever-increasing day which constructs our current being, we are restrained to merely tracing over the line and considering how we got here and where we went wrong. Can we ever detach ourselves from that line and start a new one? Or does the human memory bind us to what has been and gone for as long as memory lives?
I am only 20. I feel I should omit the word ‘only’ as it would seem that I have been on a greater journey than most people my age. However I know that the mathematical proportion of my past compared to my future proves that there is much more to come. I’m sure I will read this in another 20 years and agree…
I don’t remember much of my childhood, my teens were rough, my parents divorced and I was kicked out at the age of 16 to find my own way. During a period of severe depression and insomnia, I experienced what most would call a ‘religious experience’ at the age of 15, which literally saved my life. I gave my life to Jesus two years later. I would say I’ve been in two serious relationships in my life; the first wrecked me, the second made me aware of how wrecked I really was. All these things make me who I am. But each new dawn, and each new struggle that comes with it, is made heavier by the things that I carry from my experiences. Not only does it effect times of struggle, but it dominates my thinking, my philosophical contemplations and my search for truth.
As human beings, it is in our nature to ask questions. To live is to search for truth. Even the seemingly naive search for it, focusing on the truth of the self, testing their identity with the activities they partake in and the people they relate to, in an attempt to know oneself. One truth that seems to dominate over all others is that of love and all its subheadings. What is friendship, compassion, communication, trust? What do they mean to us? This is certainly something that has been central to my life; my years spent searching for security, acceptance, affection. My two major relationships provided a drastic dualism upon which I have tried to base my philosophy of love, as well as the masses of second hand experience that back it up. A search that I have ached with all along that line of history, can I finally spread my wings with ‘the falling of dusk’?
“…take the case of a lover who has been unhappy in love, and suppose that the way he yields to his passions is really unreasonable, impious, and unchristian. In case you cannot begin with him in such a way that he finds genuine relief in talking to you about his suffering and is able to enrich his mind with poetical interpretations you suggest for it, notwithstanding you have no share in this passion and want to free him from it - if you cannot do that, then you cannot help him at all; he shuts himself away from you, he retires within himself…”
I believe that God is love. Therefore God is the definition of love, the one knowing love in its entirety. I also believe that God is unreachable in terms of us gaining understanding of Him. This notion, in concurrence with my aporia, brings me to the conclusion that I will never know love. I have come into wisdom, in the sense that I admit that I do not know anything. As Kierkegaard puts it: “Truth is subjectivity”. There remains hypocrisy in that I cannot but help longing for the search to go on, despite my accepting that the search would be an eternal process leading to no possible conclusion. I am only human after all, and as I said before, that is what we do, we live to search for truth. Perhaps some day I will find a new love that will spark a revision of this philosophy, perhaps one day I’ll be put into the situation whereupon I should have ‘the marriage talk’. How do we really know we’re in love, when we cannot know what love is in its entirety? That question can be asked day after day for months, even years, and it can never be answered. Unlike a relationship with God (for which we have reassurance or ‘proof’ from the Holy Spirit), we must take a blind leap of faith based on what we think we know about love. The search brings no gain, so now I retire within myself. And that, for now, is my horizon.
“If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it… Laugh at the world’s follies, you will regret it; weep over them you will also regret that… Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both… This gentlemen, is the sum and substance of all philosophy”.