The 'wedge of darkness'
I was recently re-reading 'To The Lighthouse' in light (no pun intended) of the end of my lectures on it. One of the characters, Mrs. Ramsay, describes herself as a 'wedge of darkness' at multiple points in the first part of the novel. This struck a chord with me (not just because I've used Wedge as an online callsign for years and because I'm a member of a clan called Dark Tyrants Empire) because I recognise the darkness within myself.
It's within all of us, although we tend not to want to admit it. The realisation that we are fundamentally too small, that the world as we perceive it is mostly a comfortable illusion and that we are reluctant to admit that we are insignificant. Mrs. Ramsay knows that the social events she struggles to organise are ultimately pointless, just as we know that worrying about if the girl or guy we like likes us back is ultimately pointless. We are born and then we die. Anything in between that is less than the tiniest sliver of time and is far too small to matter. We are less than dust in the galaxy.
I've only met a few people who really struggle to totally grasp this concept, they tend to see the world in terms of themselves and their immediate surroundings and are invariably extremely dull to talk to. It's rather like talking to a small child, one that doesn't understand the ultimate futility of their existence because they haven't been alive long enough yet.
I must admit that I sound a little like I'm just a bit depressed and perhaps I am. It occurs to me that if this is such a universal truth, why am I telling everyone? Perhaps I'm just reminding myself not to get carried away, not to believe that I am any more important than any of the other bits of the dust I interact with. It's bleak, it's harsh but life *is* bleak and harsh and when you forget that you forget who you really are, you lose your own wedge of darkness.
I'm at a difficult age and a difficult time in my life generally. My generation seems to lack the motivation to actually DO anything, those who are slighty younger have had the desire for material goods pressed into their heads for so long that the acquisition of money and possessions is the key focus in their lives. Those who are slightly older seem to crave stability and to lead a simple (and repetitive) life. But we are a generation without a purpose (ok, less of a purpose than other generations; the only real purpose humanity seems to have is to multiply). So what am I worried about? I guess I worry about the end of history. The same end of history that countless people have claimed was upon them.
We feel the need to change things before our time is suddenly and unexpectedly up but we never can. Humanity will persist, nothing will ever change. Nothing ever does. We move through life convinced of our 'free will', of our own importance in the grand scheme of things. We talk of God or Allah or the laws of Samsara or whatever mish-mash of religious belief gets us through the day as if it matters. We talk as if we matter. Never forget that we do not. All we are is less than dust in the galaxy.
[ Entry posted at: Tue 25 Apr 2006 16:48:17 BST | 3 comment(s)... | Cat: Rant ]