Friday, March 14, 2008

Inspired by the Prophet Jasmine (A friend)

We are all alone. It is inevitable to escape this. Why are we alone? All of us are estranged and distant from everyone else. No one has the experiences that another has, no matter how many things they have in common. Since no one shares the same exact experience with another, no one truly understands things another person tries to communicate, if they first understand what's being expressed. It doesn't matter whether it is emotions or viewpoints. No one has any real understanding of anyone else which means that the only thing left for people to validate other's expressions is respect: an acknowledgement that another person's expression of emotion or thought is real. One's personal affirmation in such a diverse world can only go so far, if it goes anywhere at all (not that I have a problem with diversity, I love it).

This brings to mind the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. In it, united citizens of Babylon who all speak one language decide to get together and build a tower high enough to reach "unto heaven" (in their name). God does not like this and strikes the people with different languages so that they wouldn't understand each other and unite. A key sentence God says in talking about them uniting and building the tower is "this they began to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them" [Genesis 11:6]. Did God dislike that they were working to create things for fame or did He fear the power of his own creations banning together? Or both? Is this the beginning of human's individual experience and relationship with God? Did God stop the Babylonians from experiencing not Heaven but something else entirely?

Does God want us in this despair of loneliness? The main character in "Silence", a novel by Shusaku Endo, is a Portugese priest in Japan named Father Rodriguez. He once said that despair is the greatest sin. Perhaps, in this existential state, it is meant to help us reach out to Him. But we are all alone in a huge web of dynamics that humans can never see or transcend. The irony that a conversation with the Prophet Jasmine has led me to (as she has the power to see these things and doesn't even know it) is that, perhaps the division of languages, individual experiences and affirmation are all there to help us realize how infinitely varied in cause-and-affect life can be; to help us to perceive what we cannot possibly see. Perhaps being alone is the starting point to building some kind of understanding amongst each other.



  1. Very cool blog. Keep it up.

  2. The Clandestine SamuraiMarch 17, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Thank you!


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