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The Ineluctable Modality of the Visible


The sun is calling.  I must go outside and take a run.  An imperative.  I have no choice really.  But I can delay my departure for a few minutes, or at least until I feel resolved.  Resolved in the sense that I have tied up all loose ends, tightened my sadness with a cinch, decided upon my own resolution.

There is this whole idea of living in the moment.  The NOW is where life happens.  From this comes the idea of impermanence.

If NOW is where life happens, if living in the moment is where we live and breathe, then we are always changing.

For me, learning to live is the same as learning to understand impermanence.

The idea of living in a constant state of change, of being ever-changing.  Of passing from the NOW into a NEW NOW.

There is no permanence if I am living in the moment, and I must be living in the moment since that is where life happens.

Ineluctable modality of the visible. James Joyce wrote this in Ulysses.  He has Stephen Dedalus think it.

Or does Stephen think it on his own?

Not at all an unreasonable question really.  Think about it, characters in timeless stories, characters that are alive in the thoughts of many throughout generations, these characters are people now.  They are tangible, articulate in details, alive and living in the moment.

Yes!  These characters are also changing.  They must be.  They are alive.

Ineluctable modality of the visible:  at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Stephen Dedalus is thinking this.

Stephen Dedalus is learning to understand impermanence.

More importantly, Stephen Dedalus is begining to learn to understand that his impermanence is what makes him eternal.

His impermanence means that even though he will never live in the NOW permanently, even though he will never be immortal like Ray Kurzweil, living forever in an engineered organic state,

even though he will pass,

he will be eternal in that he – his soul – is always changing, always taking on a new form in a new time.

Ok.  The sun is calling.

I am going to put on a stopwatch that syncs with a band around my chest.  This band measures my heartbeat.

I am going to carry a pedometer.

I am going to run on the beach, run south for a very long time.

September 12, 2009 4:25 pm

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