Postmodern Journeys 02

Walk On  02

By Joseph Natoli

Translated  by Springhero

       Unfortunately, we spend most of our lives at rest; call it grounded, call it centered; call it home base, call it the still point, the contemplative heart of your being from where, like the Buddha, you sit in the lotus position, eyes half closed, and integrate the fury, solitary at the very center of the garden to which all paths ultimately lead..


      A sweet image, a sweet story, that, like all stories, has its own “ otherness.” There is the emaciated Buddha as well as the fat Buddha; the dark soul journeying as well as the sedentary soul in peace, the Buddha whose last words are “ Walk on!” The Hindu dancing Shiva is never at rest, enacting in his dance somehow the endless fluidity of time, space, self, objects, others, laws and dreams, desire and science, mind and world.


        We are thrown into a world that is always already in motion and whose always alreadyness we immediately inherit. The image of ourselves, then, as quietly sitting someplace, or centered for dominating viewing in Foucault’s pan-option, taking in a world that is somehow “ out there”—that image and the story it spins encourages what I call a “ modernist” way of journeying. How do you journey toward another story—let’s call it the postmodernist—of how the world and ourselves exist and we “ correspond” with each other , another story of how we travel, if you will, from self to world?


        It seems to me that you cannot do so unless you first perceive that you have been thrown into, say, a modernist story of things and not into the world itself. We are now living at the crossroads of both kinds of awareness, although only the postmodern awareness allows us that awareness.


      In the last decade of the second millennium, we have our so-called cultural wars, the semiotics of such proliferating each day. Perhaps it is all about traveling, about the journey, not only—as Rod Serling used to say at the beginning of every segment of Twilight Zone—of time and space, but of mind. Again, the Buddha: “ You cannot travel on the path before you have that Path itself.”


        Some are secure and content, for whatever reason, and want to journey little from that contentment and security, except perhaps to augment it. Others are unsatisfied with their present lot and continue to journey toward a goal that promises what is yet not theirs. Still others have no journey in mind but are on the road because one place is good as another. There is for them no place to rest. Perhaps, like Rimbaud, they are not going to any place but merely fleeing from ‘ apparitions assembled in the brain.”



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