The alternative

Life, which is infinitely abundant, infinitely generous, may be cruel only on the basis of its inexhaustibility: in how many cases has life lost altogether all claims for its validity because it has been repressed by so many secondary institutions that have grown lethargic in their existence.*
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

The alternative may be you.

Just saying.

Rainer Maria Rilke places his hope in life that is infinitely abundant and generous, but not irrepressible, able to fall victim to that which is tired or lost its way or going through the motions. There is an alternative, though:

Is there anyone who would not frequently wish for a ferocious storm that could tear down everything that stands in the way and that is already in decline to clear space for the newly creative, infinitely young, infinitely well-intentioned.*

Rilke causes me to remember my friend Alex McManus‘ words that the future will appear through foresight, intention and love.

There is a problem in Rilke’s mind for intentions alone can dissipate energy:

But there is nothing more reckless than intentions: you exhaust yourself in them by forming and by reinforcing them, and the there is nothing left for the act of carrying them out.*

Better to begin sooner rather than later, and one way we can do this is by creating some disequilibrium through giving. Giving connects us with our energy and we are able to create an alternative to what is, as Erich Fromm underlines here:

Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This … fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous … in the art of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.**

(*From Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters on Life.)
(**From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.