Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Fading Out of Sorts

I suspect am going to become a lot less Internet social in about a month.

By choice, mostly.  To be honest, the Internet has largely become an echo chamber,   The anger of point and counterpoint, the breathlessness of constantly impending doom - it tends to wear on a body.  And the rancor that will follow the election will (I predict) dwarf whatever went on before.

I suppose another reason is simply the result of the election.  I have a lot less to say to a great many people because I have seen precisely how far their beliefs hold - only to the point of getting one person or another elected, regardless of what we know about that individual.  The hypocrisy of beliefs and supported actions has become almost intolerable.

I fear I am enabling the behavior.  And if I am not part of the solution, I am part of the problem.

This whole things has led me in some respects to understand the urge of the Medieval Church - the monks and anchorites, the Desert Fathers - to retreat from the world.  The constant din of the world and its propensity to rush about its business - oh, so very very important - had to be as overwhelming then as now (one pictures Saint Simeon Stylites, on his pillar in the desert simply thinking "Dear Lord people, I am on a pillar in the desert.  Is it not clear I need a little alone time?")

I will not be going from here, of course -  this has become as much an exercise and practice in endurance and patience and creativity as it has for writing.  And I have a number of places on the Internet I love to visit - less for their news qualities than the way of life they try to maintain and what they try to do.  Certainly in many ways I can live as socially through them as I would through any social media.

Does social matter?  Of course - even I, with all of my tendencies towards isolation, still find myself in need of the day to day interaction of people.  But I have come over the years to value even more interaction with those whose inner life and outer life are one - to quote Benjamin Franklin, "What  you seem to be, be really".

It is not a quest for ideological purity.  It is, instead, a quest for the harmony of human relations in the best sort of atmosphere - one of total truth and consistency of soul and purpose.

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