Fragile

After a while of abstinence, I wanted to revisit the topic of fragility in my blog. For some people who see themselves as strong and resilient, or at least refuse to be lumped in with the victims of the world, this may seem strange. Being called fragile is sometimes seen as a denigration of our personality, but when we do some soul-searching, it usually becomes clear that we have a chink in our armour, and that’s where we usually spend so much time compensating for it.

Fragile means that something can easily break, or that something is fragile, and of course in this context we consider it a sign of weakness. But our life on this planet is fragile, dependent on a variety of conditions such as fresh air, clean water, durable food, but also stable weather and the absence of natural disasters that have made life so difficult in the past. The planet is an oasis in an unfriendly cosmos; a blue jewel, full of life so diverse that it feels like the lavish abundance is almost wasteful. When I look into my garden and the trees behind it and fall into my spiritual thinking, I wonder about the principle of life on this planet. The trees cast so many seeds, just as we find in all of life’s creation, and some bear fruit while others do not. It is much like the well-known parable of the Sower who indiscriminately sows seed that falls on hard ground, among weeds, some of the seed is eaten by the birds, but some falls on good soil that makes up for the loss. It is a lesson in serenity when we see that not everything is thriving, and we feel that it has been wasted. We have difficulty with such an attitude when we see that life is also like that, and we see people on the street who are in a difficult situation, whose wealth is eaten up by speculators, or who are dragged down by circumstances.

Then we feel that life should be sustainable and not subject to the hardships that many people suffer. In times past, people found comfort in the idea that nothing is wasted, that everything serves a higher purpose, but today many people resist such an idea and protest the futility of existence. Some voices expressing this doubt resonate with a certain frustration, while others are more resigned and stubbornly accept that the search for meaning is futile. The accumulation of wealth seems to satisfy the influential, who follow an ideology of endless growth and profit, subjecting all people to their plans. The images of starving children move lower income people to help financially, sometimes beyond their means, while they withdraw from their neighbours and become speechless in the drudgery of working to make other people rich.

The fragility of man is a well-known fact and the subject of all religions and wisdom traditions. The unity of the human race is proclaimed, united in suffering of many kinds: poverty, hunger, thirst, impairment, oppression and imprisonment; so many people today are depressed, in a state of dysphoria and confusion and the list goes on. Ways to get out of these limitations of well-being are suggested, but few are followed. I think that the metaphors of the past no longer fit our circumstances so well, but there is a sense that the “molech” or “moloch” of the past is identifiable with the “machine” of today that is figuratively eating our children and seducing society into decadence. In this way, our fragility is used against us.

However, I think that the people who refuse to bow to the weight of all this and fight back in their own way are right. Sometimes it is pure emotion, and we beat against the metal and stone of immovable objects, and it is really in vain. Some people drown themselves in some stimulant: Food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, whatever they can find. This is also futile and only highlights our fragility even more when we see the consequences of their behaviour. Some follow a trend or an ideology with an uncertain outcome, as a sign of resistance, looking for a sign of strength. In my opinion, it is better to reach out to others, because in all our fragility, our connectedness helps us to become more resilient. Alone we may not be able to fight the conditions we find ourselves in, but together we can.

We remain fragile, and each individual link is not strong enough on its own, but like chain mail, the combined links can withstand the pressure applied to them. We just have to learn from nature and look at the lavishness of how it spreads its seed, and feel free to be as generous with whatever we can contribute, and even a smile or a helping hand can be a lifebelt at the right moment. I feel obliged by the fact that we are fragile to seek others and unite with them. Perhaps, just perhaps, this mutual benefit was the plan from the beginning. And perhaps we have somehow always kept ourselves from it, and each generation has had to learn its necessity anew. They say that we learn best when we are confronted with a problem, and without such conflicts, we don’t learn. Perhaps that is our problem, and the reason why there are so many conflicts today.

I am convinced that we have come into this world as fragile beings to grow internally and externally and to withdraw into the cosmic consciousness that has given us life. Each of us has had our experiences and learned our lessons, even the most terrible ones, which we will end up sharing in ways we cannot imagine. That would be a meaningful existence.

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one

Drying in the colour of the evening sun

Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away

But something in our minds will always stay

Perhaps this final act was meant

To clinch a lifetime’s argument

That nothing comes from violence, and nothing ever could

For all those born beneath an angry star

Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall

Like tears from a star, like tears from a star

On and on the rain will say

How fragile we are, how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall

Like tears from a star, like tears from a star

On and on the rain will say

How fragile we are, how fragile we are

How fragile we are, how fragile we are

Sting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.