Rilke said, “Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

This morning the news tells (again)that the world is ending. The monster is still at the helm. Reasonable people in the media compliment the creature when he does something that is not morally vacant as if to prove by their own action that morality exits still. At the cost of decorum, they prove that ego and naïveté are alive and well. I think that we must hate him or risk fooling ourselves into believing that decency survived these dark days. Only martyrs cling to what’s already lost. We live with wolves now. Rilke also said that, “everything terrible is something that needs our love.” I can’t love the creatures and so I know that they’ve already won the world.

If my parents were uncompromising they may not have had my father’s pension to spend late in life, but they would have kept the wolves from coming for their children. 1.4 million young people are in the US Army serving the wolf pack. 2.8 parents are proud of them. For god’s sake, “the emperor has no clothes!” Today I pledge to hold back make-believe respect for people who serve the US military. I will not transact with them, hold the door, offer favors, or smile. I won’t congratulate their parents. I will share only what is fitting, my disgust and pity.

What is it you work toward? We never ask this question. I will not busy myself with work to flee discomfort. I prefer to do only what needs to be done because actions leave behind a residue. Scott Nearing knew that job-holding is hard for the radical. Lloyd Dobler (the character in the film Say Anything) did too. He said, “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” Do not pawn integrity to the power-mad oligarchy. Its better to get to know solitude.

We experience harmony when each thing in nature does its part. The wolves, nature-made for scavenging, are not meant to lead the world. They devour. Their keynote is to survive life. Some say the neanderthal was the gentler species, and that brutality is the reason that homosapiens rule the earth. Few understand that only when we are no longer creatures can life be savored, even lived.

Sometimes evolution happens sideways or in a spiral shape. Until the wolf pack devours this world, for as long as the world continues to exist, I want, as Rilke has said, “to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”

Habits — Contemplation, Embodiment, Art. Author of The Good Life Lab

Habits — Contemplation, Embodiment, Art. Author of The Good Life Lab