hell is thinking other people are other

276

Sartre was right: Hell is other people.

I don’t know enough about the man or his play to be sure that he was right for the right reason.

But I do know that whenever ‘others’ enter one’s life-play, the split from wholeness has happened, meaning, a ‘me’ has morphed.

Most readers of Sartre take the “hell” of “other people” to be their capacity to annoy or frustrate one.

But it seems to me that hell is the capacity of the imagined ‘me/myself’ to annoy and frustrate itself by turning the equally imagined ‘others’ into victimizers or objects of desire, or those who must be pleased with me and like me, regardless of the cost to body, happiness and sanity.

In other words, turning them into stories.

.

And then believing it’s all true and real.

~

snakes and ladders and heaven and hell

263

The backyard Butcherbird was first up this morning.  It was still quite dark when the trills of its morning overture sounded outside the sanctuary.  Now he (or is it she?) is standing on the bird-bath.  It’s the young one, so probably it has yet to learn that Willy Wagtail bathes first.  There will be scolding, for sure.

Blessed rain has fallen over the holiday weekend: heaven for the locals with their parched gardens, hell for the holiday-makers in their sodden tents.

There’s not one thing in the world of phenomena that isn’t potentially either heaven or hell.  Once things are split up into me and not-me, good and bad, right or wrong, the Game begins.

It reminds me of the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ dice game we played as kids.  Back then there was the innocent thrill of whether chance would see one gobbled by a snake or saved by a ladder on the way to the finishing point.  The adult version sees us clambering up the ladders chasing pleasure and being gobbled by disappointment when life doesn’t oblige; perhaps we should rename the board, and call it The Grace Game …

~