Is there meaning to a nation with such a violent beginning? Why protudes every conversation.
A short man amidst giants. A woman with one are on an elevator with two armed women. A child with three fingers playing cards with those with a full hands. Shame is the desease that seems incurable. USA, Europe, western TV is the norm. Anything less is shameful and to be dispised. So, being dark skinned, is a plague for most. Many seek a whiter skinned woman or man to marry. Just to escape the shame.
As we plant the "church" we are planting a meaning, we are planting a way of seeing life through different eyes.
Carl Rogers speaks of .
"it is possible to explain a person to himself, to prescribe steps which should lead him forward, to train him in knowledge about a more satisfying mode of life. But such methods are, in my experience, futile and inconsequential. The most they can accomplish is some temporary change, which soon disappears, leaving th eindividual more than ever convinced of his inadequacy.
The failure of any such approach through th intellect has forced me to recognize that change appears to come about through experience ina a relatioship."
Soren Kierdegard points out that the the most common despair is to be in despair at not choosing, or willing, to be oneself; but that the deepest form of despair is to choose "to be another than himself."
This is seen in the Novel....
In her Novel, To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf explores the different ways in which individuals search for and create meaning in their own experience. She strives to express how individuals order their perceptions into a coherent understanding of life. This endeavor becomes particularly important in a world in which life no longer has any inherent meaning. Darwin's theory of evolution, published in 1859 in The Origin of Species, challenged the then universal belief that human life was divinely inspired and, as such, intrinsically significant. Each of the three main characters has a different approach to establishing the worth of his or her life. Mr. -Ramsay represents an intellectual approach; as a metaphysical phil-osopher, he relies on his work to secure his reputation. Mrs. -Ramsay, devoted to family, friends, and the sanctity of social order, relies on her emotions rather than her mind to lend lasting meaning to her experiences. Lily, hoping to capture and preserve the truth of a single instant on canvas, uses her art.
Unlike Nietzsche who claimed his own authorship, Woolf gives it to others. It’s the others that sculpt us The Self can only go as far as the others allow. They elongate or constrict us. James’s spirits are high when his mother predicts a trip to the lighthouse, and they are crushed when Mr. Ramsey says it won’t happen. Charles Tansley “revives” when Mrs. Ramsey tells him a confidence. He needs others to take notice of him in order to BE. There is no division between self and others, they permeate us. The self is not autonomous. Minta knows she is beautiful only by the reaction of others.
In solitude .Mrs. Ramsey finds that “it is all dark, it is all spreading, it is unfathomably deep.” Mr. Ramsey cannot suffer in silence. He needs others to witness his misery. “Alone, perished,” Lily Briscoe hears him saying. Unlike Emerson, who looks to transcend the self through nature, with Woolf it is the others that help us escape from the self. In “To the Lighthouse,” we find other exits from us. Daydreaming for Mrs. Ramsey, reading Scott, for Mr. Ramsey.
“What does it all mean?," the characters ask. Woolf seems to be present in that question. We left the self with Nietzsche, being “like a lake that ceasing to permit itself to flow off will form a dam that will rise higher and higher.” With Woolf it flows. But to flow it must have a direction: to marriage, to the letter Z, to a dissertation… to the lighthouse. None of the characters will make it, at least, not as they planned, but it is their purposes that make them BE. They look for a center, and flow towards it. Woolf also begins to take action in the last part of the book.
In “The Lighthouse,” Woolf converges with Lily Briscoe, who finds that a brush is “the only dependable thing in a world of strife, ruin, chaos.” Like Nietzsche, she finds in art the best answer to life. Woolf captures her center with words. At first, her mother is the center. All the characters gravitate around her. In this petrified moment, Mrs. Ramsey represents everything she must’ve been to Woolf. She traps her mother with her pen. “To the Lighthouse” is a moment stolen from eternity.
Later, like Lily, she must change the center. Woolf moves it from Mrs. Ramsey, to herself. She finally finds her own center, her own voice. As an artist she traps the grain of sand while it is still dry before the wave of life strikes it one afternoon in September. Just a few hours to catch the self at the moment of being. An elusive vision, a mirage, but it is hers forever.
sensed a pairing of "feminine" and "masculine" thinking in this book. The whole style, the connectivity, the flowing thoughts, the inexpressable thoughts, the allusions, the metaphors, all helped draw out the directness and baseness of Mr. Ramsay and other men in the novel, for example, the shocking punch Woolf made with this single- paragraph chapter:
[Macalister's boy took one of the fish and cut a square out of its side to bait his hook with. The mutilated body (it was alive still) was thrown back into the sea.]
I'm not sure Woolf wants to say which way of looking at the world is better, she simply want to draw the two approaches to extremes in Mr. Ramsay and the men on one side with the "masculine" perspective, and especially Lily and Mrs. Ramsay and the structure and perspective of the novel itself on the other side with the "feminine" outlook.
I enjoyed Woolf's skill of description in this novel. She has a talent for using metaphors and analogies, and can capture and minutely
describe events that ordinarily just pass through your mind in fleeting thoughts:
They stood there, isolated from the rest of the world. His immense self-pity, his demand for sympathy poured and spread itself in pools at her feet, and all she did, miserable sinner that she was, was to draw her skirts a little closer round her ankles, lest she should get wet. In complete silence she stood there, grasping her paint brush.
But his father did not rouse himself. He only raised his right hand mysteriously high in the air, and let it fall upon his knee again as if he were conducting some secret symphony.
He read, she thought, as if he were guiding something, or wheedling a large flock of sheep, or pushing his way up and up a single path; and somethimes he went fast and straight, and broke his way through the thicket, and sometimes it seemed a branch struck at thim, a bramble blinded him, but he was not going to let himself be beaten by that; on he went, tossing over page after page.