A Capacity for Irrelevant Dancing (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 198)

Blood beats in the ears. Beat, beat, beat. A slow drum in the darkness, beating in the ears of one who lies wakeful with fever, with the sickness of too much misery. It beats unceasingly, in the ears, in the mind itself. Body and mind are indivisible and in the spirit blood painfully throbs. Sad thoughts droop through the mind. A small pure light comes swaying down through the darkness, comes to rest, resigning itself to the obscurity of its misfortune. There is resignation, but blood still beats in the ears. Blood still painfully beats, though the mind has acquiesced. And then, suddenly, the mind exerts itself, throws off the fever of too much suffering and, laughing, commands the body to dance. The introduction to the last movement comes to its suspended, throbbing close. There is an instant of expectation and then, with a series of mounting trochees and a downward hurrying, step after tiny step, in triple time, the dance begins. Irrelevant, irreverent, out of key with all that has gone before. But man’s greatest strength lies in his capacity for irrelevance. In the midst of pestilences, he builds cathedrals; and a slave, he can think the irrelevant and unsuitable thoughts of a free man. The spirit is slave to fever and beating blood, at the mercy of an obscure and tyrannous misfortune. But irrelevantly, it elects to dance in triple measure—a mounting skip, a patter of descending feet.

Antic Hay

Aldous Huxley          1923

In the Name of the Best within You (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 164)

In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved this title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum          1957

The Inheritance of All Healers (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 156)

“One time,” said Castle, “when I was about fifteen, there was a mutiny near here on a Greek ship bound from Hong Kong to Havana with a load of wicker furniture. the mutineers got control of the ship, didn’t know how to run her, and smashed her up on the rocks near “Papa”Monzano’s castle. Everybody drowned but the rats. The rats and the wicker furniture came ashore.”

That seemed the end of the story, but I couldn’t be sure. “So?”

“So some people got free furniture, and some people got bubonic plague. At Father’s hospital, we had fourteen hundred deaths inside of ten days. Have you ever seen anyone die of bubonic plague?”

“That unhappiness has not bee mine.”

“The lymph glands in the groin and the armpits swell to the size of grapefruit.”

“I can well believe it.”

“After death, the body turns black—coals to Newcastle in the case of San Lorenzo. When the plague was having everything its own way, the House of Hope and Mercy in the Jungle looked like Auschwitz or Buchenwald. We had stacks of dead so deep and wide that a bulldozer actually stalled trying to shove them toward a common grave. Father worked without sleep for days, worked not only without sleep but without saving many lives, either.”

“Well, finish your story anyway.”

“Where was I?”

“The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses.”

“Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people.

And Father started giggling,” Castle continued.

“He couldn’t stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head, and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?” asked Castle.

“Nope.”

“‘Son,’ my father said to me, ‘someday this will all be yours.'”

Cat’s Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut          1963

The Why Out of the Matrix (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 148)

The Why Out of the Matrix

Smith :

Why Mr. Anderson?

Why?

Why?

Why do you do it?

Why?

Why get up?

Why keep fighting?

Do you think you are fighting for something more than your survival?

Can you tell me what it is?

Do you even know?

Is it freedom…

or truth,

perhaps peace,

could it be for love? ….

illusions, Mr. Anderson,

vagaries of perception…

temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence

that is without meaning or purpose.

And all of them,

as artificial as the Matrix itself…

Although,

only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love…

You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson…

You must know it by now…

You can’t win.

It’s pointless to keep fighting.

Why Mr. Anderson?

Why?

Why do you persist?

Neo (at almost a whisper):

because

I

choose to

Matrix Revolutions

2003