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Page 17 text:
WHAT IS LIFE? It seems everywhere I turn that there are walls, not really, but membranes, taunt and clear. They separate people from each other. They stop me when I reach out to touch, to feel. Each person has a membrane all around him, a protection, sealed to separate him from others — to separate him from himself, as well. The key to inner freedom lies, I think, in knowing how to “break the glass,” in case of emergency — in shat¬ tering the smooth, regular, shield. And yet . . . Can I ever move myself from my secluded fetus- dream? Should I bear the weightless drop into a poten¬ tial hell of “reality,” What then? Have I any choice? — Perhaps I’m there already. Is there a true “reality”? Is it really any more than an ambiguously relative term? Is it touched by illusion any less than “Romanticism”? And, in my doubts, I still am hesitant to live by watching others. I may learn, but on their terms, I can¬ not rely. It seems each man chooses (those who care to think about it) a “raison d’etre.” It can be love, or God, or self — almost anything. Still, doubts impede the path! Is there a God? Or does “God” mark the existence of a huge insecurity of man’s? Perhaps we all have a need to feel a part of something greater, more glori¬ ous, than ourselves. If “God” is only another name for humanity’s weak ego — could psycho-therapy cure reli¬ gion? And did God (that soothing fantasy) create the world? To what purpose? Is the world simply there be¬ cause the “kindly old Geppetto in the sky” needed some puppets to dominate?— is the chain of being just the result of some “divine” ego-tripping? Such doubt approaches nihilism, and that’s to be avoided, too. Is love simply a result of physical or emo¬ tional need? — A complex bio chemical drive? Someone else’s “raison d’etre” cannot be mine. Be¬ fore me yawns a mesh of easy “ism.” I have only to as¬ sociate myself to one, and it will provide me with rules to exist by. Yet can there be inner freedom when you are ruled by one thought, idea of dream? Isn’t inner freedom the fruit of a totally open mind, which is not centered on a any one “ism” or theme? Is inner free¬ dom a possibility to humanity? Is there such a thing as q true inner freedom? Choose your game, play by the rules. Win or lose — the prize is emptiness. What happens to the person ' who doesn’t want to play games? He deprives himself of even the small comfort of self-deluded happiness. Others pity him for his deviant unphilosophies while he clings to “freedom 1 .” And freedom, soaring above the chains and the chained, becomes itself a fetter of a greater freedom. The cycle is complete. Where does one look for truth? What is truth? Dischord created, then resolved. Pain incurred, then relieved Tension born, then eased . . . Is this all there is to life, to beauty? Where do belong among the ephemeral creations and eternal cycles? For is not life one, or the two? Why am I alive? I could die easily, (such things re¬ main relative) If I choose to continue, searching for a justification for my life, will I find it? Is it worth the struggle? If I die now, will anything, truly, be lost? These people on my cover have come and gone, as the cycle perpetuates itself. I wonder how many of them achieved inner freedom — perhaps their answer lies in this last state that they have achieved. What dif¬ ference does it make if the person’s happiness is real, or illusion? After years of internal and external inquiry and debate, doesn’t death, ultimately have the last word? So why endure pointless agonies and ecstacies? Why live ? Christine Burguess Sept. 8, 1969 11
Page 16 text:
WE REMEMBER CHRISTINE D. BURGESS A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, Ti- tania speaking in Act II, scene II, lines 7-8.
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