Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What happens only once?

Today in class we talked about Kundera's denial of eternal recurrence and the idea that "what has happened only once might as well not have happened at all." Within those limits, I somewhat agree, but at the same time, even if there is no eternal recurrence, who is to say that each occurrence really does only happen once?  Even if it is only one action, occurring at one time, does it not occur to all the people involved as separate occurrences? Each person perceives that moment differently and it is recorded into all of their minds.So then, should its weight be measured by how many people experienced it? That occurrence still has no effect in the big picture. But another thought occurred to me, I have often heard my teachers say "history repeats itself." The world almost works in cycles of peace and war, internal and external strife. So towards which side of the argument does that point? The side that none of those instances mattered, that they happened similarly just by chance, or some deep seeded algorithm for humanity, or- have those occurrences influenced us in someway, have we learned from those mistakes, or are we attempting to improve upon events of the past? If the latter is true, do these occurrences only hold weight if they are recorded, or referenced to make choices in the future? After thinking this through I decided that I do believe in eternal recurrence. That each instant recurs to affect another, and by that, lives on to affect the next and the next. Each instance holds its own individual weight, and it moves through time collecting more weight with each choice it affects. Because if these occurrences were weightless, and our lives are simply collections of that around us, then we too  would be weightless. That is something I cannot believe; for my body, thoughts, dreams, choices, and sometimes my eyelids, feel far too heavy to be weightless.

1 comment:

Jaclyn Murphy said...

Cheyenne, would you mind clarifying a statement? I, too, have considered the irrelevance of life if it were to be linear rather than circular. However, when you state "...each instant recurs to affect another, and by that, lives on to affect the next and the next. Each instance holds its own individual weight, and it moves through time collecting more weight with each choice it affects," do you mean that time itself is heavy, or that human existence makes it heavy? Your statement, although I agree with it wholeheartedly, would apply not only to human existence, but to anything happening. For example: a tree falls over in a forest, so it starts to decay and hollow, so an animal nests in it, etc. etc...

I think it would be more efficient to consider the soul, rather than moments in time. While time does pass indefinitely regardless of what humanity or any other life form is doing, that does not affect the soul. The effects on the soul occur by human interaction or by traumatic or euphoric occurrences in an individual life. So then, in reference to your powerful original statement, "each instant...choice it affects," the soul(!!) would become heavier and heavier as it experiences more enlightening (ironic?) experiences. The soul itself would initially be John Locke's beloved lightweight tabula rasa, and would morph into a stone, marked, changed slate from its many experiences, and will go on to affect other changing souls before the departure into the next cycle of life.