I'm Thomas, and this is Soen: a newsletter where I write about bouncing back from adversity—or even the doldrums of mediocrity—to resign oneself to redemption. First time readers can sign up here.
The tension between what life is and what it could be - particularly when the latter is not merely an idea - will never entirely go away.
And that is what cuts to the heart of the at least sometimes elitism of Nietzche, Jung, and Maslow. For those who spend their lives in pursuit of the further reaches of the possible, what so many voluntarily accept and even embrace as their daily lot is difficult to fathom without resorting to pejoratives.
Even Bateson grew disheartened as he approached death as he saw how little all that we had come to know about the inter-connectedness of ourselves and the world had actually impacted anything. How little his life’s work had done, and how obdurant our myopia is.
But how does this happen? In one of Maslow’s books he has a picture of a bright-eyed baby on one page, and of a tired middle-aged subway rider staring vacantly ahead on the next and he asks: what happened?