The reason for it

I just read a short story of Doris Lessing’s called “The Reason For It.”

In this terrible year 2016, the story has such resonance for me. If I had tears, this would bring them.

Find it. Draw your own analogies.

9 thoughts on “The reason for it

  1. Have not read the story, and yet I am commenting…Archdruid report from last week presents a similar theme: the twilight of the storyline of the liberal culture. There is a certain interesting melodramatic flavour to the story of the decline of a culture. Is that doing justice to the vast variation of human cultures – probably not. But wallowing in certain moods has its own rewards. For me personally, I notice tht my attention always veers towards what is alive. Like this

    This western culture may be standing on its last legs. What has it created that deserves to be saved? Has it provided a way to achieve tranquil heart? Peace among people? Spiritual well-being? Thriving, happy children, eager to embrace adulthood? Fulfilling relationships that enable flourihing of our best capacities? Egyptians made pyramids. We have made landfills. As species, I sincerely feel we could do better, much better. What would it take that we’d quit beating each other up for trifles? What would it take to ignite an interest in life instead of endlessly judging good and evil?

    1. the situation is particularly poignant if you are familiar with the works of John Anthony West or Schwaller de Lubitsh on Symbolist Egypt. They created a culture that lasted 4,000 years. Not 400, 4,000! Ours is scarcely 500 even if you count back as far as the Renaissance, and less than 75 if you start at the end of World War II. And it is disintegrating, visibly, in every form of human interaction, while the archpriests of “science” (technology, really) pretend to believe in endless eternal progress. Sad.

  2. Summary: The collapse of learning, and the philistinism that allows it, are also targets of “The Reason For It”, in which the decline and impending fall of a civilisation, The Cities, is recorded by its last literate member, Twelve. He recalls the blind delusions that led to the election of DeRod, a leader who abolished storytellers and songmakers in favour of militarism. DeRod was not a tyrant but a fool who had forgotten why writing mattered. He had not “deliberately destroyed what was good. He had never known it was good.” It is tempting to look to leaders closer to home for Lessing’s target in “that beautiful empty boy, so pleased with himself, his charm was poison”, as for a society in which “green” is the latest in-word. –The Grandmothers

  3. AHA, dear friends ! Thank you so much !
    One way or the other but my husband and I was sitting at the breakfast table today and suddenly began talking about THE RISE AND FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS throughout all human history. Each known civilization reaches a peak, and then falls asunder (or into pieces).
    And then all begin anew. But I do believe it is ” an upward spiral ” each time. Climbing the ladder so to speak, because nothing ever “dies.”
    It became a bit witty to read what you are “into her.”
    Because my husband is absolutely NOT interested in metaphysics or any spiritual philosophies at large but science of course.

    Maybe my husband more or less seeing “the matter of fact-orientation;” The Acute Situation without any other ” on forehand ” perceptions ? He is seeing “what is right now.” He is after all an old stubborn Fighter-Pilot though.
    LOL, and
    B & B, Inger Lise.

  4. So interesting – we all seem to be flowing through similar landscapes of consciousness. I have also had to take stock of how I have used my time here. When the time comes, can I go with peace in my heart? Am I at peace with myself? Can I be content with what I have and what I am?

    And in the middle of this, joy exists, too. Letting grief wash away whatever has become dead, and what is left is always renewed, changed.

    There is a film I like very much, about Hitler and his secretary, Traudl Junge – Downfall. In the end, Junge did not want to kill herself, she fled the bunker where Hitler and some loyals made suicides. She – of course – totally believed in the nazi propaganda of Russians being rapist-murderers so she left the bunker with great fear. But she was helped by them, and life continued, even though the nazi bubble reality disappeared.

    This moves me now There’s a joke in the beginning, and then the better stuff begins.

    1. Kristiina my friend?
      I have known several persons who were in Berlin in the last days of WWII, both civilian Germans and one or two Norwegian/American soldiers (they were on “the right side” when fighting among the Americans but dead now of course). I have never to have known any German soldier though, cannot speak for them…. And I have seen all kinds of “News Stories” about what happened in the last days of WWII. According to my friends who did participate there — telling me about their own first-hand witness — it was much worse than anybody NOT BEING THERE could imagine. Nothing “fun” with it my dear…..They experienced ARMAGEDDON.
      In a war all “civilized manner” disappears, it seems, and our “primitive survival” instinct takes over! I would say within these matters CAUSE & EFFECT is playing its part fully, because the Nazi Troops behaved as gruesomely and cruelly as anybody when upon the attack and invasion of Russia. I know because a so-called “Viking-Troop” with Scandinavian soldiers participated with the German Battalions during the invasion of Russia. They were among the so-called “elite-troops” and the last to fight at Leningrad. AS one Norwegian soldier said back then … WE KNEW WE HAD NOTHING TO COME BACK HOME TO … OTHER THAN BEING HATED AND DESPISING, imprisoned, or maybe death anyway.
      THEY were imprisoned of course, but not judged to death. But they never had the chance to get back to a normal life here in Norway anymore. Many moved out of the country after prison.
      But back then COMMUNISM were The Big Bad Wolf for all in “The Western World,” as it is nowadays (except for the Muslim world that is).
      HMMM, okay….What`s Next ?

      WHAT is TRUE ? Nothing ?
      I won`t let the outer world “to push” me down anymore. I am too old for it ! And what`s HISTORY but the “history” of us ?
      Bliss & Blessings….BTW: NICE weather today, the Sunshine & all !
      Inger Lise.

    2. Yes, agree absolutely Carl is a good guy: BUT Dear Kristiina my friend, it is one thing I am wondering about ? WHERE have you got the name Traudl Junge as Hitler`s mistress from ?? As far as I know her name was EVA BRAUN, and Eva and Hitler got married in the last minutes before the Russians storming Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin, and thereafter both of them made a suicide.
      And it is all documented, the rest is only speculations as usual.

      It is fantastic autumn weather in these days. And as you said nice but becoming more chilly. It is far more cold weather in Finland than along the west-coast of Norway as you know, as we have the Gulf-Stream along the coastline. No ice in the wintertime, only in the Fjords.

      Heartily and B & B, to you and all from Inger Lise.

  5. Yes, Inger Lise, the weather is nice here, turning chilly already but the Sun!! And there is so much impulses to choose from, to be happy/unhappy/cheerful/depressed. We are rich and poor, enslaved and free, succesful and failing, each according to one’s own attention. It is not what happens but what we do with what happens, in jungspeak.

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