August 30, 2018: Swamps versus Cesspools
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Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the cosmos. Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature , New York, 1971, p. 269.
Swamps can be beautiful places—full of growth and well-being, even if there is danger. They are somewhat sustainable ecologies worthy of our stewardship. Cesspools teem with life as well, but are places of decay—the breakdown of turds, what we excrete so we do not become constipated.
Perhaps it is best to not confuse the two. To get caught up in a Congregation of Turds, even if within the cesspool there is a turd hierarchy (The Turdo de Turdo?) is to cast our lot in a cesspool and decay. The chance to rise to level of The Turdiest as opposed to just being a general turd may not be the transcendence we need to seek.
However, we do not have to denigrate Turdsville. We do not have to live in Turdsville. We do not have to be constipated. Cesspools have their place, but are perhaps not the compass heading we should be seeking.
Okay, in all fairness, a good dump can be transcendent, but to have such a dump is not the same as living with it. We can move on, which I’m guessing is the point.