Sunday, January 29, 2012

endlessly fascinating

It's a small bit of human hyperbole, I imagine, but strange as well -- the passing reference to one thing or another as "endlessly fascinating."

Astronomy, astrology, religion, car mechanics, long-distance running, stamp collecting, child-rearing, music, fine art, graffiti, bomb-making, wealth, love, athletics, sleeping, geology, war, NASCAR, simplicity, farming, whistling, movies, poker, philosophy ... in the course of expressing an agog enthusiasm or devotion, someone is bound to utter the phrase, whether within or without: "Endlessly fascinating."

It's lively, it's fun, it's confounding, it's loveable, it's important it's ... "endlessly fascinating."

And it's a good tool, I think. "Endlessly fascinating" is what anyone actually cares about and what anyone actually cares about has the capacity to make them happy. The only fly in the ointment is in imagining that what is "endlessly fascinating" is something "else," something that is not, in the end, just "me."

It's tricky, mentioning such things, because there are wads of people who take such an observation and turn it into a philosophical or spiritual bludgeon. "Me" is just a fantasy or delusion, they may intone with gusto: You'd better get on board with a program that is not bamboozled by the notion of an "abiding self." This program, for anyone who gives it a whirl, is "endlessly fascinating."

Those not inclined to get with the program can spend entirely lifetimes being "endlessly fascinated" without finding much happiness.

Tricky ... a razor's edge.

But I think it's worth risking the distinct possibility of getting your throat slit to go with what is beloved, what is "endlessly fascinating." Go with that because that is true for the moment and it is also true to the ends of the universe. Imagine: When this "me" who is endlessly fascinating and fascinated loses his or her endlessly fascinating force, what could possibly be left besides what is endlessly fascinating?

Being a good liar is important to telling a good truth.

Fascinating ... in a manner of speaking.

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