The Cost


If/As, as is surmised,
time as is/has/will be
for ever stamped suchly

then, one may wonder,
does it not perforce follow
some one immutable history

so that, even whether
following an imagined script
is or is not compulsory,

one’s apparent will is not free
as such, but simply entails
its own incumbent price?


About Ben Naga

Pilgrim on the lam. Please feel free to explore the links to learn more. I trust you will find some things there will have been worth the effort. See you there.

Posted on April 6, 2017, in Prose With Pretensions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Its own incumbent price, perhaps. Dreamed of war last night. Did not sleep well. Turns out dipshit bombed Syria. And on we go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What Bela said. (Didn’t sleep well last night, thanks to T….)
    Your poem is cause for pondering the unpredictability of it all, the paths one could take.
    It also seems eerily predictive of “some one immutable history” that is already playing out. Back to the cold war, or worse….

    Liked by 1 person

    • “All beings of the Whole.
      Their actions don’t come from their own free will,
      but as expressions of its laws.”

      – Chuang Tzu

      “Nature and destiny can not be altered.
      Time can not be stopped.
      Evolution can not be obstructed.”

      – Lao Tzu

      Liked by 1 person

      • The second quote resonates more with me. Evolution cannot be obstructed but the choices we make can certainly slow it down. I do believe we’re in control of our destinies – whether to destroy ourselves or to become “thrice sapient” – a quantum leap into a higher level of consciousness. Some very few attain this. But so far not the quantity needed to transmute the collective consciousness of the human race. Someday…. I believe the destruction of humanity is not inevitable. But it’s a possibility….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s part of an interview with author David Mitchell about his novel “The Bone Clocks” (highly recommended BTW).

        JONATHEN RUPPIN: The final section of the book, set in Ireland in 2043, offers a plausible dystopian turn to humanity’s future. Does this reflect your own thoughts about where we’re heading?

        DAVID MITCHELL: Yes, I’m afraid our civilisation is defecating in the well from which it draws life. We’re leaving our grandchildren a hotter and less secure world, waste, rats and cockroaches. We’re intelligent but we’re not wise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly true at this time. It might be that we’ll be thrown back into the stone age someday (if anyone survives) and then humanity will have a chance to try again. If not, the gods will weep at the failure of this human “experiment”…. But there are no doubt other experiments going on throughout the universe, so life will go on…. Other worlds, other times. Maybe the human spirit will be reborn somewhere else…? From a cosmic perspective maybe the totality of earth’s evolution to this point has just been another day’s work. And there are more days to come.
        Re: ” The Bone Clocks” – it’s on my “wish list” on Amazon right now. 🙂 I’m planning to order it soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We do what we can from the place we are at.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been thinking a lot about life lately. We are not even firefly flashes in the universe of time. Still, in our arrogance, we think we know something as we come to be in “the ferment of fecundity,” to quote The Weirding Storm”. This poem, with all of its contingencies and its question at the end, seems to me to express something about what my current thinking is about. Here we are, and events keep leading to events, and you wonder if some or all of it is inevitable given the arrow of time funneled into the rubbing of one human’s, multiple humans’ , life itself’s, and rock’s thought and actions against one another. Ethel tends toward believing that humankind can’t help but destroy itself.

    But none of us can really see beyond the woven rug, as the Navajo say. Immutable history is in the fiber of the rug, but also the colors of storm and hope and goodness. We can see the history and the colors, perhaps, but what is behind the rug is darker than the darkest place between stars.

    A thought provoking poem, Ben Naga.


    • “Effort and Destiny were arguing about who is the most powerful. Destiny let fly an unending barrage of evidence to prove his superiority, concluding: “My dear Effort, if you are so effective why don’t you make hardworking people rich and give good people a long life? And why are the intelligent unemployed and fools occupying important roles in government?” Embarrassed, Effort admitted: “You are right. Even when I seem to act, it is actually you who is acting.”

      This quotation is from Timothy Freke’s book “Taoist Wisdom” but he doesn’t identify its source.


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