Hollow Vessels

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Hollow Vessels

Eriol Claw

Quote:Consider the calls to fill ourselves with God, civic cultus, patriotism—with spirits, ancestors, food—with sights and sounds.

Or, at least, what have we been filling ourselves with, and how is that—if it actually is—carrying us forward to the kind of fulfillment we actually want?

And this is where I also come back again to old Iblees and a bit of Willerslev. Humanity may be hollow, but we are, like the spirits, capable of symbolism, of lying, of pretending, of self-deception, of tricks of personhood and self-perception. We can become elk-enough-but-human to get near the elk. We can become spirit-enough to get the spirits to come near. We can wear masks and raiment to fill ourselves with the Depths. But we can also choose to fill ourselves with our relationships with other people, for empathy and compassion (com-passio—to suffer with another) entails us using our hollowness to let someone else’s life fill us so that we can become them, at least for a while. And in doing so, we can become someone other than we were, and hopefully someone more human, more than human, better human. Take your pick.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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