Concentration. Calming down. Inner concord. Harmony. Becoming focused. Removing oneself from chaos. Polarisation of consciousness. Monitoring and self-monitoring. Reflecting. Thinking. Thoughtful non-thinking. Wise non-thinking. Spontaneous and unhurried wisdom. Slowing down. Concentration.
Continuous contacts with the world resulting from existential necessities turn the individual into a barometer of collective moods. Isolating oneself from a community or rising above it may become possible only through the gestures of the Olympian from Weimar or Leviathan. Like Goethe, one may day-dream or see good in evil. Any other option seems entangled in contra-dictions.
Sentenced to participation (in life, society, national idea, political programmes, social realities, interpersonal relationships), we have no choice. The routines of everyday life get us entangled with commonplace and direct us towards matter. A peculiar product of our consciousness and ego, matter plays a trick on us by assuming an autonomous existence and escaping from control our mind tries to maintain over it. The nature of events and social phenomena appears material. The present also seems material. But is it really material?
The apparently unquestionable character of materialist principles makes us believe in objects. Materialism is like a comfortable armchair into which we sink and doze. I am stupid therefore I am; my heart is pumping blood, my brain is functioning and so are my kidneys and liver, and the peristaltic movement seems satisfactory enough. The materialist conviction of man’s greatness is just a false belief in the mission of the naked ape. This ape, however, is on his way to form his self-consciousness and get it focused. Any other path of development (like a return to the pterodactyl or werewolf) would be meaningless and unjustified albeit it may be possible.
Having activating all opportunistic energies, we may declare that our originality and uniqueness sets us apart from the material world. We do not reject this world. We take it for granted in the same way as a rich man pays little attention to his bank statements. The riches of our material existence let us mentally repress out materialist entanglement. Matter exists. It is a form of our self-consciousness. It is energy.
Energies stimulate our activity and support our existence. I do not believe in the death of an individual. I will say more. l do not believe in the death of any being. Life can only change its form. Life may be good or bad, happy or unhappy, but every individual existence is singular, unique, and exceptional. With this unique existence we will travel together until the end. Until death. But what is death if not a form of change (metamorphosis) of our life?
Having left eschatology and ultimate matters to those who had already departed, I want to draw the reader’s attention to the moral problem of mortal life. It is apparently possible to live and die, love and hate, regret and not to regret, laugh and cry, fight and surrender without realising the underlying principle of unity. The unity of spirit and matter in the individuals who have reached peace. This peace, calm, reflection, getting focused, alienation, quietude, tranquillity, and concentration – this is the energy of development. The infinite development directed inwards, towards our innermost selves.
In the world of hustle and bustle and buzzing activities I am proposing concentration. If the world, which came to existence without our participation, is to survive, we have to use the essence of the world. To activate energies that may enrich us through ourselves. The importance of the hurly-burly of mundane routines is short-lived. It is concentration that is the essence of our existence. Concentration on the idea and life. Being one with oneself. Because ours is the Kingdom and power and faith on earth.
Michałkowa, November 1980
Translated by Małgorzata Możdżyńska-Nawotka