Chapter 3: Close Your Eyes and Try to Catch Him
Never plunge into the river of lust,
you will not reach the shores.
It is a river of no coasts where typhoons rage.
Go to the home of beauty and form,
should you wish to see the man within.
His ways cross the sphere
where life lives with death,
and sense with insanity.
Close your eyes and try to catch Him.
He is slipping by.
Jean-Paul Sartre says that man is a useless passion - meaningless, futile. He is right if there is nothing beyond man; if there is nothing transcendental to man, he is right because the meaning always comes from a higher source. The meaning is never in the thing in itself, it always comes from the beyond.
For example, you can watch a seed; in itself it is meaningless unless it sprouts. Once it sprouts it becomes meaningful. The tree is the meaning for the seed. Now the seed exists for a certain reason. Its existence is not accidental, it is meaningful. It has to give birth, it has to create something; something that is beyond it, something that is bigger than it, something that is more comprehensive.
But then, what is the meaning of the tree in itself? Again meaning disappears unless the tree can flower. The meaning of the tree is in the flowering. When it flowers, yes, there is meaning: the tree has become a mother, the tree has given birth, the tree has become significant. It was not there without any purpose; the flower is the proof. It was there meaningfully, it was there waiting for the flower.
But what is the meaning of the flower in itself unless the fragrance is released to the winds? Once the fragrance is released the flower is meaningful, and so on and so forth. The meaning is always in a higher state. The meaning is always of the beyond. The meaning is transcendental.
If there is nothing beyond man, then Sartre is absolutely right: then man is a useless passion running here and there, but doomed to failure. He cannot reach, cannot arrive, because there is nowhere to arrive. He cannot become, because there is no beyond to become. He cannot spread, cannot flower, cannot release the fragrance. If man ends with himself, then man is certainly useless. But man doesn’t end with himself; he is a growth. Man is a becoming, a growing, a continuous transcendence.