Reflections of a Rebel
Yesterday I joined Extinction Rebellion for a protest in front of the Australian embassy in The Hague. It was a wonderful experience, energetic and emotional. The Red Rebels convey a strong image, of blood and tragedy, but also of compassion and resurrection. They were silent throughout, like guardian angels taking us by the hand towards a better future. I am reminded of the words of L.v. Beethoven: "Art demands of us that we shall not stand still". And as I learned from Stockhausen the boundary between Art and Life disappears if one but chooses to live artfully. I feel the movement (double meaning intended), I feel the never-ending process of transition, of not standing still. Even one of the poets of Science agrees: "The entire evolution of science would suggest that the best grammar for thinking about the world is that of change, not of permanence. Not of being, but of becoming" (Carlo Rovelli). But how can one stay grounded, rooted in being in a world which is constantly becoming? Is this the great paradox of human existence? And must the experience of motion be so harsh, as it must have been for dear Ludwig?
I remember, a few years ago when I was feeling low, I went to a local park and sat by the lakeside listening to the Funeral March from Beethoven’s third symphony. Closing my eyes I saw a vision, a premonition of a burning world, fires engulfing all of nature, no humans were left, and the music playing through my headphones could be heard everywhere, like a soundtrack to the Armageddon. At that moment I felt... I knew (!) that he saw it too when he excruciatingly set down the notes on paper. His music, like a time capsule, communicated this message to me in a moment of clarity amidst great distress.
And so today I go back to recite the words of Eckhart and send them back in time to dear Ludwig: "I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am."