Stella Says [vol. 1]

We love this little girl named Stella.  This 4 year old happens to be the niece of our best good friend, Lauren.  Sometimes we kind of think of her as our niece, because we probably brag about her as if she were!  We love hanging out with her but unfortunately don't get to as much anymore since we are in NC and she is in KY.  She's kind of the best human being on the planet.  She is so adorable and funny and lovely to be around.  She also happens to say some very insightful things!

Below, in a new series on the blog, is John's analysis of some of the things she has said.  We have a bunch written down but for Volume 1, we are sharing these two...

Upon hearing her grandfather was taking out the trash:
“Oh. Is he going to the store to get some new trash?”

In a rare moment of transparent perspicuity, the child indicts the commercial and material nature of culture. Indeed, the socio-environmental heft of her question clearly posits, via typically transcendent simplicity, that that which will be trash, in essence, is trash, anon. By corollary, then, that for which we toil today (the paper and plastic knick-knacks which constitute the majority of our material interactions, and for which, therefore, we work wearily much of our lives) is that of which we toil to rid ourselves tomorrow: a grotesque and gratuitous circularity which, horrifyingly, suggests that our subconscious target is never the object, but the acquisition of the object, acquisition itself as our manifest desire. Subsequently, then, she offers that, once enthralled by the objectivity of the corporeal world, there will never be enough material to satisfy our lust for its obtaining; indeed, we may consume, in that hunger, the entire universe, and ourselves in it.

Stella, here, suggests that, alongside the obvious and immediate dangers of consumerism, we risk denying the present moment (“to have”) its pervasive essentiality, or even, in our myopia for the infinitely elusive future (“to get”), we risk annihilating presence entirely.

In this terrible way, then, how true, how harrowing, her words? And how equally disturbing the implicit answer: yes, dear girl. He is. As are we all…


Upon going to bed:
“Goodnight door. Goodnight [gui]tar. Goodnight my fingers.”

During his six years under the Bodhi tree, Gautama Buddha meditated in an attempt to gain enlightenment; the nature of this enlightenment is often interpreted as a realization of the tenuous and coincidental connection between internal consciousness and external “reality” (reality that itself is product of a corrupted, unenlightened consciousness). In fact, the result of obtaining absolute enlightenment, the entering of the soul into Nirvana, represents that epiphany as the utter dissolution of externalities: the termination of all save the soul-consciousness itself, the soul as all. Already, at only two years of age, Stella is coming to such an epiphany by way of the objectification of the material body. Upon disassociating the mind and body, she declares, profoundly through the possessive pronoun, ownership of that body on the part of her autopoeitic and autonomous consciousness. Again, this transmogrification of the body into object submits that the body may be mere byproduct of consciousness, materially equivalent to the door (“Goodnight door.”) or the guitar (“Goodnight ‘tar.”).

These things, along with even her own physical form (“Goodnight my fingers.”), compose the totality of the materially uniform external world that is a merely experienced by consciousness but which does not determine the experience of consciousness.

Indeed, by interpolation, Stella suggests that the material world is itself a homogenous illusion created by its perceived externality: that while it appears distinct, apart, and separate, it is in fact created by and even contained within her ephemeral, infinite, sleepless self.

1 comment:

  1. I love these so much! I will try to send you more Stella-isms.