Worshipping Lali



Truth – once known as the final word on any matter – is only possible in a world that is calculable and still. But that is not the world we live in or live with or live by; this world strays from abstractual fidelity, and is known only in small moments, in thick particularities, in brief glimpses, in intersecting (or intra-secting) crossroads, never to return in the same way. Perhaps to come to know the world (which I hesitate to speak of in such a global or uniform way) in a final way is like making marks on the sand by the shore, hoping that each doodling form or generous font or opulent structure left behind will withstand the reappraisal of a crashing wave. All we are and all we can offer is a trace, a gesture, the vanishing of form in the stern gaze of sunlight. There is no body of knowledge that is not already a displacement; there is no way of seeing that is not already a blinding of the eye; there is no yearning or wanting or lingering that is not a departing, a leaving behind, or falling apart. What is true is not what is still, dormant behind the veil of representation. What is true is the gasp, the magic, the moving of movements that weaves us all in a tapestry of wonder.

Bayo Akomolafe

  • Uli on April 24, 2018

    Bayo, this is so beautiful! It really captures the experience of living in flux, not having anything to hold onto even in the midst of action and of returning to this as safe and sacred ground. It can also be unnerving and disconcerting and painful and reading your words reminds me again to not turn away! Thank you!

  • Portia Subramanian on April 30, 2018

    Hello Bayo Akomolafe
    Beautiful writing. But this line I question: There is no body of knowledge that is not already a displacement; there is no way of seeing that is not already a blinding of the eye. There are realized souls who have TRACED the route through the spinal column back into Bliss. There is a particular abundance in India where you live. The GITA as interpreted by Paramahansa Yogananda is the clearest eye possible. Also his spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. The precision of Arjuna and the bulls eye.

    • Bayo Akomolafe on May 6, 2018

      Thank you for sharing your views, Portia. This short post is about emergence – how reality is ceaselessly in flow, so that to claim to know it with absolute confidence is to lose sight of its promiscuous movements. I do not doubt that there are cultural practices that share different ways of knowing and seeing. But I am wary of the idea that seeing is representational. Instead, seeing is performative and political, so that to enact vision one must simultaneously occlude other aspects of the visual spectrum. I have not read the Gita, but even the Gita must be culturally situated.

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Falling might very well be flying – without the tyranny of coordinates.