From the Desk of Madame Zuchini

Oxymorons – Or Are They?

Carpe Noctem young readers! And by young I mean literally and figuratively, or perhaps just that peculiar time in the Target dressing room when the lighting and shadows came together in such a way as to make your legs look good again.

Madame is enamored of “terms” this month.  Little two or three word statements that describe the intangible, the marvelous, the spectral remnant of your former self.  Terms seek to take anarchy and cacophony and turn them into an epiphany. Now isn’t that lovely, Madame just wrote a poem. And they said I’d never amount to anything. But I digress.

Naive Dualism, she said. Naive dualism. Now there is a term that seeks to turn one word over onto itself. The philosopher Rene Descartes posited that there was a separate aspect between the flesh, the brain and the “mind”. Now in my estimation Mr. Descartes was speaking of what I prefer to call, the “soul”. For after all what could this third “eye” be if not our “soul”?

Recovering Nihilist. Another brilliant term that seeks to take two disparate, plain old words and  swoop them up into a universal stew of consequence and matter. Recovering Nihilist? Naive Dualism? Could these two mutually exclusive terms –  speaking entirely different languages, or perhaps merely regional accents –  have a child in common? A single thread of thought; a point? Madame thinks so! For  to Recover from something implies the person’s soul was under the thumb of some barbaric addiction; a universal struggle with the laws of Order and the involuntary servitude  they owe to the Disorder from which they are recovering. Bring into this circus ring of gas and ice the Naivete of Dualism and you have a type of symbiosis; malleable yet implacable. For can one find the strength to recover from Nihilism without some degree of hope, of what…Naivete? What we have is an incipient promise that life is more than stale chewing gum, and the memory of how tangy and tasty it was when first we chewed it.

Yet, does believing in one set  of these ideologies preclude loyalty to the other? Of course it does, don’t be ridiculous, this isn’t rocket science people, nor even vapid science. For to be a Dualist  is in dark and irrefutable contrast with Nihilism. Nihilism is the hubris to believe you do not need a Gawd, and Dualism is to say our body (shell) and our brain (gray goo) are as nothing compared to the “soul” (true essence) which clearly comes from a Divine Master Designer. So evidently, and intractibly these two terms are at odds with one another, and neither twain shall meet. What a contrast in colors. A cosmic kerfuffle, if you will.

The terms neither glide together gracefully, nor do they bully each other into eradication.  Dualism: the construct to know we are more than what meets the eye. Why any 4th grader knows this. Newborns certainly do.  Nihilism: the belief that you know nothing and there is nothing is to be known, therefore you know everything. (Note to self: How pretentious and sad it is to know you know nothing and are therefore the librarian of everything.)

You might ask yourself ( or not), Madame, how can these two terms interweave? How can it be both true that they go hand in hand and also that they do not? The common denominator: Order and it’s evil twin, Disorder. Naivete and Recovery strive for Order in their soul, while Nihilism and Dualism chase the rabbit of Disorder; whether it’s the Order of the galaxies spinning and weaving their way through the cold abyss of deep space, or the Disorder of Nuns rapping children’s hands with rulers, and the ensuing crying and possibly swearing it elicits, or perhaps only your lunch order.

The two constructs are of the same stars, the same breath and perhaps the same audacity. A common hope; an embryonic promise that one can Recover and be a Dualist, that one can be Naive to Nihilism.  What is important is the joining of the two to better appreciate our lives, to blend incorporeal formulas and realize that you do not have the knowledge of nothing or anything, but instead the merest  glimpse of a little something.  We must realize this before the sadness of disorder turns us into old people who write checks at grocery stores, and think people who ask, “how are  you?” really mean it.

But what pathology will be fed to the swirling vortex left behind by the  death of  oxymorons?  Why Naive Recovery of course! The transcendance of moral certitude and embracing a fevered yet transient sentience.  The body rots at long last. The brain turns into a viscous goo which no longer pulls the strings to our now dead puppet. What is left? Why the Mind; the soul, the part of you that will stay with you life after life after life. Or remain in the coffin for eternity. It never hurts to bring a good book and some cheese.

And now, Madame needs a margarita. On the rocks, not blended. Madame out.

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