Отклонения, лирически и прозаически
Essays
Thoughts Provoked by Keats' The Sun from Meridian Height
"The sun from meridian height
Illuminates the depth of the sea
And the fish, beginning to sweat,
Cry: "Damn it! How hot we shall be!"
John Keats

    The fish, the mute inhabitants of the sea always seem to be struck dull. They are numb and their lidless eyes stare as blank as anything can be at the greatness of what surrounds them. All they do is swimming - to and fro in endless search of food or a copulation mate. To the eye of the observer all this may seem the most chaotic, and hence the most beautiful sight an eye has ever perceived. That is so because the eye perceives the very action, not its purpose. Whenever the mind starts to reason over the purpose of whatever is taking place, the essence of action, which is beauty, is lost irretrievably. The fish, of course, never discuss their behaviour and its purpose - they just act. And that is what makes them what they are - satisfied, searching for what they are able to find, accomplishing whatever they are able to.   This is being plain happy.

    Humankind`s only difference to all other living creatures is that it is capable of always wanting what it cannot have. Some say that this is the very essence of intellectual development and it finds its realization in products like civilization, or ever constructing more devices that would, as promised, "make life easier". There are, of course, others that have realized the uselessness of civilization, as we know it, for what we call "society" is but a mock to the original meaning of the name. Another way of saying this is that there are people who have realized the different "levels of happiness".

"It is good to be just plain happy; it`s a little better to know that you are happy; but to know that you are happy and to know why and how, in what way, because of what concatenation of events or circumstances, and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss, and if you have any sense you ought to kill yourself on the spot and be done with it."

    The path of bliss is a tough one. It is a path upon which there is the blood of all those who stumbled, broke their heads and remained there but to rot - noticed only by the passers-by, who, striding towards happiness but curse the corpses that bar the road.

    There is a strange game of allusion that Keats employs in his short poem - he gives the bodily shape of a fish to those not content with their life and what has been given to them naturally. He ascribes to them a quality not known to beings outside humankind, and that is dissatisfaction. The fish represent the mass of people, that which never gets enough of what it wants, and looking for a reason why, it accuses them who seem most likely to be guilty for that. These "fish", having once started to reason upon being, try to find whose fault it is that they cannot go further along the path towards happiness. The sun shines and illuminates the depth of the sea - it is what allows the fish to see and what makes grow what the fish eats for to survive.

    It is an everlasting universal truth that one shall always look for the reason for their misfortunes outside themselves. And they shall find such. For "The only people who always find what they are looking for are those who look for faults" (an old Zen saying). Such is the case with the "fish", hereby discussed. They look for some fault. It is most easy to claim guilty those who are different from yourself, for, you "know" that those like you cannot be guilty, for they are like you, and were they guilty this would mean that you too are guilty. So the fish accuse the sun - there is nothing more different to them as the sun. They accuse it in shining, paying no attention to the fact that its light is what gives them life and food, and hence, having time enough to spare from dealing with these, to complain.

    Another notable fact is that the fish does no more but complains, it does not revolt. And it sweats. It confronts its very nature, that of a fish, and that is the only way to let happen to you things most unusual to your way of existing. It sweats in the ocean of existence that is but cool and pleasant and natural. It is often said that life is what you make of it, and if ever you try to make of it something more than you should, there is pain to show you were wrong.

    But there is another universal truth, and it is that there should always be such not content with what they are, and acting in order to achieve happiness. And acting means movement. And movement means energy that is being given away, transformed from one type to another - the circulation of energy. And the material side of the universe exists only because of that transformation of energy. There should be darkness in order to know what light is, there should be evil, and in order to know what good is.

    And there will always be "fish", and a sun, and a poet that will be able to understand the reason d`etre of these. And, of course, such who will never realize it, no matter how close to the truth they always seem to be.

* Quotation taken from The Colossus Of Maroussi by Henry Miller