September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Email Text:From: x
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 15:49:03 -0700
To: xxxx
Subject: Two more letters

Thought you all may be interested to look at the next two letters Paul
and I wrote to each other.

Ethan
-----
Hi Ethan

Dana forwarded me your email. Thank you for your thoughts. I was moved
By what you wrote about breathing. I hadn1t thought of paying attention in
that context. It feels like what you are saying about breathing is also
about letting feelings go on, and also go through you (as opposed to
holding them). Breathe them in and out. Am I in right?

I guess this is a good way to deal with instability and uncertainty/change, which are very uncomfortable places for humans to be in. A few individuals have trained themselves to be able to live with the awareness of smaller or lesser degrees of uncertainty and flourish... Though in most Western hero stories even the hero settles down in the end. Eastern hero myths don1t seem to always resolve with a banishment of uncertainty/evil, but a transformation of it instead.

Sort of the difference between slaying the dragon and going home, and
transforming the dragon into a newt and going on. I think I1m having
fun digressing here because this point is pretty far out from what you were
talking about.

Discomfort with a new context will drive people to do very extreme
things. One extreme thing is to watch the TV news all day long, hoping that
discomfort will pass. If you think about it, it1s pretty extreme.
Another is to go to war. Another (rarer) is to wake up and realize that the
conditions of the discomfort already exist and that we can rise to hold
it. That1s hard to do. As you wisely point out, this is a process of breathing.

Love

PAUL

---------
Paul,

Thanks so much for your letter. I love when people really get passionate about change. It makes me feel like we make a difference.

You are absolutely right about what you wrote about breathing. It is
The best way to deal with every type of feeling and emotion. As an actor
Who has studied and worked in theatre extensively around the world I have
Been lucky to have met some of the most wonderful thouroughists (?should be a word!) on breathing. Just when I think I know a lot, I work with someone else who brings me to a realization that we will always hold on to our breath in some way.

TV is in my opinion over rated and cumbersome. I agree watching TV mostly
doesn't accomplish any change other than to either give information to
update with or to overload with because it quickly becomes rather stagnant.
I much rather like listening to the BBC or NPR. Still not any real
replacement for human contact. But we need images around the world when you are not there in person. We want so much to be a part of that tangible
quality that you as New Yorkers have to identify with. It must seem
bizarre to say. You can really breathe it in. It is exemplified on how Rudy
moves forward. He is a strong man. Wow. The hell with Bush, Rudy deserves a hug! That man knows how to change.

Your transformation of evil ideas started me rolling:

I loved your digression about changing the dragon into a newt. I am
happy to slay the dragon or change it into a newt but I think that there is more benefit to changing it, for then we at least have made a difference for
the better, rather than making a void for which yet another dragon can take
it's place. I don't know. It's hard to know what outcome our actions will
bring.

Did we ever think Hiroshima would turn ancient Japan into a financial
superpower with constitutional restrictions on acts of War? I wonder.
What is so apparent right now is that which does not destroy us only makes us stronger. It will do the same to the Dragons. Only, in what way? So
how do we destroy them? In what way do we depend on these dragons and in what way we never destroy them as long as we are hostages to their supply of petroleum? Should we let the Dragon live alone? That doesn't seem to be human nature, the dragon has too much treasure. We are too proud as men.

I know what I battle against inside myself is this feeling of a need for
destruction and desire for retribution. But would I really be pleased
to see so many people die in the middle east? It seems like this dragon is
a real mother fucker though. Really slippery. And I still drive a gas
powered car and ate a double bacon cheeseburger last night and it was
good!

I can't help but think the sooner we develop a sustainable way to travel
with out the use of oil the better. The sooner we stop using plastic
the better. The sooner we stop being hypocrites and call a spade a spade
the better, i.e. sticking our fingers into pies that do not belong to us and
calling it "Home Ec". Literally!. But under all of this it's quite
simple. I am pissed!

I myself truly relish being in this uncomfortable place of change. It
Is where I feel most alive and real. I guess to some it may seem that I am
more morose than others but to me I rarely feel numb and complacent.

As you wrote: "To wake up and realize that the conditions of the discomfort already exist and that we can rise to hold it."

Thank you. That is where I strive to be, I strive to rise to hold the
conditions of discomfort in complex balance and proportion to my Joy of
living. And hopefully always remember to breathe deep. But god damn it's
hard!

Did I just write that? :-)

Love,

Ethan

Email Date:Tue, 18 Sep 2001

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