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The Symbolic Meaning of April Is the Cruelest Month


“April is the cruelest month” — My first impulse when I hear this, is that nature becomes so beautiful so much what a fairy-tale or magical mythology looks, feels, and tastes like, that it fools you more or less into thinking you are on the right track to embark on an adventure of an everlasting kind, but then when the season ends with all its mythologically inclined and emergent sensations, so does your sense of everything magical coming into being. In this sense, Spring is the ultimate “bait and switch.” It seems to be fucking with you.

In a way it’s like going to Disneyland. All that is in front of you is delight and beauty. It blocks out the reality of this world, namely that this world is built on violence and killing, on life eating other life. So for that idyllic month and half or so, you feel like you’ve entered the Mythological dimension. And there’s nothing wrong with that, if you can see it for what it is, like a vacation so to speak and not “the real thing” as it were. The cruelty of Spring is like when a transcendently beautiful women acts as if she loves you, makes it seem like you’re the one for a month or two, and then disappears, ghosts you. You thought you were automatically eligible for this transcendent experience, without any internal work being done, without crossing the metaphorical “sword bridge” or having an authentic initiatory experience, which leaves the fulfillment of the transcendental realm always just out of reach (“Craving, lust” in Buddhism) even though it’s image is right there in front of you. Spring shows you the gift, as it were, the sublime, before you are eligible for it. If you could use it like a great piece of art to inspire you to cross the psychological threshold (yoga, meditation) then you could use it to your advantage. It’s only when we are not conscious that it becomes so cruel.


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