Sober Senses

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“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and at last man is compelled to face with sober senses the true nature of his existence and his relations with his kind” -Karl Marx

Different parts of this quote repeatedly surface in my life. It has multiple aspects and I thought I would share it with you all tonight. Right now the last line is the most prevalent for me.

The first part “All that is solid melts into air…” refers to how everything is impermanent. Everything that you see around you, no matter how strong or solid it appears, will eventually crumble. The foundations, the food you eat, everything you see. Eventually it will all come to an end. This thought gives me a greater appreciation for everything that is around me.

Second, “…all that is holy is profaned…”. This means that everything of meaning is disrespected. That which we find most valuable is treated as though it is purposeless. This aspect hasn’t surfaced in my life yet.

Third and lastly, “…and at last man is compelled to face with sober senses the true nature of his existence…” refers to man’s perception of himself. “At last” regards how much man avoids facing himself. When Marx refers to “sober senses”, he’s referring to without fantasy, without disillusionment. All together it’s saying that man refuses to see himself as he truly is. “and his relations with his kind” adds that man also refuses to look at himself in comparison with others. Not only do we avoid facing the truth about ourselves, we avoid looking at how we relate to others. We see our interactions as more than they truly are. 

That sentence has the most meaning right now. I’m trying to mentally boil down everything and look at myself with clear eyes. I want to cut out the illusions and understand my relationships. I need to look at things as they truly are. From a perception that is wider.

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