Dependent arising: "The understanding that any phenomenon ‘exists’ only because of the ‘existence’ of other phenomena in an incredibly complex web of cause and effect covering time past, time present and time future."

Elusive question. Why? In roughly eight years of keeping an online journal of some form, I've never been able to answer it. There are bits and bobs of an answer around -- to post funny stuff I find, to rant about things that infuriate me, to show pictures I like. In the end, I have a sneaking suspicion that it represents an attempt at self-definition. This, I am coming to realize, is an exercise in recursion.

I exist only because of others. I am defined by what I represent to others. Self-definition is a handy illusion, but it is an illusion. I can only hint and suggest. In the end, the picture is colored by others. In the end, all I can do is navigate the web, not create or destroy it. Everything I am, and everything I do, is intimately linked to everything, and everyone, else. A given link may be too small, too subtle, to pluck from the tangle, but it is there, nevertheless.

I half-suspect, when it's late, that I'm more a subject than I've previously acknowledge to the peculiar American mythos of the rugged individual. That's a false bravado on our part. He doesn't exist...never has.

Maybe what this is really about is a coming to terms with my rejection of that mythos, and my own attempts to acknowledge dependent arising.