Autumn, 2019

Goodness is always older than choice” (Lévinas, 2013, p. 57).

What if, in our beginnings, all is truly Good? What if it really didn’t matter what ethnicity, nationality, sex, gender, race, age, genetics, experience, qualifications, we each ascribed to have and/or hold? We are all human beings, momentarily dwelling in time on Earth. As our human forms develop, we are influenced by other things: doctrines, cultures, politics, histories, religions, languages, locations, teachings, aspirations. The shape of our being in time engages us with Others. We begin to articulate our preferences, likes, and dislikes through engagement with the ideas, beliefs, and interests of other people. We decide on things. We choose to believe our thoughts and ideas are good and right. We choose to invite other things into the goodness of One. Our human perspectives lead us to deliberate over choices that may not have previously existed, for “if the One could be distinguished from the Goodness that sustains it, the One could take up a position with regard to its goodness, know itself to be good, and thus lose its goodness” (Lévinas, 2013, p. 57).  

What if we only have choices because we have ceased to dwell in Goodness? 



Video clip of water filmed on location in Sottochiesa, Taleggio, Bergamo, Italy, during the NAHResidency, by Ellen Avery, 2018, used with permission.



Lévinas, E. (2013). Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (A. Lingis, Trans.). Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Duquesne University Press.