"What hope is there for individual reality or authenticity," asks novelist and essayist Ben Okri, "when the forces of violence and orthodoxy, the earthly powers of guns and bombs and manipulated public opinion make it impossible for us to be authentic and fulfilled human beings?
"The only hope is in the creation of alternative values, alternative realities. The only hope is daring to redream one's place in the world -- a beautiful act of imagination, and a sustained act of self-becoming. Which is to say that in some way or another we breach and confound the accepted frontiers of things."
"In a world like ours," he adds, "where death is increasingly drained of meaning, individual authenticity lies in what we can find that is worth living for. And the only thing worth living for is love.
"Love for one another. Love for ourselves. Love of our work. Love of our destiny, whatever it may be. Love for our difficulties. Love of life. The love that could free us from the mysterious cycles of suffering. The love that releases us from our self-imprisonment, from our bitterness, our greed, our madness-engendering competitiveness. The love that can make us breathe again."
The passage by Ben Okri above (and the quotes tucked into the picture captions) are from A Way of Being Free (Phoenix House, 1997); all rights reserved by the author.