“REALITY HAS NEVER BETRAYED ME”
January 13-15, 2017, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St.
New York Encounter (the “Encounter”) is an annual three-day public cultural event in the heart of New York City. Through conferences, artistic performances, and exhibits, the Encounter offers opportunities for education, dialogue, and friendship.
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“Reality as it emerges in experience is so positive that it presents itself as inexorably appealing. Instead of appealing we might use another word … promising.”
We all have the intuition that life, even with all its hardships, is fundamentally good. Its original appeal is continuously being reawakened by things and people - an appeal we can resist, but never eliminate.
And yet, we have a hard time relating to many aspects of life: family, work, politics, society, even our own bodies and the very food we eat. We should be the masters of our destiny, but often don’t know what to do with ourselves, and rely on experts to face all kinds of problems. We want to be independent in our decisions, and yet we live in fear of missing out and afraid of really committing ourselves to anything. We claim to be in control of our time, but are constantly anxious about the future. We think we know how to love, but repeatedly feel tossed around by our emotions. We look for “beautiful experiences,” trying to capture the moment, but are left wondering if we are truly experiencing life.
In the end, since life does not bend to our desires and its meaning remains elusive, we use our ingenuity to construct our own reality and give sense to life. We believe this is the pinnacle of human dignity and freedom. But the reality we try to create, when put to the test of experience, does not deliver on its promises, and too frequently the ensuing frustration turns into anger and violence.
What are we missing? Why do we often perceive reality as disappointing? What can help us reconcile with reality and engage life as it is?
Join us for a weekend of public discussions, exhibits, and live performances, to encounter people who, by facing the concrete circumstances of their lives, experience the positivity of reality.