How much of it really matters? I often wonder. So much routine can be reduced to the scrabbling crawl that life has become. Eat, sleep, shit. Let seep the daily fluids and absorb as much psychosis as possible. Accept the programs fate has chosen and smile or choose to frown, the difference is nil. Some speak of a grand scheme of things, those who have taken a moment to climb aboard their private spaceships and look at how insignificant things are.
Our brains are small. When science and paleontology discovered the correlation between size of mind and size of thought, we praised ourselves for having larger thoughts than the average insect. The dinosaurs, as large and ferocious as they were, had small brains. Yet even the most genius among us cannot dismiss the fact that insects and “lesser” life forms have—on the surface—the same lives we do. Eat, sleep, shit. Procreate, die.
Yet there are deeper and more complex forces at work in the realm of humanity. These systems we put in place against ourselves and those like us. Some time, in a far distant past, someone decided that the laws of nature weren't enough for us. We needed something else to escape the simplicity of our fleshly lives. We needed heaven and hell. We needed law and order. We needed to feel greater than what we were. Our mental capacities cursed us with an awareness of our own mortalities and frailties. Our limited means of conveying our ideas compounded the difficulties. Now, for as long and as far as I can see, humanity has struggled and fought to overcome the very nature of itself for thousands of years and the best it has come up with is big screen televisions, plastic hearts, abstract mathematics, organized religions, fashion, and a multitude of other pointless diversions that either scream of, or shy away from, a simple existence. Control has become the greatest issue in a world where raging against that control is the only real mandate.
If the first lifeform that sought to walk the surface of the earth and expose itself to the effects of ultraviolet radiation and polluted air, to eat mutated life borne of oxygen and poison and gas and radiation, knew that at some point in its mutated existence it would form a brain and an opposable thumb, create fire and the combustion engine and the superconductor, and give rise to a species whose only apparent goal would be the control of systems that even the most advanced intelligences needed computers with more power than all the brains on the planet combined to even understand… then that first lifeform may very well have crawled itself right back into the sea.
The confusion brought on by these “advancements” and our self-professed understanding is daily undoing what we create. It pulls every organism on the planet apart at the very fabric of their existences. Personally, as a human being living on the very crest of what nature has built for us, and what the world builds now, I find the threads of reality itself unwinding and exposing a place far more insecure and dangerous than most are aware of, and sometimes voices and faces from this world—the true, “real” world—speak to me and I cannot disregard their message. Herein lies perhaps the sickest of all paradoxes and the most vibrant paradigm shift I could ever view. Even as I finish this muddy treatise on what I think I know, and what I think I believe, the message taunts me still: everything we know is wrong. We are moving in the wrong direction and loving all the wrong things. Weakness is the rule in humanity, and when the law, the true law comes smashing down, we will see who is high and who is mighty.
Try hard when teaching new tricks, be it to yourself or others. Persistence coupled with diligence will eventually lead to success. Or will it?
Perhaps my present condition has more to do with a polar reversal of values, social and personal, than with external circumstance. Today the lesson came down hard. I was irrational for the first time in a while. As a side note, it would also appear that without “drug-induced revelation” (as in bad-tripness) the seasons play a crucial role in showing me my true colors. At any rate, as this winter drags itself along, every day presents a different facet of the person I have been working on becoming. I wonder at these experiences, and if I had avoided psyche-altering experiences would I be so brutally aware of the impact that each of my actions has on the world around me? Or is it the fact that the more I follow my self-imposed abstinence, the greater the amount of intellect becomes available to analyse the “cause and effect” nature of life? “Ripples in the pond” rings all too true. Now it seems like I must endure my revelations with something of a fascinated horror. It’s like watching blood spurt from a severed limb, and I find myself more concerned with soiling my surroundings than I am with the loss of the limb!
In a year what have I done? I suppose it is the season of reflection. Perhaps it is all the ice? I have managed to stay home. I have managed to stay off drugs and drink. I have totally removed myself from the darkened world I had been wandering through for the last five years. But there is still one glaring smudge on this otherwise clean sheet: I am still solitary, still alone in my struggle, alone with my own worst enemy, myself. I guess this is the nature of the battle. So pitched am I to defeat my nature that those who get close enough to trust me become casualties in the ongoing melee. After all, there is nothing like human contact to throw up those mirrors of introspection, and what is to be done if I don't like what I see? Horror, fascination; run away, only to return repeatedly without changing a thing out of fear of losing the fear! That rush of discovery mingled with disgust, rankled with thoughts of maintenance! “Keep the personality you have so carefully crafted,” I tell myself, “because it is your true self. To change this is to lie.”
But could this be wrong?
Death is as real as general anaesthetic. Nothingness. The Yang, or counterbalance, that life is proves the point of “everythingness”. If this is true then ideally, in life, all viewpoints and thoughts must be held equally, being neither right nor wrong. Freedom of bias would therefore be an ideal mode in which to travel one's life.
Throughout my own life I have been an unfortunate victim of manipulation. This entire tangent of “wrongness” can be justified by this, and it is with this understanding that I somehow manage to come close to clarity of vision. Yet my mind is so tainted with various hues, the colours of prejudice and bias (and favouritism, lest I forget my own selfish prime directives) that these various films obscure the truths before me. Everything I was shown as a child, and each person I was exposed to, formed my reactionary mind. Like many psychological experiments, where certain patterns of learning and development are run until the subjects respond with a conditioned bliss to the world around them, I have these punch-card programs embedded like so many silhouettes burned into the most tender and important places in my mind. And it is these patterns that I rage against, seeking their reconfiguration for my purposes—as though if I could deny them, I could rediscover a real freedom.
Given this premise I must now put forth an even more complex idea, one that has been blooming for some time now, the seed of which was planted when I was certain I could stop polluting my mind with drugs. It is a powerful growth that is sprouting great works even as underdeveloped and uncut as it is. In words, it is this: we all possess these biased “programs” that affect the choices we make. Some run deep, deep enough to conceal themselves as “true” facets of our personalities. Others are not as entrenched and in fact undergo regular polar switches. However, there appears to be an unlimited capacity to collect and maintain these programs, no matter how large or small, and therefore new ones may imprint on a mind at any time. As an example, you cannot teach a religious fundamentalist the spiritual value of certain sexual acts if said religion prohibits sexual action. Therefore, said fundamentalist would never engage in the practice of such acts and would successfully deflect the experience altogether.
Returning to the subject, even if there are defences in place, any programs presented in a coherent manner will be stored in the mind regardless of whether the skill is developed in conjunction with what the program requires. It will be stored in a level of use. If it is a necessary action or set of actions that relate to survival (or perception of survival as the case is for most of Western humanity) it will be given a high priority. Also note that the programs that enter the mind sit in a limbo until they reach a level of automation through practice that places them at the reactionary level of the thought process. Again, relying on the sexual example, if procreation programs are practiced to a degree that allows for sexual diversification the ability to deal with circumstances that allow for the opportunity to engage in a sexual relation will widen.
Tangents? I drift way off base here. I am exploring and coming up a little frustrated. The point I am trying to make is that if I can find a way to drift above the bounds of my own biases and change my inborn prejudices to better suit free exploration of my surroundings, then perhaps I can gain the edge my power-hungry conscience wants: the direct manipulation of other people's points of view. On an external level it seems a simple task: analysis of existing bias, formulation of a program that would be capable of sneaking past a person’s defences and implanting itself where it could become an automatic reaction.
If I could decode this, I could brainwash people.
I am beginning to see, however, that the whole litany I have just expelled is constructed of all the programs I am personally trying to destroy!
Paradox. If there is a single thing my thoughts have been rife with as of late, it would be paradox. My own personal paradigm of wrongness. I guess it is the understanding that I think I have of this entire process that confuses me the most. I mean, why am I going to such great lengths to discover things I already know?
Just a quick note before sleep and my mind catches up with me: stay away from technology until I can control my self abusive urges. I've made more love to video screens than I ever have with living fleshly women. While this feels wrong, it is something that may find remedy with a little diligence.
An observation: it appears to me that humanity knows precisely what it is that it must do. Which would mean that it's our own private, individual screw-ups that are to blame for the chaos of an otherwise orderly system. Television isn't to blame. Media can't be liable. Our parents know no better or worse than we. It’s with our internal struggles to maintain private battles that we screw it up for everyone else. Or is the conclusion made here just another small piece in the seamless puzzle that is what we are, and who I think I am?
If the universe is infinite, why aren't I?
1997.12.16 – 1997.12.21