“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”Charles Bukowski
Gender wars and political wars and language wars and identity wars of all types raging across the screen in a never-ending cacophony of hate, self-loathing, in vs. out, and more. Tumult. Chaos. Thoughtcrimes and heresy. Inquisitions on Reddit and Instagram and Twitter.
Careers started and ruined and restarted on word of mouth and hashtags engagement stats. That screaming, deadly need in all of us to feel seen and heard and valued and special, to feel good and right and whole, to know who we are and what we are about…
The internet is less and less fun. More and more, it feels like George Orwell’s Five O’Clock Hate, and amid it all, I’m trying to figure out why I find people more and more annoying as time goes, and thinking about Jung’s notion that what annoys us in others is actually a lesson about ourselves. And I’m trying to frame my tiny life in the cosmic evolution of Consciousness across Being and Time (which is comforting, because the human species are stupid assholes and, for the most part, a waste of space!)
I think that part of the crotchety angst is simply the modern, mass-consumer, deeply American obsession with trivial matters of the body at the expense of the deeper matters of the mind/spirit/soul — a fixation on this carbon-based anthropoid husk at the expense of a cosmic consciousness based in wonder and empathy.
For instance, I get equally irritable when a straight OR a gay person drones on about how many people they had intercourse with this week/month/year (and in which varieties/locations).
In fact, I have less and less interest in a person’s tastes and appetites in sexuality, food, Apple vs. Microsoft, Console vs. PC, sports vs. geek culture, and so on. I find my boredom increasing with the volume with which people scream their traditional or their alternative religious/philosophical/sexual/political/gender labels and ideologies — maybe partly because I’ve spent so many years screaming the loudest about such things on BOTH sides of the fence.
And I am OH so deeply sick of hearing [“liberals”/”conservatives”/”progressives”/”gay” people/”straight” people/”cis” people/”trans” people/”Christian” people/”Atheist” people/”Muslim” people/”Jewish” people/”Capitalist” people/”Marxist” people/”LABEL” people] all screaming and beating and killing each other over who is a “REAL” X/Y/Z and who is a “FAKE” X/Y/Z, and all refusing to focus on that key word that unites them all and which grants them infinite variety, uniqueness, and the rights and dignity thereof, PEOPLE.
By contrast, I am intensely and increasingly greedy for those golden moments where souls commune, where we transcend the little stage we’re doing improv on (and the costumes and set pieces we use for each bit, of which our bodies are only one example). I want to see the shape of you and of me, when we’re being most true to ourselves — I want to be like Teccam, and while lacking some of the pieces, to “see the shape of the world.”
I want to hang out with other people who see souls. I want to relish that strange secret society of weirdos whose code is paradoxically the simplest yet most stringent:
- Do as you will and harm none;
- Be kind, or if you can’t be kind, at least avoid being cruel;
- Spend less time trying to control other people and more time trying to control yourself;
- Treat people like people; never use people like objects, which is the original sin and the true “root of all evil.”
I want to marvel at the sheer paradox, illogic, and insanity of existence and consciousness itself. I want to marvel at miracles and magic while trying to debunk them with science, and ultimately to realize that every microsecond of consciousness is already the very miracle that we were seeking all along (philosophical lens be damned). I want to observe and embrace my own wisdom and madness, my own brilliance and stupidity, my own dignity and squalor, and all the other contradictions that form the pretty illusion of each of us poor bastards — caught by Evolution and mad gods, as C.S. Lewis so beautifully put it, halfway between ape and angel.
I want the sparkles of humor when the very gravity of seeing “the thing itself” for what it truly is allows us to laugh both at it and each other and ourselves together.
This whole goddamned riddle points to something ineffable, something so deadly serious that it can’t help laughing at the cosmic joke told by a wise fool. Of course, I don’t know the answer — I can’t even formulate the fucking question right.
I guess I just want more during my brief life than these boxes and labels and online cat fights and petty hatreds and virtue signaling and all the petty childish bullshit that is just as rampant on either (nonexistant) side of every false binary that forms the warp and woof of modernity and Americana and “team Human.”
And if there’s one small, useful hint that crystallizes from this barbaric yawp, I think that most of the body stuff we obsess about is utterly transient and fleeting, whereas the soul stuff is what actually makes us interesting and beautiful. My body and its desires aren’t the things I most value about myself, and nor are they the things that make me interesting (at least, not to interesting and serious people). And I think that’s true far beyond carbon-based, DNA-using lifeforms, and that it’s a guiding principle that will serve us well long after we’ve migrated through machine bodies into pure AI forms and beyond.
Now go drink some water, eat some M&M’s, and ask a friend to check on you, because if you actually read this far, you are clinically insane like me and really should be concerned. Stop reading my diary. It’s rude, and I’m cancelling you.
Image Credit: © Shutterstock/MeskPhotography, used under license.