The Mindless Put-Offs.

In the end you find that the strongest hand holding you back is your own.

Why do now what you can put off until tomorrow? I put things off to conserve energy, but I end up wasting more energy than I would have had I actually invested energy in just doing the damned thing to begin with. And if I don’t do it, I inevitably worry about it, damn myself for not doing it. Or I waste time and energy coming up with excuses as to why I should put it off longer, and why my procrastination thus far has been justified.

And yet when I actually get off my bony white ass to do such things, I always feel better, calmer, more at peace, more liberated in general.

Procrastination is such a strange behavior in that light.

No Comfort in Karma.

Karma seems to be a notion that produces a strange sense of satisfaction in people, as they are comforted by the idea that what goes around comes around; that ultimately others will know what it is like to be in their shoes as they will be enduring a mile-long journey lifting those heavy soles themselves.

The part that always struck me, and therefore doesn’t make karma a successful notion in my mind, is that karmic backlash hardly constitutes teaching people a lesson if they don’t know what it was a consequence of — or, for that matter, that it is a consequence of anything more than the causal chain of events. People don’t always seem to see the similarities in patterns and they tend to look at themselves in a manner and judge themselves in a manner distinct from how they look and judge everyone else, so its not exactly the “forced empathy” we tend to see it as. The punished don’t know why they’re being punished or even that it is a punishment; the victims, who may have forgotten they were victims, do not know that the sentence is being served and so never feel the sense of closure.

Yet isn’t this feeling that justice has been served the aim people have in mind when they conjure up notions of karma? Without all but perhaps the dimmest of recollections regarding our walks and works throughout our incarnations, we would have little reason to believe in the existence of this system of reward and punishment governing the direction of reality anyway, which would appear to defeat its purpose. So assuming karma had a purpose, what would it be?

The truth as I currently see it is that there is no cosmic retribution. No universal justice. This island earth, this vast dark sea on which we sail, it is fundamentally impersonal, and anything else is insulting, as to say anything else would be to imply that everyone is to blame for all that has occurred to them. It is essentially blaming the victim.

13th Grade.

I think the main reason behind my beef with life shortly after high school — and recurrently thereafter — is the overall lack of justice. I mean, childhood set us up for quite a downfall unless we’re extremely simple-minded and blissfully ignorant. The fairy tales that we were told as children over and over again set us up to expect a world where there is a clear, bold line separating an absolute and fixed Good and Evil, and that people are on one side or the other and that good ultimately triumphs over evil and we all live happily ever after. It set us up to expect a beginning, middle and end. But here in the real world we only find, at best, ritualized points in space and time that serve only as states of transition. I’m sorry to say that this is just not how life is. It’s too bad we couldn’t have been prepared for this cold, hard, devastating fact. Too many people seem to be under the impression that we’re protecting our children by comforting them in this mighty womb of lies, of pulling a curtain of fiction of their eyes — and they don’t see the danger.

It doesn’t stop in childhood, either, and that’s an important fact to accept. Childhood is little more than a training program for adulthood. This is where, for instance, we’re taught to accept the kind of contradictions we have to overlook for the rest of our lives. We remember the fears of childhood — where there are ghosts in the corner of your room, monsters under the bed and in the closet. All things parents assure us are “not real”? Yet at the same time ghosts and monsters are not real, parents expect us to accept that some fat, hairy bastard who’s ride consists of a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer squeezes his obese ass down the chimneys of every house in the world in one night to deliver to good little boys and girls toys manufactured or produced by his midget slave labor. After achieving doublethink of this magnitude in childhood, we’re able to accept the same flavor of illogic in the adult world.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood they wean us off the old and onto the new. We graduate to a higher level, converted to the lies suited for the next stage of life. Some trade their childhood beliefs in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy in for the adult trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We trade our parent’s authority over us for the authority of the church, the state, the boss, the spouse. And we look down upon children and laugh at them for their silly beliefs and their silly way of life — which we perpetually nurture — and yet fail to see the parallels between their world and our own. We fail to realize that children remain convinced of their illusions for so long not so much because of what they’re told, but what they’re shown, what you provide by means of example. They accept their illusions for we show them how we accept our own. That when they become adults, their illusions change faces, that’s all. Not till death do you part from the childhood you never get to be born out of.

When does the adult real world begin and childhood end, however? For some of us, just after high school. For others, just after college. That is our entrance into the “real world.”

I like to call it 13th Grade.

Textual Fantasies.

As a social species, we have this inherent desire to find a center, a leader, a single entity that imposes order on chaos, creates structure. This is the alpha. Even when the power is split up into various agencies populated by countless people we have the tendency to refer to it all as a whole, as in: the government.

It is no surprise that we have continued this pattern by projecting it onto the world around and outside of us. There must be some unseen center from which all of this sprung, some leader which imposed this order upon us. So the most powerful and mysterious thing we come across must be it. it’s a lot like how I look upon the word love: it is to be reserved until I am at complete loss to explain the closeness I feel with someone. When words fail me, I fall back on love. When words fail them, they fall back on god.

Methinks we need a better vocabulary.

Lit Match to Maya.

There is this odd philosophy I have realized I always cradle at work:  unless I think I’m running behind, I will run behind. It’s much like why I keep the alarm clock in my room set at a time twenty minutes ahead: unless I believe its almost deadline, I won’t make the deadline, and so I rush, and the end result is that I find myself done before the deadline.

Believing things you know to be false in order to achieve certain effects or generate certain responses in yourself: using beliefs as tools.

Lying to myself to live.

Yet why don’t I stop investing in false beliefs and just get things done more quickly with eyes wide open? Why this thick, elaborate cocoon of lies? Well, it’s a matter of economics: its easier to build off of old habits than it is to break old habits and build entirely new ones. We believe the pain of change has an intensity that outweighs the pain of staying on our present path, so we tend to only build new patterns off of old ones. We lose our true center as the external becomes our locus of control. Anything authentic about us becomes merely a buried theme in the ever-thickening, multilayered psychological exoskeleton, the costume we assume as skins and the masque we don and mistake for our true face in this three-ring circus of life.

I think we do a lot of this in life, but sometimes fooling ourselves into believing something is a mere stepping stone, a tool in itself used in order to achieve certain effects or generate certain responses from a social group with which we seek to align. In either case, we are sacrificing ourselves, burying ourselves in a casket of fear beneath the rich soils of dishonesty and irrationality. Suffocating, muffling our true inner voice beneath the soils of rich lullabies and heavy lies.

“If I didn’t believe in a god up there,” a woman at work once told me, “I might kill somebody.”

No, you would just have to give up your deceptive lifestyle in order to understand in life’s proper context that empathy coupled with rationality is an effective enough basis for ethics. It’s an issue of self-trust and little more. If you’re holding onto beliefs despite evidence to the contrary clearly the lie is getting you something you suspect the truth would take away, or in the very least be more difficult to access. But if its dependent upon belief, than it is the act of believing which produces the results — which means that it is ultimately you producing the results, and you have merely become reliant on these imaginary fingers to push your inner buttons when you, with effort and discipline, could simply push them yourself directly without having to beat around the bush.

Let’s set that bush of maya on fire.

Fluff.

For a long period of my childhood I thought that “fluff” was universal word bound to a concept everyone understood, which is essentially when the stinky gut-wind breaks beyond the bounds of the anus. To say, “you fluffed,” was common parlance, thought young, naive I.

I remember we were all sitting down on the carpeted floor in second or third grade for some assembly to watch some movie. These two boys were sitting next to me, chatting, laughing, and I innocently interrupted them to ask one of them what the green spot was on his tooth. “It’s a fart,” he said, and him and the other kid looked at each other and laughed like idiots.

For the longest time, I thought a fart was a small, parsley looking leaf piece stuck to enamel.

Why my mother considered fart a cuss word is beyond me.

I mean, if a new signature method of homicide executed by the mafia developed which involved suffocating a person by sandwiching their head between two large pillows and applying pressure with their hands until the point it evolves to pancaking or the victim goes rag-doll and it became traditional to refer to the victim as having been “fluffed,” I could perhaps understand. If a man, after making sweet love to an unassuming sheep shamefully confessed, “I just fluffed,” that would make sense to me. Or if you say, “that guy got fluffed up,” or “he was fluffed” in reference to the loser in a fist fight with a sentient marshmallow gnome, sure, I would see why the word was chosen to replace another.

Fluff is actually more than a step away from approximation with the average potential sounds produced by the process my mother intended it to designate: my ass has made sounds akin to “fart,” but never once have I ripped a fluff.

And what would you call the act of sharting, “flurting”? That isn’t flirting, that’s unintentionally blowing a load.

Call a fart a butt biscuit or an ejected gas-child or an aborted ass phantom or even a toot, but fluff?

I don’t get it.

Square One.

History can reveal ways of living already practiced, how and where and when and — if we study and compare them — ultimately why these cultures succeeded and failed. Countless intentional communities have and continue to sprout and grow in the womb of the greater cultures through either legal loopholes, limited dependency or parasitic relations with the greater culture and (keeping in mind their degree of independence from the external culture) can serve as smaller-scale studies of the functioning of various systems, perhaps even at what population size a given system proves inadequate. That would take a value in critical thinking, study, rationality and empiricism that the masses appear quite reluctant to invest. Sadly, I might add, as through these experiments and studies we could quickly build successful models for better cultures, and a more sustainable and successful one globally. Why aren’t the greatest minds the human race can offer selected and brought together to work out this problem? It’s the King Rats. it’s the hungry vermin population that cradle the false hope of achieving a crown — not merely achieving at last enough, mind you, but grabbing a hold of that one-man, world-fed, all-you-can-eat buffet. Its greed that keeps this carrousel of insanity spinning towards disaster. It’s the philosophy of the herd over the individual, leader over the herd. Its groupthink led by blind faith through worship and obedience. You only go so far as a founding document.

No. Go back further, to the scroll and quill.

Let’s fucking evolve.

Ghost in the Dark.

To some degree I like the analogy of how my mind or Self is a great mansion and I only live out of a few rooms and never venture very far into the darkness of the rest of the place. Or even something less ambitious such as a simple house of a mind I live in, with a dark basement you don’t dare go in. The house would be my Self, the mansion would be my Self, and I, living in Self, would be the ego, only living on the surface level of the house or out of a few lit rooms in a great big mansion. That darkness, that basement, is the unconscious or, if you prefer, subconscious. The dark basement store old things, ancient things, much of which we might much rather forget. My only issue with this analogy is that the subconscious doesn’t just seem to act like a place as it does a secret roommate. Some ghost in the basement. Is he me? Am I him? Or is the real me in our dissolution into one another upon some sort of reconciliation?

The unconscious seems to be more than just an attic, basement, or some dark, unexplored area. Either it isn’t impersonal or it is impersonal and yet houses something very personal, as much as consciousness houses me. It would quite literally be my anti-ego, or what Carl Jung and more recently Robert Bly refer to as the Shadow. The idea here would be that there is a soul or Self, as Jung described it, out of which the ego chose its contents, with the remaining contents being relegated to the unconscious, where they collectively constitute the shadow.

To be complete, it would seem, this ghost in our darkness must be faced.

Freedom in Slavery.

So this is it?

I’m stuck here, left to bear the sustained pain or numb it all away as I prop myself up on these motherfucking chemical crutches? Play alchemy with my body chemistry without hope for there is no antidote for what I am given that dire state of sobriety?

Sometimes I think I’m just a part of someone else’s game, forced into a role to snuff my soul, left to don a masque I’m meant to mistake for my face. I just want to be myself and find a place where I actually feel that I belong.

Don’t tell me I’m stuck here.

If the madness of life cannot be quelled, if your heart can’t breaking, your stomach can’t stop twisting into knots, if your brain can’t seem to stop spinning its wheels relentlessly, if after over three decades you still don’t feel at home in your own skin or find a damn place in the world, you often find hope in your prediction that eventually all of it will escalate until it reaches a pique where things will change — perhaps getting worse before getting better, but at least not confining you to the realm of the horrible, horrible same. Perhaps it will manifest in such a way that things will suddenly change outside of your control, or perhaps life will finally provide you with the impulse to actually fucking do something. And it can get so pathetic. Not just because you’ve always felt that you’re just waiting for things to happen, but because you’ve resolved to be a passive participant limited to reaction, response.

It’s a stupid way to live.

Holes.

What do you mean you need it like you need a hole in your head? You already have holes in your head. Five, if we’re not counting the eyes, which have often seemed to me to be physical holes plugged with psychic black holes. Anyway, even if you mean to say, “Like I need ANOTHER hole in my head,” it doesn’t entirely make sense. As Tyson reminds us, countless people choke every year because we breathe, eat, speak and drink out of the same hole — something the dolphins, for instance, don’t have to worry about. So you actually could use another hole in your head. “Like I need my body to grow nostrils and a tongue in my rectum” — now THAT would make sense.