An old soul?
from stunted growth.
by an eternal,
refusing to play
too busy gas-lighting
and sabotaging me.
An old soul?
from stunted growth.
by an eternal,
refusing to play
too busy gas-lighting
and sabotaging me.
Sometimes I wish I honestly had confidence in our human species, that I could root for the home team, and I always welcome suggestions that might lead me to that attitude and perspective, but I have yet to be swayed, unfortunately.
Listening to the visionary ideas and taking into account the accomplishments of Elon Musk give me hope, and I’m eager to see the day when we will transition to clean energy entirely and be an interplanetary species, with bases and cities on Mars and our own natural satellite — but it won’t reverse the damage done to the earth, and escaping earth by no means suggests that we will escape the hazardous patterns we’ve engaged in down here at the bottom of our natural gravity well. Our parasitic tendencies in such a circumstance, I fear, would only carry on.
Musk makes a good point, however: eventually, human civilization is bound to fall back into what could be termed a dark age, and our only hopes in rebooting civilization might be ensuring that, by the time that tumble backwards comes to pass, we have already established ourselves as an interplanetary species. Then those beyond earth, who still have civilization, can help restore the earth-bound one. And in case of global destruction where all life on earth is wiped out in a manner unforeseeable or which we are incapable of preventing, our species and civilization can carry on, survive, continue to evolve and advance.
But will we establish an extra-planetary presence in time, and if we do, will we be better for it, or will it simply extend the life and destructive potential of a dangerous, selfish, short-sighted, parasitic and ultimately suicidal species? Will we negatively effect space and other planets like we have to the earth, will we drain it all of resources and leave a cosmic dumping ground in our wake, or might we “grow up” in a species sense?
upon the zoo,
their pet projects,
from mind to skin.
All those questions,
all those nightmares,
every hope and fear
like shot arrows, alive,
hungry for me.
Better fucking luck next time.
insist it was all a dream,
wipe the subjects’ minds clean.
Now just give them space
to feel it out,
explore their black-and-white
options: to dissociate
will keep you in line.
Train your brain,
follow your heart
and in time
we shall meet
in this very same place.
on, be patient…
Despite those ever-cautious
of yours, even in the light
of your diverse and rich disillusion,
your cautious nature
clearly now called
into question, answers
will trickle in, bleed,
leak like a sieve,
mentally maim you,
a virus that replicates,
breeds like bunnies,
evolves a cultural bowel movement
into a goddamned revolution.
Our keynote flood.
How will the present day be viewed in the eyes of some future generation — how will our time and place be looked upon once it graduates to a moment in history? Despite all our technological marvels, I think our era will be looked upon for its cultural blinders, the nature of our psychology as a global civilization. Our misplaced values, our consumerism, our prejudices. All we could have done if only we wanted to, if only such foresight did not require so much effort and the sense of responsibility it promotes so much sacrifice.
Marriage between humans regardless of plumbing is legal now. We might applaud ourselves for that, but we have created bombs that can destroy the world several times over, we have been to the fucking moon, we have created glow-in-the-dark monkeys in our laboratories and we’re just now stretching our social system to embrace the fundamental freedoms of an entire sector of our fellow human beings? Something seems a bit unbalanced here. Fucking lopsided as all hell if you ask me.
We’re like emotional children wielding incredible power. That whole Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility” thing comes to mind, but Peter Parker doesn’t want to hear it in this case. He’s just sticking his fingers in his ears like a child, squinting his eyes shut and singing the old Spiderman theme song as loud as he can to drown out your voice with his own.
Nietzsche seemed to view sympathy or pity as an insult — it implied you thought you were higher than another, more capable, and they would be unable to accomplish something without your charity. It would appear to be just as insulting — blatantly cold and sadistic, actually — to just sit by and watch another struggle in my eyes, however.
It could be that I’m looking at this the wrong way, though. It could be that observing while adhering to a strict code of noninterference has a great deal of logic behind it and it just appears so cold due to the way I’m framing it. Relevant here, perhaps, is a scene from the first season and second episode of the television series LOST, where Locke has a conversation with Charlie in the forest:
“That’s a moth cocoon. It’s ironic — butterflies get all the attention, but moths, they spin silk. They’re stronger. They’re faster. You see this little hole? This moth’s just about to emerge. It’s in there right now, struggling. It’s digging it’s way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it — take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free — but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it.”
There may be multiple reasons for not interfering with another’s life, or with a culture or even a planetary species, but this is the most ethical reason I can come up with.
It bothers me that I care so much about what other people think of me and how they feel towards me. A catchy suggestion I came across some time ago — that one should aim for “expression, not impression” — defines the nature of my anger towards myself and my frustration with this situation. Too much energy seems invested in (unconsciously; semiconsciously) attempting to manipulate the perceptions of others with respect to me and honest, sincere self-expression suffers as a result.
So what if they might think me insane, picking up on the fact that I have strange memories and experiences? So what if they think I am unscientific and irrational, even hypocritical in my support for the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs and my view that sufficient evidence exists for reincarnation and parapsychology?
Fuck them. I’ve done the research. I’ve struggled with these questions since I was sixteen, trying to make sense out of my experiences and the eerily similar ones of others. It is not inconsistent to announce that I side with science and reason — faith plays no role in the worldview that is emerging in me; I have been wracked with often terrifying degrees of doubt since the very beginning. I check and recheck; regurgitate and rearrange, take it all from as many different angles as I can, and yet I am made to feel like the crazy one, not those who come to conclusions and engage in ridicule without the feeblest attempt to explore the subjects in question.
I believe in science and reason as methods — what we have collectively determined to be true through use of those methods at the present time are always open to revision or expansion, however, and to dismiss ideas without consideration is foolish.
Are we incorrect in our presumptions of what is possible and what “is”? Almost certainly. Historically we have felt secure in notions we later found to be utter hogwash, no matter how supported by observation, experiment and reason. Ideas evolve with more information, they adapt or suffer extinction, as they should.
I considered monotheism and found it to be bullshit. I considered the ETH and reincarnation and found that both have merit. Have I been led astray? Perhaps — I feel confident time will tell in any case.
If I’m insane or just plain wrong, it won’t be for lack of trying. I hope that’s good enough for me in the end, whichever way it falls.
Psychology seems to imply that identity is comprised of a complex system of habit patterns that arise out of the interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental programming. We are not nouns but verbs, not free but enslaved, not self-governing but habitual. Our evolving identities constitute the unfolding of our personal fate. Identity is our prison and our life is our sentence.
This deterministic outlook conflicts with personal experience, which suggests identity evolves in a more probabilistic manner. From moment to moment we experience electing one potential path among an available spectrum ranging from the least to the greatest resistance. As before, our identity in any given moment is surely the cumulative result of all previous choices, though we do not experience it determining our subsequent choices. Instead, it only determines the level of ease or difficulty inherent in our available choices: we are influenced, though not determined, rendering life a constant battle between the personal fate of identity and personal freedom. We may fight to remain static but are destined to evolve; inner strength can allow you to fight off resistance and take the reins of identity’s evolution, though in such a case perhaps the path of development could more accurately termed revolution.
Whether we submit to identity or fight against it, we feel its force in our lives and our capacity to guide its growth and rebel against it suggests our distinction from it, a distinction we meet face to face with in certain styles of meditation. Three levels of identity, at least in my case, have become abundantly clear: beneath the personality we express in the external world is the personality we express within, to ourselves; beneath the social masque or persona, that is, resides the personal masque or ego, to borrow convenient terms from Carl Jung. Beneath the ego, however, there is yet another level, and it is the same level suggested in our capacity to fight against the identity — against the persona and ego strata of identity, anyway. It is the level difficult to articulate, which is perhaps best referenced through negation, which can only be conceptualized through a process of elimination. It is the aspect of identity that does the identifying; it is the “I” left behind after peeling away all that “I am not.” It is what is often called the observer or witness state of consciousness; that which, once it ceases identifications, is left observing or witnessing but cannot observe or witness itself. Which makes sense, as in order to observe or witness something you must be apart from it. This makes the persona and ego aspects of identity at their very best reflections of the witness; at worst a fantasy we have mistaken for reality, and in either case make them mere masques, as said earlier.
What of the witness itself, though? Is the witness a sort of naked awareness void of identity or does that awareness stem from a true identity — one which we can only accomplish awareness of through the presumed reflections of our ego and persona?
In any case, Dissociative Identity Disorder sheds light on more complications. If alternate identities would only “switch,” for instance, it would be easy enough to conceive: the underlying witness consciousness dissociates with one identity and then associates or identifies with another. Same individual, a different masque. The clear issue is that this is not the case, however; alters can not only operate in parallel but interact with one another. If my conception of consciousness were to hold here, than one individual witness would by necessity be playing the role of two characters at the same time without being aware at either end of also playing the role on the other. This is only a severe case of having an engaging conversation with a dream character, however; it is something that functions in us all.
Be practical, realistic.
Live a dream’s suicide.
Be the slow, dull butterknife sawing
through the vibrant vein.
Be the burning need
without an aim to pacify.
Sell yourself to the highest bidder.
Liberty and integrity are such childish things,
we’re all bound to fate,
lost in our labyrinth of lies.
Ahead of the curve
is around the bend, boy,
and creativity is insanity.
Grow up and entomb life.
Ignore the misery,
embrace lack of empathy.
Every child, woman, man
for themselves down here.
Plant your wish
at the bottom of the gravity well,
an early grave, for why
postpone the inevitable?
A mother, poisoned.
Parasites so hellbent on death
they kill themselves when nothing’s left.
Know your role in their slaughter.
Step in line with the cattle,
get lost in the rabble.
I’m not the same as you.
Rising third eye, open wide,
finding my soul to contribute
to the revolution.
Of course I think I’m right. You think you’re right, too. Everyone does.
We must think we are right even when we judge ourselves wrong. If I thought you were right, I still must think I’m right in judging your position to be accurate. You’re just angry I think I’m right despite your bold assertions that I’m wrong, despite the credentials of those you side with, despite those who promoted the concepts that you echo like a sycophantic plagiarist of thought.
An awesome weight of history stands as a warning for those such as yourself: be careful what you laugh away as absurd and impossible without sincere consideration and sufficient research. Remember: pushing the boundaries of popular ideas with rationality precedes empiricism by necessity. A hypothesis is a model, a story, with consistent inner logic that alleges to extend beyond itself in correlation with actuality to degrees that exceed currently held notions. Understanding grows by construction of a model with explanatory value superior to current models; a value verifiable through the sincere attempt to disprove the predictions it makes that current models would be at a loss to explain.
You see it time and time again, People come up with ideas that explain current circumstances in a way they see as more satisfactory than other proposed explanations, including whatever one currently has the throne. Often these ideas are deemed unscientific or irrational because they do not overtly predict anything and, some propose, are indefinitely indeterminate due to it complete lack of falsifiability and so bear no potential value to science.
Then something happens: time passes. Things are observed and verified through experimentation or subsequent observation that do not fit the current models, particularly the one on the throne, and suddenly the idea once deemed ridiculous becomes the best available explanation. Or, as Schopenhauer allegedly put it:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
I know where I reside.
When I was a kid, I would always feel as if I was tending to an audience, as if I were entertaining someone watching the television show of my life. I would play with toys in my room and weave stories using the figurines as props, which I saw as television shows for the viewer.
From as early on as I can remember, I was always fascinated with mirrors and would weave tales for my sisters regarding the hidden world it served as a doorway to. Privately, I seemed to use it as a sort of communication device, I suppose. Privately, I would lip sync in the mirror to the 45 blaring out my little record player. Among my favorites were “Disco Duck” and “Morris the Moose.” All of this was entertainment for the imaginary audience implied by my constant sense of being watched, so strongly felt that I often found myself addressing my audience directly in the mirror.
It was not until very recently that I discovered that imaginary companions (which may only be alter personalities in the making) can manifest to the child not only as a hallucination or a subjective figure, which I would have guessed, but may also come in the form of a mere “sensed presence.” I must wonder: was that audience beneath my skin, behind my eyes? If so, I suppose it made sense to address them in the mirror after all.
Beyond sensing a presence and feeling as if I were under constant observation, there were other suggestions that my imagination was quite literally getting out of my control, particularly in reference to the “daydreams” I produced in my restless mind at night in bed.
In retrospect, it seems I was as much an insomniac as a small child as I am now, so perhaps calling me nocturnal would be more accurate. The issue then that the teenage years would free me from was not insomnia, but passive insomnia. In my current active insomnia, I spend my evening doing artwork, reading, writing, watching documentaries. My child status had me confined to a dark room and a bed, so I would spend my nights passively, though quite active subjectively. I would daydream, making up stories in my head and rehearsing future situations, wondering about things, reflecting on things.
Sometimes, though, I got the funny feeling that parts of my imagination literally had a mind of their own. The suggestion came in the form of the “bionic spiderwebs” as well as the increasingly unwelcome visits by the asinine messiah, both of which had to have occurred during the first to third grade era (1985-1988). As I am uncertain as to which came first, I’ll begin where it seems it would have developmentally.
It happened pretty much the same way every time. I would be imagining something and then from out of the peripheral vision of my inner eye this meshy tendril of spiderwebs would shoot out, grab ahold of the imaginary content and drag it quickly out of frame. I would try to imagine it again and the same damn thing would happen. Needless to say, this got annoying really quick.
Never was I certain why I referred to these webs as bionic, though I later learned the word essentially means “life-like,” which serves as a good description of their behavior. After all, I was not doing this to myself. I was not so dire in need of entertainment that I would resort to imagining an ethereal, cleptotelepathic bionic cobweb as an adversary. If this was my imagination than this was no imaginary parasite, or in the very least not merely, but a parasite of the imagination. It had been born in or had invaded my headspace where, so far as I know, it fed solely on the acute levels of frustration it managed to generate in me.
Now I had to open my eyes to the darkness and isolation of the bedroom. Play with the array of stuffed animals I would arrange in a circle around my bunk as a ritual of comfort and protection. After some time I could perhaps forget about it, slip back into imagination and everything would be all right again for awhile. That was the hope, anyway, and it didn’t take long to see that hope needed some work.
Inevitably, I would start daydreaming again, but I would either slip and think of them or they would arrive on their own to ruin by reveries. How could I banish them?
I noted that they often arrived with their thought-abducting strands precisely when I was thinking how I hoped they would not. It was as if I were at some level summoning up the strands that seized my imagination, semiconsciously conjuring up the very cobwebs of my concern. It was outside my conscious control, though perhaps inadvertently awakened through thinking of them at some subliminal level of pre-thought.
This was perhaps only because in order to ensure that I did not think about it I had to remind myself not to think about it, which consequently necessitates thinking the very thought I sought not to. Yes, I did discover the answer, no doubt obvious to many from the get-go, and that was to think about something else, an alternative, a Thou Shalt as opposed to Thou Shalt Not. A positive can stand on its own. A negative by necessity requires its opponent’s support.
This was but a temporary aide, of course, nothing approximating a solution. The enemy was still out there, I just ceased waving them over. They still found me, just not right away, being free of my assistance and all.
As a product of my imagination, however autonomous, perhaps some understanding could be gained by looking at the bionic spiderwebs from the perspective of a dream symbol, which is to say as an unconsciously-generated personal metaphor.
I know neither how nor when it began. It could have been the case that I first imagined these things, unknowingly “getting the ball rolling” for some autonomous function that took it from there. My sense is that I did not know how or why the bionic spiderwebs began even at the time, namely because I ended up giving them a back story down the line. Strangely, this came as a consequence of my novel attempt to rid myself of them once and for all. My attempt involved the use of my imagination as a tool to solve the problem.
Creating a wild series of misadventures in my head at night, I would engage myself in a fantasy about seeking out the source of the bionic spiderwebs, at the end of which I would imagine I found their source, ultimately destroying it, thereby banishing them from my mind.
Perhaps suggestive of their subliminal inspiration, I imagined their roots to be found in “the grave of Spider-Man” and wove a story around it, ultimately leading to the destruction of the grave. I recall using this scenario more than once, and I am uncertain if it ultimately had any bearing on the eventual disappearance of the bionic spiderwebs, but ego likes to label it a triumphant act of banishment.
In any case, the complete symbol would then appear to constitute a superhero that, however buried, was none the less showing signs of life-likeness by extending his “superpowers” into my imaginal space in the form of “bionic spiderwebs.” Was it a buried personality breaking through to extend a web-tendril, or a gestating complex showing signs of alter potential through autonomous intrusions into waking thought?
Subsequent imaginal events seem to suggest that bionic spiderwebs were no longer needed to reach out from that hole, be it grave or womb, as the soul had escaped, it had been born from the rich earth of my mind.
Or as it was more specifically expressed, the dead superhero himself had risen. Rather than assume the form of the human-arachnid cross known as Spiderman, however, he incarnated into the form of a far more ancient superhero, a god-man cross that I today refer to as the asinine messiah. He assumed the traditional image of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes at night he would just pop into my head. He would be sitting cross-legged on a puffy white cloud, sporting his mythical robe, long hair and beard and looking down from his puffy white throne he would engage me in conversation.
If ever there was a time in which we actually got along, it is a period I have long since forgotten. From what I do remember he was actually quite the asshole. What frightened and angered me particularly about our interactions was his supposed all-knowingness and insistence that fate or destiny controlled our lives. This, I think, is what led to our little game of prediction. Typically we would spend the majority of our interactions placing bets on things, as for instance when a car would drive by on the road outside my bedroom window, or whether or not I could resist scratching an itch and a host of similarly stupid things. I did a good job of beating him quite often in our wagers, too.
I often wonder if this has ties to my whole concern about free will when I was around seven or eight. I would be on my bed and try to do something that was too swift to influence, too random and on the fly to predict, but I was of course never able to rule out a hidden influence on my decision-making or confirm a deviation from any supposed path of predictability.
We would argue about things all the time (though conveniently I cannot recall any of the specifics) and he quickly morphed from a fear or intimidation into an absolute fucking annoyance. I believe I told him to go away and never return, though from what I vaguely recall it took repeated efforts to successfully banish him. In any case he eventually lost his dominance in my imagination, effectively vanished from my inner-vision.
These instances made little sense until I learned about partial dissociation. Rather than the abrupt “switching” from one personality to another in Dissociative Identity Disorder, both personalities can simultaneously possess varying degrees of partial control over the mind or body.
The extreme ends of the spectrum where the host or alter take control are known as complete dissociation. The spectrum of co-consciousness is known as partial dissociation. The alter exerts influence on the host through “partially-dissociated intrusions” that can take many forms, such as through the subjective experience of imagination and dreams. This may suggest that bionic spiderwebs and elder superheroes in desperate need of attitude adjustments are items that belong in this category.
Again, subsequent events suggested that death of the asnine messiah, like the death of the bionic spiderwebs that presumably came before it, may have merely represented a state of transition, a metamorphosis bringing to it greater heights of complexity in a new incarnation soon to be plaguing my life.
And indeed, around that time I also found myself committed to activities without knowing why.