The Stillness.

Heart Chakra EnergyThe greatest act of consciousness is to be still, and the greatest act of courage is to stay still, if only for a few moments. It at first takes a great effort, will, to get there.

Some say they find peace in such things, a calm, a serenity. They do not talk about clawing against the sides of your own consciousness, about the echoes of distraction clamoring. They do not speak of these things because no one wants these things, everyone wants to hide away from the world sometimes… only to find themselves with their self.  Yoga is trendy, as meditation once was, but this is not either one of those things.

In periods of great concentration, things fall away to the pinpoint of what matters, the goals, the challenges, and this is where most people live, what most people aspire to – the goal oriented world neglecting the context, incapable of understanding things as they are, only seeing things as hindrances or helps in the world toward whatever it is that they’re working for. They are all short term goals, anyway, in geological terms.

The bread you remember or forget at the store won’t matter in a thousand years. The meal you had that you took a picture of won’t matter in 10,000 years. That perfect sentence you wrote and are so proud of won’t matter in 100,000 years. It all comes down to the now, the repercussions, the causalities, the probabilities, and the flawed understanding of the world that we have been taught or have learned in less than a heartbeat of the Universe.

The silence is eery. Some run from it, afraid of what they might find, thinking it the deepest part of themselves when in fact it’s only where we start. Some stare into it, mesmerized, unable to do anything else. And others dive in and come back out, changed every time in ways others cannot understand, in ways sometimes they themselves cannot understand.

There is something there in that mess of neurons and cells that holds secrets we do not explore enough. A period of time where we see everything at once when we stare at nothing, a period of time when the future and the past mean nothing. It’s not even a goal, it’s a way of being.

A way of being different for everyone.

Reality Fragments

puzzleThere is a fluidity to reality we all need to take a break from now and then. We know this because it comes in fragments, the cavitations of the mind aerate this fluid and fill us with the noise of our own thoughts.

Within these bubbles, like a submarine, we can’t see what is going on around us, it’s all masked by our own noise, and the only way past that is to come to a dead stop and let reality be re-assembled in our minds. Reality continues even when we don’t perceive it.

Reality, after all, is what happens despite belief, despite hope, and despite intent.

Slide.

Surrounded by darkness an unfamiliar comfort is sensed – a primordial comfort, a disembodied comfort, a stasis.

The show is about to begin.

Lights of the spectrum shimmer in a quantum order – not linear, it all happens at the same time, and as confusing as it should be it isn’t. It is as it should be. Unfocused, slowly becoming focused, familiar places. Familiar faces. They do unfamiliar things in unfamiliar ways, pathways of possibilities unexplored, viewed through a disassociated lens.

There is comfort here in the discomfort of the unfamiliar, a board game beyond dimension. Things happen – things that some remember to write down, things some do not.

A flickering. It is gone.

I am awake, snatching at the lost fragments of dreams.

Big Data, Social Media

NumbersWithout individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, “casualties may rise to a million.” With individual stories, the statistics become people — but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless.

Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted, distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies’ own myriad squirming children?

Colors And NumbersWe draw our lines around these moments of pain, and remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearl-like, from our souls without real pain.
Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.

A life that is, like any other, unlike any other.

– American Gods, Season 1, Chapter 11.

(Why would I rewrite this?)

The Rush

Blowing In The Wind.We are sensate creatures, we humans.

Whether on a motorcycle, at the beach or even in the water, we feel the motion of our hair. It can be reassuring, calming, when we are in control. Maybe we kick off from the side or bottom of the pool and feel the rush of it, maybe we accelerate maniacally on a motorcycle or with the windows down on a car… long gone are the days when children got to feel it along their scalps as they pedaled their bicycles, but some of us remember.

And then there are times when we are standing still, when the wind moves around us, our hair moves and we get a similar sensation. It might be a calm breeze, it might be the storm whipping through our hair. It might be a fan…

And then there are times when we feel in motion, we are in motion, and we’re uncertain whether what we feel is because of what we’re doing or because of the world around us. Are we falling? Are we pushing forward? Is the motion we feel our acceleration, or the world accelerating against us?

impeller corrosionWe are sensate beings, the relativity of that sometimes confusing us. The world moves even when we don’t, the world acts even when we don’t. Sometimes we scream that it’s our inaction blowing our hair, sometimes we scream it’s our action blowing our hair, but there are times when it’s truly indeterminate. In a rush, like a submarine cavitating it’s propeller, with bubbles forming against it’s hull, we are blind to what’s around us.

The faster we move, the less we know about what is around us, insensate to the world around us because of our own noise.

When we push forward fast, we don’t know. And that can be a scary thing. It can be seen as a fear of success, or it can be a valid fear of failure. It can be anything.

So we slow. We stop. We listen. We feel.

Those of us that are sane, anyway.

The Illusion of Choice

ChoiceWe choose so many things every day. We choose what we wear, we choose where we go, we choose who we are with, and we choose when we do all of these things.

Sort of.

We work for a living, most of us, so the choice is whether we should work and get paid to pay others for other things. It’s a social contract born into, where we expend time and energy to get things that we need. We start with the basics, hopefully, of food, of shelter, and of clothing. Maybe we’re lucky enough to have those basics when we are small and defenseless humans, children, and maybe we aren’t forced down other paths to get those things. Then, when we are considered adults by society – and let’s be honest, some of us aren’t when society deems it so – we thrust ourselves into the world and stop depending on the elder humans to take care of our needs. If you’re reading this while living with your parents, I’m not judging, but others are because of the societal contracts we inadvertently signed with our first screams. 

Then we deal with our wants.

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’

ChoicesAnd here we are. So we decide what to do with this ‘free time’, with this ‘freedom’, and we are presented things to buy. We are presented with things to occupy our time.

A man, looking at those urinals, will see choices and after being a man long enough will pick one basically out of habit. A woman offered these choices will probably be dismayed, but that means they probably made the choice to go into the men’s room instead of the women’s room. By all means, I have no issues with that, so let’s not get lost in who has the right to use which bathroom. I’m just writing about freedom and the illusion of choice, and this image popped up in a search.

The choices we are given are largely decided by others, and they’re not really choices if we consider that. You could have gone and done anything else, but you’re here instead, reading this entry, which I’d say was a choice. I’d hope it was a good one. But without me writing this and sharing it, you would not have had that choice, without others writing things to compete with your attention, you would not have had that choice.

I didn’t data mine to write this, I didn’t tailor it for you, I didn’t do any of that. I simply felt like writing it. I don’t care about SEO or any of that crap here- maybe someday I will, but I doubt it.

The point is that I didn’t use any ways to induce you to be here. That gives you more of a choice in a world where you are presented things you like based on things you have liked, sticking you into a rut of thinking that you’re comfortable with, that you feel safe with.

If you’re comfortable and feeling safe, you’re not stretching. If you’re not stretching, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, you’re making the human race a monotonous affair.

Simplification

Digital Abstract Oil PaintingIn the context of social networks, I have found myself feeling feeling it as repressive – thus I have left them behind other than for broadcasting, really, and even that is debatable.

I’ve always been a proponent of simply creating content and allowing people to find it; I’m not sure shouting in the bazaar is useful when you don’t actually own the bazaar. It certainly doesn’t add to the appeal of the bazaar unless you love being shouted at by random people.

The Internet is my bazaar, not their social network. Their social networks are algorithmically cathedrals disguised as bazaars.

So, to simplify that part of my life, I am withdrawing. Even email has a new layer of obfuscation to protect me from the constant drivel of marketers and their marketing, of conversations with those who don’t want to have conversations but to shout at you as if your ear is their bazaar.

There is a poetic symmetry in randomly popping up in someone else’s bazaar and whispering, “Hey. I wrote something new.”

I have retreated to the Internet, the bizarre bazaar, the foundation upon which cathedrals disguised as bazaars are built.