The world’s a machine

 

^ A by ytuquike
http://ytuquike.deviantart.com/art/A-32785575

 

Let me tell you something. It may be a hard pill to swallow. No, on second thought, maybe my criticism is hollow and attempts to belittle a world too powerful to be challenged. Besides, most people are already aware of what I’m about to say. We all are. But it doesn’t matter. I must get it out; otherwise I’ll wallow in my own disgust and perpetuate a system too cruel in its indifference. 

I‘ve been sitting here for seven hours. Patiently chatting with customers over the internet, satisfying their demands, answering their recurrent questions. Yeah, it’s as simple as it sounds.  A few minutes here with a Dan from South Africa, a few seconds there with a Marysia from Bulgaria. I’m connected to the world but between me and the rest of the globe there’s a box that displays organized patches of light and allows me to interact with people I will probably never encounter, physically or virtually, again. It’s just that – organization – that bothers me. Here I am at the threshold of a global society and my enthusiasm is imprisoned under a thick layer of discomfort.


It doesn’t make sense to me. How we got here and all that. I was involuntarily born into a world that had organized itself in this way without my consent. Here I am functioning according to it, adding fuel to its monstrous engine by my insignificant but necessary participation in its affairs. I am a mere appendage to this colossal machine, a machine that keeps rolling on and on without any constraints – makes me wonder if we could stop it should we desire to?
 


That fact is that it is here, an organization a priori to my existence, and I must operate according to its rules; my life with its sufferings and joys must fit the frame of modernity; my dreams are shortened by 40 hours a week which are mandatory for my basic survival. I’m no utopian, I don’t trust in any universal remedy for happiness and prosperity, yet even with my mistrust in progress I’ve perceived the approach of a conviction that promises a better world, a saner reality.


Hadn’t fear regulated most of our expectations, or if habit wouldn’t paralyze our imagination, would we still be living for minimal wages and restricting life to those scarce hours of leisure that work “allows” us? While trapped in those routines of cement and asphalt, how often do we get to experience the beauty of nature which, according to poets and sages, delivers endless moments of delight and communion with the divine?


I don’t know, I don’t care. I will continue to intoxicate myself with the monotony of uneventful hours… who cares what a screw thinks when the machine can operate without it. New screws will be born to furnish The Machine with the elixir of eternal life, namely:
  

Our conformity.

 

 

Return to Beyond Language

 

A prospect of madness

 

Would you call me mad if I can confess of a certainty in the prospect of the future, even when I fully acknowledge that the vicissitudes of Time can easily outsmart the most rigorous mathematical prediction; yes I was sure that in ten years’ time I would be looking back to this very same day – today – as the fantasy of a naïve child’s imagination that mistook the nature of reality for that of a game: haven’t I erred in my conviction that life is best lived through the transformation of its contents into those poetic representations that plunge me into an ecstatic state of mind, in other words, in trying to grasp life by its tail by scrutinizing every tottering thread of Time had I not missed the meaning of reality by inspecting it too minutely, too unsparingly as to leave out of the range of my investigations the global experience of existence?

I saw in that Delphic vision a day when all these conglomerates of experience that surround me today would be no more than the debris of a vanished Past, a trivial irony that would have no more power to excite my cynical laughter. That day will come when I rent a paltry hotel room in Belgrade, killing my time with a lousy inexpensive hooker and when night comes I will stare despairingly at the ceiling wondering if abandoning my youthful delusions was a wise choice, since by then I would have purged myself of any prospect in the road of human creativity and would be living in the pulsation of every naked minute, suffering like every other human being in the claws of the beast of existence. And every so often I would glimpse outside my window to see a crumbling civilization and I shall utter words such as these:

 

Withered petals gliding down
Breaking from their cone
Into scattered puddles in the street
Let each petal leave my rose
Each desire run away
All sorrow, regret and concern
Vanish below –
What is it to me that we must die
Why should I carry the burden
Of Fate’s indifference to us?

 

Terror and Indifference

 

 

Formulate my desire
O’ World of Wonders!

 

The diversity and variety is astonishingly intimidating. We can choose from numberless alternatives and attempt to satisfy the most serious question mankind has ever asked: 

What should we do? 

What, amongst infinite possibilities, should we do with our life? A life uncertain and finite but nonetheless it is here – we breathe the nectar of life! And with this monumental gift who has satisfactorily guessed what we should do with it? 

Are we certain we are capable of battling with that question, the pinnacle of all morality? Aren’t we more like frightened little creatures led astray by the currents of uncertainty in the vast ocean of incomprehensibility? 

Isn’t it easier for us to admit that our lives have no definite course, no preordained commandments; that the heaven of our ideals is blank without purpose, empty of constellations that could guide us through our erratic nights? 

What is left when we stop pursuing the specter of a deceased spirituality, what do we find but a total dimension of nothingness? 

Open to multiple interpretations, Nietzsche wrote: 

“He who fights with monsters should be careful
lest he thereby become a monster.
If you gaze long into an abyss,
the abyss will also gaze into you.” 

Is he speaking of the abyss of meaninglessness or perhaps of purposelessness – or the emptiness of being that is in our constantly escaping existence?

That vast open ocean of emptiness in which we float and sink incessantly is terrifying and hideous. Once we renounce any definite course in our lives, what is left but the constant terror of the unknown…?

 But swim and swim in the treacherous waters of solitude and when you face the monstrous shadow of the universe, bleak and senseless, pray you will have not renounced everything for nothing ––

 That in that terror of being alone
religion-less and closing into death
you might stumble upon a Liberation:
that crushes your hopes and rewards you
with a dauntless indifference
to the horrors of existence