Indulgence: our common road

Materiality is the common road. We tread its trail; we pursue the scent of rock. We are — these two words so inappropriate — herders of demise, we are bearers of disease. For what delicious goal we repeat the nausea of our desire, for what exhausted orgasm we repeat expectations for the future. We are really bound to this world of rock and air, we are truly sterile penises focused on ejaculation, while knowingly incapable of delivering results. And however putrid the atmosphere of habits may be, we continue in them, we wallow in boredom – because someday, we like to imagine, our collected decay will metamorphose into beautiful bliss. That day will come, we say hollowly to ourselves, when the sacrifice of wasting time will pay off and we can excuse ourselves by declaring: I had no choice but to wait.

So, what are we waiting for? We are – again these silly words – nagging children passively waiting for chance or fate to transform, deliver, or elevate this all-too-familiar playground into something we are not ashamed of, something that is more dignified than us. This is clearly shown by the regret and emptiness felt after festive events, after the euphoria of drinking and eating, after the ecstasy of sex, after the pleasure of spending – what’s left is only a longing that comes from a weakened being, somehow mutilated by its indulgence in these material things. And this road that we’ve fashioned for our descendants is barely challenged; we dare not look straight into the eye of our times and threaten these irrational and immeasurable cravings. We will always find alibis to justify our lack of concern, we will be too distracted, too immerse in this playground of pleasure to be blamed for our negligence. Yes, we care for matter too deeply, we’ve placed it at the center of our consciousness…

and we will burn for this……….

 

 

 

 

Modern Disgust

An undesirable confession

An undesirable confession

                (or lack of conformity)

 

 

There are no guidelines. Understand this sentence, remember it daily – it is essential to the journey of life. There have never been any guidelines. If ever a semblance of direction has been portrayed by some ideology or religion, it is only an attempt at a guideline. It is not certain, not even provable. Every faith in a transcendental code by which we can live our lives is today being un-made, perhaps only because it was originally man-made. We are lost, forsaken in the remote chaos of a lonely planet, with no guiding hand that would lead us to any certainty – to any firm truth.

I set these words forth not in the spirit to challenge those that are able to find comfort in this oppressive world; on the contrary, I report only the widespread experience of constriction and confusion that is rooted in the mind of 21st century Homo sapiens. I am wholly willing to commit to the idea and passion of a benevolent god or cosmic purpose, something which will deliver the long-sought peace that most of us have been searching for. Yet, the more intense the search, the horizon of faith turns darker and frailer. How can I believe in something I don’t feel? – this is the question that exiles us into metaphysical orphanage. No matter how fervently we search for that ultimate reality, the journey is always daunting, constantly haunted by self-doubt, fear and irrational panic of that impenetrable unknown which is the substratum of our everyday lives. So the desire of guidance, the search for something greater than one’s self, is suspended and there remains only a perception of enclosure – a trap in which we all belong.

So, once the awareness of the impossibility of escape is made clear, should we assume our defeat? Should we not analyze the environment of our perplexity and express the conditions of our despair?

What exactly is our trap, what constrains us to impotence? I am only one more man lost in the maze, able only to postulate wild theories of decay. But here are my thoughts:

Insecurity shapes our early life. We depend extensively on the care of our parents until we become sufficiently independent to take care of ourselves. From the very start we look for something beyond ourselves to help us deal with our hostile environment and to give us the comfort of control; control over the unpredictability of the world. By the time we reach the age of reason we are accustomed to depend on other sources, whether it’s our parents, god or social institutions. Naturally these fall short from achieving this and we return to our capsule of solitude. Even the most passionate advocates of religion shudder in fear – didn’t Jesus himself before his death utter words of irrevocable loneliness? (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?)

Now, what I’m about to expose may seem far-fetched, perhaps there are a few arguments I have skipped to reach the end. The emptiness felt from this lost of trust in the original sources of comfort (parents, religion, social/political establishments) needs to be fulfilled. That’s when a new monument is erected; an indestructible idol substitutes our previous dependence and consolidates itself as the last resort. What is this new idol?

Very simply: a rôle. We fashion a rôle for our lives, an identity of what we should be that is safely kept within and no longer outside. A phantom so powerful it literally controls the direction of our lives. But how did we substitute external comfort for internal obligation? Weren’t we already terrified of our loneliness that we begged for a new sense of communal belonging? We coil within ourselves because we feel disappointed about the outside world, finding it untrustworthy. We need to believe in something and the only thing that came to fill this part was our artificial identity. We created a set of standards, goals and principles by which we guide our lives, something that could not be shaken up very easily and could stand the erosion of change.

Our subconscious harbors this identity which is so elusive we suddenly lose track of its agenda – our original choices are forgotten but they mark the remaining course of our lives. We become slaves to our rôle which was initially fashioned to give us comfort but now only oppresses us with the urgency of its fulfillment. It is a double-bind, we are trapped by our desire to feel valuable, significant or united to something greater than us but we have not found this in our modern lives. We then submit shamelessly to the commands of a career which mortifies us with achieving more and more; exhausted by the end of the night our lives feel empty, confused, lost in innumerable desires.

This sense of urgency comes about from the competition we experience every day. Competition for a better role, a more reputable identity. Deep down we are all celebrities to our own egos and because of this we yearn to become as celebrities to others. Frankly, however, we wish others to see us as we want to be, but not as we truly are. We compete blindly with each other to create the “better” person, whatever this is. There are no universal standards by which we can judge who is a better person, it is relative to the values of each human being. 


This competitiveness is best seen in large cities. Cities are breeders of competition, urging its inhabitants to outrun each other. The conveniences that a city provides to its dwellers are irrelevant compared to the pressures and hostilities it creates. A decisive change of perspective is urgently needed: that of de-urbanization. How long can human beings last in a state of high tension, when large concentrations of men and women fight daily, physically and psychologically, to be on top? The greatest concern is, do they even know why they are bustling about?

What if this is true? We regard ourselves too highly during the day but then return unsatisfied to bed; panicky with the feeling that we have no control and even our goals in life are to be doubted. The idol of the ego must inevitably fall too, leaving us naked in despair, gagging with the question: who am I?

The necessity of madness

 

That the world is coming to a dramatic end, there is no doubt. The senseless habits that occupy our days and the recurrent suffering that strikes our hearts are nothing less than signs of an exhausted species, a moribund creature. We are hanging from a crystal thread that will snap as soon as we begin trembling too much; and it is bound to happen for panic and fear are the approaching certainties in our uncertain world. The feigned order we see in this world is accomplished only by the most ailing methods. The structure of our societies, politics and ideals are childish mirages that are sickening our marrow; from the hopeless effort to create a functioning world will sprout the most disastrous consequences. As long as we quietly consent to the monotony of capitalism, the guardian role of politicians and the greed of our material dreams, the monster inside will grow more impatient, more violent, more desperate and will soon rise to devastate the utopia of a frightened race.

The problem begins by avoidance. We have avoided very skillfully the mysterious circumstance of being flesh and blood machines wandering through a colossal void in uncharted space. We have avoided awareness in order to just act out a scheme that is blind and absurd. We are doubly cursed for being an animal that thinks. Animals are innocent of our sin because they have no prolonged awareness of their circumstances, they can only act and remain in their true state. Our role would have been the same if the spark of damned consciousness would not have arisen in us, making us slaves not only to action but also to unnecessary thinking. The problem as it stands nowadays is that we cannot escape our second function, and the need to think is something we cannot avoid but must bear it as a sickly appendage. As soon as we start thinking the world becomes complicated and conflictive. It is too late for us to return to the blissful ignorance of animals and plants; we must bear the seal of our punishment and fulfill it to the end.

The tension begins when we have to conjure up all the rational bits that create a human moment and its interpretation. Memory explains the present by that which we learned and saw in the past. Both in normal life and in intellectual activities the memory functions as the glue that unites pieces of the fluctuating flux, trying to create a rational and understandable structure. Memory is a kind of discourse, a narrative we must have at hand to make rational sense of the world. The frontiers of our mind and its ability to shape and transform the external world are limitless. The 21st century has inherited a vast wealth of experience and knowledge that has enabled any one member of our species to access any kind of information within seconds. What seemed like an advantage in the natural world has now become an omnipotent weapon, able to pierce history to the beginning of time and reach the slumbering interiors of molecules and atoms. That capacity is out there as we live our day to day and ignoring our potential will only feed the anarchy that is to be born. Yet this potential is unattainable and misleading because our tools are inadequate. We cannot grasp an irrational universe through the rational thought of a human being. This assertion is not meaningless; it is as accurate as saying that you cannot contain water inside a strainer. The world is water and our intellect is a punctured container. Some things are not meant to be. The paradox is clear: we act as blind uncaring weaklings but carry the rage of a powerful intellect inside. Our power overwhelms us, we succumb to its ferocity. It tells us that things are not right but we wish not listen to that prophetic voice.

We are speaking here of the dream of a coming apocalypse. Such a view should not be taken literally. Humans will live much longer but blood and despair will taint future’s sky. Look at the hysteria of our age. We have reached the utmost tension of this struggle. The mind has rebelled against the Herculean responsibility that was appointed to it: to maintain order in a disorderly world. At this very point, when centuries of illusion are challenged and we cannot no longer continue as hypocrites of a corrupt world; exactly when we give up on our young hopes and reveal the frailty of our fragile world, then we will cross the threshold of madness. That is to say, we will enter a perceptual world in which reasons and rules break down and only the spontaneity of the moment reigns. A deliberate jump into chaos— a word that will one day signify liberation, release, realization. To have renounced the artificial laws and codes, the shackles of money and possessions, the sterility of reason; a day in which freedom will be here but will reveal how atrocious and belligerent we really are. Strife and conflict will prevail in direct proportion to our greed and neurosis. Only when we have erased the inherited layers of insanity may we return to a harmonious relationship with nature. The approaching sorrows will serve as our Purgatory – a redemption that will only be possible, alas, as we journey through madnes

Return to Beyond Language

A Modern Hero

A modern hero

We can watch him quietly chewing his dinner. His gaze is imperturbable and his thoughts invariably these:
 
The nothingness that exists in all forms, and the nothingness that is yet to be born.
 
The modern hero awaits (and this waiting period is interminable) for a fatal threat. This threat is anticipated throughout the cycles of the clock. It is always approaching, never disappearing.
 
What can he do?
 
Nothing. Resisting the menace of existence is a futile and wearisome illusion. He will initially find himself in hypertension, guarded against an invisible enemy. Since there is no defence against his opponent, rebellion would represent a defeating madness. Acceptance must be learned and practiced. However, salvation is not achieved solely by the acceptance of one’s own precarious situation. He has no escape, he must sacrifice a distracted and unexamined life in order to become bearer of a strange suffering.  He will be the hated antagonist of any unfounded human optimism.
 
For what?
 
To cure himself of a malady that is not only his own but also a dormant illness that all conscious beings carry within.
 
What relieves him? 
 
From the perspective of the world he has secluded himself in an abstract and spurious discourse; from the perspective of his own condition he has renounced his faith in a world of form and substance, he has lost trust in the socially approved states of consciousness. He lives in a mythological world, albeit, his myth has not yet been written nor can it be.  He is dispersed in a flux of perception that not necessarily implies an objective external world. His experience cannot be communicated, it does not have the logical structure of a normal human situation.
 
 Is there a light at the end of his tunnel? 
 
From the standpoint of the all-too-human, suicide may appear as the last desperate, but effective, act of liberation, but this won’t be his course. He has selected an ambitious journey: The transmutation of consciousness. An intuition convinces him that the reality we live in is only one of many possible creations; and in the sober creation of less restricted states of consciousness he will achieve his ultimate objective: inner peace.

Underground Paralysis

I might be mistaken, but I believe there is much to fear in the course of our lives. It is a fear that wine, parties and television might distract from our attention but they will never annihilate it. Most philosophies of despair tend to denounce the ABSURD as an inexorable quality of our advancing lives. It is, in fact, this irrepressible motion forward though cycles of interminable triviality that the despairing existentialist complains about, and makes a living by declaring the banality of earthly life.  It is fascinating to think that in recent times the attitude of wailing has been adopted by many clever writers, and we, as audience, enjoy reading about our impotence and frailty.
Anyway, the fear I mentioned does not arise from the intellectual awareness that the things we do in life have no permanent meaning or from the existenliast´s lack of trust in the frenetic impetus of time. It is a feeling only describable in metaphor, it is only visualized in representations of the deepest horror:
 
You are not moving
not advancing
but the color changes
grey to black
the purest black
the deepest deep
each tick of the heart
marks a step further
into a maze of incomprehensibility
like an universe empty
no stars or galaxies
only a demonic silence
a cognitive paralysis
an underground turbulence
 
You reach out for help
piercing the dark horror
trying to hold on to something
your hand blindly advances
at the end of your fingers
 a river of pain…
having crossed your multi-layered mind
and light-years of voidness:
 
two options,
if you scream you drown
asphyxiated by the thick weariness,
or
you marry silence
isolated indefinitely
in the cruel awareness
of your inexplicable
existence.

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?

 

The old man on the bus

 

His gaze was dismal. His face pale and furrowed by his old skin. And those eyes… almost inert yet burning with sadness as if they were looking straight into empty meaninglessness. What happened to him? Had he found irrevocable proof that the universe has no purpose, had he understood the absolute nonsense of existence? His face was like an ancient ape, the first animal in the history of the universe to become aware of mortality – the original simian that understood:

 

I AM

but I must die one day”

Oh poor old man!

Those eyes scanning the infinite indifference of the civilized world. Somewhere in the glimmering of his left eye I read his thoughts.

 

They were thoughts of a hopeful pessimist:

 

My life in shadows.
My life in this modern world
Splendid technological forms unfurled
Nobody knows the monster that’s been created
But who will listen to my voice recluse and alienated
If only we could invent a new auspicious religion
To bury our fears and escape ever-lasting oblivion

 

 

The old man stood up and got off the bus and sat by a tree. And then we rode off into other streets, other corners.