The beauty of traffic



I had to give up the futile attempt of telling the story of alienation; of describing an uncharted state of confusion – newly born since today is new and has never before been lived.  Only recently I had begun to understand the system into which I was born, spontaneously thrown into a configuration which is perceived as bizarre shortly after one is capable of analysis. And I am baffled to discover that the very faculty that has allowed me to unveil the absurdity of these circumstances is the cause of the environment I find myself in. The sharp razor of analysis, calculation, planning, prediction… the distinctiveness of our species, the pride of our ancestors: Reason itself, master and artist of modern civilization, creator and ruler of this world of laws and symbols. So powerful, yet so deadly. I had thrust myself into the arms of such deceitful guru, only to become prisoner of a disease… caged in thought, lost in chatter. With the torch of reasoning I explored the corridors of the modern world, I studied the interior of today’s machinery, and I probed the shallowness of our desires. Horrified by what I found, I stood still…. a sun slithered down the gilded sky, cars followed a steady line… waves of intangible information flowed by.

The world is changing. It is evolving before our very own eyes. We are carrying out a plan that we inherited – a plan that has no foreseen outcome but is continued only because of an illusion, perhaps the hope of progress, or some euphoric moment of fulfillment awaiting us in some distant corner of the future. Or is it comfort and laziness, fear of challenging what was given to us? Inertia compels us to accept the system, a system that is clearly cruel, indifferent and disheartening but at least it gives us survival, a chance to carry on with our lives without suffering too much. Nonetheless, this system is expanding beyond our control, we cannot see an end to our technological societies, feeding endlessly from our endless desires.  We submit to a system we don’t understand but is presented as trustworthy, worthy of the highest respect… the ultimate goal of collective existence: civilization. And why? Why should I accept this intricate system of highways transporting money-seeking creatures, why should organization be preferred over chaos and spontaneity?

I’ve learned that any set of beliefs is relative to tradition, an environment endowed with the authority of time (or feigned timelessness), a community of believers that reinforce the belief with repetition, indoctrination, in short, education… and based on what, the authority of their opinions, their convictions based on the solemnity of their forefathers’ expressions, and so on, until the very necessity of proof is vanished because tradition has been instituted and a full circle has been completed. Tradition contains the “truth” and that truth was begotten by the unchallenged belief of generations which granted tradition the authority of timeless revelation. I’m not only thinking of religion which is of minor concern nowadays. Tradition in the form of greed, individuality, progress, happiness; any principle by which we can govern our lives. Doesn’t it make sense that our calculating minds, striving for one fulfillment after another, have adopted this behavior after years upon years of learning the same old ways of our immediate forefathers? And can we continue using the moral imperative of “ought to”, we ought to be happy, we ought to be successful, we ought to be reasonable; in modern terms, we ought to be well off. How can we again insinuate some sort of collective ethics, when every purposeful ideal is always biased, wrought by individual preference and thus, completely inadequate for generalization?

In universal terms, in the metaphysical urgency triggered by poetic insight, in silent contemplation that destroys the metanarrative of cosmic history painted by science and rationalism, when the grand picture of the universe is captured in one unified indescribable awareness… in that state which is short-lived but long-lasting… and to view a queue of cars, the sidewalk wet by rain, the sun tainted by clouds, the air still, all these and yet none of these. When nothing seems like a necessity, anything can be challenged, overturned, changed — beauty that has no structure, no rationale

…. a sun slithered down the gilded sky, cars followed a steady line… waves of intangible information flowed by.

Beyond Language BLOG