Monday, March 21, 2011

This is probably incredibly incoherent to anyone but me.

I had found a small realm of shadow in the middle of the city - an undeveloped plot of land that only had bone-yellow weeds calling it home. I ran out at a brisk pace deep into the middle of this shadowed ground, each step eliciting the snapping and crunching of long-dead foliage. As I ran I turned about, watching as the city lights all around me became a gloriously illuminated horizon.

My feet stopped at the perfect location. It was a locus just so removed from the lit streets that the dust beneath me was only just on this side of inperceivable. I knelt down, then reclined to lie on my back. I closed my eyes as I settled in to the sharp, needle-like necrotic plant matter. The pain was distracting only while my eyes were shut, with the barbs piercing my clothing and scratching against my flesh.

Despite the pain, in spite of the pain, I got comfortable. What I was about to see made any discomfort bearable.

I bolted open my eyes and beheld the night sky. Thin cumulus clouds drifted slowly through the air, the orange light of the innumerable streetlamps reflected off of them. The lights of distant suns unimaginably distant overwhelmed the ambient din and made the laft few dozen miles through the atmosphere to the surface of our world. All around, at the very edges of my perception, the yellow, orange, and white bulbs encircled my view of the sky, framing it in a scattered man-artificed corona.

As I lied there on the earth, I beheld beauty unlike anything I had ever seen. In those minutes I beheld a microcosm of the universe, and our place within it.

All of us, and all around us, was the very stuff of the universe. By no means is this a statement of the mundane, but rather of the incredible. It had been so compacted in the collective human psyche and exacerbated by the little distractions we make for ourselves that we were things separate from the universe. We were within it, yes, but not of it.

In that moment I knew as an indisputable truth that that belief was false. The elements that composed of our bodies, the life around us, and the earth underneath us were all forged in those cosmic furnaces. We are but the latest aspect of a universe that is continuously evolving and developing, small flickers of consciousness capable of either stupendous self-absorption or profound perception.

In those moments when I knew that I was of the latter, I knew peace. I knew that I was a fluctuation of matter, an intermediary instance bridging the past and the future of the universe.

I knew that what I did in life was meaningless. I also knew that living, and simply doing, had meaning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A philosophy derived from neuroses.

I had recently confronted not only my greatest fear, but also my greatest desire: the deprivation of my freedom, (or in the case of hard determinism, the constriction of my predetermined responses to external events) in regards to the former, and the undeterred exercise of my freedom (or the illusion of which) concerning the latter.

I realize now that the desire for freedom and the exercise of my self-determination had always been ingrained within me, and had manifested itself during my development in my complete and utter lack of any respect for the station or edicts of those in authority above me. In nearly every instance when an individual assumed a hierarchical stance that placed themselves, in whatever measure they constructed, above me, I would be seized by such a robust and undeniable spirit of iconoclasm that I would do everything in my power to rebel against them and subvert their control over me.

When my 'peers' (a term I use loosely to the contemptible curs to whom I had the misfortune of sharing a childhood with) attempted to pass judgment on my person and issue commands to me, I would attack them with a great degree of savagery.

And by the cosmic tombs of dead gods did I enjoy it. I remember now with great clarity the emotions pulling and directing my diminutive frame when I set myself upon them with nails and teeth. They were, as I can only now analyze and define, the satisfaction of uncontested righteousness and the fulfillment of justice.

For adults, which even in my obstinacy I realized I was no contest for in any sort of physical confrontation, I still did not hesitate to convey my primitive opinions regarding their assumed intrinsic status, an act performed with a wide repertoire of contemporary profanity gleaned earnestly from action movies. I had next to no idea what most of the words meant, but I noticed that they had a remarkable ability to cause a great deal of exasperation in my foes, and so I delivered them often and in great volume.

It felt, to my at the time narrow understanding, that any command they dictated to my person was a direct challenge to, and invalidation of, what I desired to do. At that early age, I had come to associate my actions (of which I freely chose to perform) with my identity, or at least, that there was an intrinsic link between the two. Therefore, any individual who placed proscriptions on my actions, was thus putting a proscription on my very identity. Ergo, after they determined and expressed that the entity that I was was abhorrent to them, I naturally assumed that they would act in ways that would remove my persons from existence.

As an adult, the last section was quite the leap in logic. As a child, it made perfect terrifying sense, and was doubtlessly compounded and validated by a history of (step)parental physical and emotional abuse. It was very easy to continue to carry, and thus psychologically embed, the above explained paradigm.

This is a paradigm which, even after uncovering and defining, is still ingrained in my psyche.

Of course I matured, albeit slowly. I came to understand that the authority that adults, (and when I became one, other erstwhile superiors) who wielded power above me were not self-appointed in their positions by arbitrary decree (usually). I came to acknowledge the finer subtleties of authority, and have learned to greatly appreciate the aspects of duty and merit, (to the point that I find myself drawn to meritocratic systems) enough to have as little (if any) automatic opposition to authority.

However, I still carry the complete and utter terror of being deprived of my freedom. This is not to say that I abhor all abdications of myself and self determination, as I have to qualms with voluntarily surrendering my liberties so long as I trust whom I surrender them to and I can conceive of a beneficial outcome and a return of said liberties, but only when such an arrangement is not of my will and the extent of which is beyond my control and outside of my knowledge.

Such is the reason why I can stare death in the face and step away from it with as much psychological fallout as possibly having to eat peanut butter (an abominable substance which I detest with every ounce of my being but am not actually frightened of), but completely and utterly flip my shit when I am threatened with incarceration be it in a hospital, prison, or any other such facility.

In brief, Liberty or Death, because I would rather fight and die for my freedom (and thus the validation of my existence) rather than have it be removed from me, as I have come to inextricably tie the actions I choose to perform with the person who I am. If I am prevented from determining what my behavior is, then I (perhaps erroneously) interpret the sanctions as an attack on my very identity. An assault on my very right to exist.

Whether this is due to a prodigal realization in my nascent years, a psychological maladjustment, or a hybrid of both, I believe that little difference can be determined. The desire for self-determination and the freedom to choose my own actions are concepts which I am loathe to imagine my life without, as these things are what form what I conceive of as my life.

In the words of Kuato (the disgusting mutant baby thing from Total Recall), "you are what you do," and in the words of Helios (an AI in the computer game Deus Ex), "we are our choices."