Transcendence or . . .
From my Psych thesis, written circa the end of the last century:
“In the age of artificiality, those who control the world of images, the world of media representation, the symbolic, are said to control and manipulate consciousness, which might be defined as a conception of reality or a symbolic framework by which we make sense out of our thoughts and actions, our world. Millions view images of violence, ceremony, and beauty from the comfort of their chairs and dinner tables and simply absorb information, many times without questioning its veracity.
The utterly grave and serious is inextricably bound up with the absurd and the comical, the two consummating their marriage in the minds of the comfortable viewer, who by nature is an observer. The question has become one of reliance, a very habitual and subtle reliance that is both addictive and seemingly therapeutic.
Our culture provides us with services to help us cope with difficulty and we bounce from service to service in search of an answer whose question we haven't even formulated yet. From where do the services come? They come from all around us in the form of images and reproductions all of which appeal to our collective desire for a good life, a life free of boredom, physical discomfort, and psychological distress.
They seem to show you something else, something better, something to believe in, and so you have your question and your answer, your purpose and your goal, but where did it start? Where did you find your question and how was it formulated?”
I’ve read all the books, studied the courses, listened to the pundits, and I am here to tell you we know nothing. Your genes can’t help, your experience can’t help. Not alone and mutually exclusive at least. If I was to enlist in only the nature side, I wouldn’t be sitting (standing) here to write this. If I was to enlist in only the nurture side, the same would hold true. All we know is nothing, and that’s okay. Fill the vacuum.
Whenever an authority—a pundit—coopts info or re-hashes something, you can be sure of one thing and one thing only: they want you to believe them, and they want you to believe them so bad, that they will do anything to get you to believe them. Why? They want to fill your void for you, and at your expense. Don't let them. Seek the source, look within. Love your void, love your vacuum. Love your nothing.
Listen to me at your peril with grains of Himalayan salt, but I’ve studied psych, spirituality, and statistics, and what I have discovered is this: we know very little about what makes human beings tic, especially beyond their—our—basic survival drives. That’s okay again. Nature abhors a vacuum. Take another look at great actions, great acts, hard won knowledge and experience, not great or clever rehashing of ancient ideas. Go to the source or look within. Become aware, take risks, break bubbles. To transcend anything, you have to be willing to face the nothing.
My friend made a mandala for me, and I wonder what it means—
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