In many regards I am a product of modern Western culture and civilization: desensitized, overweight, overstressed… you get the picture. I am trying to make it by in a world that I feel separated from, a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by people, themes, ideas and concepts that I will never understand. I run on an older operating system, so to speak, and have found myself completely incompatible with the “latest updates.” I have felt all my life that I am a malfunctioning unit of sorts, closed to certain frequencies that most should be open to, open to certain frequencies that most remain closed to. No better or no worse than anyone else, but certainly different. Certainly at conflict with the systems in place. Certainly at odds with the powers and structures that be.
What do I mean? In short, the illusion of civilization isn’t so civilized. The hoarding and gobbling up of resources, the premise of “nationality” and the support of structures such as creed, caste, and consumerism which serve only as means of division and conflict and anxiety have no place with me. I am a citizen of the the world. I am a member of “us.” I opt out of these inane playgrounds of political preference, of brand and label, of fad and gimmick. I am not of that world, I am in conflict with it.
I could tell you about the manifold aspects of my ego, my likes and dislikes, fears, hobbies, what food and music I enjoy, the whole nine. And yes, there are many things I enjoy, many issues I have my own opinions about. But beneath (or perhaps beyond) those little quirks and aspects we so desperately identify with, I am aware that none of it is truly who “I” am. It’s part of me right now, but nothing is absolute. Everything changes. The universe is an infinite chaos generator which constantly introduces novelty when you start to become comfortable, and when that happens, we begin to ascribe new identities for ourselves, new ideas and realms of thought are introduced and presented to us, and we consciously make a choice to adapt these novelties to the ego aspect of ourselves. Is it not true? Are you 60′s kids still flower children, do you 70′s kids still wear disco pants? Do you 80′s kids still wear fingerless lace gloves, do the 90′s kids still do the “Macarena?” We consciously choose who we are at all times, and those thoughts are as changeable as our clothing.
I am the awareness behind those thoughts. I am the viewer, the observer. And so are you. Truth is, here is who I am: A great mass of energy so condensed so as to be perceivable by the senses, a stream of consciousness in a universe of consciousness, presently arranged as an amalgam of flesh and bone and blood and marrow. I am another you. You are another me. We all simply “are.” Everything else is the ego’s means of trying to discern and label the indiscernible and unknowable, an attempt at ascribing purpose, a subconscious request for validation which further roots us in our ego illusion.
“Me” is such a strange concept. My perception and consciousness may be unique, but consciousness itself is universal. On that note, is my perception and consciousness truly that unique? In many ways, absolutely, but in likewise many ways, not at all. We all take part in our enculturation. We have all heard a side of an issue presented that most resonated with us on an emotional and/or intellectual level and our ego has adopted it and suddenly it became our own. The friends we choose are those who most often validate our super-egoic tendencies towards one side or the other, and our enemies are most often those who favor the opposite side. Isn’t that the issue with duality? Rather than being a fair and neutral viewer of both sides of the spectrum, we set ourselves up for dissonance in favoring the left to the right, the hot to the cold, the light to the dark, and so on.
I, of course, am not exempt to it. I have a core set of principles and a structure of morality, I have a stance on gun laws, foreign policy and the drug war, for instance — but likewise I seek to remember these things: Be the observer. Don’t close yourself off to another point of view. Hold both sides in regard. It is not wrong to entertain both ideas, or neither idea.
Well, I promised you a closer look, and it looks like we probably both just ended up with more questions.