Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hey, I’m out here! Can you see me?

When I started opening up to certain people about how I’d changed in my perceptions of things, it was very difficult. So much of the material was so uncommon and required so much explanation. It was hard to hold all of the relevant factors mentally at hand. Communication requires common experience and uncommon experiences demand skill and tenacity to relate effectively. I gave people a lot of wrong impressions I think. I believe my closest friendships were harmed in the process. Skepticism is another barrier perhaps though generally a very useful thing. Humans are generally very bad at knowing who to trust and who not to. Very bad. We constantly nurture our ability to rationalize while neglecting our capacity for logic.

With practice, I became better at explaining myself. But as time goes on I think I’m getting worse again and I think it’s because I am losing track of the gap between my perceptions and the apparently normal ones. I’m losing memory of how I once was; how I once thought, and thus where my “audience” might be at. Where does common dogma end and the need for explanations start? These points are slow to show up on my radar these days. Without that mental mapping going on, conversations become unhinged. We don’t get what the other is saying. We just think we do.
The other day I wrote briefly about my alienation from the idea of being “Canadian” and yet I seemed not to have any idea how to explain that because I had no recollection of why some people do feel Canadian. Even at this moment nothing is coming to mind. Why do people feel that they’re Canadian? I suppose if I concentrated I’d figure all that stuff out again; what I regard as the fictions of nationalism, but in a verbal conversation there are no time-outs for figuring out.

I recently referenced my disassociation with “society” and I’m sure in hindsight that it was not understood.

I am physically present in society, yes. And I am largely participating in the accounting of society. I reap many benefits from society: physical protection, physical comfort, food, medicine, luxurious privileges etc.

But mostly society is a set of ideas or constructs which are not grounded in any physical fact but yet we subscribe to them as if they are. Some of them are completely ludicrous if you can free your mind from your instinctive desires and actually look at them objectively. All of the great structures of our society that deal in power and information are in essence unified in their purposes and employ pyramid schemes and slave models, blanket us in distraction, nurture stupidity and inhibit creative thinking while disguising all of it with bait that hooks our instinctive needs.

I don’t approve of the ruling structures of our society and I do not participate in them with my mind the way that most people seem to. I do not subscribe to the ideas and thus when I hear the most normal of conversations that go on by the millions every day, mired in the common perceptions spun by political, religious, corporate, pop-culture, media and formal education cultures, they seem completely insane to me.

I made good money and had a lot of laughs working in Information Technology for a marketing and merchandising company where everything looked shiny and happy on the surface and where the worst of evils were buried under layers and layers of deceit.

I had financial security which is what everyone thinks is the key to happiness. And don’t bother trying to deny it because I know you think that you don’t think that, but deep inside you sure as hell do. Your every damn behaviour gives you away. Our whole society revolves around money; especially the things that look like they don't.

I gave up the financial security, traded it for a crappy part-time security guard wage so that I could devote my life to work that I believed people needed, work that runs against society, work that society will not pay me for. That is a big reason I feel I am in essence outside of society. Of course it would be easier to sell that idea if I were far more productive and actually making an impact with these pursuits.

Yes, I was able to achieve one great thing in life and it was the courage to face myself for real. It was the courage to contemplate that Satan himself might be standing behind a door and I could either open it or run away and I fucking opened it. It was fucking terrifying and I did it because I was somehow addicted to the pursuit of truth. It was like a drug. That achievement knocked all kinds of walls down. It destroyed all the investments I’d ever made in the pursuits of wealth and toys and reputation and suddenly I was free to examine myself and people and society and the universe without any care for what I wanted to be true. I no longer needed any particular things to be true. If I could accept being the devil I could accept anything. It was a thrilling escape to access such an unimagined power of objectivity. And so I can perceive society from outside of it instead of from inside of it where I was previously blinded by the walls of investment; by instinctive need; by survival/domination instinct.

That is one way in which I operate outside of society. Physically I am inside society as a kind of prisoner-with-benefits, while mentally I perceive it from the outside. Idealistically I am outside of society because I would tear it all down in a heartbeat, had I the power (and not entirely without a rebuilding plan). And financially… (and finances is what it’s all about) I generally feel I am outside, because I gave up my financial interests so to spend my time and energy on something noble for which I have no intention or likelihood of financially profiting from (plus fairly concrete charitable plans just in case).

What do I sound like when I talk like this? Do I sound like I’m completely full of shit? I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed so. Do I sound elitist, like I think I’m better than everyone else? I hope not. I'm better at some of this stuff than other people because this is what I work at - at the expense of other things in my life which I neglect and so am not good at. I have my flaws for sure. In some ways I am a cheater and a hypocrite; I know. I’m aware of that. Sometimes I think about trying to defeat certain flaws; trying to set the angel in me fully free. But mostly I’m afraid that such an angel would just float around and not be able to relate to anyone.

I want us all to set our angels free.


IntrepidReader said...

I think I understand where you are coming from, and I think, maybe, we are on the same page. Not long ago I was in a position where I would not have to worry about money for the rest of my life. But, it was a toxic situation and my soul was dying. So I walked away. Now I have no financial security but I am happier. As for the society we live in...I don't buy in to it either. I can't be as consumerist as we are encouraged to be, or as trusting that what we hear from our "leaders" is true. Material wealth means nothing to me. It's about giving back and making a difference, even if it's a small one. I often feel outside of things. I don't relate. And humankind infuriates me and being human causes me a great deal of shame. But I don't think I am better than everyone, but I do worry that I come across that way. And I think it's impossible to believe what I believe and yet not sometimes be hypocritical. So.yeah, it's a struggle. I guess this comment is almost a blog post in itself. :-)

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Thank you for this very thoughtful comment! I'm sure our individual paths are unique but it sounds like we've visited some of the same pages.