Posts Tagged ‘Mankind’

The Narrow Gates of Understanding

October 5, 2012

The mind never sleeps. And when it does, it quite cleverly pretends to be awake. In its eternal quest for self-justification it goes through all kinds of contortions to demonstrate superiority over everything around. It breathes distinction, it sweats separation, it oozes apartheid, it excretes arrogance, it urinates petulance, yet it honestly and truly cries out for being loved!
With the soothing luxury of absent outwards movement the travelling I’ve done recently has been mostly towards the nebulous rummaging of the inner world, sounding out the most unusual corners of a mind, which I long ago have ceased to consider mine. In the shiny mirror of that quicksilver pool of regurgitated emotions, where half digested remnants of things lived a long, long time ago well up in mysterious, but oddly schematic currents, I see my next-door neighbors of all race and colors splash noisily around, twist and turn in desperation, conjuring up the same worn-out escape plans again and again, nurturing long standing flimsy hopes to turn their lives around sometimes very soon, and making half-hearted efforts to avoid the brooding hell of human predestination, all in gigantic lumps of loneliness and all by themselves. So where can I find the purpose of travelling on, restlessly and relentlessly, into the sultry jungles and colorful reefs of ever meandering life on the watery planet Earth? The escape from the safe shackles of normality towards excitement, freedom and realization has turned out to be, like many other well-advertised and duly organized tourist package deals, a free-willed and self-determined entry into the wide-open arms of yet another globally incorporated penitentiary.
The further away I slide from the many desperate domestications of regulated civilized life, the more I drift downwards back into the all-devouring vortex of its enormous lie, sounding out the depths of its absolute opposition to the complicated, intrinsically beautiful process of life here on Earth, which while being many times messy but always strong and sound, is refreshingly illogical and always powerfully present. If you happen to be one of those led astray by the belief that logical explanations and understanding are one and the same, let me tell you this: There is no escaping the fundamental problem of man, as long as you are a man. No solitary saint will be allowed to enter the pearly gates until this mess is cleansed. For a pretentious whiff of political correctness let me at that if you are a woman, well, my limited experience would like to imply that with a little luck on your side, you’re one step closer to solving the riddle, but at the root of it you’re heavily caught up in it all the same, since in your essence you are also man.
Is the end near then? Am I just one more of those clumsy, bi-pedaled and flimsy-haired walkers of the Earth who are terminally doomed? Is the Big Crunch rushing towards us at the speed of light? As it turns out, these catastrophic end time scenarios painted grotesquely into the limelight of global consciousness by narrow-minded students who cherry-pick the astronomic remnants of ancient cultures, and equally vociferous by global warming enthusiasts who spend entire careers with gently cuddling man’s feeble self-esteem into believing that we can and will with our all important activities so full of foolishness unhinge nature’s finely balanced climate machine to the point of utter collapse, all these many carefully engineered fantasies of modern day Armageddon are nothing but yet another trick of our ever-rampant mind. Tired of swimming against the stream of comfortable numbness, and actually quite at ease with being safely out of touch, we now imagine that all our substantial problems, and with it our clear cut responsibility for solving them, come to a sudden end in a mass extinction of life in our corner of the universe. If you go down that worn out road yourself for a minute and think the terminal scenario through, logically and step by step, with just a minimal flash of alertness you will hear yourself exhale a sigh of relief once coming out at the other end of that big and all-annihilating explosion, with an imminent, underlying message of something like this: Thank God! Finally! Problem solved! It doesn’t even strike you as one bit odd that you’re still there, does it? Of course you’re still there! Our proud and fearful ego is, after all, eternal! But just as everlasting is the hell we’ve created for bodies of aging flesh to slowly brood and wince and growl the songs of our times. There is just no easy way to bring it all to a grinding halt, even with the helping hand of some imaginary event of cosmic proportions.
Your cynical questions are by now ringing loud and clear in the hairy coils of my inner ear. I have heard it many times before and I have asked it a million times myself. Agonizing under the weight and extend of the crisis we wish to know: What is the solution? You ask: Brother, if you have truly gone as far as you claim, you must know and you must tell us, what is the solution? What is it we must do? With demonstrated concern we would very much like to own a sentence or two that outlay clear-cut plans for action to bring resolution within our limited reach, expecting that magic formula to come, of course, from there, over there, somewhere out there, never from here. Quite obviously we are hoping for a very strong daddy and very big mama to descend in a perduring flash of blindingly bright white light from the thunderous clouds of heaven, take us by the hand and walk us through the bed of glowing ambers. Once unscathed on the other side we stoutly demand of our adoptive heavenly guardians to let go of our hands and teach us a little nursing rhyme that goes something like this: Now you’re a big, brave boy, and you’re a good, grown girl! You won’t have to do it again! Never again! Never ever again!
For those of you who are less inclined to extract meaning from mythological sounding lore, here’s the deal in plain Anglo-Saxon slang: We’re looking for the solution away from the problem, as if it would come from somewhere else, somewhere outside of it, and somewhere far away from us. Trained in the deadly art of separation we conceive of an actor producing an action, a cause leading to an effect, which frankly goes against any kind of common sense. This well engrained prejudice does not allow us to see the problem. We cannot perceive it and much less are we willing to move into it. We wait and think that understanding will come if we hold out long enough. That understanding we picture to be some sort of mental insurance granted to us in an act of spontaneous illumination, a set of instructions that guarantee we won’t go wrong in whatever we eventually set out to do. Without the safety of “knowing what we are doing” we don’t move and therefore, when we do finally move, out of desperation perhaps, it is too late, we’re hopelessly out of sync. And not surprisingly things are getting progressively worse…
Listen intently and let yourself flow with the go. Watch carefully and dare to jump from joy. Touch passionately and feel beyond the pain. Taste luxuriously and pass on the cool aid cup. Smell with absolute abandon and float along the myriad milky ways. Act fully and truly long before you have any time to think!
Nothing can pass through the narrow gates of understanding and come out alive. The squeezing is too tight, the going too rough. The keeper of the gate is far away from claiming innocence. His careful selection and dreadful elimination follows the rules and thirsty lines of ruthless power. Only what serves the higher purpose of control, capture, caging and colonisation is admitted. Our vastly limited knowledge is in itself peacefully dead, all but a doodle of lonely lines scribbled on a map. But in the hands of the wounded brute it becomes the cutting edge that wedges life from life, tears bother from sister, alienates son from mother, rots the flower’s petals, and kills the germs of love. And who amongst us can honestly claim not to be one of those wounded brutes!