I once wrote a romantic portrait of my own suicide. Shortly thereafter I wrote a description of my final days as an old man, tortured by uncertain memoirs. Where am I now? Well I’d say I’m somewhere between them, miles away from either.
When he (who was once me but now bears little resemblance) wrote them I reckon he romanticized the end, whether decided or endured, as not an event but a proximity marker for the wisest he’ll ever be. Once the cognitive overhauls (so frequent in youth) begin to space out ever further until you’re left with something that is constant enough to call a “stable identity”.
Ideations that until then couldn’t, in good conscience, be deemed certain whilst the pervasive doubt another wave of expanded consciousness was inevitable, are now finally allowed to flourish until a mature human is formed, cementing themselves in a framework that whether deliberate or not will embody them until death.
Certainly, future breakthroughs will always be out there to be sought, but ever fewer with every passing year. Ideas and experience very physically take root and become a core part of a whole, buried deep within the network.
It’s queer to live in a time where it isn’t age alone that begets this wisdom and experience, an old idea that has been hard for us to shake. A twenty year-old today has assimilated more information, valuable or otherwise, than most scholars could in a lifetime for much of our history. Even the most mundane trivia, en masse, lends a more encompassing world-view than that of an old world denizen, reliant on the town crier.
Technology has taken us far beyond our capacities, there is no doubt, but please relish in this feat: I can walk casually to a library that has a section of documents and books holding every possible speculation made on all the topics of our existence. I am welcome to browse and pick among them, perhaps stoicism or something more cynical, whatever caters to your framework and capacity.
Because we all share machinery so similar in structure we can take ideas, manifestations of the human experience, and extrapolate them to the macro.
Because you grow, learn, hurt, love, in the same fundamental manner as I or anyone else, we can seek truths that are pervasive across all peoples, and our mammalian brain can empathize with life below us. I can find meaning in the expressions of moral responsibility experienced across the globe and hundreds of years before I ever came to be.
Adjacent to this wall of meaning is another that provides concrete and discernible facts about the tapestry around us, answers that on truly good faith stretch throughout all of space and time.
And yet, despite this ease of transcendence there will always be the pitiable majority: determined to bounce around, assimilating whatever it finds in folly haphazard fashion. They will never burden themselves with matters of morality or merit. Some will become peaceniks if subject to White Rabbit or Mary Jane too early to maturely digest, and gods help those that discover them in coincidence. They might watch too many anime cartoons or anything else on that box of broad interests and pacification; resulting as you’d expect. Plenty folks will find truths strikingly similar or admittedly channeling those of more gifted idealists. Yes, an “ism” exists for just about anything you fancy these days.
But what I’ve found has been disparaging.
While the more radical slip into roles within Greenpeace or under the hammer and sickle, there are those of us that seek answers, doing our best never to swallow them whole, but are inevitably consumed by them nonetheless. That is when their validity becomes evident. Their contribution to the self is invariably immense, but their impact faces rules and internal judgment.
The true humanitarian will eat himself alive wishing he could do more than whatever he has, no matter how magnificent or selfless; his empathy too visceral and challenges insurmountable.
Meanwhile, the nihilist reaches this conclusion quickly but without any satisfaction, and is thus rendered null.
I admittedly found myself for a time, through introspection, arriving at something rather egalitarian: from one end of the universe to the other, nothing being held above another because all is at base value. No person or idea had any more cosmic worth than any other.
This destroyed me. I began to see myself as no better than those around me, seeing obvious differences but in regard to the ego there was no acknowledgement of being superior or inferior. I couldn’t place myself above, or even below, those that I would otherwise revile. I self-destructed.
It was amid this stretch that objectivism entered my life as an influential entity — one driven by its own quite justifiable certainty. Its worship of the cold fact was difficult to protest but as others have before them, became subject to consumption by the fragility of any singular philosophy. Stubbornly, the objectivist, in the recesses of his mind, gives way to the accepted fate, rebuking all others that our plain to them as foolery, lost in the pursuit of aligning themselves with the objective truth and inevitably become erroneously convinced of their success.
And so while he is righteous in his goal, he strays by paying penance to the fact and not the meaning.
I do not yet know what lies in store for me, it is far from complete, and while the more practical parts of who I once was still remain, I’ve decided, for a period, to explore the subjective as the objective. We do not engage within the confines of a universe. We ponder within the limitations of the human embrace. I can only seek to attain true solidarity with my brothers and sisters, appreciate the human condition for all it is.
All men, above or below me, as many that exist, deserves my empathy and thought. Empathy because while they may not be particularly successful or kind, I share the same opportunistic chance that you or he does. No matter your ambition, you could have been born anywhere, anytime, all you could ever be is what you are.
And then thought, because while all is not equal, humbleness lies in the underlying need for another. The most merited of scholars holds smaller ego than the budding graduate because he knows his contribution would never be possible if it weren’t for every other human on earth, haphazardly doing their damnedest. I wouldn’t be this way if I didn’t live in a grand society perpetually collaborating on a future for us all.
My fellow man, whomever I come to know, can only grow if I in turn seek to grow from them.
Otherwise, these humans, they won’t be for long.
More ‘deep’ thoughts from De’Lunula:
Do Banks Steal from You?
Eulogy For Your Internet Fame
LinkedIn is as Jealous and Insecure as my Ex-Girlfriend.
Complicated Books Summarized in Haiku Form