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Monday, October 31, 2016

Accelerating the Inevitable: Is that really possible?

As much as I’d like to have had the opportunity to have been positive all my life, I tended to focus more on the paucities of life, my life, life in general, the lives of others as I perceived it, and as a result, didn’t put too much energy into realizing the positives that existed all around. To make matters worse, I took myself into a downward spiral with this, and as I became more concerned with all the negative aspects of the world that I inhabited, literally and figuratively, I wasn’t able to cope with the fact that any of this existed at all. It all seemed to boil down to the question regarding whether any living thing on this planet deserved anything bad to happen to it at all. It was darkly humorous that someone or something, living a life oblivious to all but immediate dangers in its present environment, would be subjected to some external force that would cause it to endure pain, suffering, and as if this was not bad enough, to have to live longer and deal with the consequences of this horrendous experience, be it the loss of family members, or of a limb or ability, whether or not directly related or specifically a consequence of the loss of a limb. There was a certain spiteful pointlessness to it all, and it seemed like there was some evil genius, lurking behind every shadow, with the simple intent of, no, whose very core and sole purpose of existence was to inflict misery upon all else. Over the years, the usual suspects seemed to eventually boil down to human nature, and God, with the latter ultimately leading to the former after understanding that for all practical purposes, no doubt with questionable intent, that God as we worship him, or her, in all forms, is a human creation. Of course, this didn’t help with the downward spiral any, but it did get me thinking about the meaning of all of this, of existence as a phenomenon, and for all the people who believed that there was some purpose that had to be fulfilled, no matter how vaguely defined, but more importantly, how where there appeared to be none, they so helplessly seemed to force themselves into it. The more I saw it, and in the meanwhile mind you, received several calls to live to my potential and fulfill my own purpose as a result, the more I wanted to ask them what they believed purpose to be.

Family as an ends to discovering meaning

Growing up in a modern Indian household, which is my way of saying that it was an Indian household not situated in the Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic of India, very early on I got a feel for what a burden the obligation of purpose can be. Although I did not immediately recognize it at the time, the simple fact that apparently adults were arranged to be paired with other apparently adults to create families and settle down for their entire lives was in and of itself a rather unstable proposition to begin with. There was no purpose, but to have used the word, or at least to have been immersed in the false concept for generations, it took on the characteristic of Gospel truth, so much so that any questioning of this ideal would result in being labeled a non-believer or blasphemer. Such labels are easier to live through because as I discovered, being the one to ask the difficult but obvious questions is only problematic at the start of the exercise, but with persistence comes the wearing down of the opposition, who seeing that their overt and threatening stance having no effect, see no will to go further, or to some ultimate end, because it was not worth the trouble to do so. As I grew up, again literally and figuratively, it was painful to see many of my friends, people I had grown up with screwed up family situations worse than myself, surprising fall in line and repeat the process, and to make matters worse, begin to start to convince me of my own folly at not willing to be part of something bigger than myself. It was, and still is actually, very hard to help them see what they have become, let alone to try and convince them of something that they were vehemently opposed to even considering. It was made to appear as if the whole thing was in some way, inevitable, and that surprised me, not because I couldn’t make sense of it, because mind you, I had at some or several points in my life, attempted to join the rest of the crowd and really believe in what they were saying. And that was one of the times at which I began to wonder what inevitable really meant. Was it some nebulous concept that could very easily be pointed to in order to instill fear in the hearts of the unsuspectingly pious? Was it simply a control mechanism that relied on crazy theories, the fear of harsh punishment, the carrying out of harsh punishment, usually emotional in nature, and all of this not necessarily in this order? Or, was it just a matter of status quo replicating itself until something else, disguised as inevitability, that eventually came along and forced it to change itself to adapt to a new set of circumstances? Whatever it was, I understood that a serious game of cause and effect was in play, and that after several instances of the cause, the effect would be devastating enough for all of us for sure, civilized humanity with its sense of privilege in this massive and all-powerful universe, would have to relent to a new set of follies, until that cycle came to an end. Inevitablility became the answer to all of these things. But what was it?

Scratching for answers in the dark

I have no idea. Can’t be more honest than that, I don’t think. I mean, I have looked at things, and warned of dangers as I perceived them, which is turning out to be a bit of a professional specialty of mine it seems, but the fact of the matter is, I’m about as good as any psychic or soothsayer out there, with a roughly fifty-fifty hit-miss ratio. Of course, in the context of my life, and what I have said above, my tendency to focus on things going wrong, rather than how something miraculous could come along and change everything for the pleasantly better is a large part of me frustrating others, and myself. To give you an example of how this has worked with me, when I first came back to India after completing my degree, I noticed that while traffic was already a problem in most state capitals, and parking was no doubt nightmarish, there was very little effort by any entity, either public or private, to build multi-level parking structures to assist with the second issue of having too many vehicles on the road. I understood the benefits, not just as an alleviation of the existing problem, but also as a means of generating revenue, something that I had become somewhat familiar with during my time outside of India. Now, more than a decade of me ranting and raving, people are looking to this as a solution-cum-income-generator, during which time the extant issues have gotten far worse, and the amount of money spent widening roads, and restricting vehicles from parking illegally by enforcing paid street-level parking, with human beings as live, enabled automatons, could probably have been avoided. It is almost as if there is no learning curve, looking at the processes that took now “developed” countries from their “developing” struggles and tribulations. Of course, I start with an example that paints me in a positive light. Let me see, how about the fact that complaining to people that the convenience of lifestyle that they seek, nay, seem to be working towards so inconveniently, is ultimately going to be the death of them. It was and still is my understanding that seeking convenience in any form, whether as a means of living a life idealized on every medium of communication known to us, for what I imagine is eons, figuratively speaking of course, is going to be the death of us. It reminds me of the humans trapped in space, not quite able to return to Earth just yet, in the movie Wall-E. But, to my utter chagrin, none of the people to whom I have preached my perverted gospel, with or without movie references, have died or in any way been inconvenienced by their pursuit of convenience. No, the more I’ve spoken of it the more I have been labeled a nutcase who should do more meaningful things with his time, like perhaps, conveniently, and quietly, leave well enough alone. So be it.

Acceleration in relation to time, or time as a phenomenon experiencing acceleration?

Then, a few days ago, being driven up to a work site in the hills, and seeing the same signs of human impact in the newly created damage that would one day lead to “development” and supposed “progress”, I chanced upon the thought that maybe, just maybe, we are accelerating the inevitable. It was as if we were speeding up something, destruction of the edifice we call a “civilized world” perhaps, but much like monsters birthed into this world, possessing both immense strength and the means to their own demise, we, the human beings in denial of being a species, was working ourselves out of the equation, almost naturally. Now, not be a naive doomsday prophet hoping that we all disappear, every last one of us, because I understand full well pockets of survivors in the event of a total collapse will carry forward what is left of our genetic mess, much like H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”, or something to this effect. Yet, with the impact that such a large biomass with a singular aim and aspiration is having on this planet, there is an air of the inevitable, I believe you will agree. Yet, the other thought that contradicts this, almost immediately and with equal strength, is the notion that inevitability, in and of itself, is not something that can be manipulated in any way, let alone sped up. That would almost be like saying that it is entirely possible to have trained the cat that Erwin Schrodinger put in the box, all theoretically of course, to holdout against the most unimagineable opposition to attempt to open the box, invalidating the conclusion of the experiment completely. And I have pondered over this for a while now, certainly a few days, and while it seems to be one of those things that should just be allowed to take place of its own accord, there is this admitted itch that I can’t seem to scratch away for any degree of satisfaction, telling me that there is more here than meets the eye. Is it possible to appear to be accelerating our own fate, so to speak, without really doing so? Am I just imagining that this is happening, or entertaining an impossible possibility? Or, in a longer span of time than I am wont to allow for things to happen, perhaps as a greed of mine to witness what I have otherwise believed will transpire, simply because I would then be able to rub it in the collective face of “humanity” to say, “Look! I told you so,” or whatever other fantasy I have playing out in my head at this juncture, will all as I have seen it and come to believe in it carrying itself out, will we witness the end, the absolute end? And simply because I love to complicate things, what if this entire speeding up is a case of some strange Doppler effect of time, something akin to “relative velocity time dilation” where the appearance of acceleration is a result of me, the observer, having frontrow seats to how things will eventually come to pass, much like the character Griffin, from Men in Black 3, the last of the Archanans, being able to see multiple endpoints of multiple timelines...not that I compare to this at all because like I started off by saying, my inevitability is tinged with a more morose hue. What is it?
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