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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Intensity of Wanting

It is no longer prudent to explain the difference between wants and needs, I honestly believe. So far removed are we from understanding ourselves and the place we occupy within the macrocosm of Life, as a most marvelous phenomenon, that we have lost all concept of recognizing how to sustain and develop ourselves. Our reliance on external stimuli telling us what we need, which is itself a confusion of fundamental proportions, has extended the blind spot we have created for ourselves, a befuddlement we enter into willingly, because it satisfies all of our needs, or so we have been told. The utter irony of being comforted by this constantly humming voice that eggs us on to want to need, only because we wish to be comforted, for we want to believe that that is what we want, is something I have explained to people too many times in return for blank stares of "Quoi?" As Daniel Quinn explains in "Ishmael", a book that changed not only my life but the concepts and notions I had about life as I was taught to know it, the constant droning in the background is the message of culture, encouraging people to act in the ways that they have in our civilized history by assuring them of the necessity of their actions. This realization is profound, in and of itself, because it means that the systematic existence that has been developed over a few millennia, the series of actions that we engage in from day to day, from the day we are born until the day we die, referring to it collectively as "a life" or "our life", the same series of actions that we so readily claim separates us from the "animals", is nothing more than a poor imitation of the world that we see and are a part of already. However, it is the sincere belief in this difference, something that we need to want to need, as part of the indoctrination that tells us that the imitation of the world as created by us is superior to the original that we found ourselves a part of but didn't seem to comprehend enough to not attempt its poor recreation, a conditioned urge so strong that any attempts at unraveling the truth that it conceals proves to be too overwhelming to even approach. And so, in a further, more elaborate attempt to keep the myth of civilization carrying on, we are taught to never be happy with what we have, because what we want is only immediately outside of our reach.

The sheer insidiousness of this framework lies in the fact that even with the knowledge that there are some who constantly endeavor to exert control over the rest, whatever the gains they seek from this effort, really, both are victims and criminals at the same time. The bygone naiveté of old that consistently sought to paint good and bad as black and white was a framework used to convince us of the existence of such kind of injustice, and to let us know that it was wrong. Yet, all of this messaging is taking place in an unholy tango of deceived and deceiver switching roles for the achievement of a convenient narrative, neither side relinquishing ground without maintaining the appearance of a battle hard fought. Don't get me wrong, many have and continue to die, even in this mock battle of a better, human-made, style of life, versus that which occurs naturally and sustainably on the planet among members of our species. But the balance is skewed so far in favor of the civilized existence, examples of which we are bombarded with from all over the planet, all of the time, the repetitive narrative gives the impression that as screwed up as our civilized ways are, they are the best for us as a species, in the world that we inhabit. Nothing could be further from this "truth", however, if nothing else because no matter how absolute its control, civilization has always co-existed with a more naturally harmonious style of life, in the gaps that it does not care to infiltrate. Those that we civilized human beings disdainfully refer to as "uncivilized", or "tribal" are the examples of the kind of living that we have abandoned, but if you have received a formal education in the civilized world, you will know this example in reverse, thinking yourself and your ways superior to those that seem so pointless in comparison.

Civilization, no matter where such have appeared in the historical accounts we have kept of them, are the proverbial carrot-on-a-stick style of living, above and beyond such a framework existing in Nature already. The active management of reward and punishment, strangely enough, requires the collective agreement of all involved to establish frameworks such as Master-Slave, or Empowered-Disenfranchised, or something else to this effect. To use an analogy I dislike and don't agree with, only because it is more easily understood by most of us, there is the obvious case of "Haves and Have-nots". Now, such a thing exists in nature, where resources are distributed unevenly, and the plants and animals that need them are forced to find them in their immediate vicinity, or make do with alternatives, where such are available, or simply, perish. This is over-generalized, as ultimately it is the circumstances that determine how far outside of normal behavior or genetic programming a living organism will have to venture to ensure its own survival, in effect, having and not having, by design. Yet, this is in total opposition to the manner in which having and not having are managed in our civilized world. Being at the discretion of the individual human being, or a group of human beings, those who do not have anything will probably never have, unless deemed worthy with those who have more than they could ever want. But under all of the reality of the circumstances that are used to explain why some have and most do not, the apparently inevitable law of a "Have" minority existing solely to boss around a "Have-not" majority, it is imperative for the Have-nots to want more, and the more desperate this wanting, the better for the Haves.

This is one of the essences of our human civilization that has set up a cycle of subjugation and repeat subjugation, and quite possibly, this is one of the main reasons that our civilization will collapse before being born again with a similar framework. Rulers have oppressed, and the oppressed have ruled in return, but all have sought selfish ends and hoped for immortality, when the understanding should have been that such a path has met wit failure, no matter ow relentless we have been in our pursuit We claim to want to transcend the boundaries that hold us back at the moment, giving them labels like "ignorance", "illiteracy", "purpose", and even "enlightenment". However, the manner in which we go about living our lives is a constant series of excuses for not being able to achieve these things, putting more effort into explaining why there are so many legitimate exceptions to the rules we have made in the first place, rather than moving away from the regimented madness of regulation for its own sake. We claim to be approaching a spiritual awakening, something that only we, as human beings, thanks to our superior intellects and opposable thumbs, are capable of achieving. However, the foundations of our civilization are built on excesses, particularly that which involved laying waste to what was already there, in the hopes of replacing it with something less worthy. Why in the world would we do such a thing? Because we want to, and more and more, the driving force behind this wanting is the imagined need for such a thing to be done, nothing more. In fact, so blinded are we by this wanting to need something, with the intensity of this craving growing desperately stronger with each passing moment, that we continually fail to recognize the inevitability of our choice of way of life. We have confounded ourselves so much that we are unable to see that like everything in and of this world, there is a beginning and an end, and no matter which path we chose, it is destined to arrive at its own finality, no matter how intensely we may want it to be otherwise.
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