Mar 4, 2014

What is Life? A Chaotic Mess...

What is life but a process of replacing one anxiety or desire with another, one addiction with the next? From babies, trends to jobs and lovers, we jump from one mind occupier to the next, so afraid of “boring” solitude, in the absence of worry or excitement. Even sleep has been hacked and occupied by the desires and worries of the consumerist culture.

Perhaps solitude is so disturbing because in boredom introspection faces us with the mirror of consciousness, where we find the “I”, lonely, insecure, and confused, fully aware of its mortality and irrelevance, secretly resigned to the emptiness of its existence. But a tweet or an email on a vibrating iPhone quickly rescues us from this depressing twilight zone back to the digital dimension that runs on busy, distractions and attention currency.

The self is a disruptive, false, and, as such, unnecessary metaphor for the process of awareness and knowing: when we awaken to knowing, we realize that all that goes on in us is a flow of “thoughts without a thinker.” The impossibility of figuring out who or what we really are is inherent, since there is nothing that we “really are,” just a void at the core of our being. — Slavoj Zizek
What is life then but a modern society enabled distraction and attention casino full of mental stimulations to create the illusion of social attention, sense of control and self importance, in exchange for our money, capital and consumption hungry eyes?  What is life but ignorance to shelter us from our deepest and most humbling fear, that is: our irrelevance in an unconscious 15 billion year old cosmos that enabled us, governs us, and will never be conscious of our consciousness, even care for our death or existence? What is life but an endless attempt to overcompensate for and hide our childhood insecurities, shortcomings and parental problems?

What is life but an endless and hopeless attempt at achieve immortality by holding on to an ever fleeting and escaping time, through biological and artificial memory banks? Is nostalgia really a feeling when remembering a past good experience or a sad reminder of our mortality?

What is life but a lonely human journey as a hyper-social cyber zombie? What is life but an infinite game of chasing dreams we don’t even understand, with a self that we barely know, following societal norms we never question, to achieve perfect happiness we can't even define, measuring life only through our flawed memories?
Awakened to life out of the night of unconsciousness, the will finds itself as an individual in an endless and boundless world, among innumerable individuals, all striving, suffering, and erring; and, as if through a troubled dream, it hurries back to the old unconsciousness. “We are not at home in the world, and thus homelessness is a deep truth about our condition. Here, indeed, is the root of original sin: through consciousness, we ‘fall’ into a world where we are strangers. Hence our deep-seated desire to return to “the primordial point of rest”: the landscape of childhood and the safety of the family hearth. -Jim Holt
What is life but a constant state of nostalgia for childhood, and our earliest memories of love? Love of being cared for in a naked, vulnerable condition. Loved and looked after for who we were, identity in its barest, most stripped-down state, no merit, degrees, job titles, or status required, just pure love.
Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life. -Edward O. Wilson
What is life but a constant identity struggle between the remembering and experiencing self? Am I my memories, my DNA, my social network or a deeper spiritual soul? Maybe I am just me, an onion, reduced to nothingness with all the layers peeled and stripped away.
Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me. -Daniel Kahneman
On his deathbed, Christopher Hitchens said: “To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?”. But he also admitted, “My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends. I can’t eat or drink for pleasure anymore, so when they offer to come it’s only for the blessed chance to talk. For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one.”

Life is being humble in doubt and finding humility in mutual emotions. The emotions I received from my late mom, the most unconditional, the most selfless, the most dear, the most holy and yet simple. Life is chaos of feelings.
“Whatever our status, we are all fated to end up as that most democratic of substances, dust. There is no wealth but life said John Ruskin including all its powers of love, joy and admiration. If there is something strangely calming in the idea that we are all going to die, it’s perhaps because something within us recognizes how many of our worries are bound up with things that are in the widest scheme pretty petty concerns, to consider ourselves from the perspective of a thousands years from now returned to dust in a vault, is to be granted a rare soothing vision of our own insignificance…” -Alain de Botton
Physics peeled the layers of reality to find nothingness, no conscious mechanism, no grand theory, no god, just random quantum fluctuations coming in and out of nothingness that give the perception of reality when observed by a conscious observer. Psychoanalysis peeled the layers of the brain to find nothingness, no concrete self, no identity, no person, rather a mix of dynamic and evolving imitations of external memes or the Big Other.

What is life but uncertainty, chaos and the humility that comes with appreciating and embracing it as such? My mom’s death was the last and most important lesson she ever taught me: That life is a chaotic mess with no answers or user manuals, just different ways of reacting to and looking at life. Life is nothing but an illusion of the existence of a conductor in our brain’s chaotic symphony we call consciousness. A chaotic journey that requires humility that comes from doubt not certainty or blind faith. An experiment that requires seeing people as they are: A chaotic mess with societal forced facades and virtual representations….
The oddest thing about the upper reaches of a consciousness performance is the conspicuous absence of a conductor before the performance begins, although, as the performance unfolds, the conductor comes into being. For all intents and purposes, the conductor is now leading the orchestra, although the performance has created the conductor — the self — not the other way around. The conductor is cobbled together by feelings and by a narrative brain device, although this fact does not make the conductor any less real. The conductor undeniably exists in our mind, nothing is gained by dismissing it as an illusion. — Antonio Damasio

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