I was born into a opened, burning world. Its wrath is old, tenable, and ceaseless. My fingers coil and brow furrows. I struggle to rise. The air weighs heavy on me. I pain to see through muddied light, but it seems, sadly, only the same sits staring on the horizon.
Yet something stirs. Now change comes. I feel a breeze. Wind brings new feelings. But it is a chill. My skin prickles. I wince and recoil, left only with one choice; I must construct a carapace for the long road ahead.
Nowhere is safe. Both burning and chills pass all obstacles to meet me. They breach the external self, and the internal. I am consumed by it. The carapace is all I need. Day and night I toil under the weight of it all.
Yet its construction will never end. Nothing can save me from the struggle. Momentary relief enters between waves, but are only destined to end. The pain persists. I may never complete my carapace, may, but I CAN do one thing. I can only persist. Persist, until my time is done.
Hola Primate Nation! Welcome to another addition of Monke in Review, where we go over monkes both big and small across history! Today I present: Crystal the Monkey. She is as famous as she is talented.
Welcome again to Z o n e s. Follow our protagonist between worlds, before and after ‘the war’. His journey continues from zone to zone, while life in the city changes. A new mysterious figure haunts his dreams, and new love is sparked. Enjoy!
What Is It Like to Be a Bat? is a paper that was written by American philosopher Thomas Nagel, first published in 1974. It was the public’s introduction to the idea of, not only, ‘I think; therefore I am,’ but, ‘there must be ways in which it is like to be something, other than our own personal being.’ We all understand the famous Descartes phrase, ‘I think; therefore I am,’ from 1637, because we all actively do it. Everyone actively processes information from their frontal cortex- which is the thing that we associate ourselves with; our waking self. But something we don’t often think about is that it is clearly LIKE something to be something else. Bats have brains, only different, along with different eyes and ears and nervous system. Same goes with all other life. Dogs, cats, dolphins, and flies. They are all having radically different experiences than us, but they are still indeed HAVING experiences… ones we can only imagine to the best of our deductive reasoning.
It must BE like something to be a single-celled organism, because it’s a living thing. But that kind of experience would be so reductive to our own that we might imagine it’s like nothing at all. However, it is still doing things, so that’s not the case. Although it doesn’t have a brain, it still has an ‘operating system,’ or O.S. An O.S. is a computer term but I’d like to use it here to describe the point I’m trying to get across for this prelude. Art imitates life, or in this case, engineering imitates life. Brains aren’t like computers, computers are like brains, and when we think about how instincts work, using this simplified comparison helps. Instincts are like pre-written codes to direct the organism’s function. Eat, sleep, reproduce. When you move up on the complexity scale, more code must be written. From cells, to plants and animals, this coding grows and grows based on new information ala environments and interactions in it.
Of all the creatures on Earth, humans are the most complicated. There is no denying that. We can not only manipulate our code, but manually override it. Think about holding your bladder for 18 hours on a road trip, or being nice to someone you hate, or living a double life as an agent. We can learn new skills at any point in our life. That alone put us above all other animals, and it’s all thanks to our noggins! Now, with all that preamble and pro-humanity-toting over and done with, let’s get into the subject of where we came from!
Pre-history and history are such vast fields of study that I won’t even try to cover them with medial detail. Instead, I will go over the basic concepts unique to us humans and how it led to the world we know today. First, tools! Wait, other primates can use tools… crap.
This might be harder than I thought. No, no, no, I got this. Okay so we started using tools long before we looked like humans, and other primates- not even apes but monkeys- currently use tools, so that’s not an ‘us’ thing, but it helped pave the way to civilization. Now apart from tools, the first use of technology by humans, was that of FIRE! Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of the control of fire by a member of the Homo gene range from 1.7 to 2.0 million years ago?! It was that far back in prehistory??!! How did I not know this before researching it? That’s so much farther back in time than I thought! Guys, this is a rough start. Let me get back into it. So, according to the research, there is evidence for “microscopic traces of wood ash” intentionally used by Homo erectus that has wide scholarly support, with it beginning some 1,000,000 years ago. That really paints a picture for how long we’ve been creative, and much longer still it took us to properly organize ourselves as a collective.
If we’ve been using tools and manipulating fire since before we were even Homo sapiens, what are some things that our genus is specifically responsible for? Well it seems we got our first bite into human inventions with: clothes! Clothing was previously postulated to have come about around 40 000 years ago, but semi-recent studies in 2011 from the University of Florida, with the help of Ian Gillian from the Australian National University, found that although the last Ice Age on Earth occurred about 115 000 – 11 700 years ago, their study’s data suggests humans started wearing clothes in the preceding Ice Age 180 000 years ago. So this tells us two things. One, that humans were naked for quite some time. Our ancestors shed the bulk of their body hair around 800 000 years ago, and only after the invention of clothing did we finally migrate across the globe. There were other Hominin that left Africa before us, but did not make it. Only modern humans traversed, survived, and thrived in northern climates. Fashion wouldn’t become a thing for a heck of a lot longer but that’s a topic all on its own.
The next concept to cover, is belief and superstition. Stories are what bonded communities beyond immediate family members. While this list is rough and lacking in substantial detail, it does its job of showcasing humanity’s history with ritualistic practices: 100 000 BCE, the earliest known human burial is found in the Middle East. 70 000 – 35 000 BCE, Neanderthal burials take place in areas of Europe and the Middle East.
Now for a side bar- the list continues, but around this time, 43 000 years ago, the first signs of cave paintings was discovered! Ah, art, the expression of life. If you can believe this though, Neanderthals beat us to the punch. The oldest cave painting we discovered is from ancient Spain, dating back 64 000 years ago, done by Neanderthals. And the earliest human cave painting dates back 43 000 years ago from Indonesia. It depicts a goat or cattle being hunted, with fairly decent details like the animal’s fur. Now, back to the pre-religious activity.
40 000 BCE, the remains of one of the earliest known anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, was discovered cremated and buried near Lake Mungo, in Australia. 38 000 BCE, the Aurignacian Löwenmensch figurine, the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world and one of the oldest known sculptures in general, was made. The sculpture has also been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, although it may have represented a deity.
35 000 – 26 000 BCE, Neanderthal burials become absent from the archaeological record. This roughly coincides with the time period of the Homo sapiens’ introduction to Europe and decline of the Neanderthals that I alluded to in my previous piece; individual human skulls and/or long bones began appearing, heavily stained with red ochre and separately buried. This practice may be the origin of sacred relics. The oldest discovered “Venus figurines” appeared in graves. Some were deliberately broken or repeatedly stabbed, possibly representing the murders of the men with whom they were buried, or owing to some other unknown social dynamic. 25 000 – 21 000 BCE, clear examples of burials are present in Iberia, Wales, and eastern Europe. These, too, incorporate the heavy use of red ochre. Additionally, various objects were included in the graves (e.g. periwinkle shells, weighted clothing, dolls, possible drumsticks, mammoth ivory beads, fox teeth pendants, “baton” antlers, flint blades, etc.) Also, dozens of men, women, and children were being buried in the same caves which were used for burials years beforehand. All these graves are delineated by the cave walls and large limestone blocks. Some burials were double, comprising an adult male with a juvenile male buried by his side. They were now beginning to take on the form of modern cemeteries. Old burials were commonly re-dug and moved to make way for new ones, with the older bones often being gathered and cached together. Large stones may have acted as grave markers. Pairs of ochred antlers were sometimes mounted on poles within the cave; this is compared to the modern practice of leaving flowers at a grave. 9 130 – 7 370 BCE; This was the apparent period of use of Göbekli Tepe, one of the oldest human-made sites of worship yet discovered. Evidence of similar usage has also been found in another nearby site, Nevalı Çori. 7 500 – 5 700 BCE, the settlements of Çatalhöyük developed as a likely spiritual center of Anatolia. Its inhabitants left behind numerous clay figurines and impressions of phallic, feminine, and hunting scenes; possibly practicing worship in communal shrines.
What followed this long timeline was the Indian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Abrahamic Religions. But… one thing you might start to ask yourself when going over the lands that this archaeological research discovers, is that it in no way includes other areas that humans existed in, such as the Americas, Africa, and ancient eastern Asia. This pattern can be discovered in the modern western educational system when teaching history. When I was in school I didn’t question it, but looking back at my history classes, they only taught us British history. What about Native American history, or African history? A lot more than England went into Canada being what it is today. I don’t know if it’s still an issue in Canada’s educational system, but if it isn’t still something being done arrogantly through national imperialism, it’s through an oversight of perspective. All peoples exist, have existed, and hold just as deep histories as all other peoples. We are all one race, to make my message clear, and we ought to treat our histories as such, institutionally. Now, with that preaching done, we shall move on to another concept!
Business. Heck yeah, baby. You got a goat? I got a daughter. Let’s do this thing. It’s weird how late morals came in the game. Business has had a long trotted and rough road in our history, from the selling of daughters and slaves, to current arms dealing. I’m not too sure if civilization came first or trades, but the idea is one that is uniquely huma… wait a minute… haven’t tests been done on apes and monkeys about this? It has, hasn’t it. Son of a gun! So, trade isn’t a uniquely human trait? But I think I can still say business is, because of its encompassing of others things that collectively only we do. One such thing is have a ‘common currency,’ ala money. It was the greatest invention business would see in a longggg time. Before common currency, we performed something called the barter system, where you would just trade one item for another. One person had a hammer, the other had chickens. Nobody had money. So if you needed the hammer, but the other guy didn’t need chickens, you were out of luck.
Moving on, we cultivated land! Agriculture was our first signs of true civilization. If one could farm, one could sustain the masses. Humans are still the only creatures on earth with the capacity to develop and maintain something as complex as plant and animal maintenance through seasonal rotation cycles. Plant something here, feed something there, and you got culture! Now if we start combining all these things, from religiosity leading to leaderships like kings and queens, to farming, to business, you got the makings of a city on your hands! Aye, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Livin’ it up in the city!
So now we must ask ourselves, what was the first city? Imma give you guys some tinfoil-hat-wearin’ stuff before going into the facts. While this is in no way a conspiracy theory, it is also in no way a legitimate theory. The name: Atlantis. The place: The eye of the Sahara, just south of Morocco.
If you look up the Richat Structure (another name for the eye of the Sahara) you will find that endless studies have been done on the 40 kilometre structure. They tried to explain it as an impact crater, but data suggests that was not the case. They tried to finalize a theory that it was caused by low-temperature hydrothermal waters, but couldn’t say for sure. The final word on the structure’s creation is that further protection is needed for future testing. So as of now, its cause is unknown. Now you might be thinking, ‘alright, with no other explanation, you gotta admit, it looks pretty man-made, eh?’ Well the reason that’s not a legitimate theory is because there are no remnants of a lost civilization. One might then say to that, ‘oh well quit yanking my chain then! Is it something or nothing?’ And to that I say, the reason there are no remains could very well be due to a massive flood wiping away their simplistic housing, and later peoples clearing up the remaining resources to reuse for themselves. We only know about past peoples by their bones and the structures they left behind, like the Stonehenge. If the people of Atlantis were pre-monoliths, then a flood washing away their houses would leave nothing behind. Buuuuuuuuuuut anyway, I leave Indie Archaeology’s video here for you as the best case FOR this wacky theory, as the rest will say nothing or otherwise. Now, back to the facts.
Currently, Turkey proudly totes housing the site of the oldest confirmed remains of a city on planet Earth. They promote it on their tourism website: GoTurkey, which is additionally promoted on Google; double confirmed. The name of the city is… oh, come on not this name again… uh, Çatalhöyük? It dates back a whopping 7 000 BCE, so over 9 000 years ago. From this point on, you got more cities. It’s like lightning that’s escaped a bottle, you can’t put it back in. Everything become incredibly dense, including the information, with romances and betrayals and gods and empires. You got yourself history, at least partly. Records were kept by ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, and Mesopotamia. China was already doing its thing by now, and before you knew it, around 300 BCE you had Pythagorean math. Next was the golden age of Islam in the 9th and 10th century CE giving us algebra.
Nations formed throughout all these innovations and many tried to rule the world: Persia, Rome, Mongolia, Spain, France, and of course, England. History is pretty self-explanatory; we remember it to learn from our past and so we don’t repeat it. And yet, we repeat things all the time. It’s in our makeup to form patterns. Leaders abuse power, conduct genocide, and eventually die. Technologies grow, giving us great ages of prosperity, then turmoil. The world ever-changes into unrecognizable spaces yet somehow is always the same. Conflict is permanently present, but sometimes teeters on apocalyptic. Right now in this age of COVID-19 and global tension we sit on the precipice of great change, for the better like in green technologies, or for the worse like in the government of China’s totalitarian rule over everyone’s goods. Whether both happen or neither, it’s hard to think we’re not in the middle of history right now. There was a time for the western world after the Vietnam war that many thought history was now over as peace settled, then 9/11 happened and brought things back into perspective. For many nations they have known no such luxury. There have been countless generations of people forced to fight wars they don’t believe in, or hit the streets and potentially die to protest leaders they didn’t vote for. For some people, that scenario has been their only reality. I count myself remarkably lucky to be living in the country and the time I find myself in, and wish to use my time here to try and continue our species’ journey to greener pastures of both peace and knowledge.
I hope you all enjoyed my little dive into how we got here as a species. I appreciate all of your time, wish you nothing but love in your life, and ask you to remember to keep on thinking! Also, make sure if you found this interesting, to do your own research! You will get far more comprehensive information, plus who knows what crazy new thing you might learn on the way? Stay safe, have fun, and see you guys later.
Welcome to episode 59 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast! Today I have on my fifth guest post COVID-19. We waste no time jumping into Ang Lee’s discography, conspiracies- both ludicrous and true, how separation leads to hate, the new viral ‘woke and racist’ skit on Twitter, Oakville’s checkered past AND present, why Canada should not compare itself to America, personal philosophies, and anime. It was a full episode that I’m happy to have had. I hope you enjoy!
Love is compassion and attraction. It’s kindness and well wishes. It’s hidden magic, being in it, and something worth fighting for. If life is a game, love is the prize! It’s the one thing everyone wants. But does true love really exist? Sorry to keep playing the word game with you guys, but let’s look at what love is defined as, then what we understand it as. Love according to Google is an intense feeling of deep affection. I wouldn’t personally use those words to describe love, but that’s the definition. I’d say that’s definitely a type of love, but I’ve understood love in my life to be an unbreakable bond. It can waver, but exists as an absolute. No matter how much my dog might annoy me, I’ll always love him. Even if my family becomes estranged, I will still love them. In saying that, I feel like my dad and I never had love, so just because he’s my family there was never an initial love to tether the storm he brought upon my family. There can be other variables to your family not being people you should love, like if they are abusive, but usually families are the people you will always have in your life. And so, if you want to live a good life, you must love your family accordingly, if only at first for personal harmony.
There are many forms of love. You have the above mentioned familial love which can extend to friendship love, then you have general love for humankind, or a sports team, or your country, or some other form of people you will never meet per se. Then you have a deep ass love. That’s the meaning of life kind of love. Deeper than any love you could have otherwise. This type of love might actually branch to best friends, depending, but is usually reserved for a romantic life partner, and for your children. This is the love that keeps giving. It’s the daily love and drive of one’s existence. Ain’t no love like a lifetime love! It’s the number one love sought after by most. For this reason, so many people jump into marriages and end up divorced because it’s not what they thought it would be. Love still takes work. It’s not some unconditional coddling of a parent figure, it takes two. Expectations usually ruin relationships, like: poor communications that make one believe the partnership was going to be one way and ended up another way completely. This can also happen because people are still growing and they might end up becoming a different person than the other thought they would have for life.
Love is love. What can I say? Does true love exist? It does depending on the person. The thing comes in so many forms. How about I give you guys some fun facts at the end here. Did you know the shape of a cartoon heart is two real hearts together? Another one! Did you know that kissing was invented as a greeting, and later became incorporated as a romantic gesture? Before this it’s hypothesized that cave people we would sniff each other if they were romantically interested. Another fun fact, the drug of love that most people feel when they meet someone new that’s cute (hot) is an actual chemical, known as oxytocin. Oxytocin, not to be confused with oxycodone the pharmaceutical drug, releases naturally when we social bond. It becomes active during pregnancy too and plays a role in post birth for breast feeding, for some reason. It also has a negative side effect known as jealousy. The feeling of jealous is this hormone.
So there you have it! My weird take on love. It’s the best of things, it at times can be the worst of things like when you’re love sick with a crush you’re too shy to talk to. But either way, it’s undeniably us. Thank you so much again for reading. I freakin’ LOVE you all, and I’ll see you next time. Stay lovely!
Welcome to episode 57 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast! Today I have another 2nd time returning guest come back from the top of the year to discuss their experience during Canada’s quarantine time. We talk about Black Lives Matters protests, films to watch, Jay-walking, what the odds are that we live in a simulated reality, and what we’re scared of. Enjoy!
Nathan found himself at the heel of some sort of festival or celebration happening in the trees leading to the mountain. There were hundreds of people all walking in a line. Some people were dressed in robes, others just regular clothing. Some people were holding candles, and some were tweeting.
Time passed in the woods. The air tingled with a beautiful warmth between that of South Hazelton and of Brazil. The line of casual hikers culminated in a clearing and Nathan searched through the lake of faces for the character known as Patrick. A gap in a group circle of four opened before Nate so he entered and asked them, “Excuse me. What’s going on here?”
“What you just stumbled into the woods?” answered a middle-aged man with slicked-back hair and glasses.
“I was just hiking by and heard some noise, what’s going on?” Nate asked again.
“It’s Wesak: Buddha day,” answered the single lady of the group. “As soon as the sun goes down we’ll see the full moon of spring above Mount Shasta.”
“Oh, cool,” said Nathan as he looked to the dim red glow of remaining sun in the dark blue sky. He then waded his way deep into the crowd. One way or another he would find this man.
“Hey!” an outstretched hand called from the other side of the crowd. Patrick shimmied to meet Nate right in the middle. He was far taller than Nate, with spikey black hair. “Let’s go back the way you came, aye?” Patrick bellowed above the commotion.
They walked out from all the people and toward the clearing’s edge.
“Patrick,” the man introduced with a charismatic smile, accompanied by a hand on Nate’s back and a hand to shake. Nathan shook it, feeling warm in his presence.
“Ene,” he reciprocated with a hand shake. The two made it to the edge where they found a little more privacy.
“So you know I’m gonna ask you… may I see something?” Patrick whispered. Nathan hesitated in answering. “I mean,” he retracted in lost confidence, “unless here is too exposed. Or because we just met. I completely understand.”
His voice was interesting. It was incredibly deep and calm, yet he was ecstatic in his presentation.
“No, it’s fine. I’ll, uh,” Nate pulled the barber dime out from his pocket, “use my way of showing people.” He brought the coin up to their faces.
“A barber dime- you have got to be shitting me!”
Nate’s eyebrows shot up. “Hey, look at that! Yeah, I’m surprised you know it by sight.”
“It’s a rarity.”
“Either way- doesn’t matter. What matters is what you can do with something so small.” His hand dropped mid-sentence. Patrick’s eyes widened, and the coin lowered into Nate’s open palm. It was clear his new friend was good at concealing amazement because only a mere trace of some wider smile held on his face.
This will be a hot button topic unlike any of the other topics I’ve written about so far, I feel. What people find important or not important vary radically depending on the individual. Some people find many-a-thing important and therefore sensitive or sacred, while others care so little they couldn’t be bothered to know it even exists. Other conditions of importance would be specifics. There can be some people that don’t care about much, but the things they do care about they care to the absolute.
Power of prayer
I am over the moon with certainty that every single person who reads that list will have a different reaction to it. And everyone will place it on a different level of importance. To the subjects you agree or disagree with passively, you don’t care. To those who have to fight for what they believe in on either side, they will find great significance. It goes without saying that we were all raised differently which leads us down all of our own paths of pursuit. I find most things passive in my agreement or disagreement, but still have a solid opinion on each thing.
If I could give any advice, it wouldn’t be to be more like me, because life isn’t very exciting when there isn’t passion. I would only say to keep a handle on emotions. When you find something extremely important, try not to talk about it, and when it comes up, try to figure out your room so as to manage expectations. If you know someone will say something upsetting to you, it is always better to know before-hand and let their moment pass. Love things, fight for things, but always keep peace.
Here is an excerpt from my first novel: Deviance. You can find a link to its Amazon page ‘Here’.
V took a seat. She looked a little bewildered.
“You feeling anything?” asked Nathan.
“I don’t know… maybe? I think I feel something.”
He took a seat next to her. “It’ll probably take a while for me.”
“Oh yeah?” V asked in a playful, fuck-you tone.
“Oh yeah? Tough shit?”
“It’s in my blood, on my dad’s side. We Australians got poisoned so much we’ve become immune to it.”
“Well my grandpa is.”
“Oh I didn’t know. That’s cool.”
“Yeah it’s not bad. We can handle toxicants, but we don’t seem to talk too much. At least not my grandpa and dad.”
V sat silent, intent on Nathan continuing.
“I can remember one time,” he blurted as the memory hit him, “where my dad actually pulled an amazing line. Like a heart to heart moment with me.”
“What was it?” she asked.
“I must have been ten. Our dog Moe died and I hid away in my room cause I couldn’t stop crying. And my dad, to my utter surprise, came in and told me, ‘You know son, in life, the further you walk, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow. The more you grow, the less you feel. And the less you feel, the further you walk.’ At the time I just thought he was being a heartless asshole, but I see now what he meant. Life’s taken my family away and yet… I’m not destroyed. I don’t quite know how to say it but I feel as if, something might have played a role in my survival, so far. But then again, maybe not at all and it was just dumb luck. Who knows.”
Perspective is in my opinion one of the most incredible assets any person can have. It gives the ability to fully actualize yourself in whatever way you see fit. And the thing about this claim, is that having perspective gives you your way of seeing. So you can’t even be in a situation where you’ll have unrealistic goals. Understanding who you are with an outside viewpoint, what your abilities and limits are, garners advantages to your own life.
You happened to be born female, or male. White, black, Asian, or any other pigment set. You happened to be born into a religion or culture that you parents raised you with. You happened to be born in the country, and neighbourhood you were born into. You happened to go to school with people you now know as friends. You happened to have the brain you have, that makes you better at rhythm than problem solving; or better at math than social bonding.
You were NOT by chance born into the body of a poverty-stricken North Korean. Or stray cat for that matter. You don’t happen to be a fly that lives for one day and then dies forever. You happen to have the most incredible opportunity on this planet, and at this time. To be a human in the year 2018 A.D.E., in a first world is pretty damn lucky. The vast majority of people take this fact for granted. People are surprisingly selfish when they don’t need to be, or focus on little things that upset their whole day when there are countless others around the world that would kill to be in their shoes.
Now, once fully accepting this mindset as almost a world view, it can be used as a tool in everyday life. Most notably, to help direct your emotions, and thus your actions towards others. If you understand how shallow most emotions are, it becomes hard to hold onto them. Take road rage for example. Someone cuts you off and it triggers anger. How dare they so rudely assert their dominance over you! It could be, though, that they simply didn’t see you, or they had been cut off so many times that they had finally broke and did the same this once. Even if it WAS an alpha bro with his top down, just owning the road, it doesn’t hurt him for you to hold onto that anger he created. If your goal in life is to be happy, then the way to achieve that goal would be to forget your agitator and move on. Remember, after all, your aren’t currently dying from the Black Plague in the 1350’s.
Using perspective releases your grip on your ego. It makes you more empathetic. Most can do this when enthralled in a movie or novel. You can relate to a character who is nothing like you when you lower your guard on identity and allow yourself to see what it’s like to step into another’s shoes. Lack of perspective is what made slavery so easy for early white settlers. If a slave owner woke up one day in the body of a black man or woman, owned to a farm, how do you think their experience would change them?
Stay humble I say. Carry on chasing goals, for it is the meaning you make that is the meaning of life. Get that people are ignorant of your experiences, but that you too lack their life. So we should all listen, appreciate, and understand each other, short or tall, guy or girl, wealthy or poor; from every walk of life. We all got something going on. We all want love. We are all living our lives.
I have to start this by making sure everyone knows as a basic fact that we are all alone, at every moment, inside our heads. Now, with that being said I will begin with a question. When you imagine being alone, are you sad? Or are you relieved?
As an evolutionary fact we humans are social creatures. We rely on each other to survive, to thrive, and in general to be happy. We have family members, friends, and partners. It is part of our makeup, regardless if you are an introvert or extrovert.
The majority of people today are introverts. It may be because of technology. The convenience to do what you want, when you want makes it more appealing to not socialize. Why listen to songs you don’t absolutely love, or put yourself in potentially uncomfortable situations when you can just stay at home.
Personally, I love being alone. With that said, however, I also love to socialize. But being alone allows me the ability to write for hours without interruption, go to the gym, watch movies or do whatever else without having to break up a schedule or not do it at all. It is very selfish of me and I am aware of that. I understand the role parents put themselves in when they decide to try and conceive. It is a truly noble and selfless act. I am currently at a stage in my life where I haven’t fully grown up, and won’t until I sacrifice the freedom I currently indulge.
For many people that I know, being alone is boring and something to be avoided. It makes them sad when they don’t have people around. They can’t find the balance between socializing and isolation unless the latter is moments before sleep. As I stated earlier, I haven’t fully grown up, so I am still working on the balance. Some people go their whole lives either pushing people away, or clinging when it’s inappropriate because of this. Socialize too much, and you don’t know who you are when you’re alone. Spend too much time in your head, and you forget what it’s like to mingle with company. Both things are equally important.
Time spent alone allows the mind to breathe. It allows thought without criticism, creativity without backlash, and wonder without insecurity. Great positivity can flourish in these periods, but also great negativity. It is important to notice those around you that may be in a place of self-hatred or degradation. It was not the fault of every serial killer’s parents that they couldn’t have changed their son’s life around before it was too late, but perhaps to notice someone spending too much time alone, and pulling them out into the world might do them tremendous good. Life may be beautiful but it wasn’t meant to be stared at for ten years straight without any interaction.
We are bipedal primates that managed to create language to better interact with each other. We built civilization on the notion of betterment for all. If we were only meant to be alone, we would still be living in caves and grunting at passers-by. I find tremendous purpose in being alone for periods of time, to allow inspiration and relaxation to flow through me. I also base my life on society, and the interactions I have with the people in it. To my mom, siblings, extended family, close friends and the like, and to my girlfriend: I love you.
There’s a hidden magic in people. It comes out like fire as a child.
Like a smile on an old face, or the fury in a friend seeing you get beat up as they come to help. There need not be any enemies. A kid can make friends with a rock but two old friends break up because of business differences.
You can chalk it up to complexity, but the hidden magic in people can be just as complex. Like a stranger, after losing their job and with little income, paying for someone’s meal behind them in a drive thru. Or someone coming across a dead fox on a hiking trail and taking hours just to bury it with a stick.
Sure, I could describe the magic in many words: random acts of generosity, sacrifice with no gain, showing kindness during hate. Sometimes the neuro-chemicals give us strange answers to things of spite, leech, or straight hate where we just… love.
We all know there are certainties about the human race. We were built to survive. To know the enemy, and strike them down. We yearn to live not only in the short term, but honestly to the majority of people, forever. Religions give so many people the hope. But in that context however, many troubles brew.
The mere idea of living forever brings things into question. If it is only you, then isolation is inevitable. You will grow up with a community around you, make friends and find love. They will continue to age, but (for the sake of it let’s say you stop at 30,) you will not. So they will grow old without you and die, leaving you alone. This will happen again and again with new relationships you form. The secret services may find you, or you may become revered as a kind of god to society. Either way, isolation to others cannot be changed.
Another thought experiment is the afterlife. Be it heaven, Jannah or Valhalla. These places promise eternal life after death, in other words, forever experiencing subjective reality. It takes place in a non-physical realm, where you are still living within a hierarchy system. Time would seem like a morphine drip I imagine, because there would be nothing to do except praise the creator of the universe because He’s all about that. We currently all live in a second to second, day to day reality. Without tasks I imagine life would seem very meaningless.
The final idea I propose would be if everyone suddenly ceased to age, (at say 30,) for no apparent reason. War will still happen, perhaps even more so due to exponential growth in the population. People will still die from diseases as well. But a new purpose will grow within the bloating humanity. Elon Musk will grin. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters shall volunteer to embark on missions into space, on the hope of creating outer colonies. It will eventually work. Afterward we will seek to continue. Wealth inequality will still exist, so though the fear of death will grow to exceeding paranoia and anxiety among the rich, others with nothing to lose will wish to make a better future for their kin. Millions of years pass. Technology speeds up, then slows down, but forever moves forward. Billions of years pass. The Milky Way has now been dominated. It seems still like all the time in existence is not enough. There are other galaxies, other super clusters of galaxies. Countless ships get sent off to the edges of the universe, never to be seen again by anything, ever.
We have drama of egos in super cities surrounding Milky Way’s super massive black hole. Suicides from people who can remember Earth. New life unknowingly being born into infinity. Soul mates for hundreds of thousands of years breaking apart. Entropy making its mark on the soul of our race. Time, infinity, need not be time at all. Though all but the depressed would agree we currently have too little time on Earth, time forever would stretch the meaning of life very thin indeed. We need death like we need birth. There must be those before us, and those that come after us. We must pass on the baton when time comes. If it never does, who do we become? I say: lesser than our ancestors. Learn to let go along with holding on. It is what makes life so precious in the first place.
There are always two sides to things. There is this and that. There is me and them. There is will and won’t, is and isn’t. Here and there. Right and wrong. Will they, won’t they. How and haven’t. Why and why not. Two extremes; light and dark.
Males and females split things rather cohesively, except that there is a spectrum. Males can be very feminine and females can be very masculine. The fact that there are trans people, gay people and lesbians builds the blur in the ‘black and white’ structure, even without tom boys and metrosexuals. It doesn’t make things equal out but allows to broaden one’s horizon on duality.
If it were taken further, many believe in a split between body and self. My body is just the housing for my soul. That is not true to those who are knowledgeable on neurology. The self is a construct of the brain put in place to help survival. We are not a special person, we are many people in this play at life. But duality still exists.
Self; selfish intentions, building one’s ego, being a self-made whatever, (be it songwriter, engineer, salesman/woman, officer of the law, whatever,) develops meaning in one’s life. And we all do so through the thought that it is us, and them. Or us against them. You can’t trust the police. You can’t trust the government. You can’t trust anybody. We all lie to an extent unless your life is devoted to honesty; which individuals do here and there and usually destroy relationships they’ve had by doing so. But it’s end goal is towards accomplishments, which is again a self thing.
Separation exists for everyone, and it is important to note it, like it is important to note your diet, exercise, professional interactions and so on. We are all in this life right here and now, and there is duality in it. For those in intimate relationships there is a positive way to look at it. Your entire life is a story. It started when you were born and it will go on until you die; perhaps noted on long after. And the other is the other story, to be attached to your life the moment you two meet. Afterward, the two great lifelong stories become intertwined, and create one tale. Chapters separate perspective of each, but mingle in a cocktail of experiences lived, and maybe noted for longer more.
We live even in our own selves with this duality as we rope our own thoughts and beliefs and dreams together. Shall I? Shall I not? One more day. No more. Let them have it. Not this time. Just breathe deep. Time to blow. Life is art and art is life. This thing we are all doing, in conjunction with the rest of nature, is a beautiful thing even if at times troubling. Trek on I say. Make experiences, and make note of them. Do the best you can, and try to enjoy the ride while it’s happening.
I spend nights alone. I spend days with friends, only sometimes. Days pass. Nights crawl. My hobbies lie, and parents spy. Who’s that? A face. A name. A friend. She’s cute, but no way, taken. Her name is Hope, Forsaken. I see trouble, no, prosperity from lonely. We develop, like film. Feel the screen. Hear me scream.
Back again. Yes. Future slaps fate, past -haps mate. We are who we are, and nothing more. Why me? How now?
I’m more than that. I’m more than fate. We are more than mistakes. We find miss plates. And life is more than love and scrapes… Rooms are a collection of our lives. Spring is inside. Sigh a relief of calm delight, and say goodnight.
The wish, was that we lived in a world where it was easier for everyone to express themselves without fear of holding back, instead of the world we live in now where we tow the line. The social psychology of humanity today is the same as it was hundreds of thousands of years ago. It revolves around reactions to and from each other in a game of trust, for the sake of survival and survival of kin.
You are beautiful,
you are kind,
you are very talented,
and really really cool.
You also have a big heart and good intentions.
The majority of people are selfish and shitty, the wish-giver lamented in the back of their mind. Intentions are usually always so damn selfish. If only we knew what the other thought. But now there’s the problem. No one knows how the other person or people in an engagement truly feel; unless their face is pale and their chest lunges forward.
And how can we?
Intentions constantly change so even if you were feeling one way about someone, the next moment you could not. It’s hard to trust someone, to go all in when the other person seems like they may not. So people give hints, little looks, but remain casual. In the end you can only ever guess, that not only you know what YOU’RE feeling, but that when you look at someone and catch something in their eye, your intuition is heading you in the right direction.
Wouldn’t it be sublime if people spoke directly regarding their intentions? Maybe sadly maybe not, this is not the world we live in. Terrible things exist… violence, theft, cheating, rape, murder. Deceits in every sense for a selfish goal. There are psychopaths and sociopaths performing most treacherous actions to be sure, but for the rest of it, so many people let their emotions build up in a trail of negative thoughts that lead down roads of destruction. Only in retrospect do people look back and regret their decisions.
I’m sorry I don’t compliment you enough or treat you like a lady.
I shouldn’t have said that about your brother, I didn’t mean it.
Okay, take the kids, I- I’m sorry.
Well you weren’t there for me when I needed you most!
How could I have known…
Where do we even start to pick up the pieces?
I don’t even know why I lied about that.
The future moves, and society heads forward. We learn more and more about how we are with each other, and the specifics about right and wrong. Maybe things will never change between people. Maybe we can find a way to be more truthful and honest, even when it hurts.
A small child watches the sun set. They feel amazing, alive; filled with a visceral sense of awe. In that moment, everything is beautiful. The outline of the sun becomes visible in its dying descent. It is a waving sphere of burning glory, stretching across the universe and back. The child looks on for as long as possible. The feeling wanes behind their eyes and will soon be gone, but it is undeniable. It is the meaning of life. It is pure love. It is the reason for existence. Joy and peace and merriment. A long awaited and anticipated notion met with something beyond expectations in the grandest possible way. A secret yearning to be shared across the cosmos. The faint glimmer of the sun blinks. The child, hypnotized, blinks too.