Monday, September 2, 2013

I My Me Mine



If your wife ever asks you to watch a documentary, and uses the argument that it’s only an hour long: don’t. It will ruin you. It will destroy your perception of localized reality, of self, and of the world as a whole. Who really wants that?

Last night the wife and I watched the documentary Happy. It was released in 2011, and is one of the best documentaries I have seen (which isn’t saying too much, since I’ve only seen half a dozen; I’ll work on that). I won’t try to summarize the plot/intent of the movie, mostly because you can infer it from the title, but also because I will not do justice in trying to explain it. I’ll leave it at this: it’s about what it means to be “happy” on a neurological level, and what people around the world do to be happy, from Okinawa Japan (highest population of people over 100 years old) to Bhutan (the only country in the world to focus on GNH: Gross National Happiness).

The Misses and I talked about the movie for half an hour before going to bed. About how we need to change our lives, how we need to focus on our happiness and let everything else just fall into place after that (or fall off to never been seen again). This got me thinking. About me. Because that’s what I do these days, I think about myself. My life. My struggles. My successes (though few) and failures (which seem to be many). About my desires and hopes and dreams and goals. About how I’m feeling about everything. About me. Me me me me me. The realization didn’t sink in until I got into bed: that’s all I do, think about me. This blog, my writing here, is about me. Not my experiences, or ideas, but me. Capital “I”, and not in the grammar sense. My last post from a few days surfaced in my half sleeping brain, muddled and disjointed. I had to get up.

I thought. I pondered. I conjectured. I dissected.

I felt disgusted with myself. All my wasted time wallowing in self-deprecation, expecting that my introverted dialogues would somehow carry me out from this imaginary pit I think I’m in (a pit that I, no doubt, created). I intended to unload my thoughts in this space to elucidate the general populace on the conditions of having a Master’s degree and the lack of importance the world places on that achievement, as well as the difficulty of trying to be “successful” in our current economic, political, and social systems/communities/atmospheres. I did it for me, to try and be better. But that venture quickly dissolved into loquacious diatribes littered with whiney digressions about how I feel sorry for myself. How I’m not happy, not fulfilled, not successful. How I live at home with my parents, hoping that God will wave some magic wand and grant me my three wishes, or at the very least, someone will give me a real job and pay me to do whatever I want. I did it for attention. For everyone to read these posts and tell me:

    “Hey, you are awesome.”
    “Thanks for being you.”
    “Don’t worry, things will get better.”
    “You are way better than I am at everything in the world, even when you suck at life.”
    “You are an amazing writer, I love your blog.”
    “We should hang out, and write, and make things, and take over the world and stuff.”
    “You are the best.”
    “We should be best friends, because everything you do is amazing.”
    “I love you.”

Some of you have found my rambles comical. I’m glad, I want to have some humor here. Some have found it mildly cathartic. I hope as much, since it was supposed to be for me too. Others may find it pretentious or pathetic or gripey or petty or Eurocentric or First World Problematic or whatever. You may be right. I’m positive you’re right. But I realized what it hasn’t been: progressive. And not in the new age rock sense. It hasn’t been progressive for me, or for you. It’s only been steps in the wrong direction, avoiding the true problems that disrupt my function as a human in this infinite community. Rather than dig for miles and years to find a few diamonds, I’m scouring beaches looking for lost jewelry.

Suddenly, I saw my life like this . . .

There’s me:

And there’s the earth:

If you didn’t know, the Earth is actually hollow (it’s true: The Hollow Earth):


Some believe there is a smaller Sun in the center of the Earth, about 600 miles across, but for this diagram, that Sun is replaced by me. So this is my life, or at least, how I’ve come to realize I view my life (without actually being aware of it):

Some would call this a subconscious egocentric ideal. Something to do with Id, or Ego, or Superego, I never learned that stuff. I don’t believe in the subconscious for bizarre personal reasons, but the diagram is clear: there’s me, inside the earth, around which orbits the sun and all the planets:



around which orbits other solar systems in our galaxy:
 



around which rotates all the galaxies:



It’s like I think I’m the black hole out of which the universe was created. The predecessor and creator of all matter and meaning and life.

But really, I’m just a dot. Not even a dot, because a dot has dimension, length and width and depth, but in the grand scale of everything, I can’t even be measured. None of us can. And all of my sorrows, complaints, wishes, failures, goals, none of them matter; they’re no bigger than a single Quantum String.

This new discovery, if you will, has me all jumbled. I’m not sure what to do next. Where to go, what to think, how to act, what I should focus my attention on. It’s like getting off the tea cups at Disneyland. Except, the spinning doesn’t slow down once you’ve reached solid stationary ground, because there is no truly getting off, no truly solid footing. The spinning goes on and on forever, until we die. It’s the gift our mothers and fathers give us by bringing us into this world. It is our inheritance from Adam and Eve: “Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” I want to be grateful for the pain and struggles and the briars and thistles and noxious weeds. I want to be happy, to have this joy. I don’t want to die miserable, trying to claw my way up some mountain someone told me I had to climb because that’s what has been done for centuries, millennia even, that it’s my duty to follow the past, to follow the paths cut into the rock that billions of others painstakingly carved with their bare hands and flesh and bones and blood. I’m not expecting or wanting the path of least resistance, I’m not a river. And I’m not Frost. I just want to go bushwhacking through the Manzanita until I find a clearing where I can camp with my family and friends, and we watch the sun set over the mountains that we want to climb, the mountains that few have climbed, and laugh around the campfire surrounded by the tall and old and wise giants who have lived for hundreds and thousands of years, laugh until the lights die down and all we can see are the billion trillion stars overhead burning out because that’s all they know how to do, burning out for us to see and experience and love and learn from, all so this one zero-dimensional dot can say: “I am happy.”