Do you fill your self on the comparison and consumption of things?
Does it work?
Is there another way?
Corporations sell us worth as a name brand, wearing the Nike swoosh or some other mark somehow imbuing us with the feeling that we are special. But of course it is simply a form of groupthink masquerading as individuality. It is a deep and pervading form of inauthenticity.
This inauthenticity extends to the kinds of behaviors we reward as a society (e.g., personal wealth production) – and what the rewards are (things to be owned as opposed, for example, to the creation of social value or beauty). And we are all susceptible, in varying degrees, to forming our self images by identifying with labels and possessions.
And so, even if the Age of the Corporate White Male may be coming to an end, we may rightly be concerned that it will continue on with brown White Males and female White Males.
You may think (s)he’s a happy master of manipulation, but (s)he’s desperately hungering hard to fill an empty place (s)he cannot name.
Being even slightly out of step
bares the lockstep
many take for freedom -
and you may be despised
for bringing the lockstep
for breaking the precious bond
Look closely at any Truth said to ground everything:
those assumptions, theories and beliefs,
do they include all
or exclude some;
and if they exclude,
how can they ground
How does the nature of a thing differ from its practice?
Water is a substance with the chemical composition H2O, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It may manifest, dependant upon temperature, as fluid, solid, or gas. These facts touch on its nature.
A cup of water giving life; a surging tsunami taking it: these touch on its living practice.
So too with the objective analyses of the nature of a biological being, the nature of a social structure with all its intertwining systems, and the place of a biological being within that social structure – no matter how complex the analyses, none reveal the myriad ways that beings follow, manipulate, subvert and challenge an existent circumstance even as they are altered by it. Analyzing the ‘objective nature’ of phenomena privileges the removed, scientific observer as knowledgeable arbiter of what things ‘really are’: that is, things isolated, taken out of context and then used as illustrations of an overarching and reductive theory from which things in various relations not so investigated nevertheless cannot escape.
In effect, then, it seems that what people do isn’t what they do; rather, what occurs has another, ‘real’ meaning, one assigned by the ‘neutral’ observer carving out objects of interest – out of a fluid field of interactions that could be sliced in infinite ways – and locating proximate chains of causation that ’cause’ what has been abstracted out. The scientific ‘answer’, then, is nothing other than the form and content of the question asked, and of the very narrow way in which it is asked.
So the scientific method veils the complex, sophisticated, interdependently fluid practice of living beings in social and ‘natural’ relation, relations within which the seemingly ‘objective observer’ is in fact fully and subjectively enmeshed.
What’s the source of it all
just as it expresses itself?
Science is based on a method for quantifying the relations between abstractions. It is but a map of the actual terrain of the lived, used to navigate it in certain highly effective but limited ways and according to predefined criteria. But to mistake the map for how the actual terrain is traversed,
Even though it is said to aim at disclosing a thing’s essential nature and character, science is oriented towards production.
It produces the uses of a thing, causes leading to possible futures, and invariably based on a given regime of subjective values. And it produces a system of order that always has at its heart the fiction of a neutral and objective observer.
But, after all, what the observer chooses to observe is already a subjective decision. And so what is observed to be so is reality carved in a certain way, a way that highlights particular characteristics out of a field of infinite factors studiously ignored.
Thus the object of any inquiry, even a scientific one, is never a multi-dimensional presence but a fixed and limited-dimensional shadow of a fluid event,
that is, an event
always seen from
some here that isn’t there –
and despite the blindness
of thinking it’s all when it isn’t,
it is all
Hands working, feet taking steps, mind thinking, heart feeling . . .
just so do you manifest the occasion,
what passing away,
heart feeling . . .
what pulsing . . . pulsing . . .
If you get that there’s dying right now over and over so occasion upon occasion may manifest anew – nothing and no one apart from fluxing interdependent processes – then there’s no separate ‘me’ to protect.
With no separate ‘me’ to protect, it can’t be a matter of suffering.
That is, since there’s no separation or resistance between pain and some ‘I’ that wants to avoid it, then there’s just ‘what is’ and no ‘what should be’ to compare it to and to struggle towards. ‘What is‘ simply is.
And more, on some occasions when there’s no resistance, even extraordinary pain may utterly vanish.
Everything is this – for lack of a better word – energy, and this energy is not a neutral force but a completely unromantic, enveloping, inundating, boundary-sundering – again, for lack of a better word - love.
Even obstacles, difficulties, mistakes, and negative emotions – and too illness and death – empty into this love.
And – how can it be? – just so, each person and phenomenon, unrepeatable, is uniquely just as he, she, it is.
You cannot help but to speak and act from this love. Even those who do not see it, even those who twist the knife and kill by refusing to let things die, by grasping after this and avoiding that in order to prop up some phantom, cannot help but to presence this love. It shines out of everyone’s eyes.
And when it is brought to awareness, it is transformative.
Not adding a phantom to you – to love –