Friday, 21 September 2012

Guided by Wrong Questions,Tripping on Fake Answers:Tears of Foolish Joy on our Grimace

I always found quite funny when people say: “death is a mistery, because nobody has ever come back to tell you”. Now this attitude exhibits a clear worry, a concern directed, towards the event of identity annihilation. Which is quite understanble, no doubt. My issue with the sentence regards the way you put it: the contradictiory experience of the limit of experience. Without recognize it. That creates a lot of epistemic red herrings.
In fact if you tell them: look at the last raws, yes, that little hands up. You know whose hands are those? The Tibetans. When you state that nobody has ever come back, there is always a Tibetan raising his hand. And you always ignore him. But he's a nice guy and without anger or resentment, the next time he'll do it again, for you. But why you never pay attention to that little hand?

Of course, because these people, wise needless to say, are just too involved in their culture. They are not really coming back, it's just a tradition, a way of speaking. Nobody really believes that you close your eyes when you die and after a while (3 days? doesn't it sound familiar?), YOU re-open them. Not even the Tibetans believe that....
Yet you are more than ready to believe (with more than one doubt) that a Jewish guy of 2000 years ago is the creator of the laws of physics, he was slaughter for you, so your annihilation won't take place. All right. I mean, I have no problem with that. I love weird thinking. And I don't think the Tibetan is much more right than Jesus. I'm only inviting you to reflect. On the little hand.

The Tibetan is not saying “I'm back”. Maybe someone means it, but THAT is tradition. The Tibetan is offering you a way to deal with the limit of experience. What is fading away? Structures most of all. The structures that link your body with projection of society. For example, your national security number, your pension, your properties. Human societies deal with actual carriers of identity, especially with regards of material property. Assets. Money. But on the other side of the spectrum they heavily encourage continuity amongst selves far beyond the material support. Culture. Nationality. The tribe, the clan. We love to give our name to a future buddy. We like to believe that we belong to the same kin of a guy lived 1, 2 ,3 or more thousands years ago. And after Darwin we ignited a lustful odyssey of tracking down. Millions of years back. 

We are handed down the same flame of curiosity , the same malice of Australopitheci, who were walking in Africa very long ago. I really like it. Do you believe in continuity or disruption? Well, the primary experience, the feeling of being there, is very attached to the beef, to the moment. Here and now. So, we happen to be and we'll happen to die.
Your driving license, yes, will die. Your memories. Kind of. Many are very excited now with the potentiality of technology, they want to store information, the more the better. If you could store all the information, you'll never really die. So any picture is a prayer of immortality. Good. But then it is true that a photo is stealing your soul: if you want to stand firm against mortality, shooting pictures you'll be so screwed by the limit of experience, that yes, death will grab you by the balls.

We fall in love with being there, with the impersonation of being there. When on stage, no matter what, we increasingly focus on the character, rather than with the acting. The acting is a recursive role-playing of human brains, which step by step assumes a specific identity. When we first walk on stage, we are following the same footprint left by our ancestors many years before in the Valley, in Africa. The very same. It's always the same walking. You are literally playing the role that your Australopithecus ancestor was playing, you are back. Breath, my friend, those very lungs belonged to Ichtyostega and the mud skipper fish. Stretch your back, a bit more: can you feel it? You are your backbone, you developed from it, you rearranged from it. Before, without such axis reference, you were growing like a starfish, radiating. Then you grow, your head like a bit a turnip-flower springing from the dorsal spine. 

Yes, you are back. What is the limit of death then? That you won't afford to go somewhere? Or no more sexual encounters? A chance less to gamble? What is tomorrow denying you today? The self is always back. That's not the problem. The problem is when you call self all the small actuations that entertain men in their walking on stage. And I admit, they are absolutely funny. But when you want more, you lose the meaning of their smallness. And if you chase the small habits of being there as the most important thing, you miss the opportunity to join the beauty of being there. It is difficult to join the universe with all your national security number, your passport, your archive of pictures, music, your expectations about yourself, your partner, your offspring, your resentment against the government, your parents, that bitch in secondary school. Very difficult. 

Breath, stretch the spine and smile. See, you don't have to smile because life is beautiful. Fuck that. Smile just to flatter the muscles of your cheeks. Smile to show your primate gum. Smile to give sense of a central nervous system. Do you know what is the best posture ever? Squatting. Dawkins thinks that our ancestors started bipedism because of that. Feed-squatting. For Westerns is quite painful at the beginning. Take it as an exercise for immortality. 10 minutes a day, squat. After few weeks the excruciating pain in the knee will pass. The thigh pressing the chest will go from unbearable to pleasant. And you'll have a chance to feel like the first Australopithecus, who started to walk the walk. If you don't find it cool, you deserve many more re-incarnation, or a million year in purgatory. Or whatever.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The self must pass to be in her place

A mind is the representation of herself; clearly this recursive reflection would be like the blank staring of a mirror reflecting a mirror if it wasn't for a trick. And that is the lack of grace. First of all consciousness is thrown in the world, thanks to the blind case and Heidegger. We arrive in a universe that pre-existed us, we need to learn its rules. Step by step we engage ourselves in the game, till we connect. Connection means that the mind wakes up, it is there. Someone could argue that this entails children don't have mind. They would be right. But I wouldn't make such a fuss about lack of mind. Don't consider yourself such a great man just because you are a mind. Your mind is also the projection of your actions, so bullying infants (or animals) just because your a self-consciousness is really not cool. So if you think yourself as superior just because your brain can project itself in a cultural environment, shaped by its own representation, you're an asshole.

Back to consciousness. The process is never perfect. Since you became yourself, you are there, but rarely you feel to be in control of the world. The few times it happens, it because you're a psychotic. A delusional one. Just because you have a title, president, or many confetti in your pockets, you are far from being in control. You are in control when you realize that the world is a representation and your mind within. So basically it is true that everything is a projection of yours, but your identity and biography are included. If you think that you can command everyone, or shag anything, you have a misled idea of control. When you project yourself in the game, as a player, you will be on the run for the match and you can only be that way. Until you are within, also giving up to play, won't change the anxiety of run.

It's only when you see your consciousness as the spring of generativity of your representations,that you can claim the control. A bit like Rutger Hauer in Lady Hawk, when at dawn is able to see his lady. Kidding.
The fact is that your mind is designed to project a player. She couldn't project without being there as a protagonist of the play. Indeed she learns how to deploy the representations, by the enactment of being on of them. Now, if you think that seeing the source of representations gives you access to any form of transcendency, you drink too much. Yes, of course this twist it's like playing the role of god. But if you think that is impossible to be a god, it's not because it is difficult, or amazing, or high-octaned empowered of special features. It's just because you are overwhelmed by the tradition of religions, which invented this kind of superhero gods. Religions are the Marvel of spirituality. I'm not saying that you shouldn't find any fun, but take it with a pinch of salt. So yes, you're god and you're the same dude, just you take it cosmically easier.

Of course it's good a step back from the traffic of the game. I'm not saying going in the desert, becoming a monk. Well, if it helps you, good. But sometimes dressing the robe becomes a play itself, so be careful. It's just that when you step back, you start to see the projection of the representations. You didn't make the world, but trust, in your life you are responsible for a good chunk of the representations. What's good, what's bad, what they'll think about me. I mean, yes, they obviously think about you. But they don't care so much as you do about yourself. There are exception, in love affairs, in teenagehood, in the Catholic Church. But generally it is ok.