Threads Of Connection
When one delves this deeply into the negative depths of reality, it becomes frighteningly easy to loose one’s bearings. This is ironic. Staring reality in its vicious, cold eyes can lead one to skirt along the edges of mental infirmity. Seeing reality inspires the mind to flee from reality.
What I’ve written during the last few days has been bleak. The culture I live in, the people I am surrounded by, even my emotions: none of these things can be fully trusted.
How does one deal with this? Am I seeking a solution to an unsolvable problem?
The first thing that comes to mind, is probably Buddhist in nature. Control is an illusion. The universe is always in flux, everything changes, and none of us—not even the richest person on the face of the planet—has full control of their surroundings… nor even their body. The universe is a dance of chaos and order. We humans try to control whatever we can. Our will to survive leads us into this behavior. We are grasping, fearful creatures, always looking for a loophole in reality, always trying to bend the universe to our will. Control is always temporary and to each act of control comes the push of chaos. The universe always prevails. It obeys no human being’s will. Empires fall, bridges rust, and bodies age and fail. Life itself was generated by chaos. Order only exists within a maelstrom of disorder. The borders of one make the other possible.
We do not control these processes, though everyday we comfort ourselves with the delusion that we keep chaos at bay. We fill our lives with the quest for control: in government, in church, in our relationships, and in our finances. Our grasping, fearful natures plod onward, pissing into the wind of eons.
What happens if we decide to just stop? What if we embrace the reality of control being an illusion? What happens? Is this possible?
Some people spend a great deal of time meditating upon this. Quite literally meditating.
When one fights against hierarchy and control, one is literally opposing others’ attempts to impose a form of order upon the world. Are we fighting to impose a different kind of control? And if we are, are we striving for an illusion?
I do not have answers to these questions, but nevertheless, they hold my mind’s fascination. Is the prospect of relaxing this fearful grasping a possible outcome of such contemplation? Perhaps.
I am certain of this: reality dictates that control is an illusion. The attempt to control the uncontrollable separates me from the moment, and I am divided from the beauty of now.
. . . .
There is another contemplation: one I am more certain of. There is a connection with others that extends beyond the everyday influence of social interaction. I can’t describe it in a way that does it justice. It is like looking at a person and feeling the equivalent of a melody—an emotional melody that is unique to that person. This way of seeing people has been with me since my teen years. I am often a poor student of its influence because its gentle call is so easily drowned out by the tensions of everyday social contact.
From this melodic emotional calling, comes the experience I know as empathy. It forms the foundation of a simple rule that I try to live my days by: tread lightly in this life. Live your life in a way which brings the least harm to the living, feeling creatures that surround you.
I feel this melody for more than my fellow human beings. I experience this with animals, trees, the starry black of night, and the dark atmospheric tension of a thunderstorm. It surrounds me and comes from everywhere. When I am able to truly listen to this melody and I feel the detail of its finely structured notes, I am moved to tears. I am filled with a soul melting wonder. This is what I long for. I wish to become lost in it. I wish to obliterate the boundaries of self and become one with this alluring song.
Sadly, the beauty of this connection is drowned out by the fearful grasping of my human need for control. I lose the beauty of now. My desire for control separates me from the world around me. It sours the solidity of reality itself. It renders my surroundings into something colorless, ugly, and menacing.
Thus, we come full circle in this discussion which has extended across so many days. Natural beauty colliding with control: this sits uneasily, like a splinter in my mind’s eye.
These things are all connected.
My soul cries out for an understanding of these bonds.
This article is one installment of a five part series: