Friday, April 16, 2010

From The Ground Up

"It is your delusions of individuality that drive me to madness." The crowd shuffled uncomfortably stealing glances at the podium as the concept washed over them.

Through the layers of mundane ordinary life a new concept began to drill its way into the core of their being. A new possibility...what if their perceived individuality was but an illusion of their sensory organs and not the reality of the situation?

Of course the entire idea was ludicrous since we are all obviously separate. With separate parts and desires even though those desires may be similar. It was after all the great philosopher Dyden that noted that though our desires for food and play, adventure and exploration are the same we all choose different paths to resolve them.

We do not all gather our food by going on the same path but instead all choose our own. And where we, as we often do, make the same choices in individual situations it is an effect of large numbers and percentages and not an inherent lack of individuality.

"You think you make choices but what you actually do is follow the orders of the collective on a subconscious level." For a moment the speaker pulled back from the podium to watch the uncomfortable crowd as their inner tensions began to build to a fevered pitch.

The tribe, though now large and dominating of its surroundings was still merely a tribe on a cultural level and changed its collective mind slowly and painfully. Push to hard or to fast and the reaction may destroy the idea before it was fully understood not to mention all of its adherents. Accusations of blasphemy and dark endings fill the tribes history though mostly in the distant past.

It is not unusual to grow out of superstitious witch hunts when you have grown large and adept enough at survival to no longer be threatened by your environment. And it is a symptom of consciousness that we try to explain what we can not explain. When misunderstandings arise even greater delusions of the methods of control are developed and fastidiously attended to regardless of their irrationality.

If it began to rain while we stood by a certain tree on more than a single occasion we begin to weave a cult of tree worshipping rain makers. Consciousness makes us desire to solve problems which is obviously an evolutionary result of developing problem solving skills in the interest of basic survival long before we evolved into social creatures. And we solve problems with the information we have, not necessarily what the truth is and it was that elusive quality that the speaker was seeking. Truth and a shattering of illusions regardless of the price is the demand of the madman and the speaker's eye's burned with the intensity reserved to those that have failed to look away until their very minds have been turned to pillars of salt.

Calmly stepping back up to the podium the speaker surveyed the now agitated gathering. "Our scientists have shown us how we are ruled subconsciously by scent. We can conclude, as most have up until now, that this is a low level subconscious desire or we can assume it is an overwhelming drive."

"If it is a desire then it is a choice. If we know the cause of the desire we can choose for or against it. While still keeping in mind our natural biases and therefore make choices at a more rational level."

"If on the other hand it is an overwhelming drive you can still take two diverging views. If the overwhelming drive does not allow you to choose might this be because you actually want this and therefore the universe is drawing it to you or some other type of metaphysical explanation? Or we are, all of us, barely aware automatons not realising how compelled and blinded by our subconscious we are, which would make the concepts of freedom and individuality as we know them meaningless."

"For instance we walk west because that is what we are compelled to do our consciousness is merely rationalising the action after the choice was made. Why do we do this you ask? Why do we supposedly rationalise our actions to make them look like choices even though they are not? Well our senses create a delusion of separateness first off, second and more importantly we have evolved to believe we are separate to better ensure that we are not."

That was always a difficult concept for Genbin to explain. "If you have individual choice but know you are compelled by a collective subconscious then you may rebel. If on the other hand you believe that you are separate. The thought that your choices are not choices but actually just self rationalisations for things you were compelled to do then you also will believe that all that you are doing is purely in your own self interest. Whether that truly is the case or not will be irrelevant. To rebel against self interest would be to throw your own life into chaos. But what if I were to tell you that in building your shelter you were also building your neighborhood? In building your neighborhood you and your neighbors are building a community. In building that community with large enough numbers you are building a city."

"The act of suicide act that could be called one of the most individual actions one could make, is a sacrifice to the collective. It can be viewed through a micro or a macro lens. Depending on the viewpoint of the observer, much as everything else, the result as well as the context take on new meaning. On a micro level it is the abrupt end to an individuals reality. Also on a micro level it has a large and often devastating effect on that individuals close associations and loved ones."

"On a macro level though it takes on a new meaning. An individual that had trouble assimilating their reality with the collective decided to exit the confrontation stage left. With an end to the confrontation between the individual and the collective the collective will not change nor evolve any further than it had up until the point the suicide took place since they will no longer be able to exert any further force upon it. The individual even knows this which is why you commonly see accusatory or manipulative suicide notes. What the individual in life was unable to wrest from their surrounding interfaces of the collective they then try to force upon them after their death."

A hand shot up "what do you mean by "interfaces of the collective?"

"Why you my friend. See if we are actually better described and viewed as having a collective or hive mind rather than an individual one then we are all merely interfaces of the collective. On a micro level that may be your mother Rena but on a macro level she is a female parental figure. Though a few generalities may be off the mark the over all biases we will now view the individual with will turn out to be correct."

The cavern had fallen silent and deep in Genbin's psyche he began to question if he had already gone too far. He had spent a large part of his life studying and communicating with crowds. He had seen similar moments where fate seemed to dangle above the earth as if awaiting a mere thought to push it one way or another.

A moment of stasis on which his entire future reality was utterly dependent. If things went well he would not only be able to finish his speech as he had in the past but would likely end up with converts. When the audience began to hang on your words they either believed them or were still too stuck in slack jawed horror to stop you...yet.

"Yet" is a very key word though as Genbin himself could attest. We often find ourselves unable to react as quickly as we would like especially when an event or an attack is unexpected and from your view unwarranted. Our failure to act swiftly in such moments are the stuff of neurosis and even reality destroying realisations.

Before we can avert our eyes, before we can shield our minds the concept or idea leaps out at us like addressed directly in this moment in time and signed at the bottom XOXO, Fate.

Dropped in our lap we now will have to make sense of this new reality. We will be forced to make peace with this new truth and forever after look upon our prior existence with the jaundiced eye of wisdom. The wisdom of understanding that you never really knew and this moment of enlightenment is unlikely any different, regardless of how much improved your understanding is in comparison to the past. We are all always merely crawling toward a better understanding of reality and that is only if we do not envelop ourselves in a cocoon of lies that we pretend is reality.

Our inability to punch the person before they hurled the insult we can never wipe from our minds haunts us just as much as it would have if we had never acted at all. Our refusal to walk away from an argument before the unforgettable words left our adversaries lips is the price we pay for inaction and lack of resolve. We may have fought the good fight, we may have done what we perceive as right but we are still haunted by the incident even if the other participant is not.

You can comfort yourself with the knowledge that you did eventually put them in their place but its 3:15am and while they slumber you are still turning the moment over and over again in your mind. In some vain attempt of seeing or hearing something differently than you did the first time when the cracks in your ticky tacky world began to show.

One broke out of the crowd before the podium "but look at me, I am not like everyone else...look how very different I am. I detest everything the others stand for."

The podium stood eerily silent for a moment as if it was attempting to be respectful. "You are a reaction not an individual my friend." The crowd gasped and arched away from the podium and its inquisitor as well. The inquisitor stood stone silent though seemingly stunned. Seeing a short window of opportunity remaining Genbin began to again speak.

"Speaking in basic terms three types of "individuals"exist in our society though in different mixtures and extremes. Pros, that tend to be for the status quo and generally go with the current prevailing popular sentiment. Antis, that tend to be against anything in the current prevailing popular sentiment and the middle which fall in between. Anti's base their tastes and desires off of what is not part of the status quo which in the end makes them just as conformist as the society they are rebelling against. Think about it, they choose in their rebellion to wear symbols linked to rebellion for generations when true rebellion would have been rejection of the need for conformity of any type. This could be a sign of modelling and/or lacking creativity or it could be a symbol of "safe" rebellion within prescribed limits which would make the rebels the more lap dog variety."

The rebel flung himself toward the podium but the crowd reached out and held him fast with more arms than he had body grasping around his frame. Genbin had never been defended in one of these speeches nor had he made it this far into his explanation of what he believed to be the true reality of his species existence.

Fate as a feather dangled perilously above the scene. Embracing death he looked down at the faces of his fellow workers and decided to throw caution to the wind.
"What if the act of building tunnels to our friends shelters is the point and not a side effect? In building the tunnels we create a community of shelters so large that it distorts the very earth from which it was built. Do our shelters stand as monuments to our momentary needs or like the mighty daffodils do they stand towering above us for so much more. Daffodils stand tall above us so that the mighty wind may spread her seed and I argue that our shelters that we are compelled to build along with the tunnels are not the desired result but instead the journey. The desired result is the mighty Ant mound we now call home."

"What if the Queen is not taking our leftovers and waste but instead we only desire what through clear vision would be seen as scraps. I understand that our history tells us how she built the original tunnels and then we revolted and took control but what if this is an illusion. An illusion created specifically to delude us into servitude. And my fellow Ants what if this delusion is not perpetrated by ourselves nor by the female but by our entire tribe. A collective unconscious if you will where our fantasy of individuality is both forged and made a mockery of."

"We are not individuals but a collective hive mind. Our individuality is a delusion woven of our own desire for control and safety in a world in which none exists on a personal or a collective level. If you still believe in individuality it is time to prove it!" He had practised this many times but never had he actually made it this far It was finally happening and before him his army awaited.

"Let us march to the four winds never again to return to this place. Let us prove we are free by leaving when we choose and going where we choose on an individual basis."

"How will we bring the Queen with us?"

The moment had come and only the dice roll remained. "The Queen...we kill the Queen" before anything else could be relayed the crowd had already crushed Genbin as they rushed and destroyed the podium in a fearful panic. Deep in their beings they had all felt a primal need to destroy him. Him his ideas and all that he had touched. The idea remained though, like a virus it spread and once spread sat back attentively only to rarely raise objections and question what if...just what if we are not individuals after all?

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