November 11, 2016


[Reflections on My Big 7-0]

It's official, I guess-- I'm old. On my recent barf-day I turned 70; that's seven decades, or 'three score and ten' in Biblical parlance. However you call it, the next big event in my life is the curtain-call, right?

That's fine; I'm ready, plenty ready. Once you come to the point where you've more or less figured out what life's about, seen thru its futility, there isn't much incentive to carry on. What do you want to live for? Playing more games? Traveling... to fill the boring hours? Studying what has lost meaning for you? Maybe the only reason to get out of bed is just to see what the heck will happen next (even if you think you have a general idea). It's not very compelling, for me, anyway.

Fact is, I'm weary. I mean just sick and tired of living in this human-created matrix of utter deception. Once, I would listen to, or watch the news, faithfully. Now, it just nauseates me, with the endless stream of bs, mostly obvious bs. Yet the masses believe it, devotedly.

The education system teaches us to be obedient units of society, drumming out of us our imagination and our common sense. Science has devolved into scientism, a belief system having all the characteristics of a religion, now the tool of the corporations. And religions are traditional control systems mixing a little spirituality with the human propensities for greed, hope, and conviviality. Governments, of course, are the ultimate control schemes, especially when they pretend to be 'democratic,' and to have our best interests at heart.

What I'm getting at is that all our societal institutions are corrupt, but worse, they do the opposite of what they profess to do. This situation has always existed; human nature has not fundamentally changed. Today, though, in this 21st century of our Lord, it has become blatantly obvious how corrupt people are, at the organized level. On top of that transparency, my lofty perch of 70 years has given me the perspective to see it in woeful clarity. Hence, my existential angst!

On top of the exogenous factors, there are plenty of internal ones, too. I won't recite a litany of pathetic complaints (that, by now, tire even my patience). Suffice it to state that if I had to choose one word to describe the tenor of my life, it would be 'frustration.' Frustration at never being able to fully exercise whatever giftedness I might possess; at making self-limiting decisions in earlier years; at feeling incapable of transcending the bonds of destiny. And there's much more.

To be clear: I have much to be grateful for, especially relative to many others. And I am grateful for the blessings, small and important alike. Yet... I can't help feel more than wistful at what could have, might have, been.

People may judge me arrogant for thinking I've deciphered the significance of life, but at this stage, I don't have to give a damn. Everyone has their own ideas about everything, no matter how vacuous and ill-informed. At least I can aver that I've put in the time, done more thinking than most, before reaching my conclusions. And my main conclusion is that this is all a spiritual boot-camp, a school of hard knocks. Any other explanation makes no sense; and at the fundaments, I believe that existence has to make sense.

Look-- there are only two explanations for everything. Either you believe in 'coincidence theory,' or you believe in 'conspiracy theory.' Let me elaborate. The first group are the pragmatists and materialists for whom everything can be explained from primordial coincidence. They believe that this whole, stupendous universe just exploded out of essentially nothing, by chance (i.e. coincidence), and that everything simply progressed from there to this point of human life that 'evolved' from propitious slime. For these stolid souls, there is nothing after life, and all instances of the numinous can be 'explained' as mere coincidence of misunderstood principles.

The second group believe it's all explainable by deep, subtle, often cryptic or transcendent factors and forces. They're not afraid to say that creation is a mystery, a marvellous one at that. Ironically, the coincidence camp believes that wars, economic events, and big social movements just happen 'spontaneously,' while the conspiracy contingent believes that there are logical, but hidden reasons why these things happen.

As a diehard conspiracy advocate, I have always argued that the 'mystical' outlook is superior to the pragmatic paradigm in explaining reality. The reason is simple. The transcendental view encompasses the physical, practical world, while adducing the unseen dimensions. On the contrary, the pragmatic (coincidence) faith cannot accommodate the concept of the spiritual (mystical) realm beyond the senses. Therefore, the pragmatists live in a limited cosmos-- which seems to suit them just fine, altho they reserve the right to feel superior for it. (Weird!)

Moreover, the coincidence adherents can't accept their inherent illogic. They want to start off their paradigm with a clearly mystical event (the 'Big Bang') and then, nano-seconds later, switch to pure materialism following the knowable physical laws! Surely this is crazier than the spiritual approach that treats all of existence as a numinous realm within which physical reality is a kind of base stratum.

Anyway, I have digressed terribly from my original blathering about breaching another milestone birthday. But, I can get away with such transgressions now that I'm a doddering curmudgeon (so, there). Returning to my 'wisdom,' I claim that the purpose of human life is to learn. To learn what? Apparently, it's right there in the last line of a simple popular song that made it to radio hits, way back in the early 1950s. From 'Nature Boy,' the song goes: 'the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.'

'Sounds too simple(-minded) to be taken seriously; but really-- do you have a better answer? All this to-ing and fro-ing, studying, working, playing, warring, making art, inventing, building, thinking, striving for more, hurting and being hurt... surely it's got to be worth something. Or is it really all coincidence, with no transcendent meaning?

As I've written elsewhere, consciousness itself is such a profound and amazing mystery that it points us to the spiritual dimension. Consciousness is related to the soul of man. The mind (aka 'heart', also called the soul) resides as the software of the brain (the hardware). In some way, the spirit resides in the mind/soul, and cannot be directly accessed. This is the part the pragmatists miss.

Any spirit-based manifestation (e.g. intuition, premonition, ESP, etc.) is 'explained' by the pragmatists as coincidence triggered by environmental cues. It's the best straw they can cling to. Naturally, these people cannot accept the notion of God, and must rely on the idea of secular humanism as a shaky basis for their ethics. And, since there are no transcendent (eternal) consequences for their actions, they are hard-pressed to create a functional morality. In the end, it's Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' that constitutes their moral basis. Not encouraging.

Altho I stated that I regard human life as a school of hard knocks, I don't think of it as frivolous in any way. It's serious, as seen by the lives of so many, especially in 'less-developed' nations, who live and die under horrific circumstances. There seems to be no fairness at all in how individuals are born and live their brief roles on this cosmic stage.

Back to frustration: that the vast majority are sleep-walking 'frogs' (from the analogy of raising the temperature of a pot of water slowly). Being raised in this environment of deception, people are programmed with hard-wired assumptions that they treat as axioms-- background facts that are unquestionable. To break out of this mental prison is difficult since it uses the peculiarities of human nature as the magic key. To escape, you have to admit you've been wrong to this point; to make that admission is too great a hurdle for most.

Frustration: having to live in an environment where all human qualities are inverted... and people think it's reasonable. Where we have news '24/7', yet it's just a constant stream of utterly biased propaganda... which the majority lap up without question, convinced they are now well-informed. Where the hidden manipulators even reveal their plans and methods openly-- albeit in fictional format, in movies, books, etc.-- and the masses just absorb it mindlessly as entertainment.

Frustration: pondering the trajectory of my life, and feeling I've lived it under a karmic curse. In certain areas, being destined/doomed to failure, or mediocrity. Sure, we all operate under those conditions; some see it and others prefer to attribute it to (you guessed it) coincidence.

Many non-Western traditions speak of the cyclical nature of human history, and in the Hindu view, we are in the final days of the Kali Yuga, also called the Age of Iron. It's a time wherein the basest human traits manifest unbridled, plumbing ever-darker depths of depravity that defy the sane and rational mind.

In the Christian schema, this is the Apocalyptic Age, coming from the Greek word for 'unveiling' or 'revealing.' This is exactly what we're seeing, those of us with eyes to see. Too many still don't get it; but they'll have no choice but to confront the evil in our midst once it blows up in their startled faces.

Perhaps that's how it's supposed to work: you reach a point in your journey where all the appurtenances of life lose all allure, leaving one cynical and empty; and then you're ready to graduate to the next level, whatever it may be. In fact, I've always experienced this restlessness prior to any big move in my life, whether physical relocation, or abandoning one paradigm for another. As I stated above, I'm ready to leave.

Actually, I never felt fully at home here anyway. I always felt as an outsider, a stranger in a strange land. And that was before I finally understood the utter corruption and deception on which this world operates. In some ways, I'm already gone in spirit; it's just a question of when the physical body will follow. For most strangers I meet, it seems I'm already gone-- they won't look at me, don't acknowledge my presence, and totally ignore me. Sometimes I wonder if I've turned invisible.

Yet, these are exciting times... if you like living in a matrix of deception fabricated by truly sick souls bent on the destruction of the world as we've known it. The world does not end with 'a whimper,' as T.S. Eliot wrote. It's a cosmic 'train wreck,' and we're only at the beginning-- the first wheels have just come off the rails, metaphorically. Wait till the bodies start flying out the windows. That's when the real madness breaks out in the open, right here in the peaceful North America. I can see it all unfolding, but am powerless to convince even those closest to me. (Can you say 'frustration?')

What makes the situation so bleak for me is the inescapable realization that there's no hope. It's too late. It's all basically cast in cosmic stone, the macrocosm and the microcosm. My relationships are what they are. Those around me (or who read my stuff) will never believe me until they experience it. I can't change anything, except my attitude, and even there, having gained certain conclusions, it's hard to have any other outlook than 'let's get it over with.'

With extensive and intensive reflection, one learns about life and about one's own life-track. In my case, I know I'm blessed in some ways; but also cursed in others (and in ways to get maximum leverage). Like the Oracle of Delphi, I seem to be doomed to be able to tell the truth (e.g. about worldly politics, the near future, etc.) but never to be believed. There are other curses, but I won't go into them.

Bottom line-- there's nothing left to interest or motivate me. The game now, for me, is just to keep going; to pretend to my loved ones that life is worthwhile. I guess I can pretend that it's a worthwhile pursuit (grin... a bit forced). ;-)