Essays

Who is Society?

Who is society? (A Subjective Coalescence with the Living Object of Society)

 

While contemplating the concept of society, I often forget to consider myself a member. Society is a living, breathing, and constantly changing aggregate of economies and entities. Forgetting this, I envision myself as an observer, somewhere high above the petri dish of humanity. In doing so, I sterilize all learning with the immature habit of disconnected reflection. I avoid the dust of the world so as not to get my hands dirty.

I don’t want to take responsibility for the ill effects of industrialization & globalization. Dirt is inevitable. I’ll effortlessly purchase throwaway cell phones, receive goods in plastic containers, burn fossil fuels for travel, & spend US Dollars.

In avoiding major sources of societal expansion, my sense of pride tells me I am making a difference. Through this feeling of pride, there arises an idea: I’m not like them. I am not better or worse but I am certainly different from them. This type of thinking brings separation with it. Embracing separation from our environment denies a fundamental law: nothing exists separately.

This very idea of the rugged individual, I believe, is responsible for a dangerous disconnect. The individualist diverges their identity with the organized human form, creating a dualistic separation of organism and environment. This dualism leads to avoidance of the tough issues of life, mainly ethical & philosophical.

“I love man not the less, but nature more.” Lord Byron

Industrialized humanity has abandoned wild nature in favor of human nature. Human nature is a part of nature. I consider it to be inhibited, suppressed, in denial. Extending this to myself, I realize that I too, am those things. In me grows a resistance to accept the ultimate nature of society as it is, here & now. Living in a world of potentials and ideals, I sometimes miss the pragmatic counterweight of realism.

I feel a restless spite toward civilized humanity; at odds with some greater human entity. Denying benefits in favor of losses, focusing on ugliness rather than beauty, giving in to self-loathing before recognizing self-approval. If I am to take responsibility for my membership within “this”, how am I to feel? Rejecting society, living on the fringes is only an avoidance of the real problem: how do we cope with ourselves?

Through quiet acceptance, a door beyond intellect opens. Emotional states become unreliable. Just as thoughts, feelings are mere relative responses, not to be confused with ultimate nature. Soon the thought might arise: I am society.

All these things I am, in an ever-expanding fashion as all forms consistently dissolve into space. I am ultimately inexpressible. I feel myself filled with life, I feel myself decay. I see it everywhere, inside and out.

All mammals arising from the womb of a beautiful female, we share these experiences. I am not separate from life function & the cessation of life function and neither are you. We share this and we are this.

None of these ideas belong to anyone, as much as character doesn’t belong to anyone. They are collective reflections of influences, both inward & outward. They are gifts from society, just as much as our biological makeup is a gift from nature.

As a member of humanity & its greater idea of society, we are inseparable from the discoveries & failings of our members. We are able to share (or deny) these discoveries just as we contribute to the overall catalogue of evolution & decay.

We are these ideas. We are this ignorance. We are these inventions. We are this destruction. We are society.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller

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What? (Asking questions out loud & answering them) {in progress]

What is life?

A dialogue between the immutable and the transmutable.

if reality is a song heard on multiple sensory levels, life is the dance between time & space

Life: a pithy, cyclical joke (the snake is laughing with a mouthful of its own tail)

life requires a healthy resistance of death

begins & often ends in blood

Evolution gives way to awareness, awareness grows into self-awareness, and conscious awareness is born.
A search for physical meaning, (an ultimate theory), continues.

Life is, with & without you or I.

What is American society?

a battle between acceptance & rejection; between progress & destruction, between enlightenment & ignorance

the decision is handed down: choose the distraction you favor most & make it a career
(hopefully it’s something meaningful & helpful)
or else fall beneath layers of debt and continuum rejection, in some convoluted search for personal freedom
(the game was rigged)
we face opposition either way,
between commerce & competition, passive retaliation & all-out renunciation,
there are no easy roads.

Where does this inner sense of anxiety come from???
Leftover conditioning, organism-level cognitive dissonance, individual-level chemical imbalance… to name a few.
This conditioning prevails among our institutions; if they don’t fit in, rule ’em out.
This helps to keep us focused upon the original line of commerce-based continuity: progressive material expansion at all costs
(as if no deviation from the plot exists, we get the story beat into or heads and we are expected to fulfill its conclusion)
If our grandfathers are shaking their heads, I am also shaking mine.
The insidious arrogance in which this nation was founded!
*sigh of contempt*
good grief, what disgrace we dearly deserve for our Earthly dishonor.
We’ve been lead into ignorance by a manipulative prose (legal & religious language), decidedly so,
even our agriculture is wandering into the same confusingly specialized territory!
How simple a concept, HUMAN GOVERNMENT, yet it still eludes the layman after so many civilized years.
Before long, FARMING, may suffer a similar fate of ideological/methodological decay.

a choice comes suddenly: to be or not to be; to work or not to work

opt in or opt out…
does one meet the expectations of society
even though the society denies the ultimate existence of One?

(Well, is it one or One?
What is the difference?
Capital letters.)

do I get a job to feed the machine against my own will,
accepting the guilt and responsibility for keeping this moving?
(Our government & institutions are not much different than A.I. at this point;
human perspective has been largely sacrificed to further a human machine)

or do I exist on the fringes, self-aware and freed to my own way, evolution’s way, or God’s way?

does it make sense to continue driving the car at night, even though the headlights are broken and it’s almost out of gas?
Do my hyperbolic, one-sided questions satisfy the rebel within you?
Is that all this is,
All this angst I feel?
Is it simple teenage rebellion, lingering still after a decade?
Is it just a passing faze, or is it real passion?

“Loyalty to your country always.
Loyalty to your government when it deserves it.” -Mark Twain

Why do I feel the need to ask these questions out loud?

If there a little of you inside me, and a little of me in you?
Where does our consciousness overlap?
Beyond my own head…
the concept of me, of “other”, starts within your mind.
Convince me I exist.

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Phish & Dualism- A Philosophical Analysis of One Point on the Jam Scene

Phish & Dualism- A Philosophical Analysis of One Point on the Jam Scene
(ranting on the subject of Phish)

Music is played for it’s own sake; never made to arrive, it is enjoyed fully in transit. Most of my perspective consists of opinions, so it isn’t relevant to those with opposing opinions.
This is my perspective/misguided perception, depending on where you stand.
I am not attempting to convince; I seek to understand, which is likely where I fail. There’s my disclaimer.

Phish… let me put it this way: the fulfillment that most lyrical music gives me seems to be absent from Phish. The music has soul & cosmic truth at certain moments; it reflects something very high & inspired, yet the lyrics fail to represent that level of clear translation.
The thing that confuses me in the utmost is what Phish represents: what is the message/philosophy of Phish?
Can anyone explain this to me?

Here’s what I know:
They are a continuation of the jam scene that the Dead helped to popularize. They inherited a piece of established culture.
They are upholding the original ideals of the traveling music fan:
a long, trippy, mutative piece of entertainment for the chemically-induced dancers & listeners, from state-to-state, cross country.
Awesome.

Here is where I get lost:
whereas the Grateful Dead has a connection with “The Ultimate”, as it were, Phish seems to dwell within the relative. I mean this purely in a philosophical sense.

My understanding of art is that it comes not FROM man, but THROUGH man.
Art, where thought is concerned, is an abstract formation of patterns beyond our normal realm of linear conception.
It usually evokes feeling instead of thinking, yet it is still comprised of thought-stuff.

The Grateful Dead (and more importantly, Robert Hunter) center their gaze upon the stars, using (most of) the lyrics and music to point at the full moon (in the Zen Koan sense).
Where is Phish pointing?

i
s

t
h
e
r
e

a

p
o
i
n
t
?

What sort of vibrations are they creating/sustaining/destroying?
On one finger, it is bringing people together, through love.
Love of music. Love of experience. Love of fellowship.
I respect that. But when I go deep into the roots of what the music actually is, and is saying, I find no ultimate basis.

For me, anything that obscures my attention from that full moon, from ultimate understanding, is engaging in division and confusion.
I sez to myself: let it be. Stop analyzing so much.

A lot of music fits the bill for these accusations.
Listen to the radio: its riddled with pop homages to samsara.
But something in me won’t let it go where Phish is concerned.
There is a certain cosmic representation that Phish receives and upholds. Put simply: I feel that they are misrepresenting reality, even though they have a certain responsibility to uphold the cosmic energetic union between band and audience; between dancer and player.

Phish represents a traveling lifestyle that caters to psychedelic experience (“mind manifesting”)… so what type of mind is Phish manifesting with all that wide-open awake energy? I’ve taken chemicals at numerous Phish shows and honestly tried to feel their resonance. Wherever they are bound, I cannot recognize.

Phish isn’t just some band on the radio; people spend much of their time, efforts, and finances on this energetic force. Is Phish reenforcing conscious evolution or sustaining confusion & distraction? I suppose it’s up to the individual listener to be responsible of their own consciousness.
I just wish the scenes weren’t so indicative of a culture at odds with itself.
Furthur/Dead scene is no better, as we all know.
Just go to the lot and watch the spectacle. It’s no less an animal kingdom than any other place.

I am disappointed and feeling sort of cheated by my own culture, which is why I no longer strictly identify with it.

There is division & there is unity.
As such, there are two choices that arise in our lives:
we can either strive for sensory gratification or we can strive for ultimate perfection & evolution. I work to align with the latter, and choose to surround myself with other sources of the same.

Outward vs inward
Materialism vs spiritualism
Life sure gets complicated before it gets simple.

Thats okay. Burn this post & carry on, folks.

Jerry oughta hit the Big Wheel for a spin and show back up soon… we need another like him if you ask me.

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