Furthest Right

Listening in

A skill almost forgotten — listening — is doubly rare when applied to the self.

How many people can listen to themselves, or their inner selves?

We wander a gray topography of boxes, each labeled with a function, each function relating to pleasing the material needs of individuals. The result is a city of even lines and no unpredictable spaces except the threatening. This is a place for errands, not dreams.

It is an artifact of a species without direction, going hog-wild on its wealth, as the void grows within. We can do whatever we want, but without a challenge to replace the struggle for survival, we stumble.

Living for your own life is a tautology. Why do I live? To be me. And why should I be me? To live. You had time of no doubt, but now it is gone, and the cold wilderness encroaches, so you eat again.

And we fear to leave that tautology, because to do so requires we accept our own transience and unimportance.

In the murky depths of our consciousness is a land of impulses that are not fully formed. We think of them as beneath all the layers we can put into numbers, words and directions. This depth is the raw material of our souls.

There a sleeper dreams: not of boxlike streets of functionalism, utilitarian in their desire to pander to the herd and please the oligarchs; not of the loose morals of a time that gives you any pleasure but innocence and wholesomeness; not of the “culture” that consists in drama of the self, amplified into wish fulfillment and an obsessive need for self-expression without essential content; instead, the sleeper dreams of creation.

In our deepest selves, we do not want to solve problems. We want to blast past them and find new lands to conquer, new mountains to climb. We are exhausted with the stale and cyclic. We are burnt out on the failed and self-pleasing. We want to make something we can be proud of, to celebrate life with new pathways toward happiness, to create the inconceivable and string it from the heavens.

Modern thought focuses on methods. The human is the goal; everything else is a means to that end, and don’t you dare suggest we too are means to an end. Since our goal doesn’t exist, and thus never changes, we talk about methods: the morality of waterboarding, kettling or buying on layaway, and other fascinating stuff.

It might be time to swing away from the cul de sacs of modern thought, head for the open highway and slam the pedal to the floor, zooming forward into time faster than can possibly safe, to see if we can discover a new land to explore. Even if our journey begins by listening deep within ourselves.

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn