Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Humanity's Deafening Silence




The looks are sideways, the eyes never meet and when they do, the constant sensation of physical pain in the bowels that clench is only replaced by panicked heartbeat, labored breathing, even asthma. The jaws hurt, the teeth grind and lips turn white from pressuring anything and everything to stay bottled inside, not daring to let it escape even by a breath and when that breath is finally taken, it seems as though you have been underwater forever; and the cycle recommences.

Welcome to the new humanity, which silences itself to death and failing that, at the very least ulcers, depression and psychological derangement galore. The scene described above is typical of today's human relationships and before we take even the least step forward, let me clarify that I mean any and all relationships, those of a romantic or sexual nature being the least of our problems.

People do not talk, but you do not need me to tell you that: even the most forward of people must sometimes weigh the consequences of their actions before speaking their mind and that could even be called extremely healthy: most of you, most of us rather, for I am no exception, do not speak our minds nearly as often as we would like to, until we forget that we would like to and leave everything squeezed inside, building pressure and as any physicist worth their salt will tell you, eventually something' s gotta give. Time was when that was the deafening silence, which burst and ripped, leaving behind a bloody mess of raw emotion, revealed secrets and all manner of wet, sticky things we keep inside our shells - and which things, then visible, could be, in time, tidied, mopped up and eventually, when required, thrown away as so much waste. Now we harden our shells so much, foolishly thinking to protect ourselves and perhaps even others, which foolishness results in our insides festering, our psychology being imbalanced, our very bodies failing or working erratically.

Then, researchers, statisticians and simple people, usually of the older generations wonder: has youth gone crazy? Why do people kill themselves all the more often? Why is there so much depression and why are therapists (shrinks, for the TV minded) among the most lucrative of professions? Why are stable relationships so rare, marriages even rarer (in comparison to what it should be, given the Earth's current population) and casual, mindless sex on the rise? Hold on, no, even sex itself is not so widespread anymore, since people can wank off in front of their screens, be Don Juans and Marquises de Saad on MySpace, Facebook, MSN, or what-have-you.

Make no mistake: we live in fear. It is a fear of ourselves, engendered by a fear of others, of how we will seem, how we will be judged and we in turn judge others, either in offense or defense and so it all goes round and round. I assure you, it is a potentially mortal fear... I would know, for it nearly killed me once: I let myself be dragged into deceit, then join in a stagnant madness which was perceived as charming by all involved and in the end I could not stand being inside my own head, let alone my skin. For 9 months, all those years ago, I was a collection of psychological conditions, all masked under a big blanket of depression. You can run, but you absolutely CANNOT hide from yourself and in such cases you end up cloistered with yourself in a room without exit, for a very long time (time is not linear in thoughts and amazingly enough, something to that effect has been proven scientifically).

Thankfully, I am not self-destructive by nature, but there is a reason why we say: "run from one's problems". So I ran and ran... for miles each night, with cold, rain, even snow and at the same time I was not eating. True, it made for a very lean and muscled body, but my constitution started failing: I ended up with something very akin to pneumonia (I do not think it was actually that, since I never had to go to the hospital) and was bedridden for weeks. However, even that did not open my eyes. Sometimes, all we see is smoke and mirrors, endlessly, seemingly infinitely. Oddly enough, people were so afraid for me and so alienated by my behavior in general, that they started talking and by that time, they were quite blunt about how fucked up I was. I, on the other hand, am not one to share my burden with others: you could even say I am extremely possessive of it, so my response was, again, silence... I did not hear their words and had none of mine to offer.

However... as I said earlier, something' s gotta give and thankfully, once every now and then one is equipped with the tools to make a chink on the outer shell, before the insides melt. That was Ergo Proxy, who did not in fact try to contradict or convince me of anything: he simply shifted my focus and with such a minute change, suddenly all was clear. It was to be expected, not so much because he probably knew me better than anyone, but because he had been fucked up in much the same way a few years earlier.

The reason I am purposefully vague as to the details of WHAT drove me to such a state, is that I am trying to make a point concerning the internal processes and external results of human imbalance, rather than entertain you with colorful literature such as would make the story itself: the point is that, after that ordeal, I spent a year at the other end, as overly extrovert, even to the point of being callous and rude. I spoke my mind without a second though, I kept nothing inside and as a result the festering wound slowly sealed itself shut and left a prominent scar. The thing is, the boundaries of my freedom started overstepping the ones of those around me and they were usually too afraid to tell me so: on the rare occasions they did tell me, the answer was instantaneous.

"This is who I am, take it or leave me and no hard feelings. I will NOT apologize about who I am, but at least you know what you are getting."

Funny, isn't it? I did not purposefully hurt anyone around me, although when provoked I retaliated without restrain and in equal measure. Brutal candor, no mercy, no second thoughts. However, that savage freedom alienated people, as though Lovecraft's proverbial unknown had stepped into the light and had become known. It was reactionary you see: if the psyche can be perceived as an organism, mine had to get rid of all the poison and as fundamentally nothing is lost in the Universe, that poison had to go somewhere...

In the end, that too passed (thankfully, without any serious aberrations on my part) and I returned to a middle state, balanced, a bit numb, having to learn anew the steps of human interaction, without being guided by sorrow or rage. If anything is like a bicycle, which you never forget how to ride, it's this. So what did I get for my pains? Well, a handful of scars and hard lessons, but those I took to heart and the second time around they protected me very efficiently.

It all leads to this: we come into the world bloodied and screaming and a terrifying percentage of our greatest achievements were birthed by war, strife and death. We only learn through adversity, we get stronger through getting hurt, we learn how better to fight by being defeated... as many times as it takes. However, we also learn by listening and one cannot listen unless they are willing to reciprocate the act of directed speech. You should consider yourselves nothing short of blind, with your hands tied behind your back, your ears plugged, your mouth gagged, stumbling in the darkness and thus, in the unknown void your mind fills the emptiness with monsters. However, find another in the same situation and you might help each other undo your bonds, you might be shown another's image of fear and realize you are not alone. Realization leads to knowledge and knowledge, at some point, helps you find dry wood and stones, in order to make a fire, illuminate the fading terrors and ultimately, find an exit.

In the name of absolutely anything you hold to higher authority (if anything), speak, engage in dialog, let the demons of your mind out and have them dissipate instead of gestating them to the point that they torture you. If not, we have no hope: we are condemned to be autistic, petty, to feel disillusioned where our illusions were idiotic to begin with, to remain neurotic adolescents or deranged adults unto our deaths. The first step is to be honest with oneself for if not, there is no chance in Hell anyone could be honest with those around them. Take a long, hard look into the metaphorical (or even actual, although that is not mainly the point) mirror and don't shirk from the blemishes or the imperfections: you may not like them, but they are yours, they are the balance to your good side and I assure you, balance has been, is and will ALWAYS be served somehow: it's not philosophy, or religion - it's science, proven over and over again.

The whole of our existence (of our Universe's existence in fact), is balanced on the edge of a cosmic razorblade, a thing that seems so vastly absurd to be a coincidence, that scientists ruled it a necessity. Nor is it a coincidence that my favorite Tarot card is that of Temperance (14th of the Major Arcana, although I usually get the Hierophant or the Magician): we are no different than the Universe, only vastly smaller and we should remember to act like we are, as did our ancestors. It is time to break the silence with words.

Speak up,



Wabbit said...

I liked this post very much. I found it useful. Keep up the good work Speedgrapher-san!

Speedgrapher said...

Thank you and I am glad to be of help Ms. Wabbit.

Skauld Skauksson said...

Nice text! ;) But this was written a month ago???... I mean you might as well take your time, but I think you could try a bit harder to... errrmmm listen Speedgrapher's advice...!!! :P

[Förresten, jag älskade mycket blogets nya färger! ;)]