Monday, August 25, 2008
By Nicholas Allanach
A virus takes hold and fills us with bitterness, anxiety, and doubt. The first symptom is boredom, then our inspiration goes, and finally – depression. Of course, an inundation of war, poverty, and irritating bureaucratic procedures is enough to squash any spirit into submission - or not. “I am the great destroyer” and the only way to liberate myself from this horribly bland reality is to CREATE! CREATE! CREATE!
We come into this world curious and inspired. Beautiful children full of energy and potential, the future is open to infinite possibilities. Everything fascinates. But eventually, life wears us down. Our smiles become snarls. Sparkling eyes turn into scowls. What once amused becomes mundane. We stop laughing as much as we used to. We avoid risks and opt for hesitation. Keep busy and find comfort in the routine.
I would like to say I’ve not succumbed to such poisonous thought patterns, but I have. Sometimes, I find relief from the symptoms of this sickness through a cynical sense of humor, speckled with sighs of exasperation. I try to stay optimistic, but this reality has a way of perpetuating pessimism – so I run with it.
This week, I was promoted to “Assistant Director of Academic Affairs” at The New School; subsequently, I’m now more entrenched in this administrative office environment. But I suppose this isn’t all bad? In fact, it’s pretty damn good. After all, I have health insurance, retirement and –most importantly— work in a setting that encourages creativity, learning, and thinking. Nevertheless, success can become a habitual addiction that slowly eats away at one’s creativity and future ambitions. I will continue to ensure my view of success is not defined by how much money I make, but through how much time I can spend being creative and actually living an adventurous life, which admittedly (and unfortunately) requires money to do. What a dilemma!
Accordingly, this weekend, I had a conversation with my girlfriend about accepting that we are all “paradoxes”. Subsequently, I am a paradox. In one moment, I want to escape from the limitations and requirements of this American/capitalist existence; whereas in the other, I want to “enjoy my symptom” and enjoy all of the really cool stuff this materialist lifestyle manufactures off the blood of the earth. I suppose The Faint said it best, “Every time I move I’m in another dimension”; thus, we’re constantly growing and changing ("forever growing centipedes") and thus always wrestling with the conflicting aspects of our individual and collective experience.
I suppose some things remain consistent about my perspective. Despite my paradoxical nature, I accept uncertainty. I value love, creativity, and happiness. I do not believe in chance or coincidence. I do not believe in God. I believe humans are innately “good” and that it is the systems of power and ideology that turn us into cruel, ruthless, and sorry sacks of shit. Accordingly, since we are humans who are innately “good” it is our responsibility to become more conscious, and more evolved, so that the systems of power we create are used for beneficial purposes not destructive.
Wilhelm Reich was right, we need to regain our childlike nature.
To be cont…
“Blah! Blah! Blah! Ramble on! All talk no solutions.” – the cynic