Why I Write: The Acknowledgment of Presumption
I find myself, having engaged in several rather potently personal conversations/debates/arguments recently, inquiring as to just why I engage in life the way I do. I abhor a life unexamined, often pondering in near incredulity the many layers of existence that are being ignored through ignorance or deliberate obfuscation. How else does a person view the world except through the myriad lenses of multiple intellectual disciplines? Does not everyone wish to see the way or figure out how genetic influences react within the sphere of social variables, how this nurture within nature creates an internal symphony of unconscious drives, cognitive heuristics and metaphorical structures which then, the means of which is unknown to all of us, erupt into conscious deliberation, giving us a false sense of control and volition, but creating the very existence of which is so very integral to the continuing movement of life on this planet?
From skyscrapers to crayon doodles posted on fridges, all of it comes out of the same mass of 100 billion neurons each connecting to 10,000 or so others creating a virtually infinite series of potential interconnections and nearly the entirety of this process occurs completely without our awareness. To not wish to ponder this, to not stand in momentary mute shock and awe at the majesty of the human person and revel in the freedom to be found even in a deterministic universe is, to me, mind-boggling. Yet it happens, with startling frequency and often with a little smile, thinking the answer has been found, forgetting that the question was just slightly different than we remember. It becomes a forgotten fact that in the midst of all those neurological connections spinning reality into existence that we are still but one viewpoint in a cosmically large dialogue.
So I find myself writing these blog entries, self-indulgently assuming that more than just I would want to read the at-times hopelessly tangled pontifications of my healthy-ego-possessing self. I write because, perhaps arrogantly, I think I have something to say that can contribute however slightly to the betterment of others. While I write almost invariably to myself, this serves as a constant reminder that I am not so different than anybody else, though the behaviors I put my energies towards certainly are.
I wonder with varying degrees of apprehension the decisions I have made and how they will affect a future I have little control over. I cry, laugh, and find pleasure in many forms within the ever-changing circumstances of life. I exist in a space that, while any number of other circumstances could have gotten me to an approximately similar position, still it is with all the fervor of arm-chair-analysis I look at those that have actually occurred. These and more are not outside the realm of human imagining, they occur to varying degrees in the lives of every man, woman and child on this planet. These mental expulsions do not separate me, they in fact draw me in to wade through the amazing quality of so many different narratives, just as they do for all of us when we pick up a book, see a movie or theatre production or sit down over drinks/meal with a friend, family member or acquaintance.
We live and seek constantly to grasp more of an endless sea of consciously instantiated creations. We are at the gracious and abiding mercy of a universe of which expansion is not just a physiological reality but a metaphysical dictate. The stories we tell of ourselves and others never encapsulate the totality of any experience or individual. I, no more than any other, never give out an opinion that I do not believe to be accurate and yet within every enunciated position I still constantly remind myself to hold room for the potential of error and/or of not holding enough within my theorizing.
There are only gradations of truth, not absolutes. Even laws are only such within certain parameters and were the universe to go through another big bang and spiral into existence another grand machine so it could adhere to different rules of which we could likely never imagine. This is not cause for despair but like a race in which you feel the breath of your opponent hot on your neck, it inspires even greater efforts to move forward with explosive exuberance and grasp all that we have yet begun to conceive.
Erich Fromm noted: “There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.” Life knows only life and death is simply a place of forgetting it. We work and play, debate and quarrel, because at core we all want to know more, to see more clearly, to decide with less anxiety. All of this occurs, must happen, within the flow and flux of the inter-personal existences of which we are in constant contact. None of us need wonder at, my previous comments notwithstanding, every layer of existence to effect a positive shift, but we must keep at the forefront of our awareness this hope of realizing a better future, a more open understanding. If I can contribute, through word and deed, in such a way that even a simple shading of difference occurs in the world of which I am a part, then I will have counted myself having lived and lived well.