Friday, March 24, 2017

IT'S COMPLICATED.


Human life is complicated by our own awareness of it. Our own propensity to evolve quickly as a species in response to environmental influences is also our potential downfall. Our evolution as a species has gotten us into the polluted and overpopulated mess we find ourselves in today. This may lead to a major, more intentional, change in our evolution as a species. I am sure some elite power-brokers have their ideas on that, like the elimination of Euro-American culture in favor of a more manageable and chaotic multiculturalism. Dividing and conquering is harder when a population has a solid cultural identity and uniform language for easy communication. But what then? I shudder to think of where that mentality leads. 

7+ billion other people make things more complicated. For example, transgender issues may directly effect less than 1% of the human population, but that is now around 70 million people. Is there any wonder that their voices are being heard? The confusion caused by radical religions is amplified in the same way, by sheer numbers. A "minority" with such large numbers cannot be considered a shivering handful of helpless victims. The onus falls back on them to organize their own numbers to support themselves by developing better coping strategies. Crying wolf at every turn is simply counterproductive. 

Human consciousness is also complicated. There's what you think you think. There's what you actually act out based on what you really think. There's what you want to think, based on nothing evident in the reality around you. Hell, few of us have any idea of what we truly look like or sound like to others, despite all our video and audio technology. Control of our reality through mind or myth is simply an illusion, easily disrupted by events.

Much of what I do in my life is an attempt to make my own life less complicated. I wish I could say that the world around me cooperates. It does not. 

Life as a modern human in a developed country is measurably easier as compared to developing countries or the past in developed countries. The availability of machines for just about every domestic chore from robotic vacuum cleaners to computerized dishwashers has reduced physical labor to the point that obesity has replaced the chore-related accident as a public health nightmare. This relief of physical stress has been accompanied by the increased stress of environmental degradation caused by our sheer numbers and our use of space and resources. We have become inured to the stress because it has so permeated our urban lives. 

Stress ignored is more lethal than stress recognized. Three peers of mine have recently had strokes. These are people whose lives are fairly typical in today's urban environments. All three are careful about their diet and exercise requirements. All three were relatively healthy prior to their cerebral vascular accidents. So why would they suddenly suffer from a condition related to a peak in high blood pressure in their 60's? Part of that answer, I am convinced, is the baseline stress of modern life.

I am not surprised by the rise in cults of victim identity here in the USA. When the environment has become too complicated around you for you to make a dent in improving it, increased stress is inevitable. Your impotence in the face of this environmental onslaught can easily be perceived as persecution, consciously or subconsciously. This bubbling feeling of impotence can fuel many things from ulcers to depression to rage attacks to screaming nonsense in a silly pink hat. Repressed feelings of impotence can spawn violence if sparked by the wrong messianic message. There is evidence throughout history of mobilization of this sense of mass victim identity for evil.

My own experience of impotence, real and imagined, has been assuaged by meditation, reflection and action. First, I must accept the simple fact that there are 7+ billion other people on the planet. Too many people, of course, but that's where we are. If I were a fertile young woman, I might take that into consideration when assessing my own stress and life plans. Rather than railing against men and expecting 'the patriarchy' to make my life better, I might consider not having children as an option. That would be one way to reduce the complication and stress in life overall. It would also be a worthy sacrifice for those to come.

I am an old man, older by virtue of being chronically ill. I have made my life uncomplicated in as many ways as I can without unnecessarily increasing my stress, but age itself will complicate it inevitably until I finally die. I am not a victim of aging. That mindset, despite being exploited commercially in thousands of ways by capitalism, is absolutely ridiculous. Aging is as much a part of the human experience as fucking. However, fucking feels better. And that quest to feel better is perhaps the most complicating human flaw of all. 

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