Tell ‘Em That It’s Human Nature…

The idea that we can understand our emotions better by looking at them the same way we look at physical bodies and the way they interact with one another and—

Oh here we go with this metaphysics mumbo-jumbo again.

Oh, you got me. The ol’ pigeonhole. Whatever, call it what you want. Just because these things cannot be quantified or measured doesn’t make them any less real. Matter of fact, nothing can truly be quantified or measured because all measurements are relative in the first place. Is a football field 100 yards or 9,144 centimeters?

It’s both.

Okay, well what is a centimeter?

10 millimeters.

What’s a millimeter?

Well…what’s smaller than a millimeter?

A micrometer, but it doesn’t matter because if you said that I would have asked what that was. This is what I like to call the Why Expansion. You can do this with any subject (kids annoy the hell out of adults with this game). Just keep asking why. The questions will always outnumber the answers. It’s pretty WONDERful when you think about it. Damn, nobody is reading this crap. Why do I even—just click below.

COME ON, TAKE A SEAT…
Therapist Couch

How do you feel right now? Are you angry, sad, happy, depressed? Emotions are dense, yet you cannot hold them in your hand or put them under a microscope. Some think since they cannot be measured they have no scientific merit.

So what.

What is scientific merit anyway? Why is it so damn important? Science is aggressively modern. The minute a scientist steps outside the box and gets a little Marcel Duchamp with his game he’s called a kook. I’m not knocking science, I dig the stuff, but why must we always apologize for wondering. What is so wrong with momentarily putting aside all of the complex vernacular and just getting lost in the beauty around us? Ironically, all scientific study begins with wonder, but it seems to take pride in attempting to obliterate it with answers. Thing is these answers are only temporary because there is always something new to learn. It’s that Why Expansion bit I mentioned earlier. This crazy infinite expanding mess we call the universe never stops so what’s wrong with casting your line way out there and seeing what you can catch?

Damn, I said wasn’t going to be an apologist, what in the hell was that tirade? Let me stop this self-referential bit and move on—

I’ve been depressed lately so we’ll start with that first. Depression consumes every limb in your body. Nothing feels good or bad, everything feels detached. You are aware of the fact you occupy the physical world, but the world seems distant and you really don’t want any part of it. Joy is not even a desire. You long for pain because at least that is something that seems attainable, but the tears don’t come. You cannot even force them from your eyes. After awhile you get dull and you feel nothing. Love is even hard to process. You KNOW you love your family, but the depression acts as a shield and prevents the love from bursting through. Those goosebumps you used to get (the physical manifestation of intense emotions) are gone because your mind cannot stop processing gloom. By studying the brain we have determined that this is due to a chemical imbalance. But isn’t this conclusion a relative one? Compared to so-called normal people this may be true. But why are us depressed folks so imbalanced in the first place? Why would such a debilitating state of being evolve and where is it going? And why does it seem to target creative people or those of us who waste our time thinking deeply. Is it a punishment for tumbling down the rabbit hole? Are we nibbling on too much of that forbidden fruit? Or is it a privilege? Perhaps this state-of-being is a sacrifice. Comparably few people suffer from it and the majority of people do not understand it. Oftentimes their remedy for depression is telling the depressed to just cheer the hell up. No one wants to be around these downers. This might be a huge mistake. Depression may be evolution’s way of bringing people closer to its sufferers. Depression may exist so that we pause and look at what constitutes our emotions. Most people prefer not to be bothered with depressed people and this may be because they do not want to be reminded of the truth of existence.

We know it’s coming, but we’d rather not think about it.
store

We love stuff and we will never stop creating it. Our diverse range of stuff includes professions, sports, arts, genres, clothes, et cetera. There is just so much stuff. Now why do we create it? Because we have to. The universe thrives off of relative diversity. It literally gets its power from things getting up and falling down or this more convoluted explanation: particles fuse together, remain dense for a spell and then evaporate back into particulate matter. This is what creates the illusion of time. A Redwood tree can live for a few thousand years while a fly on the other hand toddles around for about a month.

We continually add more and more stuff to our lives to facilitate our own illusion (a search for shovels on Amazon yielded 2,604 results). If you go back to our early history we bothered ourselves with just two things—life and death. And our lives were spent trying not to die. Now we busy ourselves with all of this relatively diverse stuff so that we don’t have to think about the inevitable “falling down” that scares the crap out of us. It’s not a conscious thing, it’s mechanical, it’s evolution. It’s what sets us apart from other living things. This need to enjoy ourselves in vastly diverse ways. You may be into hockey while I dig basketball or you may dig Italian food while I dig Indian. Whatever our differences we consume these things because we enjoy them. In the previous segment I posited that depression may be evolution’s way of getting us to take a minute and really look at what we’re doing. Some people who are really depressed end up committing suicide. Suicide is a form of communication. Normally a letter is written before the act is committed explaining why and the living are left to ponder what they could have done to prevent it. But they may be missing the point. The question following a suicide typically is: “Why would anyone want to commit suicide? What was wrong with their lives?”

When you no longer are moved by all of the ridiculously relative diversity around you your existence is reduced to two options—life or death. Now imagine not having any love in your life as well. Love is the positive relative diversity destroyer. Check this out—you’re at the airport waiting for your wife after she’s been away for a few months on business. She doesn’t know you’re coming, she thinks a cab’s coming to meet her. Imagine the feeling that consumes you as you wait and imagine the feeling the both of you feel when you make eye contact. For a moment everyone else seems to literally disappear. That is a wondrous feeling. The way in the thick of relative diversity it suddenly blasts it all away and you focus on what you love. Seeing a piece of art has this effect on some people or even a good movie, or a book, but something special happens when it’s two living things. If you do not have this is in your life and on top of that you get wind of the trick we are trying to pull on ourselves option two may look enticing. You can shut it all off. No more dealing with everyone telling you how much you should enjoy the madness or worrying about finding your niche. Just go to sleep and never wake up. Ironically, even those who choose option one do this. They are sleeping with their eyes wide open. Then someone close to them commits suicide and they grieve, but they may be missing the most important message of this self-sacrifice. Instead of wondering why their loved one killed themselves they should wonder why they wouldn’t. Personalize it. What about your life makes it worth living? Now this is not some pro-suicide rant. Just saying that it is important to look inside before we judge what is outside.

It’s not all doom and gloom.
smiley-face

If you’re feeling good right now or bored or just lukewarm that emotion is a collection of particulate matter that—look, let me lose this particulate business. Emotions are like clouds. They are formed of a bunch of little bits just like tangible bodies (sounds dirty). Happiness can include having a good job, fulfilling relationships, a positive upbringing, a promising future—it could be any number of things. The important thing to remember is that your happiness evolves, it doesn’t just happen. If you’re feeling good because you enjoy your job what about it makes you feel this way? Is it the free coffee, the people or the fact that social networking sites aren’t blocked on the company computers? See how the particulate (sorry, can’t leave that infernal word alone) matter begins to build up. I know some of this stuff may sound abstract, but it is far from. We enjoy people, places and things for many different reasons. All of these reasons make up that particulate matter I talk so damn much about. I’m sure you don’t dig your best friend just because you share the same taste in beer. You love the guy for many different reasons, most of which you cannot explain. Now where does this love go when both of you pass on?

Everywhere.

I think the word spirit evolved to describe a literal phenomenon. The feelings you have literally exist in the dense matter that rests behind your eyes. When we die this matter breaks down and expands throughout the universe. There is nothing metaphysical about this folks. Your flesh only appears to disappear from your bones. It is just being broken down into smaller and smaller bits as it evaporates and expands. Now if our emotions and experiences are stored in our brains wouldn’t they be broken down with the rest of our matter?

Think about a good or bad time in your life. The moment may have happened years ago, but you still have a vivid memory of it. Of course some of the minor details have faded over the years, but the important stuff remains dense and there is a little bit of dream-like wonder thrown in for good measure. That’s why our memories look more like this…

Claude_Monet,_Impression,_soleil_levant,_1872

than this…

lake-district

And the further and further we move away from the actual moment the more wondrous the memory becomes. But what is this wonder? Where does it come from? I don’t know. We all interpret it in different ways. But we all experience it no matter what we believe or not believe. Our memories are nothing but wonder. We all have them and we can see them, but where are they? You can be staring at the TV and begin to daydream, as you do so you become oblivious to the physical world around you. Your eyes glaze over and the only thing you can see is what you are thinking. It could be a memory or something completely fabricated, but whatever it is it exists. Sorry, I’m repeating myself. I’m just so damn fascinated with this stuff. Let’s move ahead. These memories do not die when we do. They get released. When the brain decomposes they—

Hey, don’t go anywhere. Stay with me. Just think about it. I’m talking about LITERAL matter here. Our brain’s are the densest part of our bodies. Perhaps their density evolved to lock in these memories. Of course they can’t hold everything in. Sometimes we forget things, especially after substantial time has passed. Those memories evaporate and find their way out. But when our hearts stop beating and our bodies make that literal journey to eternity the memories and experiences stored in our cranial universe break free and inhabit others. This may be where the sudden spark of inspiration comes from. Those ah-ha moments. Maybe this…

…was inspired by a collection of freed memories, all congealing in the mind of Debussy. But it’s not all good. We cannot forget about the Hitlers and Stalins of the world. These men may have been created by literal malevolent spirits.

Hey, put your coat down. Don’t be scared. Remember, spirit is just a word. It evolved to its current form just like everything else. The question is why do we have this word and why is it so ubiquitous throughout the world. Just have a little fun with this stuff.

Okay, now that you’ve sat back down…this may explain the so-called collective consciousness or the reason why we didn’t have PlayStations during the Dark Ages or why we don’t have flying cars today but why love, a belief in God or Gods and unfortunately hate endure. Evolution is nothing more then expounding on what came before. It is a cosmic learning process. Just look at the traits that we and other living things have evolved to negotiate the world around us. A turtle’s shell is hard to protect it from predators, but then there are predators whose teeth have evolved to bite through the hard shell. What makes everything so malleable and what hand shapes them? Well, nothing does. Actually, the virtual nothing that is all around us to be exact. The same nothing that you and I will one day float around in. The same nothing that keeps us alive. This is what shapes, molds and inspires. Hey, it’s just a theory. Yeah, it might seem a little out there, but isn’t that the nature of most theories? As Bertrand Russell said: “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”

THE DENSITY OF NOTHING

Look around you. Every human creation you see started as a thought and was later made tangible using naturally occurring elements found in the universe. This is nothing more than evolution via our minds and hands. Just a little something to think about next time your cell-phone rings. Give it a good hard look before answering. Think about all of the things that had to happen before it even became a thought and all of the things that had to happen before that thought found its way into your hand. Now think about what it does. All of this complex technology that took years to develop just so you can connect with another human. Kind of primitive really.

Websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others have evolved because our need to connect with one another is so strong. No matter where someone resides on this blue ball we can communicate with them. That’s why we have and continue to work so diligently to develop faster and faster methods of travel. We just want to be close to one another. It’s kind of beautiful when you think about it. It’s our nature.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

Ever notice how when you ask a kid this question they say something like, “I’m 6 years, 3 months, 2 days, 14 minutes and…” What they are showing you is that your age is infinite because like everything else it is constantly expanding. Right now you may think you are 34 or 23 or 67, but look at that second hand on your watch, that bad boy never stops. You are rapidly expanding away from your age to another one and then another one and so on and so on forever and ever.

YOUR TIME TRAVELING MIND

Let’s say I go to a basketball game with someone who has never seen a basketball game before. Well, they will have no idea what in the hell is going on. The game will seem to move at a blistering speed and their comprehension of it will lag behind. Now for me, a person who has seen many games, I will be able to predict events moments before they happen. For instance if I spot a player driving into the lane and I see the center step over and establish position under the rim I know a charge call is about to be made. Or if I see a player cutting to the basket and look back at the guard and the guard spots him well I can be certain the guard’s going to try and get the ball in the slashing player’s hands. Now my naive friend on the other hand will take several moments to process these events. He will be struggling to densely pack together the experience in his brain while I will be “expanding” it as it happens. We call this ability skill or wisdom and like everything it is built up of particles. We call those particles requisite knowledge. We gain this knowledge through experience. As they say: practice makes perfect.

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