Infinity + Muse= Human

Infinite: unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless.
Muse: think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
2.Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly. meditate on.
4. to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.
5. the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Beautiful Chaos

[Reminder: though this was my first post, this post isn't 'official' and is NOT part of our Creative Non-Fiction blog requirements! Thanks! ]

You know, for my first attempt at blogging EVER, I legitimately felt as though I ought to simply write whatever’s on my mind, so I am.

And chief among the numberless threads of thought that coil up in my mind on any given day
are those that deal with a more zoomed out perception of life.

I feel as though today’s society often forgets about what life is, in general. I feel like,-- although no one could possibly prescribe exactly what life is—we forget some basic elements of knowledge that we do know about it, and that might help us exist within it a little more freely. A little more easily.

In fact, the first thing I feel as though we’ve got to remember is that: Life is Chaos. We know this. We know that Life is, (for all the human attempts to make order from it) so far, a rather bizarre little beastie.

I mean, here we are: Several billion biological entities with above average intelligence (as far as all life on this rock goes) all living, --working, building, breeding, loving, thinking, dreaming, dying—on a floating spheroid in space. Come now, you couldn’t write a more unbelievable script than that if it wasn’t the very life that we lived!

**** Warning: The following is NOT creative non-fiction and is used just for fun!**************

“Billions of them?” The editor furrowed his brow, whilst looking at a stack of 200 some pages laden with computer-processed lines of ink

“Yes sir, Billions”. The man at the other end of the table was pallid, and produced an audible gulp

“Living on a what?” The thick voice of the editor had risen into a grunt of disbelief that came from beneath an even thicker moustache. At the question he let the lone paper he was holding fall back onto the stack to the left.

“Um…A sphere sir” the man’s voice trembled a tad… “A –uh- a Spheroid, to- to be more precise, sir”

The editor looked in pain, and pressed his thumb and two fingers to his head, in visible frustration, before he raised his head again and spoke

“A billion of these guys—“ The editor began to recount quietly

“Six billion, actually”

If the editor wasn’t so busy trying to cull a headache, he might have rolled his eyes before continuing.

Six Billion of these guys, living on a spheroid just floating in space?” The question pressed the man like a dagger to his throat.

“Y-yes sir. Living and building things, and loving and—“

“Building things?! How the hell don’t they fly off into the blackness ahead, or something?”

“Gravity, sir”

“Gravit—You expect me to believe this rubbish!? Get out of my office Snelling and don’t come back till you’ve got an idea that’s helleuva lot more plausible than that!” The editor slumped into his seat as a rather appropriate exclamation, though Curtis Snelling had leapt from his seat with an astounding speed and was already gone…

**** Demonstration over****

Yes, every now and then when I think about the plight and scenario of the human race, I have an image like that bobbing in a pond of images in my skull. That was the first time I’ve ever tried to put it on paper and I’m not exactly pleased with the outcome. There it is anyway, though.

Alright, now that I’ve given you a minute to reflect on exactly what the human scenario is, I think we might agree that, on the surface, the human life is chaos. Billions of us folk going to-and-fro about our various businesses, living, working, eating, wasting, sleeping, thinking—and all of us, every single one, professing to hold some kind of uniqueness. Is that not so bizarre? And is it so different from the images we might think of when imagining a bee-hive? I don’t think so. That is, with one important caveat: We think for ourselves.

We create, invent, build and produce. We make rules, we run systems, we give grades, we arbitrate justice, we pass and fail, we maim and murder. We live and love—and of course, we die.

In all of that craziness, in all of that strange existence, I understand that it can be so hard to remember just what life is. We find ourselves, so often, slaves to systems that we created. We fret and worry; we stress and sigh; we sometimes feel as though we have to always be the best we can be. Hell, we worry so much about what might happen in the future, that some of us have no real present! We pine about whether or not that girl in class really likes us, or what Steve will do when you say you’re through with him. We worry that we’re not social enough, that we can’t hold conversations—so we stay indoors where it’s safe. We hurry off to our jobs, and our careers, and sometimes, when we’re not thinking, we hit a cat along the way and just keep driving…. You understand what I’m getting at, I hope.

What I’m getting at is that we never stop and smell those terribly evasive roses. We seem to live and move and think 'passed ourselves'. It's like we project ourselves so quickly through our every-day, that some of us seem to exist so far 'forward' that we're numb to the here and now. We rarely realize, I think, that we’ve got this one life to live, so far as we know, and we should live it as it is, with the very knowledge that maybe we can’t predict this life. Maybe, just maybe, we’re not going to do well on that test, but maybe that girl really does have some interest in you. Maybe we feel as though we’ve always got to be at a hundred percent, but maybe (as we race along our crowded side-walks with our cell-phones, heedless of those around us) we’re missing the point that the connections we could have made with one another along the way were what really mattered most.

We forget that systems shouldn’t rule us. We forget that life is chaotic now, because it’s always meant to be. And that is to say that these systems of order, and dominance, and rulings -and these worries that we always have- shouldn’t rule us. Indeed, perhaps nothing but the purity and whims of Chaos truly should! Maybe what we have to do is just honestly look at life, and realize that for all our organizations, and all our tests, the fundamental fact is that it's barely ordered at all, and the fundamental beauty in life is that we cannot predict it. If we could, what fun would that be?
I read a quote once, it was actually on a Magic the Gathering Playing Card entitled: Telepathy. It read something like: “The most disappointing thing about Mastering telepathy is finding out how boring people really are! – Telefri, Fourth Level Student” (I included a picture below for fun!). While I don’t agree with the rather hilarious point about people, I do agree that knowing everything—or knowing exactly what’s in store for you in your life—would be terribly uninteresting!

So go out there and enjoy this godforsaken planet! Go out there and seize this beast by the horns, and understand that maybe the best thing about life is the chaos that’s inherent to it.
In a way, life is just a massive platform of beautiful, beautiful uncertainty and chaos; where your wildest dream could be realized just as easily as your morning cup of coffee….

(Be well everyone!)
-Alex Jackson


  1. Your post perfectly encapsulates the way I have been feeling but that fervor for seizing the zest out of the day. It does however seem to be pointing my thoughts down a reckless path.

    It is nice to know I am not alone in thinking of other people and the sheer exsistance of life, love and daily habits in general perplexes and moves someone else.

  2. Interesting! I liked the "scenario" you wrote- I remember being little, ok, well, it still happens sometimes, and if I start thinking a lot about the universe and what's really out there, I get myself a little overwhelmed with how we are all really very tiny and small. Keep up the musing!

  3. This is not purely just a reciprocal post, but thanks for reading my blog anyway :).

    I really liked your lists of words/phrases “Several billion biological entities with above average intelligence (as far as all life on this rock goes) all living, --working, building, breeding, loving, thinking, dreaming, dying—on a floating spheroid in space.” Very eloquently put...but the list gives the sense of chaos in itself, movement and pandemonium if you will, but in a good way.
    I also thought the “just for fun” part was really creative and interesting, it made me think of the author of fight club, he has lots of little scenes like this and hey as long as you stick an “I often imagine that” in front of that stuff then I think it should totally constitute as creative nonfiction (cause you ARE thinking it aren’t you?)’s just the more creative stuff, maybe I’m wrong BUT I like it anyway, so I’m glad you included it.

    You also made me think too much right before bed, so I’ll thank you tomorrow when I’m really tired in French class from all this universal chaos pondering.

  4. Hey Alex,

    Although not a post per se for our class, I found this as a good introduction to your philosophy and outlook on life. You have a particular mix of Western and Eastern philosophies; your emphasis on living in the moment and inevitability of chaos are very Buddhist and Taoist, but you end up embracing Carpe Diem in the last bits of your piece.

    I feel very much the same as you do, perhaps in a different way, in regards to the shallowness and superficiality of our modern culture. There is a very real anti-intellectual movement occurring today, where critical interpretation and curiously are seen negatively by all classes of humanity. And that ain't a good thing!

    Keep living in the now Alex!

    - Jeremy


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