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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  May 10, 2008

Free spirits run riot


Jobs take their toll through repetition that transforms people into mindless robots. You see this when you purchase a pack of gum and are asked if you need a bag to haul the gum to your car. Or you might buy a dozen items and be asked if you need a bag. You may freely reply "No thanks, I'll just juggle" because general awareness is rare in this age.

Humans become drones when mental exhaustion takes hold. After spending many hours in dull mechanical activity, they tune out and mindlessly repeat previous patterns that do not match reality, revealing themselves to be semi-sentient oxen. This happens to laborers, office workers, academics, politicians, and nearly all other professions where physical presence suffices as credit for fulfilling labor duties. Instead of thinking critically about what they encounter in life or on the job, they phone it in and overlook that for all actions there is a goal, and its underlying requirements must be understood and addressed, or the time spent is lost and wasted.

Most people remember their friends in high school being alive, aware, and able to assess the world around them and see beyond social pretense, even if with incomplete and deficient knowledge. We remember their eyes bright with the enthusiastic spark of possibility and an inspired spirit that had vision and was fearless to attempt -- and this lives on in some people, though carefully guarded.

College beat the life out of most people, stealing their fight and turning them into sheep that fulfill demands and wait passively to be told what to do and think. Most educated people do not even question the generically prepared path and interchangeable masters who command them as they wander through an imitation of life.

Those who remained alive after graduation were taken out by tedium a few years after entering the working world. Retaining one's cheerfulness while watching others march to self-destruction is challenging, especially when you love and respect them, but this helps remind us to keep our spirits strong and to be true to ourselves. We shall remain the same for all time while others give up, drink up, consume tv shows and ball games, repeat cliched lies, and follow previous patterns instead of thinking critically. It is essential to properly assess virtues and handicaps.

We are dissuaded by the easy answers that are too often lies, or at best oversimplifications. Resistance comes not from a desire to be stubborn, but because the prevalent dishonesty offends us -- yes, even we free spirits who offend others by speaking unpopular truths have our own moral standards that we uphold.

Those who remain aware in adulthood are strange, but necessary cases. Life is not about following what is easy nor should authenticity be compromised. Nor are we purists who wait for the perfect case to appear, for life is short and we have to work with what we have at hand and can reasonably assemble to fulfill our cosmic purpose. Our acts ripple beyond us and outlast us, and are not even performed for our gain. We are actors of the universe, perhaps put in motion for a larger purpose. In any case, we must be what we are and take the actions we were born to achieve.


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