Blog Entry: Unlike most articles on Mentatul, this post details a personal experience, hence, it is posted underneath the Blog^ category.
“There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not.”
The game of life has countless species, tribes and actors, mixing and dancing through an infinity of stages(*). Given this complexity, truth is a multi-dimensional riddle that changes its definition and solution from one perspective to another, and from one target to the other.
Technology advances, ethical standards change, cultures collapse, civilizations emerge, species die out and new ones appear. History is written by the winners. A heretic yesterday, a hero today, a villain tomorrow.
And this game of life can be so intoxicating, one can get (almost) hopelessly lost chasing reflections in Indra’s net^. But along the way, things happen, and the illusion breaks apart. It is during one such moment when I truly understood and integrated how wrong I was. It was as if living “I know that I know nothing”^.
Up until not long ago, I had negative thoughts about many politicians. I disliked many corporations. I despised advertisement and cultural programming through mass-media and the mainstream entertainment industry. Now, after many Mentatul articles, I feel I’m finally able to admit how wrong I was to let myself clouded by negative emotions when, in fact, it was all part of the diversity of life. Everything and everybody has a right to exist, and we may thank their existence for they give shape to the values that we hold dear.
From this day forward, I shall write from a state of accepting the complexity of the game of life. I’ve made just enough mistakes to realize politicians make mistakes. I was deluded often enough to now understand that businessmen sometimes are deluded.
The worst politician was once an innocent baby. The vilest corporation was once a hopeful startup. Things get blown out of proportion mostly because the game of life this civilization is apparently engaged in playing^ seems to thrive on brutal separation. Don’t get me wrong (even if I am wrong :D), it’s good to have sides in any game. Unfortunately, picking the “wrong” side in the current civilization can be a very miserable affair.
This may be due to the survival instinct, but if so, I feel that it is time to overcome it. We’re fine, damn it! We’ve survived. Time to invest energy in something else. For example, evolving our civilization towards a more interesting game of life.
And when I say “evolving”, I don’t mean it in the very direct way trans-humanists^ see it. It’s more like a more vague and gradual process which is more akin to Wu-wei than a focused, concentrated effort (which I feel will only lead to more destruction, pretty much in the lines of our past centuries of “beating nature into submission”, a task we’ve been “good” at but are starting to feel the backlash from).
Read about Wu-wei^ or listen to this:
So does this mean one is supposed to sit idly while greedy corporations destroy ecosystems? Of course not. But the way we go about enacting the next change in our civilization’s DNA will determine if we revert back to the bloodshed of revolution of if we are ready for the ecstasy of evolution.
There are many ways indeed of enacting peaceful change. If you have a job, start by reading Brave New Work^. It will awake you to the potential locked within our outdated way of working. If you want to contribute to evolution, start with “peace” and “empathy”. Realize that corporations are only as greedy as the stock market forces them to be^.
Most importantly, peaceful change is enacted by renouncing the obsession to control things. As the saying goes, “relax, nothing is under control”. And yet…
“Realizing that our inability to control life is not the same as having no way to navigate it, leads to freedom and liberation. Just because I can’t control the sea doesn’t mean I can’t learn how to swim in it.”
– Rami Shapiro
With less desire for control, I salute you. With more awareness of how wrong I was (and will perhaps continue to be, but hopefully less and less), I salute you. I salute you traveler, and thank you for your presence. Now, shall we proceed towards a beautiful Universe?
And despite the fact that I’ve been wrong all along, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing and being wrong :). It’s great to find new ways of being wrong every day! That’s how we learn.
Some additional notes about this post
When I wanted to find who is the author of the quote I started this post with, the first link I found was an article trying to locate the source^, which shows just how hard it is to sometimes pinpoint a wise saying. So, I guess that quote can already be considered a proverb.
I started the article by saying that “The game of life features countless species, tribes and actors, mixing and dancing through an infinity of stages.”
I’m particularly happy with this phrase, because of the word “stages”. The word “stage” has two main definitions^. The word matches what I wanted to say in a beautiful way. I originally meant to say “theatrical stages”, but the fact is that in the game of life, the species, tribes and actors all go through an infinity of evolutive stages as well. Even the stages go through stages :). Here’s to the hidden gems of the English language.