Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hosho Mccreesh's "Second Coming, Pt. 3..."

Pavlov & The Last Laughing Neanderthal

So what of this business of dogs & gods? Just this: even Pavlov’s dogs knew better than we do not to shit where you eat. Salivating wants aside, the gist of what I’m driving at here is this: as with Pavlov & his mutts, any behavior rewarded is one that persists. Conversely, a behavior fades from existence if unrecognized, unheralded. If, for instance, we were to stop taking pictures of Paris Hilton, just you try & guess what would happen...

So we are to blame. For all we’ve encouraged & for all we’ve let die by the wayside, we are to blame. We are to blame & shame on us. You give me science, you give me gods, you give me technology to blast men into space, chart the fissures of Mars in search of water, or makes a Snicker’s candy bar more damnably delicious–you give me all of these things as proof positive of the undying nature & spirit of man. I give you our laughably repeated histories. I give you centuries of basically pointless & unimaginative wars, starving babies while abundant grains rot in silos & farmers are paid not to farm. I give you impermanent lines we’ve imagined across mountains & floating in rivers & oceans–lines our own generations worth of humans have died defending from ourselves. Not from space-aliens, or the brutal assault of mother nature, or anything wholly outside of us, mind you–but ourselves, only ourselves. We dream up things to believe in, believe so fervently in them that we fashion, of our innocent-of-all-but-disagreeing human counterparts, enemies. & thus we are the architects of human misery. Because at the end of the day almost every human I’ve ever met wants basically the same thing: a sustainable source of food, shelter & clothing from their respective & brutal climes, & a way to worry less. Some want solidarity, some want community, some to be left alone. Most benefit from a sense of purpose. Most flourish beneath the weight of love & family. Most deteriorate under tightly girded lack of freedoms. Most want to be heard in some way, want to matter. Most want to be alive, want to bear witness to the simple majesty of it. Increasingly, many don’t want this current manifestation of the world. Too few have too much; too many not enough. Of all these simple, basic, primal needs, too few are being met, for most. How can we believe in any of that? How can that be right or just? How have we ruined Eden so completely? Is it simply a question of geography? Have we become to wrapped up in the lines & borders we’ve invented to remember that before us there were no lines, before us it was just one hunk of hurtling rock? Have we forgotten that it will be that again when we’re gone? Or do these troubling questions about our own mortality & impermanence just fuel the madness?

If so, for many religion is the source of calm, the thing that quiets the swelling inner fears–fair enough. Use it then, keep it–if there is purpose in it for you. But let’s try to remember that there are different brand names, that it’s not the only thing people fill their days with (some might find as much fulfillment in shopping) & that religions too are man-made (or at least man-manipulated) & therefore imperfect. I’ll even allow that most religions, at the core, encourage the same kinds of tenets: simply put, to do things that make you better tomorrow than you are today. I can even admire the undertaking, the self-examination &courage to try & change. As a journey, it’s one that, in the end, can bring peace & meaning to an unquiet heart. Let’s not forget this very important truth: while not mutually exclusive, religion can be something staggeringly different from spirituality. By way of example I offer this: when you find yourself slathering at the maw for your particular brand of religion, unable to appreciate the fact that others who follow a different text are on just as sacred of a journey as you are, when you find yourself with your high-powered cross-hairs beaded on a fellow human, or you’re diving a plane full of innocent travelers into a skyscraper full of innocent workers, when you’re carpet bombing a village or you’ve got a satchel bomb strapped to yourself in a bus full of people going to get bread & beans at a market–religion might condone that, but spirituality certainly cannot. & in such moments it’s absolutely necessary to question how you’ve strayed to the furthest extremes of what your particular text teaches–often ignoring scripture contrary to such extremities en route–& try to identify what specific little religious hang-up derailed your spiritual journey & took you so far from what you supposedly believed in.

Now, perhaps we are too many. Perhaps humans were meant to roam in much smaller packs, driven together by the wild throes of necessity & uncertainty. Perhaps our distended & decaying souls are truly beyond redemption. Perhaps we’re damned to always succumb to our wanton & childish lusts. Perhaps we were supposed to die off as cavemen, & some last laughing Neanderthal bore witness to a spectacular innovation that saw his tiny pack through to the other side of that planned & certain extinction. Perhaps we can blame him–be him Thag or Adam–& his heavy-browed cronies for damning us to a rotting pile-up of useless millennia. But I can’t quiet escape the fact that he knew better than we do, how to fill his days with meaning. As cautious as he had to step, the way even a turned ankle could be a death sentence, I see no way his days weren’t spent on the electric edge of his own mortality & that, in itself, is far more invigorating than the lifetimes we pass in cubicles, on subways, or crawling along in gridlock. I can’t help but see Thag or Adam cackling at all our useless toil, wondering just what in the fuck we are doing with this human race he handed us, this populace working so diligently to ensure it’s own unhappiness in the short term & demise in the long.

I believe it all makes a pretty convincing case against believing or relying on any of the shitty little gimcracks we’ve dreamed up & manufactured—be them objects, borders, ideas, or gods. I believe there was always supposed to be more to living than anything we currently know; believe we were meant–with our silly little lives–to justify & redeem the energies expended to create us…repay, with our honest & purest efforts, that caustic spark that bore us; believe we should all find our own way to make our time matter, to find some meaning in this...

But who cares what I think? I barely even care what I think. Like I said, I am sick of people who believe things...

Second Coming, Intro
Second Coming, Pt. 1
Second Coming, Pt. 2

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Blogger j.b said...


it was well worth the wait for the 3rd part.

well said, Hosho. and i agree wholeheartedly.

12:54 PM  
Blogger kav said...

Hey, don't have a chance to read this now, but I printed off the whole thing, starting from the intro, and will post my comments once they're read.

7:26 PM  

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