Aug 28, 2008, 10:16a - Life
I've come to realize something. For much of my previous life, I read for enlightenment. I believed that, somewhere out there, someone knew a truth that would be exactly what I was looking for, would satisfy the search and change my life. I believed that there was a "lost" truth, hidden in the wilderness, discovered long ago but since forgotten; the enlightened primitive civilization, the truth we were too stupid to recognize as priceless, that beautiful thought that slipped through the cracks of the collective conscious. That fountain of youth. Such a search was blended with a sort of nostalgia, an irrational fondness of a simpler time, where truths were there, obvious and undistorted by the hubbub of modern civilization. Why do I hate/love modernity so? Why do we think it's so damn important, yet simultaneously recognize that in the things that matter most (love, children, family) it doesn't have much to offer?
Why do I seek truth in the written word, the wise man, the priest, when what I seek is neither available nor understandable in such forms? Just because something's really old doesn't mean it's right. Just because something's a tradition, a convention, the way it's always been done, doesn't mean it's better than new ways of thinking and doing.
In fact, I would argue that the truth many of us seek is not and has not been known by anyone this side of NOW on the timeline of time.
Why do we think that some ancient civilization knew the answer that we seek? If the problem had been solved we probably wouldn't have forgotten about it. I guess it's more comforting to think that someone else already knows the answer. To think that no one in all time has ever known the answer is a frightening, lonely thought indeed.
I think what I seek is there only in experience. Not in the story. Someone can tell you only so much; to really get there you have to go yourself, move full body and soul. True understanding is only the product of personal experience. And I guess after 27 years of searching, I've realized I can no longer expect to get the truth from others. They don't know it, and I should stop expecting them to. I can't rely on them for what I'm looking for, that much I recognize now. This has become a deeply personal quest, so personal that the thoughts of others seem less relevant as the days progress. Those thoughts, so frequently lacking in analysis of the contingencies that my mind has already trodded, easily discarded. Especially post-survival school, my worldview is so altered that deeply important messages from the outside are scarce and getting scarcer. Signal to noise is plummeting. Of course, there's entertainment, distraction, but not much more. It's an instinct of the mind, to find that which is meaningful in every little act, to extract the significance of every event. Doing science is making this more ingrained, as the task du juor is staring at data and extracting a story, squeezing out the juice. So many ways to squeeze, yet how few yield...
This probably doesn't make any sense. This is probably one of my most abstract, poorly articulated writings in some time. Yet I write anyway because I think, somehow inside there somewhere, is something important. I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say. Maybe it isn't communicable in written form. I dunno. What I do know is that it's gotten harder and harder to find people I can truly communicate with. And I know now that I'm probably not going to find what I'm looking for in someone else's writing. I might, but I doubt it. It's up to me to figure it out on my own.
I see my path, so few are the fellow travelers. When they cross by, so often are they restricted in the possibilities they imagine.
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- Aug 29, 2008, 7:53a
Makes plenty of sense Nikhil... thanks for sharing.
- Aug 30, 2008, 2:46a
makes no sense nikhil, but when are you coming out to sf so we can go drinkin!
add "friends" to that love, children, family paren, and then start enjoyin your friends and bloggin less.
and start droppin ur 'g's