Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rambling Thoughts

"The thought of death does not bother me. I was dead for billions of years before I was born, but I don't recall it being of the slightest inconvenience."
-Mark Twain

The past is interesting isn't it? It's interesting because, as much as we'd want it to, it doesn't exist. Nor does the future. Sometimes they can seem almost real, especially to us that have been gifted/cursed with vivid imaginations but the fact is that as far as tangible things go past and future, important as they may be, do not exist. All there really is, is now, right in front of your eyes. But what about where you're not looking? Your brain creates a mental picture of what you're not looking at, but thats all it really is. When you turn around you can be assured through a series of things you learned as a baby, that things don't simply cease to exist when you can't see them. But what if they did? What if you turned around and the book you had just set down a second ago was gone? What if say, your bed vanished or your TV was suddenly broken on the ground, even though you didn't hear a thing? Would you doubt your sanity? Or would you think that the logic that holds the world together had gone screwy? Maybe you'd think you were dreaming. Most of the time when I pick up an object in a dream, If I set it down it will disappear. Dream logic is pretty much the exact opposite of real world logic. Nothing is permanent, one is constantly shifting from place to place without any control at all. It's fun because we know we're dreaming. If this were applied to the real world, we'd all go insane wouldn't we? Or would some people just roll with it?

I really wanted to talk about death though, because nobody talks about death. Everyone's afraid of it or if you bring it up, you're morbid and weird or an emo twat. Nobody likes an emo twat. But I think that only applies if you romanticize it. If you look at it for what it is, it's damn scary. Religion is the great soother of minds on this point. "Don't worry, just be good and don't covet your neighbors camel and you'll get to sit on a little cloud and play a harp!" It's simple right? But lets say for a second that there is a heaven and your soul goes there after you die. What does your soul look like? Does it look like anything? It can't be something tangible and thus it's beyond what our minds can comprehend. So heaven must be the same way. People make the mistake of assuming that life after death is going to be anything like life in a mortal body. But all you really need to do is think it through to realize that it doesn't make sense to simplify it so much. And don't get me started on Hell. I hate the whole "punish the wicked, reward the good bullshit." If our souls leave our bodies for some other plane, than what does it matter what we do in this life? How can you reason that it has some impact? And people do bad things for different reasons. Some people are just handed a bad lot in life, it's all about the paths we take and the shit we're handed. "There but for the grace of god go I" is very true. Fate is a strange incomprehensible thing.

So what do I think happens after we shuffle off this mortal coil? My view on it is that it's unknowable and we can only make guesses. Just like theories on what's at the end of the universe (some scientists say it curves in on itself, other say it's never ending) until we actually cross that plain, theres no way to know for sure.

I'll get a bit personal now with your permission (thank you very much). In July my time in the Air Force will be through. I will have spent four years in the service of the US government filing papers and sweeping warehouse floors. Why did I choose to join? Three years ago I was a very different person. I had flunked out of college twice (not something I'd suggest doing) and my chances of getting out of my sinkhole town were looking very slim. (I love the place, but if you don't get out fast you'll never leave!) I was working part time for just above minimum wage washing dishes in the kitchen of a country club and living at home. Reaching back I can grab where the two paths suddenly appeared in front of me. I was giving my boss a ride home from work and he offered me a better job. It was still washing dishes, but for more money and an apartment that came right out of my pay. My other option was military service, something many people in my family did. I can't exactly remember why I chose the Air Force though. I suppose washing more dishes wasn't exactly the thing I wanted to be doing most and it was a sketchier idea. (I actually ended up washing dishes in basic training, which was actually worse!) It's very strange to think where I would have ended up if I had chosen that path though. How much of a different person would I be? Would I be more or less cynical about human nature? Would I still think the same way I do? How about if I hadn't slacked off so much in college in the first place? The past is really just smoke that you try to grab at which gets you nowhere but it's interesting to try sometimes. Like right now when I'm so sick of my current place in the world that I could scream. But it's all just smoke and breathing too much of it in can make you sick.

If you actually stuck with me and read this whole thing, thanks! It's very early and I have a lot on my mind. So many new thoughts and feelings welling up inside me, it's scary. One thing I've come to realize is that I'm not as stupid as I think I am, or as stupid as everyone seems to think I am. I tend to fuck up a lot which I think is because usually my brain is thinking about other things than the things I really need to be thinking about (If that makes any sense). I don't hold much truck with the world and what it expects of me and thats a very bad thing if you're in the service. I don't fit in here, no matter how much I've tried to and I've pretty much stopped trying. I've been all over the world though, so I really don't have any regrets (well maybe a few), but I've grown past this and I need something better.

Anyways, I've changed a lot but I'm still stuck in the same place, screaming silently and trying not to rattle the bars of my cage. I'm ready to be let out! I just need to wait till July...

1 comment:

Ricky said...

the scariest thing about death is that it isn't scary at all.