There are certain moments in life that so crush and break one, that it causes a grand unbleeding.
That is, all the life seems to drain out of the world rather than the suffering individual, leaving behind only a desolate and bleak landscape.
Often times, these moments can be slices of the greatest clarity. You feel as if a dream has been woken up from, the true nightmare whirling upon you like a vortex of vultures.
Let me tell you. In this world, there exists such unimaginable greed and corruption, such flawed systems and cold hearts that thrive within them, all under the guise of being for the greater common good, that it is sickening.
It is sickening.
Most of the time, in our society, obligation and the desire to appear in a positive light hides behind the masquerade that is altruism and kindness. That is what people, and entities, such as companies, are afraid of. Of “looking bad”. Of “seeming cruel”. As to actually committing cruel or bad acts, well, that is not what plagues their dreams at night. Does anyone do anything purely out of the kindness of their hearts, I wonder? I’m sure they do, but they aren’t making much of a difference. It seems it is only the unkind, the cold, the selfish, that succeed and rise to heights of wealth and power. There is something very wrong about that.
And thus are the greatest evils committed in history: there were people in power who wanted more power, to keep their power, to use their power, to preserve their power. In the English language, there is no phrase more odious than “the elite”, which suggests the pinnacle of human coldness.
Life is unfair. Utopia is a fairy dream. Even a kind, giving society, at this point, is but moonbeams and starlight. In a world where children are raped, women are abandoned and left penniless by their husbands, animals are cut open while still alive, and human lives are exploited and stamped upon and suffocated, there is very little hope. People can be greedy, grasping, self-serving creatures, most of whom do not realize that we, that all of us, are one and the same, blooms of consciousness from the same dish of soul matter, that to hurt another being, is to hurt ourselves. Stupidity, cowardice, ego, pride, hatred, vengeance, greed, power: how these rot hearts, and destroy beauty.
In society, as in nature, there is a hierarchy, a grand powerlessness that lies in the hearts of many a bosom that harks bark to a primitive sensation old as the dawn: that of being the prey, and hunted. Big fish eat little fish. Lion mauls deer to death. Cat leaps and returns with a mouthful of feathers. For what is our society but a food chain? There are people at the top, who reign over the kingdom, and take what they like. With each progressive layer, the more people grovel and simper, debasing themselves in their desire to please, doing everything in short of ripping out their own organs and plopping them, with a quick, deferential bow, on their boss or manager’s desk.
Surely I can’t be the only one who finds this necessary sycophancy odious?
My, my, what lovely capitalist slaves we all are, handing over our souls and dignity, hiding our true selves behind a veneer of cheerfulness and amiability, and all, for what? For good reason. For a necessary reason. We don’t want to starve, or our families to. Like every living thing on this planet, we will do anything to live. When people will do anything for something, it is a piece of cake to exploit them.
Amidst the cold, grey sludge of our modern world, the individual has been effaced to be replaced by the collective. In other words: society is pouring concrete down our mouths until it solidifies among our bones and sinew, fossilizing and hardening us into statues of our true beings. We are automatons. That is how society views us. Man power. The evidence lies before us every day. Unhappy commuters with bloodshot eyes. People who take bathroom breaks to bury their face in their hands. People who watch the clocks, waiting for the minutes to crawl by, all the time plagued by an itch of a thought, that something is terribly off, terribly wrong.
What frightens me most in the world are the bloodstains upon the pages of history that all too clearly show the depths of human cruelty: genocide, the Holocaust, imperialism, slavery. There are enough horrors in the world that, if seen, would shudder all of our hearts, and leave us twitching on the floor. That says something, at least, for the human spirit, unbreakable out of pure stubbornness and the state of existence. And hope. But if people like Hitler can commit such atrocious crimes, and for the universe not to at an eye, what hope is there?
You see? That is what we are truly afraid of, deep in our hearts. We are afraid of the demons that exist in every human being, including yourself. We’re afraid that we really are alone in the universe, that there is no celestial mother or father ready to slap the bottom of whoever has done something very bad on Earth today, for the third time in a millennium. We’re afraid of being powerless, of seeing people trample over all that we hold dear and erroneously believing killing and destroying what is good and true is justifiable by dollar signs.
What is all this but a grand, orderly zoo? What is it but the wild plains of a savannah, where only the strongest and fittest survive, and those who refuse to play the game are left behind in the dust by the herd? What are we, but a bunch of dumb animals, heedless of all and heedless of nothing, knowing everything and applying nothing?
We try. We get up in the morning, and we try, and because everyone tries, because everyone paints on a smile in the morning, we feel alone in our suffering. There are some who walk in our world today who do not know why they feel the emptiness they do. They have not yet awoken. For them, the world still holds a false, fluorescent sort of vitality, pumps to the beat of a candy-drug DJ. But for most, we know. We know.
And so we walk about our days, hearts dusty, cobwebbed bells hung in our chests, leaden and heavy, never again to send its clear peals ringing across the ghost town of our bodies. Because if there’s one thing we also know, it is that suffering is silent, and something we carry to our graves.