I feel as though there has been a lot of darkness in society of late, or maybe it has always been there and I was too young and too naïve to notice it.
Either way, it’s there, and it’s not nice, and once again it is something I can’t quite exactly put into words; it’s more of a feeling, you see, than an actual thing I can point at and cry “O Therein lies the darkness!” So, fair warning, most of this post is probably not going to make much sense—not unless you’ve also felt an inkling of the same darkness I’m referring to. Or maybe the darkness is something that everyone in the world, on some level, is aware of, but not many people have decided to put up their hand and talk about it, or even let it surface to their conscious awareness. You’d be surprised at how often that happens in the world (and when it does, it generally almost always leaves so many of the more sensitive and intuitive pushed to the margins of society and dubbed the “boys who cried wolf”).
Let’s see. Not an easy thing to do, to put a general feeling of “wrongness” into words. It almost feels as though the world wakes up each day with its hat on the wrong way, or wearing its shoes on its hand and its gloves on its feet instead of the other way around. There’s just something not right, in the air—and this isn’t any conspiracy theory, mind, I don’t think, despite what scientists may vehemently claim, that the world is ending any time soon; I think the world will go on puttering away for some time yet, alone in the darkness of the universe, with this sense of wrongness clouding its every continent. It’s almost as if—as if we, as humans, have lost our way. Really lost it, I mean. In our modern world, things just don’t feel good.
For one thing, I’ve noticed over the years that people have become increasingly cruel, selfish and niggardly. Whereas kindness and joy and love were once the greatest virtues, now it seems people are more consumed by dark emotions, of envy and greed, of pride, and seem entirely focused on self-gratification. There just seems an awful lot of people these days who particularly enjoy hurting other people, or hating them, or feeling better than other people, wanting to push other people down, keep them in their place. It’s just this feeling of coldness, a lack of warmth, I’ve noticed on the rare occasions I mingle in general society as part of therapy, practise and to get a bit of exercise. Even the nice interactions are tainted by falseness—these days it seems people will only smile and treat you kindly if you are buying something from them, and sometimes not even then.
And there’s a hollowness to everything, as well, an emptiness behind people’s eyes, inside their hearts and minds. Most of them don’t particularly like their jobs, or find them boring, and then, when they come home, the only meaning they can often find in their lives is in television and good food and nice drinks and shopping. Of course, not everyone is like this—but a lot of them are. A lot of people seem to find their only gratification in life to come from holidays, physical pleasures and buying pretty goodies for themselves, and it seems to be so very empty a way to live, so very dead and dark.
I think what it really boils down to is a lack of authenticity. In developed nations, the heart, the core of society, is inauthentic; it’s all sugar and glitz and glamour, all smoke and mirrors, without any substance to it. It’s like living on air, or fairyfloss—you can do it for a while, and for the first couple of bites it may even be rather filling, but after a while, you soon get tired of it, and want for something more rich and nourishing, like a nice hearty stew. Our societies don’t have any—any soul to them, anymore, not like the way it was in the past, particularly in communal societies, where not only did people surround themselves with loving families and friends, they also spent their days employed in activities they enjoyed, like singing, dancing, telling stories, making art; and even the necessary “boring” activities, like collecting water or gathering and hunting food were actually quite enjoyable. Personally, I would much prefer being out in the sunshine, dipping a bucket into a well, or digging up vegetables from the ground, than sit inside, in a brightly-lit office, with an Excel spreadsheet on the screen before me.
I don’t have a solution, a candle to light and shine in the darkness that so pervades us these days. I don’t think anyone does. I think maybe things have gone too far, and people are in too deep, their minds already scrambled, their souls already emptied. You know there’s something most definitely wrong when you live in a world where the annual profits of Victoria Secret, a commercial juggernaut that sells fancy lingerie, is greater than the GDPs of some countries, and where people starve to death while others on the other side of the world gather to cheer, holler and watch eating competitions. We’re all dying of loneliness, we’re all very scared, and very unhappy, I think, but no-one is saying anything about it, so I guess we’ll all just go on pretending everything is fine, and wander around in the darkness with forced smiles on our faces.