Monday, October 10, 2005

Piercing the illusion

Your body can sense many things in the external world of illusion. Your nose can smell the pungent body odor of your neighbor on the train, your eyes can discern the sparkle of a gem, your fingers can slide along the soft tickle of silk and your ears can tune in to the rocking sounds of Bloc Party. Yep, there are a million senses out there for the human vessel to extract from the world. I'm proposing that the thoughts and emotions that we feel are, in fact, senses as well.

What do we know for certain about the senses that we perceive? Well, for one, we know that we're not part of those senses. If we can feel that silk or if the sound of music can inspire us to picture ourselves in the shower as the lead singer of a rock band (yes, I do this when listening to music as I'm lathering up) we know that we're not part of that sense that we're observing. If you look upon the Mona Lisa you know that you aren't the Mona Lisa. If this holds, as I think it does, for thoughts and emotions, what then are the implications? Perhaps we aren't our emotions or our thoughts either. Perhaps there is something more. Maybe such an insight is something that will allow a person to transcend mundane concerns. I think that we are not that which we can observe and by definition we can look upon our hurt, our pain and our misfortune as distant objects, and in so doing they cease to be meaningful to us.

Is this a soul that I'm talking about? No, not necessarily. I'm not attempting to conjure a Christian construct. What I'm talking about is an immovable, indomitable, impassive recourse towards reason. What I know is that I've plunged the depths, I've crept into some truly dark places; I have, in fact, found my own version of hell in this world. But every time I find myself lost in the hellish chasm of my inner demons, when I find myself lost in the forest and the wolves are closing in, each and every time this happens I manage to rise again, and every time I'm slightly more tempered by what I've experienced. In some sense feeling pain, becoming one with misery, exploring the darkness itself shows me that there is something within that can't be touched. My psyche can be stained, my mind blackened by thoughts of desolation, but there is something in me that remains, and will remain, unspoiled.

I don't know what all this means as yet. Perhaps it's just the product of a weekend spent in relaxation, starkly contrasted against the drug fuelled madness that is the norm. Either way it's kind of fun to be thinking clearly.

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