They say sometimes that life is a big fat massive gigantic mess, but they also say that about everything and anything they don’t fully and clearly understand. They say that about love— WE, say that about love. We say that about religion; We even say that about politics.
It’s the human nature. We put all of these concepts in the same sack only because we don’t seem to be fully capable of analyzing the ideas and experiences they dictate to us– to our lives. We don’t seem to be able to get a full grasp of the rules; We get lost in these worlds.
So maybe one of the questions to ask is, what do these worlds have in common that make us feel so lost?
There should be a long pause after that question, which explains the space. You, yourself, should stop reading and take sometime to think– just to reflect on the idea behind that question.
In case you’re curious, however, here’s my answer: the experience of transcending.
I know I can’t just throw such a term so casually and simply stop writing afterwards, so I will be explaining what I mean by the experience of transcending, but before I do that, allow me to proceed with the “mysterious,” so far, meaningless answer.
What these worlds have in common, I think, is the experience of transcending that leads us to living one of the oldest conflicts in the history of human existence: that of self resistance, or self struggle against one’s ego.
In politics, with religion, in love, just like in the mere struggle under the umbrella of life, we find ourselves acting upon the concept of role-playing: some roles we embrace, other roles we aim for, others we just avoid.
This is not anything new, we all know that, and some may even consider it obvious. What we don’t really talk about, however, is the struggle of switching from the role we should be playing to the role we should be embracing at one given moment. Or the dilemma of choosing between what the moment dictates as a role to be embraced, and what your principles require.
In politics, the idea might be clear and self-explanatory: you aim for a role; you embrace that role; and you teach yourself how to play the role. In love, it’s even more obvious: you live your supposedly known role; you fall in love; you discover a new role; you embrace that role. And the examples go on and on.
But do all of these roles work with the idea of “you“; the idea of your being as a person that YOU have been building for years? Your self-image?
And then, how do you switch between these roles?
And then, to go even further, between switching from that one known role to that one aimed for role, there is that one moment at night, right before you allow your self to fall asleep, when you lay your head on the pillow and all those ideas come scrolling to your head. How can you play all of these roles?
We ask ourselves all of these questions. We all do. But we rarely stop to think of these questions, or the meaning that these questions may add to our lives and the way the answers to these questions may shape our lives, and beings…forever, sometimes…
But most of the time, we just choose to escape. Mostly because the realization of the answers may scare us more than the existence of the questions themselves. I realized this recently, after a long conversation I had with a very special someone.
We talked about life and its future expectations and demands. We talked about love, and even religion and the way it should be shaping this life. And after a long conversation with him I came to see that he was trapped: he was trapped in this cycle of three different roles that I would say were created for him, not by him.
He had a role to aim for that was created by his dad, but another role to try to escape from that was foreseen by the same dad. So he decided to create a role for himself to escape this dilemma– a cynical, sarcastic, revolutionary role that he, himself does not approve of. He was trapped and it was clear for the observer’s eye, me. But facing these answers, for him, has always been as hard as asking these questions, so he chose to escape. Just like most of us do, he is simply escaping the experience of transcending by creating a new cynical role to play.
I have read this quote once somewhere by Brian Moore, the Irish writer and novelist who is known for being a genius in the contemporary novel. He said: “There comes a point in many people’s lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play.”
It’s funny. It’s very funny because you would think at that one moment, when you lay your head on that pillow at night, the truth will just come to you, and you will just allow yourself to go with the truth. You would think that at that one moment you will be reminded that life is just a one time journey that should not be dictated in advance. But no, most of the time, things don’t work that way. Most of the time, we don’t allow things to work that way.
So now what? What do we do about this now? After reading all this, we can see that life is just a big fat massive gigantic mess, but what do we do about it? How do we deal with it?
I think the answer should always be in the details. We simply allow ourselves to be guided by the details. My friend, the special friend I talked to about this, is just like every single one of us: he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t observe, he doesn’t pause. He doesn’t take those small pauses during the day that remind him that he’s still there. He doesn’t stop at the sight of a crying baby to smile. He doesn’t turn to see who’s the passing human being who used the word “Mammothrept” in a sentence today, at the 21st century. He does not pause for a few seconds to listen to his own heart beats, or his beloved ones’. He simply does not listen to the human noise. Everything about this noise is beautiful because it allows you –and especially your mind– to get a better full grasp of the big picture: it’s YOUR journey. YOU are alive. YOU make YOUR roles. YOU play YOUR roles.
So listen to that noise. The human noise is the best kind of noise.