Curiouser Curios: With Selections From ‘Auguries of Innocence’
We all exist right now. If you can read that sentence, you’re part of the club. What do we do? How does one derive meaning in their life? Is it through family, friends or a religion? Is there a belief or logic behind the mechanization of your actions? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell how much of what we do originates from our own volition. Did I type that sentence because I wanted to or because I have a deadline? Did I perform specific actions to place my reality in the here-ness of now? How much of my free will should I control and how much of my free will is controlled by unconscious motives? What motion in the universe caused me to place this word right here? Is this just a random coincidence? Random. No order. A riddle in the middle of a maze.
Question marks begin to look fake after you type enough of them. What I mean by ‘fake’ is that the concept of the question mark becomes unreal. The symbol loses all meaning. It’s like when you say the same word over and over and over again, like crepuscular. Crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular-crepuscular. It makes you thirsty for short sharp sounds. Sounds are just vibrations. Some people say the universe is made up of vibrations. Particles smaller than atoms, smaller than protons, smaller than quarks and smaller than anything you can conceive.
The biggest thing that humans can barely perceive in its scope, the universe, is supposedly made up of the smallest particles you can barely perceive. William Blake said as much in his poem “Auguries of Innocence,” “To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.” This magazine you’re reading is a representation of eternity. Your smart phone that needs to be charged holds a glimpse into the infinite (which is probably why the battery is always dying). The lines in a poem or the lyrics in a song contain all that has been or ever will be. The vagueness inherent in all this meaning creates a paradox. Humans (which, I’m totally one of those) do not feel comfortable with holding two conflicting ideas in their heads. We (cause I’m definitely a human and with all of you on this, not an alien or a, uh, robot, no that would be silly) like to assign value. That ocean is blue or that cat is fuzzy and this thought is wrong or that thought is right.
Bumblebees don’t worry about this. They just buzz around, make honey and confuse cartoon bears. I was probably a dragon in a past life. This leads to how often do we get to experience existence. Is it one and done? Are we only a cohesion of chemicals, and then we dissipate back into Mother Earth? Do we have souls that drift along to the various afterlife after parties, and depending on the guest list, some parties are better than others? Do we get shot back out into the world as another player on the stage? Are we all just different aspects of the same consciousness that experiences itself through the process of existence? Or are we all in a computer simulation or floating on a disc on a turtle’s back? Would we find the sunset beautiful if we were silicon-based life forms instead of good ol’ carbon? “He who Doubts from what he sees / Will neer Believe do what you Please / If the Sun & Moon should Doubt / Theyd immediately Go out.” It’s confusing enough to pick the right movie to watch on Netflix or the right podcast to listen to on the drive home, let alone an overarching belief structure that encompasses the totality of existence.
Gravitate towards what feels right. Listen to yourself. Meditate. Exercise (your body and your mind.) If you start listening to yourself long enough, you might start to hear something. That grumbling is your stomach, so you should eat some food. Wait, what’s that? Oh, it’s the car behind you honking its horn because you’ve been zoned out at the Mast Road stop sign for quite a bit of time while you try to figure out the meaning of life. William Blake also said, and from the same poem as the earlier passages, “A truth that’s told with bad intent / Beats all the Lies you can invent.” How many great ideas have been spoiled in human history by their truth being told by those with nefarious reasons? How many people have been killed in the name of a belief? That negative voice inside your head isn’t you, it’s the internalized pain that some hurt human breathed into your mind. Let the good times roll. Follow the positive vibes.
On the flip side of that, don’t let good news from a tainted source obscure the value of that good news. Objectivity is the key to open the lock on your mind palace. Be wary of those that tell you they know the absolute truth. Most of those people don’t have your best interest at heart. I don’t have any answers, but I’m filled to the brim with questions. “The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons / Are the Fruits of the Two seasons / The Questioner who sits so sly / Shall never know how to Reply.” If you’re able to find some truth in anything that you do, follow that thread and don’t be afraid to ask question. We all know brevity is the soul of with and to avoid coming off like Polonius, so I’ll end this digression with a call to curiosity. Look for the answers to whatever question you have. Change your routine and paths if you discover what you’re doing isn’t working. Read books and write shit. Read books and write shit. That wasn’t a glitch, it was a non-random, random occurrence. This is my advice as a human (because I’m definitely human) to my fellow humans.