I have never been so thankful to be having a nightmare. Are you familiar with the relief felt when waking up from an awful dream to realize it was all a great fiction? I had this sensation upon waking amplified by the many miles which separated me from the location of the nightmare. Such distance made it nearly impossible for those subconscious phantoms to spill into my sober state. I imagine the most terrifying dream would start and end on the bed you’re resting. Anyway, in my dream I was continually accosted by one man who was every judge, policeman, dean, lawyer, priest, cleric and politician. I was confronted at every trivial point by this individual and any inquisition into their authority, any resistance, was met with punishment, until I found myself serving a 6 month prison sentence, in my basement, for J-walking. Friends were near, showing condolence, but didn't dare intercede in my favor.
I woke up sweating, at a time when few bodies are awake and revelations abounding search for restless vessels. Quite selfishly I enjoyed the wisdom of the writer’s sleepless hour. Like whales speech in water, through midnight paste profundities resonate in high frequency and in clear form:
The mad man is free and the modern man is mad. The two are not the same. Madness in the beginning is different from madness in the end. In Arabic, there are two variants for the word eternity: eternity without beginning and eternity without end. What language gives us deserves examination:
If I could see one man who was, for my convenience, the totality of modern man, I would grip his lapel with my left and, with my right, reach to that eternity behind me, swing round with open palm and give him a prodigious slap. Then, with his cheeks stinging and eyes blinking, I would look at this intelligent, but clumsy man, and, if able to resist a second slap, I would begin a conversation. I wouldn’t let him say much, because he has been speaking for a long time, in fact, silence could benefit this well dressed creature.
I would tell him this story:
There were three men in a village who had been the recipients of great educations. They decided to go for a walk in the bush one day and exercise their great knowledge. As they were heading out, a very wise friend, but not learned, asked if he could join them. One of the three contested, saying that uneducated man has no business walking with them. The others convinced him otherwise.
As they were strolling through the bush, they happened across the carcass of a lion. The three learned men said to each other, “Let’s show our intelligence by bringing life back into the lion.”
The first learned man reorganized the bones and ligaments putting them in their proper alignment. The second learned man reattached the muscles and skin. The wise man, but not learned, suggested they not do what they were doing. Noticing his comments were being ignored, he decided to climb a tree. The third learned man said he would breathe life back into the lion. So he breathed into the lion. As soon as the lion came back to life, it also regained its fierceness and quickly jumped on the man who had just breathed into him. Then he quickly jumped on the other two learned men and killed them.
The wise man stayed hidden in the tree and, after waiting for the lion to wander off, he jumped down from the tree and walked back to the village.
I would tell my friend, still rubbing his cheek, that he is one of the educated men.
“But certainly I’m not that foolish.”
With such great learning you build technologies that kill. How absurd is the energy you put into things which only destroy. With such great learning you build bombs, drones and weapons. Is this not madness? You take nature’s innocent elements, you reorganize them into real nightmares.
To separate man from nature is a continual error. Remember that Solomon shared his chambers with geckos and the spit of a Gila monster is curing diabetes. In this way, borders are absurd. Do you notice that animals could care less for those political fictions? Does the Lizard in Mexico, crossing into Texas, get her white belly stamped at customs? Does the Pied Wheatear boast of her stamps in her passport? Stationed in Greece, does she honor no-fly zones in Iraq during her annual transit to China?
“But we are not birds or ants, we are men.”
Are we better than an ant? For the religious parts that constitute my friend, I ask him, when has an ant deviated from god’s calling? When has the ant neglected its natural duties? This is perfect worship. Watch the ant, not the priest or cleric. For his Atheist constituents, I ask, what is our lot without the bee? We certainly don’t have to worry about being stung, because we will be dead.
Can the Taj Mahal match the Himalayas? Can the Capital Building compare to the Grand Canyon? One solicits taxes, the other, awe.
“Government, currency, security and trade, we needs borders for these things”
You only need borders for dictatorships, inequality, wars and exploitation. Your religions give sanction for these things. As religions grow, they take the same bureaucratic shape of that Babylonian tower and within this insidious evolution the madness of man is moralized in the positive and praised.
Your prophets have become your gods. The prophet is only a vessel for eternal truth. Honor a prophet as you would honor a cup. The cup brings nourishment, but, on occasion, poison as well.
Should you take the lottery winner and celebrate their ingenuity, turn their life into a map we use for those searching for success? You have a better chance winning the lottery than becoming the next Steve Jobs. Fortune, success, all these things are contingent on fictions. The terrible man will enjoy wealth; the honest man will suffer in poverty. I come to a foreign land with nothing in my pocket, but I am welcomed and money is thrown at my feet. Another man, wiser and older, comes from another place and mops the dirt off the floor. There is no rationale for this. There certainly are explanations, but a Socratic dialogue will reveal nothing rational.
Your experience is everything, but it means nothing; you are either a probability of nature, or the whim of a god. If you are that jackpot of a probability, let nature be your god, because it created you and sustains you; forgot the word atheist, and worship the things to which you are intrinsically bound. If you are religious, know that you never enhance or diminish the glory of your god, and the greatest manifestation of your god is nature.
The crepuscular rays of morning are taking effect, and those wise apparitions of midnight are spinning away with that implacable shadow; the near sun gives light, but the cavernous immensity gives darkness. How my interlocutor would respond is becoming hazy, but, I need to shower, because I have a meeting in two hours. Anyway I will see him soon, everywhere; humanity's nightmare. But at least I was mad from the beginning.