Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unreal People

I don’t care that people are fake, because I think they are unreal. There is a difference between the two you see.

‘Fake’ implies imitation of some sort; a fake plant may be made of plastic and fake fruit from wax. Where one or more of the fundamental characteristics are altered in such a way as to have a significant impact on the interactions one would have, or expect to have with such an object. For example, you wouldn’t need to water a fake plant and find a sunny spot to place it, and you’d be wise not to consume a wax banana. Artificial flavours and smells are known to originate from sources entirely different from the things which they are intended to imitate. A fake chair made from a thin layer of paper would be unsuitable for sitting on, whereas the primary purpose of a ‘real chair’ is generally to allow someone to sit in relative comfort.

‘Unreal’, while similar, does not imply the exact same things as ‘fake’ does. The qualities that make something unreal seem to be even less tangible and more abstract. It might be said to be beyond our comprehension what it is at the core of something that makes us label it ‘unreal’.

The general substance that makes up something ‘fake’ is always real, but something ‘unreal’ appears fundamentally so.

People are traditionally labelled ‘fake’ when their beliefs do not correspond to their actions, or vice versa, and when their behaviour acts as a thin veneer to conceal their thoughts. Instead of being an accurate reflection of their thoughts and emotions, their behaviour is an imitation of what may be expected of them, or what they believe is necessary given the situation. They are ‘two-faced’.

This much is obvious. However, I have recently discovered that humans are unreal in addition to being ‘fake’ in the traditional sense.

I can read words, hear voices, see faces, and even occasionally make physical contact with them, yet they remain unreal and elusively distant from me.

It’s not that I consciously believe people to be just realistic projections of some kind, but sometimes my reactions to them imply that I do think them to be.

Humans are unreal because they appear to be fake – imitations of some unknown standard or blueprint, yet all currently available methods appear to verify that they are indeed genuinely genuine. A fake moustache is obviously fake because it’s made from plastic, attached to a fake nose and fake glasses, but it is not unreal. A human on the other hand, warrants its ‘unreal’ title by virtue of its apparent and unexplainable, unidentifiable ‘fakeness’. The source of its fake quality is not readily available upon inspection, whereas the moustache can be easily removed in the name of science.

I must admit, that the closer I am to a human, the more their unrealness diminishes. But it is more than a hint of suspicion that remains, even in a cell-to-cell state of proximity. It’ll take far more than intercourse to convince me.

The gap between myself and empathy is unspeakably large on average. Quite naturally and understandably, it is difficult to empathise with something whose very existence you hold in question. The demands of deities fail to inspire me, and I feel no love for dying unicorns.

Maybe I’m just inhuman. It would go a long way to explaining many things, especially when invoking Occam’s razor.

Perhaps once you strip away all the fuzzy labelling and unfit generalisations it becomes impossible to feel anything poetic for a fleshy bag of bones and impulses, let alone any variation of ‘love’. Skin is only ‘loveable’ in a very visceral sense, what people really love is ideas and concepts - fluid things that cannot be pinned down long enough to be sufficiently scrutinized.

So, where a crack appears we paper over it with engrossing and exciting-seeming stories that actually lead nowhere, and certainly no closer to bridging what is beginning to look more and more like a gaping gulf.

In Difference

I recently realised that I am largely indifferent, because when given the opportunity to engage in an activity, even one which I have an express interest in, or that is necessary in order to achieve what I have identified as personal goals, I fail to put in the necessary effort, but I am not fazed by this at all.
I feel like I have just stumbled across or unearthed my own ‘true’ nature.

I realise that I have simply been conforming to expectations about the things I should value or care about. I had just about managed to believe my own lies and to get into character long enough to really understand the demands of the role and the nature of the production. Everything I have learnt from the various characters and scenes they appeared in. I have been silently observing all this time, taking in the information, processing and testing the results for myself.

The desire to fit in is just too great. People appear to fear even the possibility of indifference, or the thought of not having an opinion, a ‘passion’, a ‘love’, or something they have always wanted to do.

I believe that the things which have been of any significance to me have only been so due to the environment, and all its accompanying factors that have been forced upon me. My interests exist solely in the interest of existence in my given environment. But it’s too strong a description to call them ‘my own’, as I have no real attachment to them. They are the seeds of dandelions blown in the breeze and captured momentarily. I wear the suit, but never unconscious of the fact that I don’t even believe in clothes, or ties of any sort.

I have slowly grown tired of trying to prove my self-worth through being good at something, or through achievement of any kind. I may not be of any interest to you if I don’t feel inclined to engage in such activities, but it’s of little or no importance. I feel comfortable in the knowledge that I may appear boring or one-dimensional to people, as it’s not my duty to make any favourable impression upon the rest of the world. Impressions matter only as far as job interviews are concerned, unlike ability.

While it may be pleasant to form bonds with people over common interests, it is a false sense of unity, I feel. And if there is one thing that really ‘connects’ us it would paradoxically seem to be the desire to feel some sort of ‘connection’.
So this is my confession to you all. I am tired of playing these games, of trying in vain to assimilate your ways and integrate into your world. It is beyond tedium. For the sake of my own version of sanity, and the energy required to maintain fully-functioning bio-logical equipment, I’d like to quietly opt out of this highly convoluted and contrived waste-of-time-and-energy.
I’m sick to my old molars of feigning consistency, reliability, stability and conviction. I’m a flaky individual and I only ‘care’ if it is rewarding to do so, or to project a convincing interpretation of such a person. You don’t want the truth, but I don’t want to lie to you either. Not because of any romantic sense of duty, or for the sake of honesty, but simply because I have been ground to dust, and yet I am still unable to fit into a square hole. A war of attrition, with the softer skin coming off worse for wear. I have tortured myself; racked my brain, only to reveal that I am in fact a conscientious objector after all.

A restless mind, desperate to find something to latch onto.

My value as a human being isn’t derived from any apparent passion or compassion I may harbour for anything, but regardless of my value, or in spite of my lack of it, I am undeniably here until I die.
I have no value, none to myself, and any value to others will vary greatly, depending on what I have to offer them, how I serve their agendas, or fit into their version of the bigger picture.
The value of human life is as non-existent as its purpose. Of course I could choose to assign value to my own life for similar reasons I might choose to give it purpose, but at present I see no utility in doing so. The realisation that concepts such as ‘meaning’ and ‘value’ are as much properties of objects and things as ‘colour’ is, has been reassuring enough.

Paying Dues

I don’t deserve anything. It isn’t a statement representative of low self-worth, but of sudden insight.

The idea of ‘deserving’ is the western equivalent of karma. Work hard, deserve to be paid well, work little and deserve to be paid poorly, where ‘effort’ appears consistent with deserving, as does lack of an abundance of ‘good will’.

- ‘What have I done to deserve this?’

The idea of ‘playing God’ – to decide upon who deserves to live, and who does not, who deserves punishment or reward, and what form it should take. We play god with our own lives, without realizing that there is no God.

I’d like to be financially rewarded for little effort, but there appears to be some sort of unwritten rule that states I do not deserve any such thing. It may indeed be wishful thinking, but that would be a different issue altogether I feel.

Do we just fundamentally believe in some kind of universal equilibrium?

Perhaps as a general ‘rule’, or more clearly, on average, we must work hard in order to maximize our chances of achieving our goals, but any other examples can only be seen as deviations from the norm.
Despite the evidence we still seem to hold onto the notion, and instead of updating our beliefs in light of this evidence, we re-interpret it so that it may continue to correspond to our belief. Instead of ‘karma doesn’t exist’, we get ‘I’ve done something wrong somewhere and I may not even be sure of when or what’. It might be necessary to analyse things in such a way if in fact, it consistently turned out to be the case that what you receive in reality was trailing behind your perception of what you really deserve.

The idea of deserving is a distraction from the seemingly random and unfair nature of life. It is a form of faith to believe in such a system, and this belief can lead to self-righteousness or self-pity at either end of the spectrum. What it seems to amount to is another means of explaining or justifying the many events in life that can be hard to accept. In this respect deserving appears interchangeable with ‘God’s will’. If you were successful it was because it was God’s will (you deserved it), and if not, it was because it wasn’t part of his plan, or his plan is even more abstract, and so complicated and large in scope as to be beyond human comprehension and questioning.
I think maybe our brains are just hardwired for creating/inventing detailed stories and explanations for things, especially as a coping mechanism.

Living in a world that is secretly and unknowingly faith-driven has lead me to believe that I am more deserving of something if I have desired it for a long time. Consequently, I am having to endure a significant sentence before anyone will begin to take me seriously. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be taken seriously.
On the opposite side of things I am expected to continue and even pursue a career in those things which I have had a longstanding interest in. As if we are to look out for the signs calling us to our destinies; a guiding light, a common theme. But poverty is often a common theme, as is unhappiness. I don’t want to go on producing more of the same for the sake of consistency or to live up to expectation.

Good will always triumph over evil, and you will be rewarded for your kindness. But there is no hidden war to resolve, no secret force of equilibrium or reward system by which equality is dealt out to the living. Wishful thinking is all it is. All men are created unequal. You have less control than you think, less influence than you’d like.

But you knew this already, you knew long before I did.