Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Stray From the Flock

I've stated before that our personal realities are based entirely in perception and that perception develops over time, through the influences of people, culture, etc. Within all of this we develop our concept of "normal", which is more or less the "Nirvana" of the western world, whether you call it the American Dream, Suburbia or whatever title your ideal life setting may be.

I akined this whole development utilising Edward de Bono's jello and hot water theory in a previous missive, so ask that you seek previous entries if you are truly interested.

"Normal" is big business here in the West. It drives fashion and music industries, generated a whole self-help industry which has its genuine and charlatan characters, and, at its pinnacle, the whole anti-depressant and subsequent pharmaceutical industry. I have personally partaken in all of these juggernauts of the status quo, but continue to remain, as far as my psychological outset, on the periphery of mainstream culture.

Have you ever tried to define "normal"? In an existence where, to quote a cliche, "all that remains the same is change", how can we ever truly define this loaded term (would recommend reading Carl Jung's psychological treatise on man and his symbols)? Further to this, how many people go nuts or spend oodles of cash that they can't afford in search of this allusive commodity?

I can't quite define "normal", but I know I don't like the brochure. Normal, for me, has connotations of being content and happy, which are certainly wonderful things, but on a level that puts everyone on such an even keel that it extinguishes passion. Now I'm not arguing against finding inner peace - I think that is something we should all pursue, along with peace and creativity. But ask yourself, if we never knew pain and sadness, how could we ever truly appreciate those moments of tranquility? And, stepping beyond that, don't you really like things that piss you off so bad that it lights a fire in you belly to take action? If I didn't get mad or see things that outrage me, I'd probably never write and, hey, we never would've had Punk Rock!

So we pursue the status quo, the average; what kind of society is that? Just look around you in your town. We are being screwed left, right and centre by our governments, spraying chemicals in our food, gang raping the planet and wearing clothes (in the mainstream) largely manufactured in sweatshops and the hot topic from the apathetic masses..."so, who, like, got voted out of Survivour last night?" Who wants to be "just like everyone else"? Hey got the new 50 Cent album, yeah man, he sounds the same as his last album and the same as DMX.... Don't even get me started on television! People are homeless in some portion of your cities, but the newspaper cover's Paris Hilton walks from limo to gala. We have become afraid of the raw aspects of life, compartmentalise our world and, like government, try to justify our existence and bureacraticness by volunteering to dumb ourselves down and so as to not make any ripples.

The fact is, it's the folks who stand out are are different - even if they are somewhat screwed up psychologically like myself - that truly drive progress and can lead us to enlightenment. Challenge yourself - focus on liking you as opposed to trying to dance to the beat of the mainstream predicatble rhythm, and question everything!

Painting: "Wrong Turn With a Leaf Blower" by Robin Eschner


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