I try to write about real things. To say how things really are, rather than how I’d like them to be, or how I want you to think they are. I try to be honest. But what gets in the way is me, and you, and all the junk we carry around with us.
Each of us is the product of our own unique set of experiences, so those are all we have to draw on for our understanding of things; for the way we see ourselves, each other and the world.
But we’re not just the sum of our ongoing experiences, we’re also the conclusions and opinions we have about those experiences. We’re how we feel about things, consciously and subconsciously. We’re our likes and dislikes, our biases, aversions, illusions and delusions, hopes, dreams, fears and the rest.
All of those ingredients make us what we are. Yet in terms of genuine realness, most of those ingredients are just junk. Most of the stuff we lug around is trivial, irrelevant and stupid.
Forget about human minds as perfect edifices of unassailable moral principles, unchallengeable ethical precepts, or mathematically precise concepts. Those are just meaningless words compared with how we really are: a disorganized, confused shambles. Our perceptions are a joke. They’re flawed, idiosyncratic, wildly inaccurate and subject to constant change.
This state of turmoil is who we really are.
Why don’t we appear this way to others, or even to ourselves? Because we’re all great actors, skilled at self-delusion, trickery and deception. Below the surface we’re all contriving like crazy to present an outwardly acceptable self to the world.
Even we don’t realize how much work we’re putting into just being the self we think we should be. That’s how expert we’ve become at creating and maintaining the façade. But then, we’ve been practicing from day one to maintain the act.
And anyhow, the people around us are all so busy working on maintaining their own act, they don’t think about how hard we’re trying simply to figure out who we really are, or who we want to be, or ought to be, or could be, or whatever.
You wouldn’t believe how hard that is when everything is changing all of the time. On every level of physicality, from the subatomic to the cosmic, from one nano-second to the next, nothing stays the same.
We needn’t worry too much about the cosmic, but on the subatomic, and even below that, is right where each of us lives. Our brain runs on this level, and yet brain complexity is simple nuts and bolts compared with the major symphony of subtleties involved in being conscious.
Think of your consciousness as an orchestra with a trillion musicians all trying to follow a continuous, unfinished score that’s constantly being rewritten and added to by the world around you in a megazillion subtle ways.
Now wake up, because this isn’t about music, it’s about how we decide what’s real. And if we don’t get it right, we’ll be playing to a score written around make-believe, fantasy and delusion, and that would make no sense.
What does make sense though?
‘Sense’ comes from what our senses tell our brain about the material world, but senses are designed only to help genetic organisms survive long enough to replicate and reproduce their genes.
That kind of ‘sense’ is what holds us back. It tells us what’s best for us as mindless physical organisms, but nothing about what’s best for us as conscious human beings.
Trying to live according to what makes sense to our genetic selves is why we all have so much trouble figuring out who and what we actually are. Genetic sense makes no sense for us as consciousness. It’s what turns us into self-interested play actors living on a superficial level where all that matters is what satisfies our hungers, panders to our illusions, strokes our ego or placates our instincts.
Genetic sense tells is we should all look out for ourselves, first and foremost. It puts ME and MINE top of our priorities list, makes us mean and self-centered, aggressively possessive, vindictive and vain, and all of our other infamous traits that seem to be ‘reality’ for most of us: a genetic reality that makes sense only to replicating molecules.