Saturday, February 23, 2013

absurd safety

In a mostly-unsubstantiated, bullshitting-over-beer-and-chips sort of way, it occurs to me that the only real usefulness of a chosen field or philosophy or mindset is its ability to surprise the author when it simply doesn't work ... when things return to the way they were before the box was chosen ... only now the way is less painful or confusing.

I guess I'm thinking vaguely of spiritual life, which is one of the boxes I chose, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same held true for other touchstones and guides.

Something like ...
1. Based on sorrow or confusion or some uncertainty, pick a format that seems to promise to make life easier.
2. Depending on the potency of the discomfort, dig in and dive deep; immerse yourself in the particulars of the chosen realm; swath yourself in the explanations; seek answers where there are questions and, even if the answers don't quite fill the bill, still, exercise a determination to keep going
3. With some understanding under your belt, relax a little -- release the choke-hold grip on system-provided explanations -- and see that although the system really is a pretty good system and really does have some comforting aspects ... still, what is outside that system, what doesn't 'fit,' is pretty surprising ... and delightful. No one was born with a religion or spiritual persuasion, for example.
4. Return to square one -- the place where discomfort or confusion lit the fuse and find that discomfort and confusion are not really all that discomforting or confusing... in fact, what is outside the box and inside the box is not all that different... in fact, it is far less confusing or discomforting than the box itself. Saying thank you to the box is OK. Trying to box a human life with it is absurd.
5. Eat a brownie ... and enjoy it.

The quick-witted, assuming they are on board with this description, will want to skip the part where the boxes are gift-wrapped with belief or hope or religion or philosophy or bias or whatever. "I don't need boxes!" they may say with lofty assurance. But it's bullshit because not-needing boxes is just another brand-spanking new box.

Enjoy the box.
Caress the box.
Measure and weigh and scowl over the box.
Be blessed and cursed by the box.

But eat your brownie.

Surprise! It is, as it ever was, delicious.

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