Thursday, March 03, 2011

THIRD (IM)PERSON NATION


Being the being we were born to be
takes a far back seat to 
doing the being for others to see.  

The imbalance in the dynamic of nature’s dual cycle engine: eat or be eaten, is the result of having no awareness of the observer within who, from the first opening of each newborn’s eyes, silently watches civilization enacting a mythical script with antagonism towards the natural stage upon which it plays.

All beings display self-awareness by remaining alive. Remaining alive accumulates experience with kinds of food and kinds of predators. The consciousness of a being must make sense of this experience to supplement genetic memory with updates on the present to prolong its life. Making sense of it all could be seen as each being‘s personal narrative, the efficacy of which is attested to by its length.

Unlike their fellow beings, humans have managed to inject a mythical story into the experience of its progeny that transforms the organic eat/eaten dynamic into a mechanistic pass/fail exam with no predators but one’s betters. Being given no credit for the innate intelligence of the observer much less time to become aware of and develop natural curiosities and capabilities as even human parents allow in the wild, the modern human infant is drafted into becoming a civilized adult upon its first inappropriate defecation, having eaten its first meal, the first step in its journey of isolation from nature as it occurs within and without.

When rewards for obedience to others’ nonsense have greater value than remembering it is a game we have a choice in playing, we are civilized; habituated to the game of conquering nature — one we cannot win. That we cannot win is being shouted from minarets and state houses by outraged throngs of people, from poisoned seas and polluted air by the planet. We must cease our antagonistic story of human superiority and become more symbiotic with the body from which we arose lest she shed us, like the diseased narrative we carry by telling our children how we’re supposed to live.

Having western civilization’s myth piped in from every experience involving people since I was born, it seems a bit arrogant to me that I can claim to now see through it to the way things are, to see what the myth is about after its wishful thinking and “facts” are gone. Either I fell for it, or my way was paved so long as I chose to go along and fill in the proper blanks, because I found myself on my own for the first time in an earnest, trouble-free, thirty-four year life; no one left to fail or be failed by. The combination of new experiences and perspectives I’ve had off the leash since make me unfit for leashes evermore.

In the mechanics of story telling there is the trilogy of first; (I), second; (you) and third; (him) person narrative. In the mechanics of Freudian psychology there is the trilogy of id (instinct), ego (actor) and super ego (conscience). Both fields deal with strictly human interaction because nature reads no books or enacts no moral purpose for a conscience to attend. But they are useful to demonstrate the manipulation of human instincts wrought by adherence to the myth by one’s own personal story.

Let’s let “I” be the first person narrative of the “id”: the point of view from the primal observer, the instinctual, genetic memory with which each being is equipped at birth. Then we can let “you” be the second person narrative of the “ego”: the point of view of the seen, being an observable object out there in the mix of nature and society. And lastly, we might let “him” be the third person narrative of the “super ego” judging the effectiveness of the ego’s act in attaining from others it’s personal purpose. Notice the hierarchy of transition from natural, as born ability to live in nature alone at one end to purposeful dedication to the authority of others in the mold of the myth at the other end.

In nature the id serves as a perfect guide to the ego's actions putting it in the way of food and out of the path of predators to attain the longer, harmonious life desired by the super ego. In civilization the id is a dissident silenced by the ego lest it spoil the performance of licking the boots of whoever plays the super ego to be pleased in its story.

Currying approval of the public has such a priority over knowing oneself in the reality of nature that, for many, solitude seems a death trap and in nature, filling the trap with tigers. In these days of wall-to-wall communication solitude must be sought out by painstakingly turning off every device in the house, not that there are that many who would. In nature, approval amounts to not being eaten and having what we eat nourish us. Among men, gaining approval and, ideally, authority, motivates every activity indulged beyond the daily bread — and it’s an arbitrary game — in which eating alone is pitied and not playing makes one the enemy.

Even the games played within civilization reflect its myth of overarching administration by gods or governments and the possibility of sainthood, president or celebrity for the most dedicated to making their version mean something to the most people, as if truth could be created by man, just as he attributes such abilities to gods and their books. Like gods, the pantheon of mini-stars of excruciatingly varied forms of vicarious entertainment have idolizers in virtually every smelly locker room, reeking pit stop, perfumed crotch pit, Oscar walk, radio talk, podium and pulpit — thereby sustainting their reason for living around betting on what happens next on their version of the soaps because it has more meaning than what they do between shows; their own existence.

5 comments:

Old 333 said...

This went very well with your post - and thanks.

Peter

Yodood said...

Really?

Old 333 said...

well, I am four beers in. The part about self-awareness and accumulation of knowledge; I immediately remembered that video reading that. Higher purpose: unknown, must be assumed! even constructed. The appearance of mechanistic, causation-based forced choice is exactly the illusion I love that little video for homing in on: who are we to know what these tests are for?

The idea of forced maturation associated with initial failed stool placement: Larry Niven, of all people, did that REALLY well in his novel World Of Ptavvs (A Recommended read in my books, wish I knew where my copy was).

Id, ego, and superego are all mirrors to me. You only need two...to be. I'm with you on how to generally regard number three: except as mirror for that-which-ought-to-be. And again: thanks for a thought-provoker! I enjoy those.

Try the video again. it really does go well with your post. I think.

But who am I? (echoes of a terrible jackie Chan flick of the same name)

And finally : Yes! To the understanding of our true level of integration with the Mother planet we serve.

I know I missed lots points, by miles; but this is now beer five. And that's beer in $CDN beers.

Also! Ever read Zelazny's Amber books? the end of the Corwin/Corum/Cremm Croich cycle has a brilliant attack and dance play upon black causation's edge; and a great talk with a Nihilist Zen crow. these nothingheads! Everywhere these days.

And I love 'sustainting', whether typo or intentional.

Hope you're having a good night; and sorry for mind-mangling your work! It's what happens for me sometimes. I still enjoyed it!

later -
peter

Old 333 said...

Also: the library widget is cool. Libraries Rule.

Yodood said...

"sustainting" was a typo that fit better than the traditional word it added character to.

Good catch, you can't be that drunk.