That is the cause that drives all of us; we meat-puppets, bio-piles, self-motivated obsessed carbon life forms that we are. The reason we do everything that we do is because we die. The meaning of life is that it ends.
The scrawled hearts on the park bench, the scratched names under your desk are cries from the past; reaching yearning, calling from that abyss where all things must go. We build cities and businesses, and lives because they are graffiti to the gods, and we want them to be hard to scrub off the walls.
Think about laborers under the beating sun dragging blocks for the great pyramids, think about the lives that were spent to turn great blocks of stone into a massive tomb for the ruler of a sand patch at the end of a muddy river. Thousands and thousands of hours of back breaking work, of lives spent like devalued currency, and for what? So one man could have a glorious tomb and take his riches into the after-life? Yet ten thousand, thousand men and women and children were buried in shallow graves in the sand. No embalming for them, no hope for an afterlife for them.
You think we are any different today? We work and sweat and labor to build high-rises that will be used, and then neglected, and then dilapidated, and then razed. Gone. Cities rise, cities fall, ruins fill the landscape and the flesh-toned tide of humanity rises and falls, ebbs and recoils, fades and though it is always dying, always being born, it is a continuous thread that stretches back into history, one meager life at a time.
Do you really think you are going to make your mark on the world?
Time is death, death is time. Eventually I will be gone, you will be gone, and perhaps if we are fortunate, we may be remembered by our descendants, or if we have done something famous or infamous we may be remembered long into the future, though that future does not really matter much to those still trapped like a fly in amber locked in the past.
I look at those scratchings on a park bench, and wonder at our own mortality, the great mystery that is death. What deep scratches are you trying to leave behind?
After work, I went to a small trivia night gathering in town, and tried to talk and be a part of other people again. I tried to fit in, and to belong…
I realize just how much of my life I have missed. I work all the time, there is almost nothing else. I am a slave.
There is nothing outside of work and obligations for me, I am tied down to a job that takes so much time, and I don’t get out and do anything on the weekends either. I am a slave of my own making. I can’t blame anyone else. It is me.
I used to be a part of life, I played a part, I was involved in things that were bigger than I was. Sure I had my own little cliques, but I didn’t feel awkward around my peers, and I had things to connect me to other people.
I feel like I have lost some of that, I don’t really know where it went, but the last 5 or 10 years have not been good for my inner being, I have turned inwards and lost sight of my real purpose.
I delve deeply into my interests and find new passions, but these are nothing more than distractions, they are an escape from reality.
Where did I go off the rails and lose the energetic passionate entrepreneur that I was? I used to see opportunity where now I only see darkness, I used to pounce on an idea and take it as far as possible, now I hardly bother to make a move, I am convinced that it is hopeless.
Has this town finally killed my drive and positive attitude? Or is it something else?
I don’t see a way out anymore, I don’t see a future where I reach the goals I have always wanted. I only see perpetual mediocrity.
‘Lucidity’ is an absolute clarity and understanding. As if all the shadows have been cleared away, and all that remains are hard truths. In average existence, our minds are busy with the details and routines of everyday life; we often exist almost as machines. As if the conscious mind stays just behind the present, and reacts on delay.
I used to work cutting tires for a disposal service; the job was repetitive in the extreme. Pick up a tire, throw it on the table, pull the lever for the ram, reverse the ram, rotate the tire 1/3rd turn, and repeat, throw the cut piece and then rotate again, cut and throw. Then repeat the same process once again. In the mornings I would see my huge pile of tires to cut and it would seem an impossible task because my mind was too aware of time and of my own existence. But after the first 10 minutes I would begin to lose the present and become more detached from what I was doing. Time would then begin to move much more quickly and aside from interludes of clarity (or lucidity) I was just as unthinking as the machine I worked with.
Much as sleep is an existence where the conscious mind loses it’s grip and in effect dies to time for a while, only to be re-joined again upon waking, so it was for me in working that repetitive job. All those hours were lost never to come again. And what did I gain for them? Nothing but a few dollars spent on bills and items long lost to memory.
So I ask you, how many of your waking hours do you spend in lucidity? How much of your life have you really lived, not just existed?
Think back on your life, what are the moments that stand out? The seconds or hours that have defined your life?
Live in Lucidity