Skip to main content

"Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos!"

The other night I was having dinner with a friend, and she said, "I don't know, maybe we're not worth saving. Maybe things will fall apart and human beings will go extinct. Then the world could heal. Maybe that would be best." Appalled by her nihilism I said, "But you're a doctor!" And she just shrugged.

I've been thinking a lot about that exchange. I think it's symptomatic of a deep weariness in our culture that is the result of what we face every day: all the existential threats, and the evidence of cruel human ignorance, and the soul-grinding stress of living in a capitalist oligarchy. It inculcates a sense of "It's too much, this is just too complicated, there's no solution, fuck it, we give up."

Some people express this through gleeful apocalypticism (I've been one of those), but most are anesthetizing themselves with smart phones, anti-depressants, and long-form TV. It's just easier to feel less.

Does that piss you off? It pisses me off. Punting, giving up, refusing to think about it, claiming "Voting is a waste of time," chanting "The world has never ended before, so why worry about it?"...that's *wrong*. I'm going to make a bold claim: there are things that are right, and things that are wrong. It's not all relative. Considering for a moment the problems we face, then shrugging and going back to scrolling through Instagram while blithely saying "The world will be better off without us," that's WRONG.

We owe it to everyone who is young now, all those infants and children who will grow up to reap the whirlwind we've sowed, and we owe it to everyone who came before us, who suffered and died to get us to where we are now, which, if you haven't noticed, is the cusp of becoming an interstellar civilization (if we don't blow it), we OWE it to them not to give up just because shit's hard.


This is a collective responsibility. Every one of us, every day, should spend some time imagining the world we'd like to live in. In that world, what are our common values? What are they based upon? What does the society that grows from them, like a tree from the soil, look like?

Don't tell me that's utopian or collectivist, that there's no point in imagining such things, because everyone is different, and blah blah blah. That's just more defeatism. USE YOUR GODDESS-GIFTED IMAGINATION TO HELP US FIND A WAY OUT OF THIS MESS. Think about it, write about it, put your ideas out there. If your scheme to save the world is good enough--if it seems like it might actually work--it could attract people. They might get onboard, invest themselves, help you develop your plan. And if enough people join in, it might save us from our nosedive into the abyss.

Even as I type all that, I hear a whisper in my ear: "This will never work. Why are you bothering? Aren't you embarrassed to hear yourself?"

I'm telling that voice FUCK RIGHT OFF, YOU. That is the voice of Resistance, and it's our Enemy. It is the psychic equivalent of entropy in the physical world, and it opposes the creation of meaning, beauty, and complexity. I'll leave it to you to decide its provenance. (Of course, I have an idea, if you're interested.) But I exhort you: DON'T GIVE IN TO IT. Not even when it speaks with the tongue of a charming friend at the dinner table. Especially not then. Listen, but in your heart, make a vow:
If you are haunted, as I am, by the specter of civilizational suicide, here's my suggestion: start actively, intentionally believing that there's a way forward through this profound existential crisis we are suffering. That there is a bright future we can achieve. Don't be discouraged if you can't do it at first. It's fuckin' HARD, yo. But try. Practice believing every day. Be disciplined about it. It'll get easier with repetition. It'll become habit. And then you can be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.  




Popular posts from this blog

A New Way to Use Psychedelics

I want to tell you about my approach to working with psychedelics, because I think I'm breaking new ground. If you or someone you know is working along similar lines, get in touch. I want to talk with you.
For now, at least, I'm calling this approach "phonomancy," meaning "divination via sound." If you're a recreational user, it likely won't appeal to you. If you're someone who's dipping your toe in the psychedelic water via microdosing, or someone who is primarily interested in using psychedelics to treat trauma, depression, or addiction issues, you might find the practice I'm going to describe off-putting or even alarming. That's because phonomancy is not therapeutic--it's augmentative. It's a program for developing supra-normative emotional and spiritual capacities via psychological hormesis. Some risk, pain, and fear are part of the process. But that's the price of transformation.


The Devil Horns: A Formula for Success

Nietzsche wrote, "My formula for happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal."

He also wrote, "My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

And this: “What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”

And "...all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer."

That's some good shit right there.…

"One Weird Trick to Achieve Salvation!"

It's still inchoate, but this weekend I received a novel and possibly very useful new image of the Goddess. It was She Who is Not There, a three-dimensional hole in the world in the shape of the wife I never found. It inspired an epiphany:
Your "heart" is part of the perceptual apparatus of your consciousness, like your mind. And like your mind, it always has an object of its apprehension.

If, like William H. Macy in "Magnolia," you feel like you have love to give and nowhere to put it, if you're dying inside because you've got no one to love, understand that the pain you're feeling is a sure sign you *do* love Someone, a Transcendental Person who feels the same way about you, only times infinity. Your heart sees Her, even if you cannot.

So I offer you one weird trick to achieve salvation. All you need to do is reframe your suffering to recognize that your longing is proof that She is real, and you will be delivered. Loneliness is a strange attracto…