some things i can articulate that i believe:
to be living, alive, is to be changing.
the construction of the universe, of life is simultaneously intentional and unpredictable.
the nature of life is neutral: sentience seeks / fabricates the extremes of good and bad to fulfill --- often previously deprived--- sensory experience to facilitate growth and eventual evolution.
all forms (perceptibly animate and not) and beings are contained for the sake of experience but the limitations of physical forms are porous, elastic and grow (perceptibly and not) in proportion to the acknowledgment, understanding, acceptance and experimentation with the boundlessness interiority of that being, form; that each of us and all that surrounds us contains everything that has ever been and/ or are and contain portals to everything that has ever been.
to exist in a world that accepts that truth as the backdrop, that we each contain the capacity for anything and everything, while acknowledging, navigating, investigating, and practicing choice-making. that endless, formless backdrop is the compassion required for constructive discernment and intentional growth. when visualized it becomes untenable to conceive of linearly but possible to swim into as an oceanic-formless space that passages, tubes, tunnels, channels have been formed through, float within, but connect and radiate infinitely outward from.
to speak for myself but acknowledge it as un-individuated - as i am a point within an entirety who could not communicate these perceptions were it not for the time and the place and the relations and the tools of here and now- i have the language of everyone who has ever been before, accessed with more breadth and ease than ever before. i wish to live in world that is more honest about our nature, where we speak freely, directly of and to and from and about the nature of being human. what a relief it feels - - - this is why we love therapy, to openly and honestly speak about and examine our nature is the only way for intentional growth.
biological evolution has intentionally and not, as all things - in relation to the natural laws and physical principles of matter and atmosphere and movement / presentation of energy - wound us back around to ourselves. we are not just being, for some time now, humans have been observing. witnessing ourselves and other beings and the planet be and become. it is not an immediate shift. it was, as all evolution is, a gradient: slow and constantly unfolding, branching infinitely and at some point that gradient was overlapped with a major, concentrated, swift, shift. its like you spend your who life perceiving and you live and you learn and you cannot, not grow from it and you are constantly an orb that floats in your core and every time you move or interact or wake to a new day that has not yet been lived before, that core changes its orientation in the space of that formless backdrop of compassion. and you have to learn to follow that core. not to leave your mind and / or your body behind in a space where your centrifugal life force no longer resides and you have to balance yourself around it, once more.
that is happening in every moment one exists - lives - is as a contained force-in-form.
the closer in time and space and breadth and perceptual understanding, openness - we are talking about limitations here, the in / out of being defined externally and infinite internally - the more gradient the shift, the more comfortable (comfort here is also bound up in the necessary structure of the human psyche and identity *the infamous(ly) misunderstood ego* and the radius of comfort and its ability to shift is in direct proportion to the history of shifting --- stretching, building muscle and tissue, practice and understanding of what is beyond your understanding, comfort with the unknown comes with more experience in being uncomfortable.)
* here i make a note for you or me or no-one at all to remind in the future to come back to the important distinction and similar and dissimilar functions between comfort and convenience
so you live and some shifts are moments, markers, that set off the cognitive / somatic communication to note consciously and unconsciously those shifts. and some shifts happen so quickly in temporal understanding, reach such a distance across spacial knowing that they pull one immediately to a location, orientation, perception in that backdrop, mirrored in their life, that alters everything they had once been sure of, comfortable in knowing. this can happen without a single exterior shift occurring, this can happen because the entire physical world around us crumbles. one shift can easily, often does, bring the other.
this happens in our micro lives and has happened in evolution.
i am obsessed with the creature that finally stayed on land, after life had only pulled oxygen from water, after its predecessors and parents had maybe sipped and sucked from both ocean and atmosphere. i think of them often, fondly, the one who stuck. when i say everything is in me i mean that creature is in me, and in any person from planet earth. and all that came before was in that creature so if that creature is in me, you, us, then all that that creature contained is in us too.
what this is an argument for is one of those evolutionary shifts: a rolling out of the ocean a stick onto the rock. the gradual experimentation with sentience, the long time which (necessary or not --- also contextually, given the evolution of biology on this planet and of the universe as we have come to interpret it not a long time) that has been practiced through the combination, synthesis, conduction, translation in and of and through tangible matter and intangible matters - family, society, shelter, ideology, religion, law, technology, consumption - individually and together, as the threads of necessity - survival - and desire - meaning - spun around one another. those threads do not go away. i think they are the threads of the incarnate experience. we do not evolve out of those threads those threads are bigger than humanity and sentience. sentience evolved to observe itself and analyze itself and thus make choices - erroneous as they may be, bound up in the structural choices imposed by others as they may be - for itself. there is an evolutionary step that seems symbiotic with the nature of sentience and a solution to the complicated - call it almost resentment? - those born sentient
* here i want to clarify that i actually believe, know, animals are sentient and rocks are sentient and everything is sentient and this is not a term i use to imply hierarchy or superior intelligence, i do not believe in that --- look all around at what some "intelligence" is doing to this world --- i use it to indicate self-awareness, which even that i believe every incarnate being and form possess (how could one be and not have some sense of being) and these terms are ones i hope to expand, decipher, to create more compassionate, inclusive, specific language for in the future *
--- self-conscious (better than aware i think) even better yet, perhaps, self-centered --- feel towards our observations of nature, the planet, biological evolution, is that that thread of necessity, that thread of randomness.
as usual i fear i am not saying what i mean so here it is: self-observing sentience can predict and perceive possible evolutionary trajectories of life and of "ourselves" --- of our individual lives and of our biological successors lives --- some come specifically to clearly or abstractly, always poetically articulate, demonstrate, delineate, translate, map, draw *que octavia butler* those possibilities. they come to tell us so that we can choose. because that choice is the evolutionary hinge. sentience chooses how to evolve. that is the evolutionary mechanism of sentience. and it too is happening on the gradient and happens in the extreme concentrated flip of a switch. that is, it happens in your life daily - - - all we have to do is choose based on our vision of how we would want life to evolve, and head in that direction. the point from which you begin will not be the ideal, thus the choices presented will not be the ideal. but one will align more. or you will decide, choose, it does. that is the spilt. and the more one chooses the split that aligns, moment by moment one chooses to orient and move in a direction of that choice one chooses for evolution.
i have held myself back from casting so many direct lines of relation because i have been afraid that the moment connection is made, the quality of the tether will not be strong enough to convey my entirety. that i will misrepresent myself and thus be misinterpreted. as though there were only one chance with any given person in any given time.
the hesitancy i have always had in participating, sharing, showing, choosing to put myself in the world is that i cannot convey, in one moment, action, sentence, connection, the infinite well inside of me and that i will, in playing by the rules of limitation of this world, misrepresent myself and thus be misunderstood. i do not want to be a persona, an archetype and suspect i am not alone in this objection. this fear is validated by witnessing as individuals and groups are reduced to a singularity and a value placed on that singularity in the most extreme and violent of ways. but i am also realizing that i came here to be human. and every human i know and touch and pass and hold space, local and global, with knows what i know about myself, about themselves. so i too know it about them, and they know it about me.
right now it is just a matter of practice, intent, choice: of keeping that knowing buoyant.
these matters are nuanced and should be approached as such - not tentatively but thoughtfully, not with charge but with giving - through the lenses of record-keeping practices of all human history found in language (stories, allegories, memories both lived and passed on through lineage,) art, photograph, tools and techniques alongside exploratory sciences, particularly evolutionary biology and physics as applied and enacted by individuals and social structures. the micro and macro experiences of reduction exist on a gradient that i visualize as linear - horizontally ie between two contrasts/ extremes / polarities and vertically ie hierarchy - and spherical ie concentric circles and venn diagrams - and exist within these archives, records, histories, and sciences. thus, those who are limited in their world experience, and literal life-span, through mechanisms of reduction so much so that they cannot access these archives and sciences, that the existence of them and their contributions are undermined and excluded from access to, and space within the resources - material and cognitive - must be allowed first the time and space and resources to locate and re-inscribe themselves there, must be acknowledged for always having been there. that happens simultaneously with the micro and macro experience of simply being able to exist, to live, to live the natural course of their corporeal life, in peace without the perpetration of constant threat and enactment of violence to their existence in direct and systematic ways.
what i am saying is i am saying we are all human and all limited by the limiting ideologies that have been calcified into structures but that is not an equal experience of limitation. these limitations happen on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes of being.
i do not feel like fearing not knowing anymore. it is all possible. i often say to myself, want to say to the world, let it go. just let it go.
i get the sense that we all know, we all know this about ourselves, and if we drop the facade of hypocrisy we all know this about each other too. and this is the turn i am trying to speak to about in and for but also by way of evolution. the one as a point on, in the gradient. after observing --- theorizing and making meaning --- and then fighting over it for so long humanity --- individual acceptance against the phenomenon of collective thought is one that needs to be pointed to, pulled apart, but my brain cannot sprawl there if i want to land where i was headed right now --- seems so afraid to just accept it. i feel like we have always, since sentience formed the question, thought that we would be searching for the meaning of life. that we would be questioning and that one day we would get the answer. that we have defined ourselves as unknowable to ourselves, so we are always outsourcing - the knowing, the being told by - to a god or a theory. imagination, possibility, potential, dream, experiment, play, wonder --- they all are rooted in this space. what if the question is what we relinquish --- seeking a solution as though it were a problem.
but we are capable of defining ourselves. this epiphany came long ago and we have been fighting about it since. one is capable of defining oneself but not another. there is some split in the structure of the psyche between the capacity to observe and be simultaneously.
there are forces mightier than you. but they do not exist for you.
we do not get to choose when they act in accordance to their own nature but their nature is neutral. what one and many do in response to them on the spectrum of neutral between "bad" and "good" is the choice and the making of meaning. it is the experience of living. what has changed is that we are aware we can shape it, we make it, we choose it, we can will it, we can even force it. but those last two, they really speak to not just the choice to but the choice of how to.
there are forces mightier than you, they are in you and around you and you can sink into them, push against them, flow next to them. but you cannot extract yourself from them. you do, though, decide how to be within them and how to pull them through you.
i believe that we can know ourselves, that we can have an embodied experience of our true selves. it requires an honesty that surpasses the limits of societal dictation of the individual and a coexisting personal sovereignty that allows that individual to decide and define themselves in accordance with the reality that they uncover in and around them that will reverberate relationally.
"be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid"
- elaine miller quoting goethe