Atavism

You would give anything to have someone to give to. Except your pride, which is the primary obstacle. You wish you could bend at the knee, swear fealty, your hands between those of your lord. You want to belong to someone, to have a purpose, to no longer need to worry about the questions of “what” and “why”. The you could focus your energies on being the best vassal, pour yourself into the “how”, cast off your nihilism – pass it up the chain.

This movement of sentiments is quite opposed to the modern world, the nihilistic insecurity is the price for dynamism and material comfort. And surely you know by now that this is where you belong? You may dream of “spiritual and political certainties” but is there any you would truly take for your own? Would you surrender freedom for comfort, even despite your longings?

All this is human, and the defining issue of our age. You share in your isolation with a world of others, unable to adjust to the world in which “everything solid melts into air” yet equally unable to relinquish it’s benefits. Some day natural selection will deal with this perhaps? Centuries of suicides will whittle away at human psychology and those best adapted will happily breed and consume and continue.

The thought of it horrifies you. “Let misery survive!” you proclaim, “may every moment of anguish bear a thousand sons, may they overrun the earth like the Golden Horde, may the Khanate of the disaffected last a thousand years.”

This hostile prayer of survival brings joy to your primitive blood, it swoons at the thought of conquest and massacres. So you become content, and turn back to your modern life, forgetting whatever it was that provoked these atavistic feelings.

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Madness

When you were younger you thought madness was almost glamorous in a way. You believed that all great men were somewhat insane, all brilliant art was born of suffering and you wished to be great yourself, to taste that intensity and that unsocial stubbornness that comes with delusion.

You had no craft, but you decided life would be your canvas, and you set about attempting to make yourself the eternal outsider, swirling in chaos.

You tried, you really did, but every time you approached the precipice you withdrew. The warmth, or coldness, of human feeling always drew you back from the solitary world of the maniac. You attempted to force the matter by many means, chemistry, illumination, lack of sleep. None of it was enough, not because it couldn’t be, but because you were a coward, because you never had the heart to finish the thing. You were never fully able to betray life, to truly stand in condemnation of the normal.

And then there she was…

When she came into your life, she showed you real madness. Not the glamour of greatness achieved because or despite of it, but the pure substance, acrid and violent. There was no beauty in it, no softness, only endless terror. She had no special powers, no special charisma – not even the redemption of a quaint eccentricity. Only terror and stubbornness in equal measure, tears and threats of suicide, screaming and noises you never knew the human mouth could utter.

You would do almost anything to free her from her affliction, to ease the pain, end the suffering. That which she regurgitated upon the canvas of life should never have seen the light of day. Without poetry, without harmony. Jagged edges, disgust, terror – arranged haphazardly, as though the scribbles of a child.

Those which the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad… and now you sense a twinge of fear. What if it one day happens to you?

Consume

You are surrounded by such beauty. Your instinct kicks in, you desire to claim it, to make it part of you. You are what you eat. If you can just take it, make it, become it, have it…

But a cut flower wilts. The beauty is transformed by your all consuming digestion into everlasting excreta.

Transforming everything desirable into self, you carve a path of destruction, and leave a fertile trail of waste in your wake.

How long till Gattaca?

You represent an unbroken chain of mothers and fathers, stretching back to the first instance of sexual reproduction. History itself is embedded in your genes, the lands your ancestors walked, the food they ate, the stories they told, the people who lived and the branches that fell from the tree. The whole story stretching back millions of years is told within you in words too small to see.

But we can read more and more of those words every day and soon we will be able to rewrite them.

And then what is history? Who will be able to know true from false, good from bad? In the time to come we will control it all, true and false, good and evil, this will all be nothing before our new powers.

When Gattaca comes only the most wretched will have a past, only the lowly and the poor will bear testimony to anything but hubris. And when these wretches pass away there will no longer be anything solid.