This article contains topics and information that may be distressing to some individuals
The driving factor that propels us to further our existence depends on one thing: purpose. Purpose is likely the only motivation we have, to not hang ourselves in the bathroom. It is the driving factor, the very reason we force ourselves to wake up in the morning. In its absence, accomplishment, achievement, are arbitrary to do us. Unescorted by purpose, life would have no explanation for why it should be lived. Enough to say, purpose provides an integral foundation in our lives. Without it, life is meaningless. In our society today, this notion of purpose is ambiguous to many. Young Americans often feel like they lack one, therefore likely correlating to the increase in depression and suicide in America. However, while an interesting question, we will not be exploring the explanation for why such a development is evolving. Rather, our attention will be allocated to the question: why should we have purpose?
The concept of purpose fits into a broader category of intangible properties that humans learn and develop throughout their adolescence. Among this wider classification are internal ideas like love, meaning, and happiness. We are prescribed knowledge over these subjects through a plethora of exposures; we learn them through interactions in school, through our peers, and by our family. Purpose is often taught pragmatically in our educational system, centered on future occupational focuses. In fact, the very idea of teaching students to acquire information is derived from the desire to create a generation of individuals well equipped with mental capacities to succeed in life after school. However, it would be illogical to presume that we could motivate any child to learn for 8 hours of a waking day without first providing them a reason for why they should learn. The question to ask, is does this reason suffice strongly enough to keep us motivated?
It is a given that we should try in school, and more broadly that we should try in life, because we have the ability to impact the universe on a real level. There are two components that factor into this equation regarding the idea of why we should try: personal impact and worldly impact. The former, centers around the gain of an individual. The latter however, is deemed the more important, the more motivating of the two. Take the case of a senator for example. In this position, the subject receives gain at a personal level, achieving respect from his peers and popularity and recognition by his title. He is viewed highly by his surrounding citizenry, as his job is of extreme importance as well as of high competition. Therefore, he is motivated to hold such a position, as the personal gain from acquiring it is of great sums. Yet, unless the individual is deeply selfish and narcissistic, this is not the only factor propelling him to serve as a senator.
There is something beyond himself, that plays a role in his purpose. In the case of a senator, this something pertains to the individuals he represents. His role is to help the lives of his constituents, to ensure that they are able to live the lives that they desire and enjoy. Therefore, the senator serves others, in order to help the world around him. It is this aspect that provides us a reason for why we have purpose. The scientist serves by helping find solutions to unknowns in the world, the doctor serves to help restore the health of his patients, the general serves to ensure that the nation he represents is free from danger. In every profession, the altruistic aspect of every career, is to help those around them have their needs met, and to ensure that those coming after them have the ability for their needs to be met. In other words, our objective in life seems to help others in the current, and provide those coming after us the opportunity for a life that is better. Mechanically, it seems that this formula checks out; every individual playing a role in helping the world work in the current, as well doing our best to make sure it works in the future. Yet, when we think beyond the surface, we begin to ask if this justification, this reason for why we should have purpose, is really enough.
Over the last 100 years, scientists have dedicated themselves to answering the question: when will the world end? While dispute exists among these theories, there is consensus that the earth will at some point, end. Let that sink in for a moment. There will be a point, when the universe ceases to be. There will be no life, no being, no voice to be heard. The reality of this world, or rather the absence of this world, is inevitable. However, what is most staggering in the case of man, is that we don’t deny this reality, we just don’t allow it to impact us. But how absurd is that? Our purpose in life is generally framed as the ability to help better the world and preserve it. Yet, the reality of the matter, is that this feat is impossible to achieve. The environmental scientist dedicates his life to finding solutions for how we can save our planet. The doctor dedicates his life to help save the lives on it. Yet, no matter how hard we try to, this dedication, will never change the course of reality.
We will not prevent the world from ending, we can only attempt to slow down the reality of it occurring. But why dedicate ourselves to such a thing? Why are we trying to better and preserve a world that is destined to pass away no matter what. An individual would not spend the entirety of his life lifting weights to get stronger, if his only motivation was to move a skyscraper. Because no matter how hard he tried, he’d never achieve such a task. If Abraham Lincoln was informed by a transcendent being that slavery would be reintroduced and would remain forever, never would he attempt to fight it, no matter how noble, because it would be impossible to prevent. It seems that our predicament here, is no different. Our attempts to save humanity might be successful in slowing down the process, but never will it prevent it. While we might better ourselves and others for the next 500 years, what point would it be for if our population vanishes from existence shortly afterwards? Putting our worth to better and preserve a world that will cease to exist is not only insufficient, it is merely illogical. Despite our efforts, we will never amend the laws of physics that force us into the spheres of eradication. No matter how much we progress and no matter how much we learn as a human race, it will all be lost to us when the Earth comes to an end.
It seems that the only place we can find solace in after the acceptance of a terminal earth, is by turning to the possibilities of an eternal one. Life on Earth will surely pass away, and any progress we have made on it will be lost to us after our absence. But if we are to focus on a life of eternity, then can we find a reason for existence, a reason to impact others. Whether it be Islam, Judaism, Chrisitianity, Buddhism, etc., I challenge you to seek out the reason for why you believe in the religion that you do. Evaluate the doctrines and dive deeply into the reasons for why you trust the faith that you follow. For only by the truth of one of these religions, will our lives have any purpose or value. If a transcendent and eternal reality does not exist, our lives will be of no meaning, as there will be no earth to offer it a meaning.
Cellular biology allows us to understand with more precision how life functions from the most basic unit of a cell, to a human’s overall physiology. The field provides the scientific community with a breadth of knowledge that can be applied to help develop new vaccines, provide identification of molecular causes of diseases, and offer understanding in regards to cellular mechanisms of the brain. Recently, the force of scientific discovery has approached a very exciting milestone in cellular biology, the development of the first “living robot”.
People are calling it the Xenobot. These millimeter-wide micromachines are considered the world’s first programmable organisms having the potential to deliver medicine to targeted regions of the body, scrape plaque from arteries, and even clean the world’s oceans of polluted microplastics.
What exactly are the characteristics of Xenobots that give them such promise in solving a myriad of different problems faced by the modern world? The endeavor of developing a micromachine required the use of a supercomputer called Deep Green at the University of Vermont. Deep Green implemented an evolutionary algorithm that generated thousands of candidate designs. The parameters of the algorithm follow the laws of cellular biophysics, as well as ensuring that the potential “xenobots”, would be able to perform a designated task. For this experiment, the specific task was locomotion. The top-performing designs were sent over to Tufts University for assembly. Interestingly enough, biologists at Tufts harvested stem cells from the embryo of the Xenopus laevis frog species (hence the nomenclature). Because of the dynamic nature of stem cells, these cells were able to be grown into heart and skin cells. The team performed microsurgery on these cells in order to create the Xenobot organisms.
Heart cells convulsing in unison give the Xenobot the mechanics to propel itself forward, thus achieving the task of locomotion.
The first functional living organism prototype successfully performed its simple task; this is more significant than many people realize. The discovery of a process that can synthesize micromachines such as the Xenobot will lay the foundation for future, more complicated ‘living robots’ that can serve a multitude of functions in physiological repair, medicinal transport, and environmental recovery.
Dogs in Burberry Coats & Traffic as an Image of the Meaninglessness of Life: Reflections on Dallas upon Returning
It’s not that I didn’t not want to come back to this godforsaken God’s Country of fast-food & bad-beer & binging & dieting & sleep-deprivation & juuling & tanktops & puritanical drinking laws & even more puritanical smoking laws & political correctness & political incorrectness & school shootings & unsubstantial gun laws & political banter & political inaction & so on & etc.
It’s not that I didn’t not want to repatriate to this nation of masochistically masturbatory materialism, this country of screen-worshiping automobile-driven 20th century munch-munch-yawn-yawn television-oceanic behavior of the Axiom that is the nutrious sedentarism that is the yummy lifestyle of our good old contemporary U.S. of A.
It’s not that I didn’t not want to return to this quaintly patriotic hellhole of cheap americanflag sunglasses & cheap americanflag shorts & cheap americanflag flags & cheap americanflag thrills not to mention shorts & senescent hairless pulpy calves looking like fleshy-veinymarbledecalcifying–declassifying–asCaCO3+H2SO4—>CaSO4+H2CO3& H2C O3 -- > CO2 + H2O so that CaSO4 dissolves – & crumbles – into H2O .
(I passed chemistry with an A+)
It’s not that I didn’t not want to wake up again in this ungodly idiocracy contested by a party of hypocrisy & a party of institutionalized racism & run by an exotic menagerie featuring too-many old white men, a sallow wide-eyed mouse, a flabbergasted lettuce-eating turtle & a fucking orangutan with small hands oafishly, selfishly, sedulously groping pussies; but I digress: politics, like the rest of the worst of the world – e.g. Netflix, YouTube, pornography, money, social media, suicide, etc. – is meaningless & upsetting. As I was saying, it’s not that I didn’t not want to come back, it’s that I had to.
British Airways serves way better food than American Airlines.
So that, as the best things in life come to an end, which, as an aside, I’ve always found to be an excellent argument for life itself eternal, the point stands that, on the morning of January 15, I woke up wrapped in the grey cotton sheets & scratchy Guatemalan blanket of my firm twin bed bathed in 9:00 Texas sun, the 2nd to worst part of which was I wasn’t even hungover as I would have been were I still in Jerusalem whence I returned to Dallas, nor – the 1st to worst part of which was – did I have any foreseeable chance of achieving such a less post-bliss-full more bliss-less state.
Courtesy of the Puritans.
So that I lay in bed for 1 hour, perhaps, or perhaps 2, until I wriggled out of bed & groped my way downstairs to the breakfast table. I drank black coffee & I ate a piece of cheese. I might have read the morning papers, I don’t remember. Later that day, if I recall correctly, I went to a café, where I pretended to write, I went to Half Price Books, where I bought books I pretend I will read, I went outside (where I imaginarily chain-smoked American Spirits) & I went home, where I hid in my room until dinner. What a truly remarkable day.
Brought to you by Money & Me.
The next day was slightly more remarkable. I woke up later. I drank coffee with milk & I ate a piece of bread with a piece of cheese. I went to NorthPark. There, at the Apple Store, my parents purchased for me a new laptop for my new job, & at Scotch & Soda, my mother bought for me 2 t-shirts bearing the hefty price tag of $25 – each! – & 2 pairs of wool slacks bearing the heftier price tag of $80, each. Then we bought coffee at the Nordstrom E-Bar.
Let’s see, having finished shopping I returned home where I remained until we went to my German great-aunt’s house for my American great-uncle’s birthday dinner comprised of German food viz. sauerbraten, potatoes, cabbage, cucumber salad & apple cake (brought to you by Germans!) but so then having survived the ordeal of a family dinner not merely including but rather indeed featuring extended family, I drove to Bishop Arts to meet a friend to enjoy some Latin music at Revelers Hall where we had a grand old time (it was very nice) however it would have been grander & nicer with cute Latina chicks to dance with us; but we had neither normal courage nor liquid courage: so that we didn’t ask any cute Latina chicks to dance with us.
I told my friend to go rescue his potential 10/10 Colombian girlfriend, who – to this day – mops the floors of her parents’ Colombian restaurant, her sighs sobbing, her breast heaving, as she weeps with boredom & despair, awaiting – expecting – my friend’s arrival upon a wild stallion to rescue her from her drudgery & despair. But he said nah. So that she’s still mopping the floors of her parent’s Colombian restaurant, her sighs sobbing, her breast heaving, as she weeps with boredom & despair because my friend doesn’t come upon a wild stallion much less come at all to rescue her from her drudgery & despair.
America needs rescuing!
The Nordstrom E-Bar deserves delving into. Because as we waited in line to order dallas priced i.e. overpriced coffees, I surreptitiously observed the 2 women in front of my mother & I. The 2 women each wore Burberry coats & Givenchy heels. One of the women carried a dog who also wore a Burberry coat. They – the 2 women, not the dog – ordered overpriced iced coffees & simpered & sauntered to a table where they each pulled out an iPhone XS with which they each proceeded to scroll. They didn’t once look at one another. I couldn’t help but think this is Dallas.
We ordered our drinks. We drank some on the walk. My mother left to go pick up my brother from school. Wandering to my car, my Apple bag & Scotch & Soda bag in 1 hand, my E-Bar americano in the other, I couldn’t help but think so this is Dallas.
These this is Dallas moments no longer, constitute isolated instances of recognition as I swim along in the David-Foster-Wallace water of the ambience of my existence. Nowadays, they’re frequent occurrences. Now, when I pay $5 for a café au lait & watch 15 youngsters in Yeezys clacking away on Macs at 1 of the 100s of cafés in the DFW Monstroplex, I naturally think so this is Dallas. Now, when I read articles about the Ultimate Detox Day in Dallas, – a detox that includes sweat seshes, yoga seshes, meditation seshes, consultation seshes, healthy breakfast bowls, healthy prepared meals, & healthy liquor, & surely costs over $1000 –, I can’t help but think this is Dallas. Now, when I see the numerous families, young couples & suited professionals shelling out $20 per entrée at the infinite fine restaurants not stippling but blanketing the Monstroplex, I scoff this is Dallas.
Luxury, like the brights of your car, Dearest Reader, can be abrasive.
Driving home was the experience it always was, & is, & ever shall be, except that in a fine, literary mood, I couldn’t help but curse the fucking traffic as every fucking person hit their fucking breaks every fucking time without any fucking reason at all. Then I got stuck between 2 semis which, at any given moment, could cut over & cut my head off.
You see what I mean? Because the height of my car is such that the bottom edge of a semi’s trailer will bash my brains in square at the temple if it ever so happened that a semi collided sideways with me, seeing as I would never collide sideways with a semi because, as every Dallas knows of themselves, I am the best driver, a faultless driver, in need of no Driving Jesus. Such macabre thoughts I rationalize, in the Freudian manner, with 3 anecdotes. The 1st of which is about a woman texting & driving, or perhaps scrolling & driving, who failed to notice i.e. didn’t see the semi stopped ahead of her for which reason she drove underneath the semi—except she didn’t in the fullest, wholest sense of the word she, because she left her head behind (rolling & spinning on the road I imagine although more likely it was crushed & splattered): the bottom edge of the semi had thwacked her head clean off, guillotined it, if you will. The 2nd of which is that, while growing up, my grandparents repeated this story with all of its salacious details & – quite literally – juicy tidbits. The 3rd of which is that, while growing up, my mother always almost lost her shit when she was driving between 2 semis – or between a semi & a wall – because she worried the semi would fail to see her, so far down, in his mirror, so high up; so that he might cut over & smush us into the wall or crash us into the semi to our other side, or smash us into some godforsaken & malevolent something: every time we drove between 2 semis – or between a semi & a wall – she told us how much she hated driving between 2 semis or between a semi & a wall. All it took was my finecut, literary, imaginative, precocious mind to incorporate anecdote 1 & anecdote 3 to foment a fear of semis cutting over & cutting my head off.
Anyway, driving between 2 semis, in Dallas traffic, on the way home, my E-Bar coffee in my cupholder, my Apple bag & Scotch & Soda bag in the passenger seat, the car ahead hits its breaks with NO APPARENT REASON, & I lose my shit & scream what’s the point because there’s no wreck, no reason for this fucking traffic, & it hits me that – forgive me, as I pontificate & expand upon a tired literary trope – that life is a lot like driving in Dallas traffic between 2 semis.
Because there’s no point to the stopping, there’s no point to the going, there’s only the driving, with our possessions beside us, with death to either side.
The music my friend & I heard January 16 was so very nice that I returned on January 23. This time alone. The band was smaller this time, this time they sang mostly Mexican folk music instead of the salsa they’d played last time. I enjoyed the night thoroughly. I met some kiddos from the Bishop Arts area, I shared my cigarettes with them. I knew some of the songs e.g. “Caraluna” by Bacilos, I sang along. When it was all played & done, at around 23:00 or 23:00, I sauntered to the doorstep, lit my cigarette & commenced a meandering amble to my car.
Let me see, I am happier than I’ve been in a while, this night. The Latin music at Revelers Hall has somehow managed to negotiate a tenuous peace between the warring parties of Dallas & myself. The music reminds me that Dallas has large communities of Mexicans & Salvadoreños & a growing community of Venezuelans. It reminds me that Dallas has a flourishing music scene, a smallish but fiercely talented visual arts scene, & a burgeoning literary scene. The music reminds me that Dallas is not just whiteness & wealth (except that it really is wealth, see #2). But some Dallas restaurants do offer delicious – albeit overpriced – arepas. Some Dallas bars do offer absinthe, some offer fernet & coke, some offer both. Some Dallas bars & clubs do stay open till 5:00 or 6:00 or 7:00. Some Dallasites do not work in the medical fields, the real estate fields, the business fields, the oil fields. Some Dallasites want to be happy with that which they have. Best of all, some Dallasites do not worship guns.
Indeed, what does one do with a city where it’s easier to purchase a gun than a to buy drink? What does one do with a city where it’s legal to carry a gun in the street but not a drink? People, white & older, mostly, will tell you that Bishop Arts is dangerous, & it’s not only funny but hilarious because they don’t stop to ask themselves why. But so then anyway here I stand, in the Bishop Arts District on the corner of Eighth & Madison, sometime/somewhere around 0:00, under a streetlamp: the light cast by the streetlamp is a sickly yellow, the color of pear-flesh; the clouds are greyish purple, ominously lit by Downtown’s watery light pollution; the air is velvet & clear & cold, thick & velvety with cold: I can hear the cars rushing up & down Zang & Beckley & I-30 & I-35, through the city, in the city, around the city. The city is rushing up & down under the thick velvety clouds in the cold velvety air.
The moon does not look but hides behind the wet clouds while the city parties or sleeps or makes love or some combination. Whether wiling away past present & future, or wildly & thoughtlessly & hopelessly-yet-hopefully forgetting both past & future with the present, or – perhaps? – delicately & lovingly & tenderly & somnambulantly constructing the future with the past, I would not know. What does it matter? The city breathes, its soft chest heaves, it snores quietly as it sleeps and rebuilds itself for tomorrow. The sleeping city is trod & danced upon, or slept upon or fucked upon, & it does not care; I don’t either.
Soon now, now soon, I will drive over & through & under the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. I’ll see the skyscrapers & I will remember taking the DART train from Mockingbird Station to Akard Station to eat lunch with Daddy at Reunion Tower. I’ll drive by the brownstone county courthouse & prison, & the numerous convenience stores selling bail bonds, & will recall stats about the mass incarceration of blacks & will ponder the institutionalized racism that constitutes much of our “justice” – or, dare I say, “vindication”? – system. I’ll drive beneath the Texas School Book Depository & think about JFK’s assassination, & violence, generally, & blood & brains, generally, & the blood & brains of my father, Daddy, splattered across the roof of his grey insectile Toyota Camry. Then, predictably, I’ll wonder at the power of association—I’ll wonder how it is that things with which I have little-to-no personal history – DART, book depositories, ugly bridges, JFK – can arouse such memories so profound as the Old Red courthouse strikes 0:00 or 1:00, what difference does it make? Perhaps it is the oneness of things. Perhaps it is the oneness of me. I wouldn’t know, I have a hard time believing the latter because I’m fairly certain that there is more than 1 of everyone.
But all this comes later. Now, right now, I’m shivering in the pear flesh light of the dewy street lamp on the corner of Madison & Eighth, coughing up organic smoke that 1 day will give me organic cancer. I’m about to descend into the darkness of residential Eighth street, where my car is parked, because parking is as rare as pearls in this part of town. This part of town is sketchy, they said. You might get robbed or mugged or shot, they said. Maybe that’s so. Maybe I’ll be kidnapped or murdered or raped. But maybe I’ll walk from the pear flesh light into the velvet darkling cold, my possessions in my pocket, death to either side, & the tip of my cigarette will glow orange in the darkness, & will shed sparks when I drop it to the ground to stamp it out.
And isn’t that enough?
Ever since the British people voted 51-49% in 2016 to leave the European Union, the status of their departure has been in turmoil. Now, almost four years later after numerous delays and extensions from Brussels, the United Kingdom appears poised to finally make their official exit on January 31st. It is fitting that Boris Johnson, one of the most vocal advocates for Brexit, will be the Prime Minister who ushers Britain into this new era, although the road to his crowning achievement has not been simple.
Johnson became PM after his predecessor, Theresa May, resigned following numerous rejections in Parliament of her deal with the EU for post-Brexit relations. Unlike May, who often pressed the importance of negotiating a deal for Britain’s departure, Boris spoke at length about his willingness to leave the Union without a Brexit deal in place. He was elected by the Conservative Party as PM in June 2019, but his plans for a no-deal Brexit were quickly derailed. Shortly before the departure deadline of October 31st Johnson called for a suspension of Parliament until late October to nullify any chances of a Brexit deal passing. The move was highly controversial and eventually ruled illegal as Parliament gathered again on October 8th.
After reconvening, several members of Johnson’s Conservative Party defected and voted with the opposition to pass the Benn Act which forced the government to ask Brussels for an extension if a Brexit deal was not approved.
After this setback Johnson began calling for new general elections hoping to regain his majority in Parliament. The election, held on December 12th 2019, resulted in a landslide victory for the Conservatives who gained 48 seats while their primary rival, the Labour Party, suffered a humiliating turnout, losing 60 seats. This victory gave Johnson the Parliamentary majority he desired, allowing him to declare that Britain would finally leave the European Union in January 2020. Yet this departure will not be the no-deal Brexit that Boris wished for, instead Britain will be departing under a revised version of the deal that Theresa May initially negotiated.
The primary change under Boris’ deal compared with May’s regard the so called “Irish backstop.” The backstop was intended to resolve the border question in Ireland resulting from Britain’s withdrawal and the Republic of Ireland’s status as an EU member-state. Specifically, the backstop was a plan to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which would result from the UK’s withdrawal as Northern Ireland is a province of the United Kingdom. A hard border within Ireland was outlawed under the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles. The Troubles were a thirty year ethnic conflict between Ireland and Northern Ireland over the unification of the island. The backstop would have essentially acted as if there was no border between the two nations in Ireland with customs checks between the islands of Ireland and Britain. Johnson’s Brexit deal removes the backstop and institutes a customs border between Ireland and Northern Ireland which might unintentionally inflame Irish nationalist tensions. The new agreement does give the UK the added ability to negotiate its own international trade agreements which was a major complaint regarding May’s Brexit deal.
Though Brexit remains controversial in Britain and Europe, both parties will likely be
relieved to see this saga end. Voters for the withdrawal should be delighted with the deal Johnson put together and EU citizens who generally opposed the withdrawal should be glad it’s actually over. As for the potentially catastrophic results many foretold during the Brexit referendum in 2016, only time will tell how Britain’s departure affects both their economy and
The concept of self is an axiom that seems concretely fixed in the understanding of existence. We categorize the world in factions of two: that which is within us and that which is without. In the former, is the infinitely small content of matter that provides the opportunity for awareness. It is the component within life that allows for reality to simply be real to us. But what is this thing? What truly is within the articles that make up the self that we experience? Thought, thinking, is to be our only answer, the only justification for why we feel confident that we even exist at all. It is here in this place, that we find solace, comfort, and peace, in the chaotic reality surrounding us. It isn’t simply the explanation for the idea of self, of being an I. Rather it is something much deeper, something much more real. It is who you are, it is how you make sense of your being, of your individuality. Thought, and therefore the opportunity for it, allows you to feel that your consciousness is your own, that you really are a you. In the absence of it, we are mere computers, destined only to fulfill the programming that is already created within us. Yet, this programming isn’t one that was created by a mad scientist calvinistically attempting to control the ways of our life. Rather, it derives as a by product of life adapted. Squirrels don’t run around to strut their prowess, or as a means of exercise to slim off excess weight. No, they run to eat. Eating is their only desire, their only purpose. All that they do in their lifespan occurs for a sole purpose: to survive. Nothing more and nothing less, simply to perpetuate their existence of life on this Earth. We too would be doomed to the same fate if it wasn’t for the ability of consciousness, awareness. Thought provides us the opportunity to live a life of substance, not just survival. We can differentiate our cognitive being from that of a squirrel because thought is present within us. Yet, not just thought, but autonomy of thought, creators of it. In the absence of him, we are no more than a sciuridae. The ability to think, the ability to be an I, is what makes you a distinguishable being. Thought provides us a chance to call ourselves human, allowing us to experience and respond to reality in the modes that we do see fit. What is more powerful than any in this ability, is the metaphysical opportunity to amend the pattern of reality. We don’t have to live in a reality that was already determined from the word go. Rather, we have the force to decide it, to create it. Thought is what permits us to not be observers, but deciders of the world.
With thought, we set the course, because we are the drivers.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL: NEXT WEEK
Yet, beneath this axiom, lies a corrosive tinge of deceit that all but none try to hide from. It is the rodent in the attic, the ghost in the closet, that we fearfully don’t allow ourselves to address.
Thought is yours, and yours alone. It is your private quarters, your personal canvas, that ensures that only you can draw the painting on it. But what makes you think you’re controlling the brush? Close your eyes, and stop the talk, quiet the thinking. You can’t can you? The Buddha himself determined such a feat the pinnacle of his existence. But why? Are you not the thinker of your thoughts? Are you not the dictator of your own consciousness? No. You can’t stop them, you can’t control them. They simply arrive despite any attempt to make them. Thoughts seem to exist independent from your conducting of them. Rather, they form without your direction and without your doing. So what is this to mean to us? If we don’t control our own thoughts, then what is it that we do control?