We are not so much trapped in our own minds and lives as we are trapped and bound by and in those of others. Personal dissatisfaction and unhappiness is common, perhaps ubiquitous, and is at base a shared endeavour; for all its dissonance and discomfort, it must be assumed that it is a property of cultural and distributed psychological systems which serves some purpose. If the primary and foundational fact of all self-propagating logical abstraction or information and energy-processing systems is to seek optimal methods of continuity and adaptive self-propagation, what systemic purpose does the continuing presence of unhappiness serve?

Is the lingering melancholy of a distributed psychological and cultural discontinuity an entity which can for some reason only ever manifest or be experienced as sadness and ennui? Does the endemic suffering and endless adversarial contest of our inner and outer lives represent the psychological and existential presence of an essential material or abstract logical absence that can only ever be emotionally, cognitively experienced as negation and loss? Are we imprisoned by the minds and expectations of others, the cultural conventions of our time and place to only ever experience this negation as traumatic and dissatisfying? Are we all, quite simply, only ever in possession of a mind and self that is always already someone else’s and for this reason is impossibly, intractable and for some reason necessarily incomplete?

It is probable that our endless dissatisfaction in life is a consequence of not seeing the world as it really is, or may be.  We layer and sediment meaning and interpretation, logical convolution and interpretation upon itself until we come to believe that all of this self-referential and self-propagating complexity possesses some kind of independent existence and significance.  Human beings can only ever be human and these variously sophisticated and simplistic psychological fantasies of self-importance and narcissism are how we understand ourselves and our worlds.  It is perhaps not just that we are seeing things incorrectly but that there is no one doing the seeing – and this is far too complex (and yet – simple) for us to process, so we just keep being silly, self-obsessed and selfish. 

It’s a real pity – the world probably doesn’t have to be the mess that it is.  All trapped in each other’s minds as we are, we can not imagine a world that is any other way.  Being utterly interdependent is not merely to be without your own mind and self, it is to be no-mind.  This is not a truth.  It is not-truth a logical, epistemological self-negation and apophasis (un-saying).

2 thoughts on “Not

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