This is Part I of my ongoing series; The Blender In My Head. I will continue posting these intermittently for the rest of my life, occasional intermingling fitness articles as I feel the need. God help us…
The Blender In My Head Part I: My Lifelong Existential Meltdown
Far From Amazing…
A friend recently described me as “amazing”. That was a wonderful sentiment, though it was probably used to describe the shell I present to the outward world; the dating behavior of life as it were. On the inside I’m more damaged, and confused than I let on. Sure I’m a good guy, but pretty fractured and pretty flawed, though I strive daily to overcome, if not hide it. Most times though, the me on the inside is much more conflicted than the good guy who I allow the outside world to know. The inside is where my values do constant battle with the temptations perpetually attempting to invade my head.
Temptation in this case doesn’t necessarily mean a pretty girl or a drug. The temptations in my life can seem quite little when I break them down individually, but as a collective they can add up to enough that I more often consider myself a lesser person when I cater to even a minority of them. And cater I do.
Temptations manifest in the most subtle of ways. Things like taking shortcuts in business, in relationships, and in finances can be temptations. Ignoring responsibilities, and sacrificing priorities for immediate gratification can also be temptations. Amusement, entertainment, and indulgence can also be temptations. Putting myself first though, is the temptation I pander to most often. There are more of course, some too personal to share, but it seems I rarely go an hour without confronting, and giving in to some kind of temptation.
In the way I conduct myself many times in the course of a day, I find I’m pretty far from amazing.
Am I Really Real…
Many days I question my own reality. Every waking moment of my life I question my own reality! This has been my lot in life, for most of my life. I’m unsure that anyone or anything else I interact with each day exists independently of my thoughts. Though we all may consider this at times, it has been forward in my psyche for over a decade. I often wonder if the reason I give in so easily to the temptations of the lesser me is simply because I often disbelieve that there’s even a me at all. Of course philosophers far brighter than I have been grappling with this for millennia.
In these times of increasing complexity, the world and everything in it can seem unreal, or at least unlikely. I don’t know if the helicopters I see each day flying overhead training as instruments of death are more or less real than the tufts of hair which sprout from my aging ears. They both seem to exist with purpose, yet seem largely unnecessary.
I ask myself often, in a staged world, why would the candy wrapper I tossed in the morning trash have a crinkle in the corner…? Would dust really gather so quickly on my desk…? By answering these questions of myself, I somehow justify that the world is real. Why on earth would there be a scrape on the frame of my bike if the world were staged…? Imperfections, I surmise, could not be part of a staged world.
The Miracles Of And Mercilessness Of Modernity
I can now use my phone to check the time, watch a movie, or video call a friend in Ireland. I have instant access to the most of the music I enjoy. I’m in great physical condition, I have many friends, and I want for nothing. I have, arguably, the best life any man has ever lived. I know love in my life and on multiple levels. My computer spells for me, knows me well enough to suggest music and movies for me, cars will soon be driving for me, and social media has brought many wonderful people into my life that I would not otherwise have connected with. It all seems too good to be true – so maybe it is.
Every week a shooting takes place in a school or in a workplace that didn’t need to. Wars continue, borders change, politics, and religion seem to isolate more than ever, and people seem to have replaced fruitful discourse with relentless arguments that they be proven right rather than improved a situation. The world’s chaos seems advancing at a fever pitch. I look around at everything – anything, and most days nothing really makes sense. My computer spells for me, suggests music and movies for me, cars will soon be driving for me, and social media has brought many assholes into my life that I would not otherwise have connected with. It all seems too detrimental to be true – so maybe it is.
There are just those days when I pine to be whipped as I work 18 hours per day building a pyramid, believing that if my existence were reduced to that, at least I would be in a simpler state. I long to be in a simpler state.
Ground Zero In My Head…
The only vantage point I will ever have to this life is the one from inside my own head. I see, hear, think, and feel only as I can. Still, there are seven billion people in this world not named, Roy Cohen. Or are there…? Unsure of what’s real, who’s real, and if anything really matters, these are the days when my veins course with insouciance.
It gets old sometimes, looking into a person’s eyes and wondering if they are showing me genuine emotion, or just gathering data to report back to the mother ship. Is my dog looking in wonder at the fly orbiting my forehead, or is he observing me, taking notes, and planning the next occurrence he will facilitate on my behalf…?
Particle physics tells me nothing is as it seems, and everything I know is only probable. String theory suggests that anything that can happen will happen. Dimensions, universes, multiverses, space, time, space time, and of course, scripture. Thoughts of these create doubt on every possible level, and conjure thoughts I don’t even understand, yet they are my very own thoughts.
Add in entertainment, media, social media, the influence of the peripheral relationships in my life, and it can all get very confusing. It can’t be denied that the thinking of others has influenced the way that I think. What I struggle to reconcile is if these influences have, and continue to change and influence the way I wish to think.
In those rare moments when I feel a momentary sense of relief, and come to believe that I actually do and should exist, and I no longer question whether or not I am, I soon turn to questioning whether or not I am the me I want to be, due to all the outside influences I allow to penetrate my thoughts. I’m sure Dr. Suess or Shel Silverstein would have an answer for that, but I can’t seem to find one. And so it goes… rc
Please check back in 2 weeks to see what happens when I push the “stop” button on the blender in my head. Oh and there is this from Bobby Weir & Company. Enjoy…