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Escapism and the Sickness.

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Drunken rant #395: I would like to post it in the General Forum, but fuck it.


Some of you idealists (myself included) consistently dream of moving away, isolating yourself, perhaps only as far as Europe, or maybe as far as Bora Bora.

My impression of the motives we have for doing such a thing is generally this. You feel frustrated. For whatever reason, you are certain that something disfunctional built into the fabric of the society in which you live is causing you sadness perhaps, or pain or anger. You recognize that it is not easily fixable, and you recognize further, that many don't empathize, let alone understand your awareness of the disfunction.

So you tell yourself that going away will help. You'll escape the machine. Maybe you've already been to that magical place that will finally set your mind at ease, and you are certain there is hope for life there.




This is where I wake you up and wipe the smile off your face.

The sickness you feel in this life, feeding on your hope, will follow you everywhere. Make no mistake. The sickness, my delusional friend, is only an ephemeral fantasy; not at all a feature of society that might be brushed off by a geographical translation a few degrees latitude or longitude. The sickness, of course, is inisde of you.

What you feel, is brought on by the awareness of a feature of your biological self. This feature of our biological selves merely manifests itself as "society" or "economy" or "culture" and what not. Certain manifestations may even prosper (consider the value system in Capitalism), but I am telling you, with certainty, that it is only a manifestation of a biological feature that exists in humans, everywhere.

Go ahead, move to a small key off the coast of Honduras. It will follow you there, I am certain of this.

The sickness is, ironically, the evolutionary force that has given us the power to command other manifestations of its existence; all animals are a manifestation of the sickness. The sickness, completely blind, yet guiding all life, has produced a masterpiece, of which you and I are living testaments to its accidental genius; all life is enslaved to the sickness, of which you and I, my friend, are quite possibly exceptions...

A consequence of this genius was the gift of consciousness and you and I are now faced with a choice: to continue to obey the Sickness and follow its viral path, or encounter it, as I am now, and understand it. Call it what you will; self-awareness, consciousness, soul. Like a child of light born into a world of only dark, consciousness gives us choice.

This choice is not understood.

The Sickness is not understood.

Without awareness of the Sickness, we are enslaved to it.

It is clear, that we are not collectively prepared to face its strength or contradict its will. It is clear, that we would much prefer to live in guilty, animalistic symbiosis with it. Submit to its virulent ways. And allow its manifestations to propagate on a scale like we have never seen.


So if you find your Island of Happiness, expect things to change. You can't run from it until you know what it is you're running from. And expect it to find you there, soon enough, the coward you are for running away from humanity's greatest adversary.

What would be far more honourable, I think, would be to stay. And share this new-found awareness with others, so that they could understand their own sickness; such knowledge is the key to abating the Sickness and enabling the next revolution: the Revolution of Consciousness.
 
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why not

TRIBE Member
that was weird, but interesting.

towards the end you lost me though - not sure if overcoming our 'sickness' is possible or even desireable.

too much faith in free will for my tastes, i'm pretty sure we're all just slaves to our animal selves.
 

Jonesy

TRIBE Member
I don't think everyone that chooses to move themselves away from their current surroundings should be deemed cowardly. Sometimes moving away can facilitate mental repair.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
haha oh man I'm retarded.


More or less what I'm saying is that humans have a certain duality; on one hand is the selfish gene and its animal-like influence on our behaviour, while on the other hand is the consciousness that humans have been gifted with. Ironically that consciousness has come about as a result of the selfish gene, but most humans on this earth don't care to understand the unique duality of this situation.

What I'm alluding to is that the defficiencies many of us experience in the way our society behaves is a direct result of the "Sickness": the selfish gene or the animalistic behaviour we exhibit. It is not a consequence of the structure and/or mechanisms of the society itself (the government for example).

So if you try and run, it will follow you, because the problem is in yourself; it's in everyone.

My claim, my ever-so-slight glimmer of hope that I'm offering is that we are quite capable of escaping and possibly defeating this disease by fighting it with our conscience. I claim we've been given a gift and we must spread this understanding.

I further claim that many of the machinations of society (take Capitalism or law for example) have been largely (but not entirely) bred out of the diseased part of our mind. Such machinations only help propagate the disease to the forefront, and suppress our conscience.


I know this probably sounds quite vague, and a little bit too much like "good" vs "evil", but I'm also certain that there's a lot of truth to it: I think that conscientious behaviour is very uncommon and we should be questioning every decision we make in the context of its self-serving nature.
 
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Jonesy

TRIBE Member
Don't get me wrong, I am not disagreeing with you. I was merely arguing that although what you're saying has some verity, you can not say that all who run have totally not taken this sort of philsophy of mind into account. Your problems will follow you, yes, but sometimes getting away can give the mind some clarity.

That's all.....:)
 
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wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
oh man.. i like this thread better than the one on reasonability in the general forum. nice one atp

I have reflected on this particular topic a lot. I haven't made any conclusions per se but I will throw out some ideas for discussion

- you allude to our sickness, our base animal instincts fighting to propagate our genes. it is responsible for our material desires. I might argue that to deny our genes, to deny our material desires is to deny our material existence. do we hope to one day transcend our material bodies? can consciousness exist without our material vessels to hold it?

- i can't deny that my consciousness exists, and with it all the emotional turmoil of guilt and social responsibility and ambition. what if consciousness is the disease? what if unintentionally our consciousness is sowing the seeds of human destruction, with its lofty goals that always fall short of the mark? is it not consciousness that has allowed us to build mighty and terrible weapons, capable of mutating our DNA, the very blueprint of our material vessels? maybe we ought to give in to material desires and goals and live like animals, instead of questing for power and immortality.


- but this human evolution of consciousness phenomenon seems quite incredible. like a journey unfinished. should we not continue this evolution? to see what the future holds? will we create AI, immortalizing our consciousness in vessels that lack the same ravenous appetite that our inefficient DNA machines have? will we one day have no need for bodies which require food and water and sex?

- or maybe our material bodies and our conscious minds will find a way to co-evolve, such that our bodies remain vital and our minds remain stimulated.

atp, can you give me a glimpse of what your concept of a revolution in consciousness might entail?
 

DaPhatConductor

TRIBE Promoter
Amazing! Nice read my man!

Here are my insights on the sickness:

The sickness is indeed inherent in our interface with reality, ie the brain/body. This sickness of dissatisfaction is a result of that gift/curse we call the ego. in order to have meaning and concept we must divide an inherently analog universe of patterns we do not understand into a binary framework of language and thought. Binary in that every thought has it's opposite, every value it's inverse, etc. This conceptual framework does not fit the fluidity of the universe as we are increasingly discovering, quantum physics, fuzzy logic, etc. and we are making progress.

In order to step beyond this sickness we must step beyond the origin of the ill fitting framework, to step beyond that first binary from which all of the others stem: the self/other distinction. Once we realize that the self cannot be quantified, cannot be described or nailed down, and is definitely NOT of the realm of matter and energy we will find that consciousness is free from the governing principles of the framework.

There is an inherent arbitrariness to the framework because the universe is not binary. This arbitrariness is not immediately obvious because the first assumption of self and other IS obvious. however, if the framework cannot apply to it's very foundation what can it be but empty and problematic?

Society, Science, and Religion capitalize on this framework and hammer in a consensus reality that only aggravates the situation. It is far easier to control people when reality is uniform. Moving away from society won't instantly cure the sickness, but it can definitely help to calm the shouting voices telling us how to think.

Thanks again for the food for thought, i feel better now :)
 

sarafina

TRIBE Member
i definitely often feel like *running away* from our "evil society", but it seems that nowhere in the world is safe from this sickness..you explained why...
also it seems selfish to me to run away instead of trying to make a difference..as impossible as that may be
 

derek

TRIBE Member
the trick is to disconnect yourself from ego, even if only for a few minutes daily. it help bring a new perspective to life.
 
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Gunark

TRIBE Member
Running away geographically is a bad habit of mine. Lately though I'm finding I can do just as well (and much more economically) by feeding myself the right serotonin boosters.

It's kind of depressing but at the same time reassurring, knowing that all of your seemingly deep and insightful feelings of unhappiness or disatisfaction really are quite meaningless. You really can fix it with chemicals.

That said, most people don't appreciate how big an effect the environment has on their mental state. Being surrounded by gray, cold, flatness 5 or 6 months a year is not good for anybody. In this respect, you really WILL feel better if you move to Bora Bora. The grass literally is greener over there.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by wayne kenoff

atp, can you give me a glimpse of what your concept of a revolution in consciousness might entail?

If you think about it, a "revolution in consciousness" would entail some sort of proactive effort toward remodeling our thought patterns, either physically or psychologically. Physical modifications are usually controlled by the Sickness, but with the gift of awareness, we are able to psychologically remodel our thought patterns: this can only be done through learning and reinforcement. This requires strong discipline and consistency. Do you see discipline or consistency in the world around you? No. It is highly unlikely that we will see such a psychological phenomenon spontaneously arise from the population--it will need to be induced or enforced. This might be proactively through government, or subvertively through people's movements.

And, sadly, the only way to achieve this sort of collective change is through violence, fear or threat. Those of us who are already aware of the Sickness do not require threats of violence or fear to act, however those who are blind to it, do.


Looking ahead, a new consciousness would, I hope, be a consciousness that treats individualism and communism (communism in the same sense as "collectivism", not to be confused with Communism) on the same ground. By this I mean that in addition to the awareness of a "self", we develop an awareness of the "group", and we treat the requirements/welfare of the group on a level similar to that of the self.

I think that this is a likely (yet possibly distant) realization, especially considering that humans live in such proximity to each other, we are more "globally" conscious, we have communication technologies that enable individuals of differing cultures to join together like the tower of Babel and our saturation of power across the globe is astounding.

But it's all just a far-away dream. You might be one of the lucky few that knows about the Sickness; you might be able to make that important distinction. But not everyone knows or understands it. And so it will continue on, and I believe, only through violence will we ever see a collective change in the consciousness of humankind.


Originally posted by Jonesy

Don't get me wrong, I am not disagreeing with you. I was merely arguing that although what you're saying has some verity, you can not say that all who run have totally not taken this sort of philsophy of mind into account. Your problems will follow you, yes, but sometimes getting away can give the mind some clarity.

Yes, yes definitely. I suppose I was speaking somewhat metaphorically...abstractly? The trip you take doesn't really have to be physical. We can remove ourselves from everything that goes on around us, fearing it, knowing it will lash out, that the Sickness might get you. You have escaped. Or so you thought.

Originally posted by derek
the trick is to disconnect yourself from ego, even if only for a few minutes daily. it help bring a new perspective to life.

This is in line with what I have been thinking--consider yourself as not yourself. Take that thing inside of you, which you identify as you, and look at it from a distance. Consider it as a part of the scenery, engaged in activity with many other "yous".

Do you grok?

This discussion is partially influenced by that book actually. ;)

Originally posted by why not


too much faith in free will for my tastes, i'm pretty sure we're all just slaves to our animal selves.

Yah, we kinda are. But doesn't consciousness give us an opportunity to fight back? If the Sickness enslaves us to its will, can we not proactively resist it through the incredible phenomenon of teaching and conscious behaviour? ...I wonder...teaching carries forward from one generation to the next, much like a gene does...
 

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
read "The Art of Happiness" by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard C. Cutler.

it's most definitely a handbook for living. i love buddhists.

the only problem with books like this is that the ones who really need to read them, are the ones who wouldn't touch them with a 39.5 ft pole.. but what can you do..
 
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sweet_e

TRIBE Member
OMG this is too coincidental.

I was just thinking about this topic today. Why? Well, cuz i have been filled with a feeling of incompletion, that something is missing, that there is more to life than this daily routine, that my life right now is just in limbo. I guess I could have allowed these thought to slowly slip back into my subconsciousness and move forward with "life" But instead I am leaving soon to go to europe. My very own proverbial "quest for something more".
My current dilemma is what if i already have what i am looking for but just arent aware of it yet, and by leaving i am going to lose it? Or what is there isnt anything more to life than this? Am i wasting my time trying to find it or is the quest itself enough to satiate my desires?

Sweet_e
 

why not

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~

Yah, we kinda are. But doesn't consciousness give us an opportunity to fight back? If the Sickness enslaves us to its will, can we not proactively resist it through the incredible phenomenon of teaching and conscious behaviour? ...I wonder...teaching carries forward from one generation to the next, much like a gene does...

how do we know that humans are the only things with the gift of consciousness?
how do we know that teaching isn't just another instinctual behaviour?
my feeling is that humanity's conception of itself is in a serious state of flux and uncertainty, right now, and has been for at least a hundred years.
we are redifining our priorities every day in subtle ways.
are they the right ways? until we can agree what right means, there is no answer.

do your best to live your life in the best way possible, whatever that means to you.
 

KiX

TRIBE Member
this sickness you speak of sounds far easier to deal with on an island beach sipping drinks requiring umbrellas than here.

=tina=
 
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