The Poor Disillusioned Monkey
We're in a permanent pickle, us people.
On the one hand, we want to enjoy existing. We want to eat good food, and rest well, and sing and laugh and get foot rubs and take hot showers... and the list of enjoyable things just goes on and on.
On the other, we can think. So it's not just a long day of these good things and no real regret for bashing someone's face in, stealing their food and wife, etc.
And then there's this third hand.
The third hand is that the vehicle delivering this 'thinking' is the same fallible pleasure-seeking entity which procrasitantes, convinently forgets, and lies to itself.
That is, the thinking part, even when it is being exceedingly clever, is not resting upon the most firm foundation.
These two irreconcilable opposites- our thinking side and our animal side- are the basis of our awareness. Our awareness defines our reality. Reality exists, for us, to the extent that our thinking animal selves are able to define it and recognize it.
And that's fantastically annoying, because if we can think, we can recognize this lapse.
And of all things, recognizing this lapse whilst trying to think through a difficult issue, one which requires your full attention, a notepad, and several hours thought... well, it can make you want to just set that all down and go watch cable television.
Another issue which seems to go right along with this- historically, the track record of the humans does not show much promise. We have repeated ourselves for millennia. Regardless of our technological standards, we are still one major natural disaster from being in utter chaos, and shortly after that, from living no different than the median human ever has.
So, is it that we just need the right path to follow? Is it possible that someone could show up and lead us all away from the same old mistakes? Make the world the best it could possibly be with us still in it?
Or is it that the way we always have been is the highest possible level we are capable of, and straying from that path with the hopes of advancement is what has caused so much suffering and trouble all along?
Altruism. A trait very few living things are capable of.
Lying, a behavior uniquely human.
If people were more altruistic, the world would be a better place.
But being altruistic takes work.
And we're ever so inclined to work as little as possible.
A few bad apples would ruin that situation, and it would be a very short time before altruism dried up and people were made to fend for themselves- much like now.
As with most things, it is our base animal motivators which get us in the most trouble, and which also are condemned, by and large, by religion and society.
Most of us already know, we are our own worst enemy.
It's only when we are ALL threatened that we all unite, it's only when we are fearful that we can be kept in line. This explains religion fairly well.
It's funny, though.
The fruit of the tree of knowledge is what supposedly got us all in trouble, and what a perfect example we have to support it. The more you know, the heavier your burden is in life. It's no wonder that with age we grow bent and gnarled. The weight of the information in our heads pulls us back to the ground eventually more surely than gravity ever could.
I think I see now how people can age and gradually make peace with the world and slip off into that great unknown without howling in anger as it happens.
There are no objective answers to this pickle, and there never will be.
That won't stop us fretting over it, as if wanting it to be might work, kind of like when you really wanted it to snow as a child.