by PhilosoPossum, in his cyberspatial opinion forum
Pro' noi" a\, n. (Med.) a) A chronic form of enlightenment characterized by very gradual enhancement of the intellect, systematized revelation, and usually by suspicions of good-will or conclusions producing charitable tendency. In its mild form pronoia may consist in the well-marked happiness exhibited in persons commonly called 'hippies'. Proanoids usually show evidences of bodily and nervous deviation from the general population, and many have true hallucinations, esp. of sight and cognition; b) the suspicion that someone is out there trying to help you.
I: So how would you describe yourself?
M: You know how sometimes you hear of a smart person who has gone a bit weird because they think too much?... yeah, well…
I: So you think you are smart?
M: Or perhaps I am smart because I think? Anyway, yes, that seems to be the case…
I: Interesting. So what’s up with the monkeys?
M: …I’m sorry, this interview is over.
Here are some thoughts from my lobes:
Put on your helmet. We’re going deep…
On an introductory personal note, in under a month I will turn 30 years old. As I age, I begin to properly understand that other people do not necessarily know better than I, solely on account of them being older. This is actually a very profound realization. It is a maturation process where I recognize my ability to think clearly and understand certain things. Perhaps a few more candles on the (space)cake is a good thing. But on the flip-side, I'm only thirty: Yet a grasshopper in the grand scheme of things, and thus humility is still paramount [although sometimes it may seem otherwise when I start ranting about the idiots of the world after I read about stupid people in the news and marvel and despair at how people can be so utterly clueless... but I digress].
And on a "what about ElfTrance" psycho-analytical note, I've observed the following: I am successfully spreading a positive cultural message, and doing it in a very cool way. It is actually working. =) This is all the justification I'll ever need to continue the development of ElfTrance. Whether or not others may understand or agree with what I say or create is irrelevant. The general message is what is important, and it's a very important message to propagate.
Besides, I am drooling in anticipation at how cool ElfTrance is going to look in one, two or three years from now. A lot of fun stuff is on the horizon, I can feel it. =)
-- so now I’ll apologize in advance to my English teachers… proper (sentence) structure and linear flow seem too limiting lately.
Onwards into the inner sanctum of my mind...
One observation is that it's people’s Egos that prevents them from gaining a better understanding of the world and each other. I often interact with intelligent people, yet intelligence is not always synonymous with comprehension or wisdom for that matter. Egos act as formidable defensive walls, shielding the mind of an individual from information that is contradictory to the person's currently accepted world paradigm.
Generally, people do not understand what they are, and where they come from. They identify solely with their ego, the ego being an exceptionally limited subset of experiences that comprises their particular life history. It is the ego which is primarily concerned with the survival of the biological and social organism.
I am quite guilty of extreme ego identification (perhaps 'guilty' is not a fair word...). Much depends on my ever-changing “mood” and my environment, which my ego reflexively responds to in order to maximize my supposed survival. I can see that the quality and type of consciousness that a person (such as myself) experiences at any given moment in time is dependent on many, many factors:
Social – who likes who, who dislikes who, who thinks someone else is an ass, who thinks someone else has a nice ass… basic primate social interaction-- it is a curse and a gift, I suppose
Survival – who is hungry, who needs to take a pee really badly, who hasn’t slept in 24 hours… You cannot hope to transcend the ego when basic biological needs have not been met (though sometimes the opposite is true in exceptional circumstances)
Chemical – who has drunk some coffee, who is about to menstruate, who just smoked some cannabis,… [Ed note: I cannot believe I just used the words menstruate and cannabis in the same sentence.]
Personal-Historical – who was raised fundamentalist Christian, who’s father told them they were stupid as a child, who is depressed over a loss in the family, who just had their own child…
…to name but a few. The point is that there are so many factors at work inside the mind of any given person at each moment in time, that it is sometimes amazing that people can relate to each other at all. Therefore it is hardly surprising that trying to communicate beyond an individual’s ego is indeed an arduous task.
You can never divorce the person from the opinions. And as a person’s social/survival/chemical/personal/historical climate shifts as the hours/days/months/years go by, so will their opinions shift. And thus the “personality” of an individual is never a static thing but rather a dynamic, evolving process.
Evolving implies eventual change, of course.
Human beings are extremely complicated social creatures. Human social environments are far more complex than most of us imagine- each of us being only a small part of the greater social environment, yet at the same time reflecting the whole.
The complexity of the human social environment must necessarily be as advanced as it is. The sheer complexity of the human brain demands that the human social (brain-to-brain) interaction be similarly complex.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that this makes for a great excuse if you are having problems in your personal/social life. ;)
I often suspect that they best way to transmit messages to a person is through good art. Art of various formats tends to slip behind the defensive barriers of the ego and directly influence the subconscious mind of an individual.
That which underlies reality is rooted in what has been called the "creative advance into novelty".
So don't be afraid to be creative.
Each person’s mind is a dynamic, evolving system.
Each person’s body is composed of bits of matter that were formed inside the core of an exploding star approximately 6 billion years ago. When those stars went supernova, the force of the nuclear explosion created the atoms that would eventually form the structure of your eyes, optic nerves, and brain.
Each human being/mind is an aperture through which the Universe observes itself. Each individual is a collection of matter that has become self-aware and self-reflective.
Evolution is the process, after successful execution over many years, that is responsible for the mind that now allows you to read these words.
This is a VERY strange observation to have.
The process of Evolution which formed the human cortex through which we think is a natural process.
Do not ever let someone convince you that evolution is dumb and random. Evolution is Reality’s means by which to fully express itself.
Similarly, don’t ever let someone convince you that Jesus was the one-and-only son of god. The underlying message of the Bible was that you are also the son/daughter of god. Religous ideology of any type is a suspicious venture. The menu is not the meal. Go ingest some wisdom from Alan Watts since religion is not my specialty, and he is far better at expressing this than I.
Be very selective about what you "believe".
Sometimes I feel a bit insane (unsane?). Internet theorizing is all very clever, but who out there has the courage to make it real? Egos pull with great force to maintain the status-quo, thus change is inherently difficult. I also have a short memory... Damn.
When I die one day, the Universe itself will end. Therefore, what is the problem with how you live your life?... And more importantly, who would have the problem? Be yourself. This is the essence of self-actualization: realizing that your Life/Reality/World is your own. There is nothing else but the world “you” build in “your” mind. This is the essence of the reality process of which we are all composed.
This is absolutely not atheism.
What it is, I'm not sure.
Be careful how you apply labels to your beliefs, since words are very superficial constructs.
I am not (as of yet) sure how understanding all this can help you pay your rent. People sometimes (implicitly) ask me: “But how will this help me pay my rent or get me a job or cure my chronic ennui for my directionless life?” I honestly don’t know. If I knew, I'd be considerably less angst-filled these days, and perhaps be opening an elf growth center for hippies. I think everyone needs to figure things out for themselves, and there are few shortcuts (notice I didn't say "no shortcuts"...)
You are your own island universe.
One day, you will die.
Your heart will stop beating; you will lose consciousness; your memory of your favourite sports team will fade away; your cells will die; your opinions will dissolve.
Every person who has ever walked the Earth has also died— so will you.
The Milky Way galaxy, in which we live, is composed of perhaps 200 billion stars. There are perhaps 120 billion galaxies in the known universe.
Five Billion years ago, the Earth was fortunate enough to find itself in fantastic stellar conditions. The interstellar equivalent of a warm, sunny day with a little rain. The Earth was also fortunate it that it contained a very healthy mix of rock and chemicals.
Like a seed planted in soil, Life began to evolve over the planet’s surface. Humanity is the end result of this complexity magnification process known as “evolution”.
Galaxies are scattered through space like grains of sand on a beach. Walk barefoot on a beach and think about this.
Then put away your cell phone, go smoke or eat some cannabis, and return to the beach to further meditate on the point. Go alone. If you live in Canada, cannabis will soon be decriminalized, so it’s OK: I won’t tell your parents or employer, nor will I place moral judgment upon you. And if you actually do go on this walk, be sure to bring along a bottle of water perhaps, since cannabis use can sometimes make you feel thirsty.
Relax your opinions.
It is also a good thing to try and stand up for what you believe in, and to not be too quick to judge another human being.
This can be surprisingly difficult to do.
One day you may realize that you weren’t as smart as you once thought you were. Therefore it is wise to anticipate this moment and thus relax your entrenched opinions now, thus saving yourself the trouble and potential embarrassment later.
Don’t think outside the box (god, I hate that expression). Build a new box instead, using the pieces of the former box as building material. Yes, this all sounds like a marketing cliche, but I'm not trying to sell you anything. (unless you consider my fantastic line of elftrance t-shirts!... hey, I think they're pretty groovy...)
Speaking of boxes, turn off your television for a little while.
...unless it is a cool Discovery show on sharks, because sharks are very cool. I would also highly recommend Blue Planet, produced by the BBC. This is a fantastic documentary of the world's oceans, and is what I consider a must see (along with movies such as Baraka and Waking Life). The whole Blue Planet series is now available on DVD, so I would suggest you pick up a copy asap. :)
But regardless of how you conceive of yourself, this much is true: you are more than the social animal that wakes up every morning and goes to work and worries about mortgage payments and relationships and spends hours agonizing whether you should purchase the blue car with silver trim or the silver car with blue trim.
But try not to think about all this too much, otherwise you may go make your own website, or start drawing monkeys, or doing some other crazy shit in your spare time. And then your friends will start giving you weird looks (yes, consider that a pre-emptive shrug with a, "yeah, it's gettin' weird, I know... I've been a bit hyper this week...").
Finally, try to spread a little happiness to your fellow monkeys.
And now that I've shared my inner-most thoughts, if you feel like sharing too I have the perfect outlet for you.
I am now accepting donations through PayPal, with the donation address as firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd really rather not need to do this, yet I fear my hosting fees are going to skyrocket soon. And that means some flash videos will go offline in an effort to control the damage ("Evolution" is now offline, alas). I was previously paying $30/month (CAN), but I've busted the transfer limit, and thus it gets much more expensive now. This is bad when you have a student loan of 10K and no income yet. I'm pushing over 20 Gigs of transfer each month and it keeps going up. Although it appears I may become a victim of my own success, one day I'll have a real job and this won't be a problem. ;)
click here to donate to my hosting fund
“You don’t need eyes to see you need vision.”