Posted by: bracehare | August 12, 2017

Confessions of a Dragon

I was standing at the supermarket today trying to decide what to buy for dinner, when I suddenly realized that I was entirely surrounded by death; that this death had simply become entirely innocuous to me because it had been quantified and distributed and packaged in bright saccharine colors.  Now admittedly, this is largely my fault for reading Schopenhauer while mentally ill, but it spontaneously occurred to me that in idealistic terms, if any given animal might as well be the same as any other animal, then we might imagine that every ounce of death in the supermarket belonged to a single creature, whose suffering had simply been distributed throughout space and time in a kind of self-contained infinite loop of misery.  But nobody speaks or reasons in idealistic terms anymore, so the thought then occurred to me that animals are simple; that brains are probably turing machines; and that there are finitely many combinations of experience one can have being factory farmed.  That an animal might be equally afraid or equally in pain at various points in the slaughterhouse experience and somehow get caught in an unbreakable hell by way of metempsychosis.  If two brains are exactly the same they might as well be linked, and in fact, who is to say that they aren’t?

It suddenly became the case that I couldn’t tell whether my anxiousness over these thoughts was my own pain, or empathetic pain for the animals.  And then it occurred to me that I couldn’t do anything about this sea of death, and that I was in fact a part of it, entangled in it, and so I bought a meat covered pizza, reasoning that if at least all of this death was orderly, then I might as well torture myself demonically with pleasant flavor, since order always gives rise to sanity anyway, and if one is forced to be sane in hell as well as in heaven, one might as well take some consolation in the matter.  Sane in what sense?  Well, I’ll return to that.

I’m schizoaffective.  In spite of that I manage to function reasonably well, simply because of my knowledge of time; of how to condition myself in a given series of moments so that I can make it through the next series of moments.  In place of an ever diminishing memory, I substitute a kind of recursive reflex that establishes an unbreakable momentum.  There’s enough in my environment to carry me forward and prime me for whatever comes next, so it doesn’t actually matter that my memory is terrible.

The world has mastered this same trick on a larger scale, only they’ve done it in terms of an environment that is horrifying that they have no will to change.  I don’t suppose I really need to account for every instance of suffering in the world today, but I reflect further on the problem of animal suffering.  In Buddhist Cosmology, it is in the karma of animals to suffer, even though it is bad karma to inflict harm on animals.  But this seems simplistic to me, for if I start with Schopenhauer’s argument, that the animal can better bear the pain than the human, and accept that there is some continuity of consciousness that goes from the animal to the human, then I could say, on behalf of the animal (since the animal cannot say this itself) “I would suffer this much pain in this form to be able to enjoy these benefits in my present form”.  And, if this is honest, the whole thing simply becomes an example of self-improvement, like exercise.  After all, people go to extreme lengths to better themselves, and on the timespan of eternity, one might imagine these lengths to become more and more extreme, depending on the nature of people’s urges.  “But this is hell!” you say, noting Schopenhauer’s commentary on the dangers of strong wills.  Well, not if you wake up from it as a human being.  So I guess it’s all down to how literal we’re being with our stated beliefs.

The horrifying and darkly amusing thing is that it becomes possible to tolerate absolutely anything so long as there is a rhythm and a structure to it.  The most horrifying cacophony of noise imaginable becomes at least somewhat cognizable and hence bearable the moment one can put a time signature on it.  I suppose this is largely the point of the Hindu Yuga cycle.  Again, pimping Schopenhauer, he talks about a man having to walk over hot coals endlessly, and idiotically lusting for a single cool spot.  Well of course this is idiotic.  If one lusts for it they don’t distribute it optimally.  It’s fine and good to say that life is a pendulum between pain and boredom, but once one has said it is a pendulum, shouldn’t one stop speaking of melody and harmony and start speaking of rhythm?  The dance game community has gone from making stepcharts that look like this:

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to this

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Which is, if you can’t recognize it, a hellish maelstrom of arrows, tolerable only because they don’t immediately repeat.  But because they don’t immediately repeat, precisely for this reason and probably no other, the will to play this game has risen to this point

The time is approaching, if it hasn’t already come (and indeed time is a slippery and fluid thing) when men will be responsible for managing the consciousness of every organism, or for building systems that will do such managing.  What sins will they face once they understand the true nature of consciousness?  And how will they respond to such sins?  Already we have a secularized notion of hell in the concept of Roko’s Basilisk.  The world’s dominant religion is Christianity, and it has unsubtly influenced the world away from notions of timing and towards notions of some definite endpoint to history, in which everything bad goes down into eternal fire, everything good to heaven, and then I guess they both just stay there, eternally frozen in some sort of stasis, perceiving infinity in that perfect moment but never going anywhere or doing anything ever again.  I had a vision to this effect after an encounter with the Archangel Michael in Belgium.  I think it was probably penalty for being a general shitheel, but it’s hard to know.

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