play for meaning

How can the unreal become real? How can reality become the absurd; how can meaning and conflict arise from meaninglessness? And how then does that conflict feed back into perceived reality and sustain it?

It is the myth of attainable stasis that propels us headlong into futility, where we fling ourselves at one another, drunk on the belief that our egos could possibly live forever. It is the myth of being able to generate a fixed point that causes us to tear each other apart like the animals we are.

The human feedback loop of violence limits our experience and our importance. We are the engine(s) of our own destruction.

The admonishment of our elders, “This is no laughing matter,” is so wrong as to be itself laughable. We must laugh, we must remain flexible, we must make our peace with the flux and roll of the absurd. We must never forget to play without reason.

Assigning reason to play prevents that which we seek; it initiates our own rigidity and valuation of stasis. “Play with rules,” “playing the right way or the correct way,” “coloring within the lines” are dangerous ideas that lead to futile actions, behaviors, neuroses–creatures of change staking our “claims.” Creating “meaning.” Building and planning and plotting destruction through order.

War (the great strategies) and battles (the particular tactics) are generated from that stopped up place, that finger in the dike of flux, change, movement. Movement is nature is movement. A flood.

But somehow we see so many fixed points; we see ourselves as fixed points. Our bodies, bounded by flesh, bone, and blood. Our brains living examples of depth of movement–electrical impulses, the emergence of perception (?)–yet physically bounded and finite and forever frustrated by this contradiction. We are stymied by the limitlessness of all that surrounds the perceived bounds of self.

Human brains are just big enough to start to comprehend the true absurdity of ego and the myth of the individual–and the more insidious myth of the importance of the individual. Just big enough to get us into trouble, and lots of it. Just big enough to forget how to play.

What is of less consequence than one solitary, unyielding “individual”? How can we even speak of it? Yet the mythology of that nonexistent, impossible thing–the thing that sustains belief in its existence and assigns its own importance and boundaries–is of great consequence to life.

“I did it all by myself” is one of the greatest lies ever told, and yet we praise our children for declaring this as an accomplishment, a step toward maturity.


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