Hidden things, secret things, ancient wisdom, words locked in texts at least two hundred years of age. That’s what you seek, thinking that the world that is presented to you is meant to be unveiled, uncovered, conquered by you, the most intrepid one. You don’t really care what knowledge or wisdom you find, as long as others concur that it was long-forgotten, or not ever well-known, or greatly beneficial to some of humanity.
But then, one day it occurs to you that maybe all of the things you really need to know are happening right in front of your face. Just because you think you know everything there is to know and have seen it all doesn’t mean you do know it all. You have become blinded, jaded and bored by simply being and observing that which presents itself to you throughout the day. Meanwhile, a wealth of information, a stream of knowledge and data passes right before your eyes that you ignore because you have become conditioned to ignore it.
Take for instance the living things in the room with you. Or your face, your breath, your heartbeat. All that transpires outside of human intervention happens slowly and of its own accord, its own rhythm. You were pushed from an early age to go out and hustle, get busy, make something of yourself, build a fortune, leave a legacy.
You are conditioned to feel like you are “less than” if you don’t live up to whatever your vision of being “more than” has evolved into, after it has been mostly unconditionally accepted from others and reworked by you as best as you can cobble together what you remember of the expectations of others, along with your own particular notions of what it means to be “more than.”
Having reached an age or stage in life where you can clearly see that you will always be “less than” your “more than,” you begin to frantically try to find whatever you think can unlock your true potential, or deliver amazing results upon a minimal investment. After all, you are well past the age where simply putting in a lot of practice and hard work to become good at something can happen. And so, you flit from one anticipated panacea to the next.
Ever since my little brother died, I’ve had this constant sense of urgency to do something, make something, become someone so that my parents’ expectations that they had for all of their sons would not be met in vain. Since my oldest brother had died five-six years before my little brother, and my other older brother had mostly stopped communicating with my parents, I began to feel like the weight and burden of carrying on the family name in a great sort of way was all upon me. At times, I threw up my hands in complete surrender to the futility of such a quest.
This may be one of those times. I just want to become a machine. I wake up, recharge with a power bar, coffee, banana and a caffeine pill or two. I go to work. I do work. Money is put into my bank account. My family uses the money. I benefit from the money by obtaining fuel to keep me going to make more money. I resolve myself to this kind of life, day in and day out for the next twenty-five years, and then I retire and use whatever time remains to prepare for death.