Knit it together with the fabric of your experience and you can make a fine coat to wrap yourself and your grotesque imaginings in.
Tear it away, you’ll reveal a naked and mad animal lost in a void beneath.
We live in an absurd universe that our limited senses and all of the tools we have created are incapable of truly perceiving.
Our lives are so small and short and painful in their own ways. Death is always on the horizon.
We are only capable of falsehood as we are ultimately incapable of knowing any objective truths. Deep down, we all wonder if we were to just— let go of all the lies we tell to cover up the truth, that the Truth would then actually be revealed and the fabric of reality would completely unravel itself.
So, we keep hold on our strings, and make certain we stay grounded, scooping up bits of fabric from reality and knitting lovely coats we tell ourselves are real. We move through reality saying things like, “This is who I really am,” believing whatever it is we might believe about the experience. We are all wrong.
The only “Truth” I’ve been able to infer is that there is none, there are only subjective experiences that vary from being to being, who may or may not exist.
I have no way to even know I even exist apart from the experiences I have affirming themselves. But it’s impossible to draw any real truth from that other than what’s subjectively garnered through my limited senses and tools. We can claim little pieces of fabric of reality we pick up and tell fabulous lies about them, but no matter how much we bury ourselves in falsehoods, we’re completely incapable of knowing anything for certain.
Overwhelming, isn’t it? I’ve been using “we” a lot just to try to be inclusive of you on this journey with me, but the truth is that these are all just things that run through my mind constantly. I’m always denying these wild ideas I think are true and making a A LOT of assumptions to move through this experience, acting as if I’m entirely wrong about everything I believe deep down in the void.
I’ve got a lovely, but torn coat made from my experiences. A long time ago, I went through hell and my coat was torn off, I saw the void on the other side then. I know I’m not the only one who’s been there. A man there offered me his coat, and I wore it for too long. It took a long time to shed his and get mine back. His wasn’t the first I’d worn either.
We’re constantly trading around coats like this, changing always, becoming different and different and different. Often, our coats aren’t just made of one material, but are an amalgamation of different materials hastily stitched together by our truths.
Even if we have perfectly functioning bodies and minds, the flaws we cover with our coats are ever-present even in the best of us. Layer your physical and emotional flaws on top of these, along with trauma, the weight of the burdens you carry, etc. and this existence can quickly become quite unbearable.
We are constantly seeking out ways to cope with our flaws, especially the ones preventing our understanding of our own ineffable nature and the nature of reality. We’ll buy into anything sold to us. Anything that we can take with us to keep the void beneath well and truly hidden.
This is a great problem for humanity. We must presuppose so much in order to function. Whether we’re religious or not, simply existing takes something of a leap of faith, be it faith in ourselves, faith in others, faith in the laws of logic, faith in our subjective truths, etc.
You may be thinking, “Oh no, she’s going to preach to us about God now isn’t she?” And yes, I am, but not like you might think.
Religion provides some powerful strings to guide us through life, showing us where and how to pick up the best fabrics and design the perfect coat, but just like in all things, the moment people proclaim a truth as Truth, it becomes a falsehood. There is no more Truth to be found in religion than anywhere else, no matter what some apologists might say. Most religions are designed to show people the void. They are taken to the edge of the unknown, shown the nothing beyond the veil, stripped, and emptied out; fresh vessels ready to be filled with happily bought falsehoods.
This isn’t to say religion is inherently bad, no, just inherently human and constructed like everything else we’ve built. No one has the answers we seek. No one can, and anyone claiming they do is a liar who probably just wants to control you for personal, political, or financial gain.
I’m no better, I want to control you too, but I want to control you in such ways as to enable you to control yourself. As I peel back the layers hiding the void in others, I’m careful to whisper, “It’s okay to be empty. It’s okay to be no one. It’s okay to be small. It’s okay to be meaningless,” It’s okay that all of this is true. It is absurd, we’ll likely never make any sense out of it as our senses are so limited, but that’s no reason not to try.
Trying, against all odds, to exist is really what life is about at its core. We can’t know, we can’t understand, but we can always try. Now and then if we try, almost will be good enough; almost existing, almost speaking Truth or almost living our lives by it, almost prolonging life, almost sharing burdens, etc etc. Anything that stops us from trying cannot be a good thing. Truth, therefore is not a good thing. When we think we have found Truth, we stop seeking it and raise our falsehoods in praise above our heads, shouting them to the heavens for all to see and hear our grotesque imaginings. That is the one thing we should never do.
The Bible says money is the root of all evil. That’s a lie, the root of all evil is Truth itself. Money can be the root of all evil if, perchance, money were your Truth and you live your life acting to maximize potential for it. But then again, maybe good and evil don’t exist at all.
Maybe, somehow, in some great cosmic contradiction, none of this is true at all and I’m just as wrong as everyone else upholding falsehoods, but it seems likely to me given none of us is capable of answering the most fundamental questions, that it has to be true, but I’ve been surprised plenty of times before, particularly by existing in the first place!
Whatever this experience of existing actually is; whatever my nature and the nature of reality are, I’m glad I’m here and I’m compelled from the void on out to try to understand it and my place in it. Whether or not I actually have a place is irrelevant, it’s the trying itself that matters; we should never stop trying.
I think that if we maintain critical awareness of our limitations and flaws, seeing ourselves at all times as the Emperor and knowing we have no clothes, we would all be able to navigate our experiences more effectively. We might always be aware of our limitations and flaws, constantly coping with them and never living in denial of them, and we might become less susceptible to people offering truths in order to control us for personal, political, or financial gains. We might become less likely to lie to ourselves and to others. Rather than taking on coats and burying ourselves under falsehoods, we might live comfortably naked and mad, but always trying to prove ourselves wrong.
For me, that’s a hopeful thought and I hope it’s good food for yours. I’m great at being wrong! It’s one of few things I can actually do right, and I’m sure you can too if you try.
I wish I had more to offer, but beyond that, all we have is subjectivity. We tell truth at our best when we embrace our limitations and flaws, and pour our subjective experience into one another like wine, from one ineffable void to another. I’ll leave you with a song that does exactly that and a hope you might create truths to share with us one day too. Enjoy!
If you hate the taste of wine Why do you drink it ’til you’re blind? And if you swear that there’s no truth and who cares How come you say it like you’re right? Why are you scared to dream of God When it’s salvation that you want? You see stars that clear have been dead for years But the idea just lives on In our wheels that roll around As we move over the ground And all day it seems we’ve been in between The past and future town
We are nowhere, and it’s now We are nowhere, and it’s now
And like a ten minute dream in the passenger seat While the world was flying by I haven’t been gone very long But it feels like a lifetime
I’ve been sleeping so strange at night Side effects they don’t advertise I’ve been sleeping so strange With a head full of pesticide
I’ve got no plans and too much time I feel too restless to unwind I’m always lost in thought as I walk a block To my favorite neon sign Where the waitress looks concerned But she never says a word Just turns the jukebox on and we hum along And I smile back at her And my friend comes after work When the features start to blur She says these bars are filled with things that kill By now you probably should have learned Did you forget that yellow bird? How could you forget your yellow bird? She took a small silver wreath and pinned it on to me She said, “This one will bring you love” And I don’t know if it’s true But I keep it for good luck..
I’ve got a lot of baggage, and with the burden of the things I carry comes a lot of concerns.
This is just the core of who I am. I can’t do anything about it. I’m sorry.
But I know everyone else carries similar burdens. I’m not alone here. I can recognize fellow human beings when I see them, and I know what it’s like to carry things that are so heavy they cause you to bend, and even break.
I worry about those things, the bends and the breaks. People really aren’t terribly different from trees. We share similar concerns.
Every tree needs space, light, water, and nutrition to grow and make healthy fruit. Space is never a problem for trees. They respect their own kind and recognize that the growth of their peers benefits their own growth.
I need space to voice my concerns, and see everyone’s need for that space. Without it, what goes unheard is added to our burdens. We also need physical space for growth and spreading our groves. We all should do what we can to give ourselves and everyone else that space both literally and figuratively.
We need light to see and navigate the world. Where we can’t see, light must be shed or we should never grow there without the knowledge of what was seen. Light enables us to synthesize water and nutrients into oxygen. If we don’t have it, we succumb to toxicity and decay.
Water comes from outside resources and should always be shared with all the life that surrounds us. It is precious wisdom granted from survived storms and surrounding lakes, rivers, and streams. Through absorbing it, we grow ever wiser and more capable.
Nutrients also come from outside resources, we need to get them from the surrounding soil, through complex networks that rely on other creatures, like fungus, animals, other varieties of plants, and so much more. Obtaining nutrients is, we’ll suffice to say an incredibly complicated and nuanced process that relies on sharing needs and burdens.
I worry that there’s not enough space, light, water, or nutrition for us in the world. I worry about the influx of pain, hate, lies, and outrage that poisons and dries our water, consumes our nutrients, robs us of space, and blocks out the light.
I worry that the forest we call humanity is in grave danger of succumbing to toxicity and decay.
I worry that if I don’t tend to the groves around me, that is exactly what will happen. In this case, space isn’t enough, just voicing my concern isn’t enough. I want to uproot myself and take action, and I worry about how trapped and dependent my roots and ties to the grove make me.
I worry that far too many trees around me are bending and breaking. I worry about the greedy who come to cut them down before they were done worrying. I worry about all of their, and my, unfinished and failed tasks. I worry about the consequences of succumbing to our own limitations.
I worry that the world is on fire and that no one is doing anything to put it out. I worry that more and more every day, people just seem to want to burn the world. I worry about being consumed by one of their fires.
I worry about losing the ability to see and be seen. If I fall in the woods and no one is there to hear, did I even exist in the first place? I worry that people are forgetting people are people and not trees or any other abstractions. I worry that anonymity in our vast communication networks has opened a doorway that demands we have more faith in humanity than ever and we’re just wasting time turning our fellow trees into windmills to tilt at. I worry I’m surrounded by technology made to process all people into blind and belligerent idiots to sell more and more garbage sold with ads projected on our burdens.
I worry about being uprooted by abusive, predatory, greedy individuals who undermine us for personal, political, and financial gains. I worry about how those devils twist our roots and summon demons from them to hurt us. I worry they’ll leave stop. I worry they’ll uproot me and everyone around me. I worry that all the lies, manipulation, and gaslighting that living anonymously underground empowers is creating too much toxicity everywhere that is killing me and my fellow trees, forcing us to turn to ourselves for nutrition, and eat our own. I worry I’ll do that..
I worry that we worship our own fears and doubts these days and will do anything to escape them. I worry there are wicked men on poisoned pulpits hurling down more and more toxicity everywhere, spurring it on with whips that drain people of their faith and good will to empower their wickedness and make it easier and easier to spread. I worry that faith is constantly abused like this. I worry God can’t possibly exist because the same thing that compels us to rely on Him compels us to behave like this.
I worry about what they’ve done to empower only their own kind with it. I worry about what they’ve done to women, people of color, gender, sexual, and romantic minorities, and yes, also men. I worry about the system they’ve designed to make us all wicked sinners like them.
I worry about the trauma caused by all of these things and more compounding on all of us every day with more and more hate, outrage, and war.
I worry there’s no hope, even I’m rotten to my core. I worry that I’m right and no one can understand or do anything about any of this truth. I worry that trying will never be enough. I worry that almost might be the best that we’ve got.
I worry that nobody knows what it’s like. I worry we can no longer relate. I worry that we’re more connected than ever, but learning we were alone the whole time.
I worry that the same distance, disassociation, and disinterest we have for death will be what we become to one another. I worry we’ll never be able to look each other in the eye anymore because we all know the truth of our lies. I worry none of it matters anyway. I worry the nihilists are right.
I worry that if I share my whole existential crisis, we’ll all cease to exist.
I worry that it’s all too much, and all too little at the same time. I worry that it’s not just trees I have so much in common with, but everything of all kinds. I worry I’m not different. I worry I’m not the same. I worry I’m too much. I worry I’m to blame. I worry I’m never enough.
I worry I’ll never stop bending. I worry I’ll never stop breaking. I worry I don’t worry enough.