I share an excerpt from a yawning manuscript:
That our lives are worthwhile only to the extent to which they correspond to, affirm, or perpetuate some predetermined glorious purpose, a job identity, or creed. We are good – so long as we fit into the scheme of things, so long as we faithfully iron out the creases in our worn-out life-uniforms, so long as we show up at the neon-lit sign every night, so long as we revere the mountain-top heroes and their tablets of stone. And one day – it is promised – we will be great; we will live the good life and ascend the golden pyramid. We will earn new categories, new ranks and new degrees – but we must climb to access these rewards. We must dedicate our powers and time to crafting our escape from lowliness and smallness.
Our visions of each other and ourselves are so colonized by this logic that we have learned to see the ‘other’ largely in terms of his station, his placement in the orchestra of rabid consumption we daintily call civilization. Our rationalized machine society creates the illusion that some are worthier, more significant and more essentially superior. Worse, it suggests – everywhere and in every way – that to be insignificant is an awful consequence of being out of place, of being lost, of forgetting your marching orders, of reneging on our oft recited creeds of allegiance.
Now is probably a good time to do away with such stories…to reclaim this most ravishing notion of our apriori transcendence, and probably to summon cultural collectives based on this realization: You are great now! – not in some distant bureaucratic future, not in some anonymous moment of unlikely victory, not after a lifetime of moral prudence, psychological coherence, social ascendancy, or encyclopedic learning – but right now! You are wonderful now – not because you ‘fit’ in…for that is impossible. No one fits in – not even our dogmas. We all spill over – running over the scratched out boundaries we’ve been assigned to, corroding the iron fences that contain us, melting the convenient labels that define us. We are always lost, because we are too expansive to be found, too promiscuous to be faithful, too transdimensional to be fully owned. We are spread out beyond the maps, transgressing territories, perplexing our own coordinates, entangled with the wilds in ways we are always yet to realize. We are amnesiac parcels of ‘everything’ espionaging as ‘something’; we are skies of light masquerading as bonfires – anxious of our contours and the shadows our own resplendence casts on the ground. We may have ‘stations’ and ‘places’, ‘positions’ and ‘purposes’, but they are no more than performances of the meantime. The noble gent on his tastefully furnished steed is no more superior to his scruffy servant than a child is superior to his river-surface reflection. Life will not be categorized, beaten down into office cubicles, or decided by who or what breaks the red ribbon at the finish line – because there are no starting signals or finish lines. We all sit eminently at the circle of life, dream-sharing with the effusive orgies of possibility moving in and around us, journeying to arrive home – over and over again.
And while it certainly is beautiful to suggest that everyone has a place or a purpose, we must remember that prior to our containment in these notions we are powerful…beyond measure…so powerful that we defy place and location…we defy purpose and redemption. Purpose is not what gives us value. We give purpose value. In a sense, we ennoble the transient purposes we occupy – like the lingam ennobles the yoni (and vice versa). We impose ‘purpose’ on ourselves, mostly unknowingly, to contain our inscrutable vastness. Nothing could be more liberating than knowing we are held, accepted, celebrated, and enchanted with ornaments beyond our wildest imaginations.