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tales from the woods

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

garbled thoughts

As i look outside this windowless room, i realize that the best view is not to be found outside, but inside. To study others and see your reflection in them is the greatest pastime of all. I guess we all do this, only in different ways. Most do it at a subconscious level, when they have social inteactions with others. The rest study their social surroundings deliberately. This act that we all do raises an interesting dilemma though.

My belief is that the mere process of interacting with my social universe alters it in varying degrees to suit my personality. What i mean is that people cannot be categorized into a compartment. The very person who acts in a harsh or rude way to another might very well be polite and kind to me. This is also the reason why i hate categorizing anybody. The reason for this change of behaviour is often because most people react to another person in a way that they expect the other person would react to them. The dilemma that arises here is to look into another person or social mechanics itself without altering the subject. This is where the Cave comes in.

The Cave is the state of physical and/or mental self where one is isolated from everything else. It's quite literally a cave where all other distractions are absent. There are two ways to sit in the cave. You can either look outwards or you can look inwards. Looking outwards gives us a view of the world as a whole. It fills us with awe at the fact that so much energy is being spent at just maintaining and perpetuating the system. We scurry about like the self-important ants that we've become, neither stopping to smell a flower or even wonder at the complexity of it all. Among this maze of social interactions that we've come to call life, we don't even understand the goddamn way it works!

The other way to sit in the cave is facing inwards. All we see is darkness. A black mirror that reflects only the state of our mind. Here, we view our technicolor dreams and hear our memories. This is the artificial world that we've created. Staring at these images and hearing the voices, we also get a gut feeling that this world too is as artificial as the other. As we try to quantify these thoughts, we construct what we call our personality. This is what we project to the world and keep fine-tuning it based on our views and the feedback we receive.

And then, we snap out of it and exit the cave. What we're left with is only laughter. All the more ironic because we can't even decide if we should laugh at others or at ourselves.


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