Dreaming of utopia, living in the toilet
Here’s chapter seven from my upcoming book about overcoming beliefs and habits that create financial failure. Scheduled for release on January 3, 2017. Pre-order the ebook version here; you decide the price.
In the previous chapter, I laid out a few of my deepest, most passionate beliefs about money. How it’s fake and inherently worthless. How it leads us to measure others in flawed ways, thereby promoting injustice and inequality.
And my perspective is all nonsense, from a conventional view. If not total nonsense, at least a majorly impractical perspective to have in our culture. Insanity-inducing, actually.
Let me tell you what my beliefs about money and society have led to. Well, being broke, first of all. Animosity towards society because I loathed myself for being broke… even though I had no respect for money, secondly. That animosity led to panic attacks, screaming matches (with myself or others), falling to my knees and agonizingly profaning the moon. Suicidal thoughts galore, and a few near-misses. Once, my dad got so angry with me, he chased me out of the house brandishing a sword, just to get me to leave! My beliefs have been fueled by an egoic sense of righteousness that told me that my perception is right, and everyone who didn’t see it needs to stop being lazy, apathetic, superficial, and brainwashed. Everyone needs to wake up. JUST LISTEN TO ME, DAMMIT, I KNOW THINGS AND SHIT.
(Whew, that attitude made me a hit at parties.)
Oh, and how does one cope with feeling so out of place and misunderstood? Any numbing agent will work. Drugs. Eating in excess. Chainsmoking. Weird relationships. Those are my things.
And how does one indulge said coping mechanisms? Usually with… money.
And the cycle of madness perpetually endures.
I detest being in psychiatric hospitals. Or jail. Standing voiceless and afraid in court before a judge when I know in my heart I have so much to say. I abhor watching in terror as the walls of my life come closing in on me, and I cannot breathe. Depression. Mania. Regret, and tense relationships with the few people who stick around.
Look, I am thirty-five. All I have to do is live as long as I’ve already lived, and I’ll be seventy. That’s like a blink of an eye, and I’ll be seventy years old.
Do I want to live that long? Actually, no. If the quality of my first thirty-five years is any indication, then count me out.
But if I could find some peace? Live in some congruence with the world? Have a sense of security and success, and even a shred of societal recognition? To live a life with every little thing not being a colossal battle?
I could deal with that. If you’re selling the peace package, sign me up for 170 years old. Of course I’d need to make some money before I could buy it.
I can’t change the world by just wanting it to change. Or by crying it into submission. I cannot properly play my part if I allow the stress and pressure and depression wipe me out of existence like a lame little fart in the wind.
I have a vision for the future of the world, and it’s very clear to me. I’ve spent a lot of time basking in the vision. And it’s beautiful. Everyone there gets along. Everyone wins. Competition has transformed into synergy, which means that no one aspires for success by trying to beat others anymore; everyone craves the success and prosperity of everyone else. We all act as one, because we know we are one.
We know that in our bodies, our hearts look and function differently than our brains, and we thank our lucky stars that our hearts and brains practice synergy instead of competition. We learn from that. We realize that as individuals, we’re the vital organs of humanity as a whole. We work together, just like the components of our physical bodies do when we’re healthy.
We do not cast each other aside for our differences anymore. Just like my brain does not say to my heart, “You look and act differently from me. Here, have a racist slur, and get out of my house.” I’m dead if that happens.
We authorize everyone to play their authentic part, to be themselves. We don’t demand kidneys to be livers anymore. In literal terms, we don’t force a passionate poet to work in a factory. We do not treat stay-at-home moms or dads like they are anything less than someone with a boss and a paycheck. We don’t throw square pegs away after failing to fit them into round holes.
Someone said this once:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
So, we let fish be fish. Trees be trees. Brains be brains, and hearts be hearts. And by letting everything be separate, we achieve oneness. There’s no room in there for discrimination or inequality.
I mean, some people seem equivalent to nipples on males. Or appendixes. Why are they here?
Then again, who are we to judge, just because we don’t understand the purpose of something? Turns out, the appendix may be responsible for beneficial gut flora. Maybe male nipples will evolve to produce milk. That’d be dope. If not, they are still prime zones for pleasure. Pleasure is not pointless. People are not pointless. No one is.
And so, we unite. It’s utopia. No borders, no barriers. We stop killing animals and everyone realizes that vegan food can taste amazing and sustain our bodies perfectly. Eventually we do not even need food anymore, and subsist on light and air. Everything sparkles, and we start shitting rainbow popsicles. There are unicorns. Apple products become affordable. Free Netflix. Cats and dogs live together without mass hysteria. Paradise.
OK, so do you see why I’m such a miserable asshole? My heart of hearts already lives in that utopia. My mind sees it, dwells there, and believes in it. Yet my physical form is stuck in the world as we know it. This societal toilet of strife and separation.
My vision for the future is no fleeting fancy. It’s ingrained in me. Once you’ve seen it, it is unforgettable. I hope everyone sees it, eventually. Really sees it. There’s nothing like it. It’ll make you smile. Especially the unicorns.
But I can’t make people believe in the possibility of peace and unity, or even want peace and unity.
It’s difficult for me to understand why someone would not desire harmony with all living things. Conversely, it is hard for most people who do not care about harmony to comprehend how I can be such an impossibly smelly hippie.
But here’s the point. I know now that I cannot let my own personal happiness and fulfillment depend on the rest of the world or anyone in it coming to see things my way. No one cares about my way, except me. No one gives a shit about what I’ve seen, except me. And no one has to. Everyone has earned their own perception, just by existing. It’s all valid.
My vision is a passionate longing for a potential future. Right now, there’s someone out there just as passionately envisioning the total destruction of everything. Or the enslavement and subjugation of groups of people. Or being pampered and served wine and exotic delicacies at all times, and infinite backrubs. Hell, someone out there envisioned a Big Trouble in Little China remake.
Speaking of movies. In 2015, the films Mad Max: Fury Road and Tomorrowland were in theaters close to the same time. Both showed visions of the future. Opposite visions. Tomorrowland demonstrated utopian ideals, while Mad Max gave us a brutal post-apocalypse. The contrast was staggering. Both of those futures are reflective of possible realities, envisioned by different people. Which vision of the future will we lean into, buy into, engage in, and create?
Well, if it’s any indication…
Tomorrowland box office gross: $209.20 million USD
Mad Max: Fury Road box office gross: $378.40 million USD
Looks like our collective consumer dollars in the U.S. are banking on the apocalypse. The 2016 election continued that trend with votes.
Anyway, I’ll keep dreaming of utopia. Because that’s part of who I am.
But I do not know what is going to happen in this world. I cannot depend on others to see what I see, or to believe in it, or want it even if they can see it.
To survive, I choose to change. To adapt. Honestly? In a way, I choose to concede. My stubborn adherence to my ideals has conflicted with society, and the contrast has made tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes of the soul. It’s overwhelming. Agonizing. Rapacious. I refuse to keep going like this!
So what will I do? What can I do?
Well, here’s a noble goal: never go to jail again. Never be strapped down again (well, with the right person, maybe…). No more psychiatric hospitals.
Here’s another goal: make millions of dollars. Use it in a way that demonstrates my vision for a better world. Learn to play the game, while keeping my heart true. I authorize myself to corrupt the system with love.
I authorize myself to accept reality for what it is in the present moment, before my very eyes, in all its disjointed, chaotic, fractured splendor.
I forgive myself. For hating myself. And for hating people who don’t embrace love. I forgive myself for hypocrisy, double-standards, and supreme stubbornness. I forgive everyone in the world for their hypocrisy and double standards and stubbornness.
I accept responsibility. For the pain in my life. For the stagnation, loneliness, isolation. The writhing and bleeding and hopelessness.
All of that is on me. My future is on me too.
Demanding a utopian world has brought about a dystopian life.
So, I’m going within. To heal. To tune my heart to love and respect the world I live in, no matter what external conditions are. No matter what other people’s visions are. Just love the fuckers. All of them. Unconditionally.
And love myself. The ultimate fucker. Unconditionally.
To heal the rifts within, to abate my bitterness towards the system and money. To come to terms. Come to peace.