THE PLEASURE OF NAYSAYING / CYBERSPACE IS A DEMON FUCK PARTY
There is a certain pleasure in debunking everything.
There is a certain pleasure in saying ‘No’.
There was once a time when I was a hardened cynic, whenever I said, ‘No’, inside I would say, ‘Yes’ and an invisible hand would pat myself on the back and endorphins would be released, flooding my reward pathways with their druggy positive reinforcement in response to my unconditional, kneejerk negativity,
One cannot doubt that sometimes it feels good to refute something for the sake of refuting it.
Go on any facebook thread and you will see it is a defining hallmark of our modern culture.
People love to debunk things. People love to shit on anything and everything. Especially I’ve noticed recently, anything at all positive. I know this because I used to do this.
But ever since I realized I was the messiah, a kind, new God sent by the heavens to guide his stupid, dumb, ugly flock of beasts towards the great burning amusement park beyond forever, I have come to realize that is time to say, ‘No!’ to saying ‘No’.
Why does it feel good to say ‘No’? Because it is strengthening to the intellectual ego. By negating something, you are placing yourself above it. By criticizing and denying something you are inversely defining yourself in opposition to it. Not many people really know who they are anymore, so they have to define themselves in opposition to something. That’s how nationalism works. That’s why every country always has some kind negative opinion of their neighbouring country. That’s why at the heart of every stupid nationalistic identity is some kind of terrible war where two or more groups of people mutually slaughtered the people who they were led to believe were not like them.
There is a place for skepticism, but when it becomes the sole goal to refute everything, you have to wonder what the motivations behind it actually are. It becomes less about finding the truth of something, and more about confirming an existing belief system, an exercise in intellectual ego masturbation or an act of self-violence from a despairing murdered idealist.
But ultimately after inhabiting the mindspace of a negative cynical pessimist for about 14 years straight, I had to look at how this worldview had served me.
Horribly, was the instant answer.
I was broke, unsuccessful, depressed and alone. Nothing was working out. I began to look into why I had this worldview. What were the roots of my cynicism? There was a definite fear of disappointment. As Marx had once said, ‘Behind every cynic is an idealist who’d been gangbanged to death by the shadow of their own dreams sans lube.’ And it was true. I was angry that I had been lied to, that the Easter bunny had died of Myxomatosis and Santa Claus with his bag of childhood dreams had suffocated, trying to squeeze his ample bulk down the too-narrow chimney of practical reality. I was angry and hurt and pissed off, and had reacted by throwing myself into a vehement denial of everything good, because I was sick of my hopes being raped at gunpoint by the demons that beset this world.
I started to realize the futility of this point of view when I began seeing how much negativity there was on the internet. It had become a huge reservoir for repressed negativity to pour into. Just read any bad Yelp review. You think the reviewer’s parent’s had been murdered, not that they’d just had a sub average burrito at a struggling Mexican joint somewhere in downtown. The self-righteous indignation. The scathing condemnation. You’d think they were standing in the witness box finger pointing a fucking child rapist all the way to the gallows, not that their waitress simply forgot to refill their water.
And facebook. Oh the pointless arguments on facebook. One week I posted a simple message about my friend who had a brain tumour and if anyone had any tips for a good diet for them and it turned into a whole shitfight involving alternative therapies vs. Western medicine, which of course was really just a projection of the alternative holistic vs scientific materialist point of view.
Couldn’t we all just get along? Did every position have to be mutually independent of one another? Couldn’t we entertain multiple points of view at the same time? Did everyone have to identify so strongly with their belief system that anything that challenged it was seen as a threat to their very physical survival, causing them to lash out like a cornered wolverine with it’s cock in a claw trap? Were the arguments that ensued really about the fucking truth or was it really about who was right and who was wrong? As I watched the arguments multiply like bacteria in a dead leper’s asshole, the original question — which was concerning my friend with the tumour in his skull — had gotten completely lost. By the end of it, I had to go fucking smudge my phone with white sage and send healing white light to cleanse it. I know right? Whacky shit. But still, if there is some kind of way we can smudge the entire internet, let me know, because the collective demons are alive and well in cyberspace.
It’s become less of a place in which to share information than a repository of hate, a place where people feel they can pour out all their projected personal frustrations and suppressed anger, which of course then just end up bouncing off of one another and creating more pointless thrusting in the ongoing cyber demon gangbang.
A few days ago, I put up a piece about my recent Ayahuasca breakthrough experience that literally shifted me into a new perspective which could be called ‘sceptic/mystic magical realist/speculative non-fiction’. I wrote a piece about it and posted it up on facebook.
Very soon after I got a comment from a friend of mine who basically said that he never got a high off of it that he thought he did. My friend being a 20 year old metal head from new Mexico, I told him that it wasn’t a drug to get high off it was a medicine and a sacrament to be done ceremonially. He responded by being offended and saying that he did the legit experience and in fact made a documentary about it, and called me a wanker. I thought it was a bit out of character for my friend who had been a bit of a shy, laidback guy to insult me like that, especially seeing as he was American, and I had never heard an American use the term, ‘wanker’, but I let it slide and tried to point out that I hadn’t meant any harm and was trying to inform him. He then read into this and tried to engage me in a facebook argument. Rather than respond with anger, I responded by trying to clear up the miscommunication and adopting a more Buddhist approach. This only incited his anger demon even more. Anyways rather than bore you to tears by recounting a blow by blow account of the whole boring circle jerk, it built up to such a point where in the end I called him up and my ear was met with a man deeply possessed by his rage demon, screaming at me with such livid, insane rage I couldn’t even understand what he was saying at me. All I could hear was a loud, distorted, fuzzy shouting from where the speakers on my phone were getting frayed, interspersed by the odd recognizable expletive. I couldn’t even get a word in, in order to engage in a meaningful dialogue with him, because that obviously wasn’t the point. The point was that I had become some kind of focal point for his uncontained rage demon which was now pouring forth, trying to get my rage demon to come out and join in and basically psychically fuck each other and create more negativity in the world. Eventually I had to start shouting back at him, my hands shaking and my voice yelling, as it seemed that matching his frequency was the only way I could get through to him. He quieted down enough for me to understand his words and soon realized that he wasn’t even the person I had thought he was, he was in fact a different person with the same first name as my friend who I had originally thought he was.
We hadn’t even met in person ever.
And soon it became apparent that I wasn’t who he thought I was, which according to his facebook post describing me was this: ‘You’re a typical passive aggressive yuppie hippy wanker. Your feelings of enlightenment are a temporary bandaid over the gaping sore that is your self centred shopping mall of experiences approach to life. The truly enlightened don’t go round mimicking the dying religions of conquered peoples and positing on social media about how amazing it was.’
Which honestly, could not be further from the truth of who I actually am. The point is, that he thought I was a completely different person — not even a real person, a type — than who I really was and he was getting angry at this fictitious phantom rather than the actual reality of who I was as a person. And on top of this, I had thought prior to the phonecall that he was someone completely different, and me addressing him as who I thought he had been, had probably been what had sparked his reaction.
Miscommunication is the basis of most conflict.
This really illustrates how these anger demons love to pit us against each other, and through subterfuge, fool us into conflict with each other. On a more global scale, you can see this with world wars that are currently all the rage for the past 1200 years. Are either side ever actually fighting their enemy as they are as actual human beings or the image and idea of them, as created by the mass media propaganda machine and collective imagination? Had they even ever fucking met each other in a non-war context? I think it would be a lot harder to kill someone you’d never met before if you knew what they were like as a human being. Aside from conflicts to do with competition for limited resources and territory, who does each side really think they are fighting? An actual real enemy or their idea of their enemy which maybe really just a projection of their own shadow?
It’s all really just shadow boxing.
Eventually we both calmed down enough to engage in a meaningful conversation and actually realized we had a lot in a common. We were both committed to making a change in some way, but while I was coming from a more individualist approach, he was coming from a more social structural point of view, running an independent media company that focused on promoting real journalism that had an integrity, not the mainstream propaganda blurt that filled the information sphere with it’s hysterical fear/hate puke. He criticized my individualist approach, but again put me into a box of being one of those ‘Me me me’ type new age self help airy fairy people, when really nothing could be further from the truth, because I know the people he is talking about and they make me cringe. I am well aware the healing process is a two way looped exchange, in that you have to heal yourself by healing others and back and forth in continual reciprocity. I was well aware of the need of deep structural change, but organisation wasn’t my forte, I mean I have been living out of a fucking bag for the past 18months. I have ringworm on my asshole that I caught off a girl in Thailand in January that has yet to leave me. I have to work with the skills that I had. One person can’t do everything. My point is that both of our perspectives were not mutually exclusive. Change doesn’t come just from either positions, it has to come from both directions at the same time and in cooperation with each other.
We were on the same side.
The more we talked the more I realised he was an unpretentious realist with his heart in the right place. He was a good guy fighting the good fight.
His demon was a total asshole though.
But then, they all are aren’t they?
We chatted a bit more and exchanged some links and I had the impression that one day I would be working with him in the future to make some kind of positive impact, as he was working out of Ecuador where i was planning to eventually head to, in order to do rainforest conservation and get deeper into my shamanic training.
We hung up politely, on mutual respect and good terms.
It’s funny what talking to someone in person does to relativise a stupid facebook fight.
The time for negativity is over. It serves no purpose. It accomplishes nothing. A defeatist, cynical, pessimistic approach to the world is really just a fear of failure, combined with raped idealism and laziness, masked as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Skepticism and critical thinking are vital skills in the pursuit of positive action, but when the approach becomes the endpoint, not a tool to define a clear path of action, it turns into a poisonous kind of cynicism that crushes all the flowers. And sure, a lot of the flowers are shitty. I’d say most of them are. I mean come on, drum circles to end world debt? Wake up you stupid fucking hippie! But a few of the flowers could be really good one day, so don’t be a lawnmower, be a pair of garden shears.