January 1st, World-Wide Wishful Thinking Day,
is the Grand Opening of the School of No Media
[from the front page]
A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light. — Kafka
The essence of normalcy is the refusal of reality. — Ernst Becker
Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it. — Max Frisch
They have eyes but cannot see. — Tehilim
We live as if tomorrow did not exist, ignoring the imminent oblivion that awaits us all… but it does not stop there.
The fact that experience is not transmissible compounds all of our mistakes, and our planet steadily falls apart. Full of wishful thinking, we want to believe… but nothing is a surprise anymore.
What we know strangles us: reality is off limits and immediacy has gone. Our universe is built up to the extent that alienation, separation, isolation – and for some of us, exile – have become the very fabric of our existence, the only turf we inhabit.
Both centrality and normalcy as a whole are two of our major hoaxes, but again it goes further: like some kind of tautological monstrosity, we are so full of ourselves, we have become the victims of our own centrality.
As early as possible in our lives, the self-serving educational system sets up the paradigm that posits that words stand for things, and that the more we learn, the more we will know.
Knowledge is the opposite of stupidity and that’s all there is to it. What to know, what it is to know… these key questions are not to be addressed.
As humanizing as its diverse ramifications may be, culture primarily mirrors, glorifies and perpetuates the existing value system. We love what we love because we are reflected in it.
Doing something, anything, has to be better than doing nothing; since we cannot imagine anything else, we would rather keep everything in place.
Old wine, new bottles. It is official: we only foster predictability and redundancy. The very same elements that were meant to liberate us – words, concepts, and media – regurgitate “what-is-known” into worn-out concepts. Being lost is a long lost art!
Through its pervasiveness, education has us assume that most of what we do is absolutely natural: the central process of naming ourselves and whatever surrounds us ignores its inherent violence.
We are caught up in a monkey-see-monkey-do cycle, bound to repeat itself ad infinitum.
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s vital question, “Is there life before death?” should remain central.
Images and words keeps us isolated in a form of mass solitary confinement, exchanging looks and commenting on what has already been thought, said and lived.
It is conceivable that after the fluid wisdom of the Pre-Socratic thinkers and the Taoists, the cycle that equated knowledge/culture as being fixed and separate from living may, at long last, have come to an end.
Our digital realm, like a form of contemporary Ying/Yang dialectic, should constantly remind us of the relevance of the zeros (the void) – next to the ones – but with our awaiting what-is-just-around-the-corner, unbalanced, we lean irresistibly towards a future, and in searching for solutions, may create more problems.
When all has been said and done, we seek a particular silence. When the noise has ceased.
The floor below us has dropped a long time ago, we just have been too busy to notice what lies beyond “the stuff.”
1. Knowing what we know, we know nothing: we believe our eyes (and ears, and words) but they are too busy verifying what has been stored in our cataloged universe.