this question has wracked my brain for days. it is the question, no doubt about it. the problem's simple: yes and no create consciousness. in these terms, a computer is conscious. all it does is switch back and forth, choosing one here, one there. yes, it's a matter of choice, and not a very mysterious one. and human thought the result of this dualism. nothing is more painful to me than making a decision. i want to keep all my options open. unfortunately, i'd get hit by a bus the minute i put it in practice.
so, to cross the road or not? that is the question we have to ask ourselves, and it's maddening. why choose this lover and not that one, this dress, this pair of pants, and not others? and no matter what i do, i suffer terribly from 'buyer's remorse.' a package taken home dies on the way, the great significance it had in the store drains out of it. i'm left with an empty shell of hope.
and if i had ambition, my god, it would be a hundred times worse. the intense desire to get somewhere, not even knowing the destination, and not believing i will leave an eiffel tower or boulder dam. i kid myself and say, "these words will live forever," imitating shakespeare, and i think of him in grubby grave, his line dying out after he sweated his whole life for a coat of arms, expecting to pass it into the 21st century. damn, the shakespeare line died out with his daughter. and he didn't protect himself against plagiarism and actors. what a mess!
anyway, there we have it, damned if you do, and damned if you don't, a terrible disease. can we find a poultice? actually, they lie all about us. all i have to do is join a tribe, and god knows i've tried: boy scouts, tarot card readers, eternal students, anything i thought would calm my mind. you see, i do know the answer to my question: accept any system as the ultimate and true cross. it doesn't have to be religion, though it depends completely upon belief, and a book like the course in miracles just dandy.
say i've decided sanitation will save everybody, i'm completely obsessed by urinals and drain-pipes, pollution and garbage. cleanliness becomes my god, every waking and sleeping moment dedicated to the problems of survival in an age of trash. see what i mean, i don't have to think outside this box any more, i've safely escaped the absurd, the ambiguous, the unanswerable. what a relief! and i didn't have to resort to the dangerous drugs: heroin, coffee, and love. haven't i been totally brilliant, plumbing manuals my life?
the gypsies draw a circle around you and you can't escape. in that limitation i'd like to live my life. i could have chosen the catholic church, physics, or drag-racing. hey, what about a motor-cycle and the endless accessories? alas, there's a further difficulty: the incurably indecisive like myself. i can toy with baseball, it's leagues and rules. i can dangle horseshoes in front of my nose, even wade in the troubled waters of mysticism, and somehow i return to the ghost of myself, the person who either believes there is an ultimate answer, or doesn't.
my advice: tie yourself down, don't let ambiguity creep in by way of the back door. start a collection of stuffed pigs and have the greatest in world. take up the ukelele and prove it can play beethoven. whatever you do, draw the bitter, thin, cutting line around yourself and tame a little piece of the world. if you try to deal with the whole of it, you will go mad, as i have.
signs of the times. www.pbase.com/wwp/signs