Rock Bottom

I guess we all agree that the world is crazy. I mean, redundantly crazy. Sunlight at noontime brings darkness at midnight which in turn yields sunlight at noontime. The cycle keeps going on and on in an oblivious state of madness. In a more corporate world, 9-5 on the job just to get a paycheck that only guarantees you will get back to that 9-5. It’s horrendous, pitiful if I may, and we all continue in this cycle in search for something outside the cycle — serenity.

In a crazy turbulent world where purpose so eludes one, the best place to be is at rock bottom. Why? Read on.

See, I have been pondering on and playing with the thought of the fabrication of the world and turns out: the world is not made of fabric! Who knew? Okay, under a more serious note, the grand scheme of things is so well orchestrated to hide itself from it’s offspring of events in circumstances and happenstances which is made available to man. There is no logical reason to life — emphasis on logical. Why do we struggle against each other politically? So we could gain enough constitutional power to belittle our fellow man on the name of democracy; just because he falls on the other side of the coin that is not on your side? What does power then mean? Why do you struggle to earn a living? To glaze our deeply etched selfishness, to gain the finer things of life irrespective of the detriment it may bring to many. And in fame, is it really you or an image of you subject to all other external forces but your own will? Same argument can be brought up about intelligence, health, beauty and strength….

Beauty, oh beauty, what a fine lie you have been. Over the years, you have waylaid men on the path of wisdom and women on the path of greatness with a momentary satisfaction that quickly disappears when age comes knocking. You squander wealth in the name of poise and sell it off as “past glory” as Time slowly but sternly commandeers it’s supremacy. And your lover, Strength, boastful as ever. Even in subtlety, the decibels achieved in his ever so dynamic pride speech is…, “remarkable” will be an understatement. What a fine pair you two have been, and what a flawless scam you have run over the ages. And your children, nasty nasty. Though I choose not to name them, we both—and we all—know that they carry on the family business quite unblemished.

Paradoxical but true is the quote “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” by Franz Kafka. Such is the lure.

What then is the use of life, really? Time and again, we wallow in the craze of this world and all it’s eccentric cycles carefully engineered to prevent us from taking time to look back and ponder. There is more to our existence than we see. But why do we not see? Our seats now rest on our heads, we have cleverly reversed the functionalities of those two objects—seat and head—glorifying the title above and beyond the its bearer or achiever.

“Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?.” ~ Jack London

But there’s an end to this madness; if we can only look back to find meaning. There are myriad ways to find meaning again in this rather prolix conundrum. Madness in itself has it’s roots in sanity, why else would another name for madness be insanity? For the folks working at Fox News, that was meant to be a joke on the lighter side. But on a serious —and for the sake of the scope of this blog post, “side”— note, there is madness in sanity and in madness, sanity.

At a dinner with my parkour group one evening, a bunch of high school kids invited me into their conversation. Inasmuch as this was a parkour group and they were high-schoolers and everything about their demeanor was blaring “immature and inexperienced”, I decided to listen in. As the conversation unfolded, one of the kids said, “sometimes we try to fight the things that happen and in doing that, we end Ho injuring ourselves. We try to come up with new solutions and new quick fixes. Later, we find out that there are so many loopholes doing more damage to our boat than the original problem. It’s just like drowning. The more you try to fight it, the worse the experience. What we should do instead is to let the pain come one. Understand every bit of the problem and how it is fabricated. Once you slowly sink in and hit rock bottom, that’s not the end. Most people think that’s the end of their lives but it’s not. “At rock bottom is where you have the maximum capacity to solve your problem”. Now — uhm…ladies and gentlemen of the jury — understand this, I didn’t plan to learn nothing valuable from these kids but this was stunning. He was absolutely…goddamn right.

Over the years man — and by man, I encompass all humanity — has tried to solve this problem called “man”. In searching for a solution, we create more problems that call for more sophisticated solutions. We are — as illustrated in the kid’s speech — halfway down towards the bottom of the ocean and we keep fighting this downward movement. Optimistic as it may seem, it has not gotten us anywhere in decades; dare I say centuries. What we should do, in any crisis, is to understand the problem (sink into it if you may). On he way down, you will learn the inner workings of the system (the forces that push and pull the surface tide you used to know, love and surf). At the bottom, you must have amassed enough information to survive through and rise above. The longer you stay there, the wiser you get. You would reach the point if serenity that surpasses any fear of losing to the struggle. And springing back up to the surface from the bottom is far easier than struggling from the middle, upwards.

The moment we stop seeing the bottom as the lowest place one can be on the stack but the most stable base for new strength, wisdom and innovation, we can straighten out this world redundant cycles. Understand the meaning to life and what it means to live. Thereby attaining a more resolute purpose.


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