Chaos Theory vs. Existentialism
I try to address the big issues here, like current, relevant social or international affairs, rants about fatness and of course, dick jokes. This is my forum for voicing what others will not; what others cannot. This is mine and I can do what I want here. It makes me feel like the Trainman in the Matrix Revolutions.
Watch this, I’ll do it right now. I’m assuming you’re reading this at work; look at the person sitting closest to you. Don’t stare, just glance – they shouldn’t know that you’re ogling them. Now, picture just their crotch. Not too fast; let the image slowly appear in your mind’s perverted eye. I have no idea who you’re sitting next to of course. I don’t know whether or not I just gave you nightmares forever or opened up Pandora’s Box in your brain. Maybe you’ve done this before (creep), or maybe you toyed with it subliminally and never took that next essential mental step. The point is this section of the internet is mine, and I have complete power here. Look what I just made you do.
Sometimes I think about what other people think, or more importantly about how other people think. This came to mind when I saw a guy walking today who was moving like a He-Man action figure. You know the kind of dude I’m talking about. Chest and gut puffed way out, arms out at a diagonal angle instead of facing the floor vertically like most arms do. It was as though the act of ‘walking’ for him comprises his chest, gut and arms generating the motion required for movement by swaying back and forth from the left and to the right, and as an afterthought his legs just happened to be stepping forward. It is not clear to me whether or not he had hips.
What was going on inside that guy’s head? He was large, but not obese. His anatomy did not force him to keep his chest and belly puffed out, and there was plenty of room for him to lower his arms. Ruling out the possibility that he was wearing a body cast underneath his clothes, it looked to me like he was walking that way because he wanted to. But why I ask? WHY?
Doesn’t he know he looks like an action figure from the 80’s? Is that his intent? Every time he looks around and sees other humans walking, isn’t that sufficient evidence for his brain to understand that humans don’t walk that way? Is he really consciously choosing that posture, or am I just flat out wrong and that’s how his stubby bones work? I very much wanted to understand what was going on inside of his head, so I thought about it. And that’s where I almost went off the deep end.
What would it be like for me to actually BE in someone else’s mind? To the point where I’m not just seeing the logic behind his decisions and thoughts, but rather, to where I actually hear his decisions and thoughts the same way I hear my own? Would I even be me anymore, or would that make me him? To ask the same question, what if I was born as someone else – would I still be me, or right now could I be some guy who walks with his arms and chest puffed way out? Is this concept terrifying to anyone besides me? The loss of sense of self I mean, not the strange gait.
Terrified as I was, I then I went all the way down to the brink of the rabbit hole and pissed into the abyss. And the abyss, I think it may have pissed back into me.
(Hopefully, that’s the closest I’ll ever come to quoting Nietzsche in this blog)
I’m going all in. Forget about what it must be to be that weird-walking tankman. What is it to be me? Who am I really? Just this epic unification of neurons, lean muscle and legendary sex organs arranged in a perfectly unique combination with the finest operating system that 1981 had to offer? Or is my mind more like a jumble of environments, experiences, memories, events, triumphs, embarrassments and rejections that create a salty jambalaya of failure that predict my actions and would taste the same to everyone every time? Is Bello Bello’s choices or Bello’s grey matter? If I had your exact cloned brain in my skull right now instead of mine, would I be me? Or what if an exact genetic replica of me was raised on a tropical island somewhere and I was raised in the inner city…wait they did this already.
But the underlying question remains. What makes you you, and me me? Religious figures might say your soul, or your God. I think atheists believe that your mind and your decisions are basically the result of complex equations that your brain performs all day – to me that essentially makes you a number, which I’m sure would delight atheists. How is it that any personality is formed, or more importantly, how can I create more people with MY personality? Cloning or creating offspring seem to be the best solutions, but I don’t know any geneticists and unfortunately I can’t breed with everyone.
I’m assuming the majority of my readers are at this point lost, frustrated or angry. Congratulations we’re in the same boat, but what’s the answer here? What ultimately makes your mind yours? It really has to boil down to a variant of Your Choices (Existentialism) versus Your Surroundings (Chaos Theory). But which?
It is neither, it’s both, it’s more and it’s always moving. We are all connected – maybe not in a ‘colony of ants group consciousness’ kind of way but more like a ‘butterfly effect’ kind of way. The interactions that we humans have in general and with each other every second of every day actively paint the ever changing tapestry of our lives and our choices, even as we make them. It’s beautiful, like tangible chaos theory come alive.
I probably wouldn’t have ended up here, on the brink of madness, if I didn’t see tankman walking like a toolbag today. And if I didn’t get support from some of my closest friends, I probably would never have started this blog months ago, so I’d have no public outlet to pour my insanity into (this would never fit in a facebook status update). And now, all because of tankman, you have a permanent image of your coworker’s steamy junk sizzled right into your brain. But you’re still in control. This is simply the unforeseen result of a choice that you made, just a little sprinkle of chaos. No one makes you read my blog unless you’re my closet slave, and if you are my closet slave you had better be the fuck back into my closet before I get home.
If you want to know what makes you you, take a look at your surroundings and your choices. To a large degree you control your surroundings and the people that you interact with, and I sure hope you’re in control of your own choices. So, you are in control. Unless you’re here anyway. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats…