to ascend you must die
You count on that knowledge every day, that knowledge that was given to you for free by your society. But you demand that people pay you for what you have to give. You get electricity, and the wheel, and the fundamental machines, and physics and music. You get language — but the idea of giving back — my god, I can almost hear you say “What has anyone ever done for me?”
What haven’t they?
We sit in our comfortable world — we want a life governed by easy to understand conventions. We kid ourselves that we want to “give back” — everyone gives lip service to how they want to “make a difference” — but we are counting every bean we put on the scale. We put our little copyright on every song, we build traps into our software, we litter the courts with patent lawsuits — because we just haven’t been given enough. “I need to get paid!” — what day of your life haven’t you been paid? We want more — and more and more and more.
How many small companies have been driven out of business by larger ones just for a percent of market share? It isn’t enough to win, we have to crush others — and we do it with the justification (I imagine that some costumed superhero grabs one of us out of a board meeting and is holding us in their hand ready to crush us and we bellow:
“I only wanted what was fair, I only wanted what was mine!”
As if we have ever given back for everything we’ve gotten scot-free in our lives.)
But I have a secret for you — a secret of why that tiny number who just give it away are willing to do it, despite how we all act. Why they are willing to dig and dig and give even when it gets thrown back in their faces. Even when their ideas are first rejected, and then stolen, when they are first ignored and then persecuted.
Creating de novo and opening a new vista of thought or expression for the Universe is absolutely the most fabulous experience that can be had by a human being. The process of spontaneously unfolding the unique miracle of who you are and what you are able to see beats any drug, any commodified high or distraction available in the world. INSIDE of you there is truth, there is a unique concoction thrown together by nature than can only think within certain bounds — those bounds have never existed before and will never exist again. Taken together they represent a single try by nature — like a bright yellow frog, or a beautiful blue butterfly. When you approach the problems that interest you, that unique essence inside you trembles and gives off light in a specific way that is ecstasy to experience (and actually, is beautiful to behold — if you have ever known someone who is committed to the realization of their own unique vision, and if you have seen them work, (or for that matter if you have seen Leonard Cohen sing) you can vouch for what I am saying.)
The light isn’t a visible light — this isn’t some new age moment — it is insight — it is a power of your mind that allows you to see where the rhymes are in a poem, that allows you to see where the lines are in a yet-to-be-drawn drawing. It illuminates an area somewhere between the world and your imagination, and what you see there you can then bring down into existence and give to the world.
And when the people who live so that such things can happen turn to us and ask us to change, when they ask us to stop being bloodsucking vampires, and instead to draw forth from our own hearts and give to the world like they do, it isn’t because they want to take anything away from us, but because they want to give us the ultimate value possible for a human being. It is because they want us to partake of the blessed freedom of creation.
And when they say it convincingly, we kill them.
4 Comments »