Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Stories, but no time

So, while my life speeds along and I actually accumulate things that I can pretend are worth writing about... I tide you over with a philosophical cartoon, on the purpose of life. Coincidentally, or maybe not so, this has been a big concept on my mind right now, or at least one of two (the other being the oh so simple yet oh so complex question"Who am I?"). Enjoy!


We've got a system of schooling which gives a completely different impression. It's all graded, and what we do is we put the child into the corridor of this grade system, with a kind of "C'mon, kitty kitty kitty!". And you go to kindergarten, you know, and that's a great thing because when you finish that you get into 1st grade. And then, "C'mon, 1st grade leads to 2nd grade!" and so on. And then you get out of grade school and you go to high school and it's revving up, the thing is coming, then you're gonna go to college, and by jove, then you get into graduate school, and when you're through with graduate school you go out to join the world.

And then you get into some racket where you're selling insurance. And they've got that quota to make! And you gotta make that! And all the time, the "thing" is coming! It's coming! It's coming, that great "thing", the success you're working for. And then when you wake up one day, about 40 years old, you say, "My God, I've arrived. I'm there." And you don't feel very different from what you always felt. And there's a slight let-down because you feel there's a hoax.

And there WAS a hoax. A dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything… by expectation. Look at the people who live to retire, who put those savings away. And then when they're 65, they don't have any energy left, they're more or less impotent, and they go and rot in a . . . "Senior Citizens Community".

Because we've simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line. We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, the thing was to get to that end, "success" or whatever it is or maybe heaven, after you're dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or to dance, while the music was being played.