[Previously on Wonderers: People used to live in caves and walk on all fours and climb trees for a living. We moved past that impediment, over the millennia . . . Perhaps it’s time we showed something for our ostensible progress, something more profound than the gadgets with which we play, starting with our deep core, the way we celebrate life.]
This tremendous evolution, this journey we’ve embarked on from cave-dwelling simian life to sophisticated homo sapience, could we not honor it with something appropriate? Celebrate our given achievements in terms of the world we live in — a modern, postmodern, space-age, super-technological and hyperorganized reality resplendent with feats and opportunities of outrageous caliber, a magical age of unprecedented accomplishment? Celebrate events over and above our individual longevity — our achievements, for example, such as the anniversary of having founded a great company? Of having landed our first contract, or started our first enterprise (we remember those occasions, but only as secondary celebrations, less important than birthdays).
How about we celebrate the inception of a great idea, something with an impact on other people’s lives?
How about the yearly commemoration of having written a book, or a song, or the occasion when we went on a momentous trip that changed our lives? Are these not events that warrant spectacular celebration, year after year? Why is the day we were born more important? Why is it more special than the day we learned how to be charitable — the day we won our first competition — the instance we figured out the link between language and frame of mind, storytelling and the economy, the quirks our parents had which didn’t make sense until one day, just like that, they clicked, we got them, like clockwork, like magic? Is that not something worth celebrating publicly, annually, throwing a party in honor of the majesty of formative events like these?
How about the day we had a breakthrough with a person, or with a group of people, forging durable relationships? Is that not worthy of annual celebration, our creation of unique bonds?
Yes, let’s be thankful for our health and life, our life span, by all means, but we would do well to unhinge ourselves from old measures of success. We’ve earned a more spherical, inventive outlook. We’re beyond our mere ability to revolve round the sun for yet another 365 days. We’ve split the atom and discovered how the mind is a function of imagination and expectation combined, how reality is constructed via the act of observation even before action takes place (the quantum world is full of delicious arcana); how we, animals of humble mammalian origins, are gods in our own right, creating the world we live in — how our actions impact the planet’s climate, sometimes augmenting life, other times mitigating it. Like cells in a body, we’re both servant and ruler, stewards to life on Earth, starring actors on the greatest stage in the solar system, if not the galaxy and every galaxy in the near vicinity, and yet — so short. We’re falling short, selling ourselves down the river, getting excited over the basic premises of life at the expense of the magnificent. We forget to pay tribute to the auspicious and neglect to pay heed to the groundbreaking feats in our daily and yearly lives. We haven’t upgraded our causes to celebrate, have not included the fantastic and immaculate in our routines, are not grateful for things truly worth noting. We prefer to celebrate basic everyday occurrences. We are lost, collectively, as a way of life, unable to vibrate around things grander than our mundane celebrations of birthday and holidays suffused by the worm of sanctimoniousness and showmanship, buying stuff for ourselves and each other, showing off for others, all appearances and ritual, but little substance. Little magic. Our souls atrophied in the warm torpor of our instincts, our craving for easy answers taking over, coated with shallow worries and even shallower joys. No apparatus to capture the resplendent and classic, the indomitable and enduring, our customs giving way to the ephemeral. No time to recalibrate reality, aspire to achievements in tune with the times, events indicative of our true capabilities. Be creatures of today, with tomorrow in mind, leaving the yesterday behind, using it only as a frame of reference, nothing more, our leap long overdue. Live and operate in ways that reinvent our four-hundred generation model, taking us beyond the pleasurable but lackluster eat-drink-work-fuck-procreate-party-work-worry-fuck-drink-eat-procreate-work scenario. Be more than newer versions of dated bio-material, primal biological paradigms wearing glossy modern and postmodern masks, meta-postmodern uniforms and guises of sophistication and all kinds of fancy attire, physical and mental, being future-like in all but reality, our primal instincts still dictating our lives. How about playing that game no more? Deject the old programs, the march and fanfare, even the esteemed humility that is so often observed in our societies. Humility is the mark of pretense, our greatest carnival of all. We love pretending to be humble and righteous, it makes us feel important, needed, but the joke’s on us. Unless we change our ways, all we’re doing is fool ourselves. We could be so much more than what we’re pretending to be. We have breached time using our imagination, we have punctured the veil of distance, seeing as far as the end of the universe, and beyond, theorizing new dimensions heretofore unfathomable. Is one more orbit round the sun seriously it, the major annual event for which we have cause to celebrate a person’s life? Is that our ‘special’ day, none other matching it?
Watch this space for Part 7