Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life Isn't Supposed to Not Be Confusing

Last night I opened up my drafts folder on Twitter, and found the following half-finished thought that I'd saved earlier: "life isn't supposed to not be confusing." *

At first I dismissed it as a drunken tweet gone wrong, but once I got over the perplexing double-negative (how meta, drunk self), I realized that maybe there's something to it.

There's a lot of crap going on, out there in the world. So that we can navigate it without dying, Mother Nature shoves a whole bunch of competing subpeople into our brain. Hunger, thirst; long-term plans, conserving energy on the couch; love, lust—all of these desires squawk like baby birds crying for the momma bird of consciousness to barf up some attention.

Having a clear mind is the most unnatural thing in the world. A mess of swirling thoughts and emotions is the default state of a thinking person. Why? Because it works. The desire that needs attention the most is usually the one that gets it. If we are hungry enough, it won't stop the laziness and thoughts about chicks from squawking, but it'll be enough that we get off the couch and ward off starvation for one more day. If we didn't have to constantly be weighing options and desires, we wouldn't need brains. Confusion is the natural consequence of intelligence.



People act less confused than they are. Sometimes they even say perfectly coherent things. But with other people, we only see the final behavioural products of their internal turmoil. Like the tip of an iceberg, except underneath it's not all perfect crystalline structure, but a writhing mass of multicoloured tentacles. Basically, Cthulhu with an iceberg hat.

Confusion is a lot easier to deal with if we embrace it. Having a clear and linear mind is not something that most people will attain for any length of time, so why not just bask in a normal, healthy, jumbled mind? Plus, it makes those epiphanic moments when everything comes together and makes sense more recognizable as the rare and magical moments that they are.





1 Actually, it said "life isn't supposed to bot be confusing," but my sober self was able to get the idea.

See also: First Person Plural.




"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
 -- H. P. Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu


4 comments:

Tatiana said...

Love Lovecraft, although it's been far too long since we've been acquainted.

I have a very zen approach to confusion and even life itself, and sort of trust the currents of universe to sort out the path for me. It sounds all new-agey and stuff, but it saves me a great deal of mental energy to just not stress.

The Dude abides and all that.

In totally unrelated news, I finally saw Inception and while good, it was not the masterpiece it was built up to be.

Jennifer said...

If Cthulu is under an iceberg somewhere, we really need to stop this global warming business.

Forest City Fashionista said...

Excellent post, makes me feel so much better about the state of my mind heading into the new year. Let clutter, confusion and chaos rule!
Merry Christmas!

Dale said...

I'm perpetually confused. I was looking through my Blogger drafts a short while ago and laughing like a fool, some mid-stream editing while trying to write made for some interesting reading.