Thursday, July 16, 2009
The absurd is everywhere...
"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key."--The Eagles
One of the wondrous things about the absurd is that once you know how to look for it, you tend to find it everywhere--in songs, movies, and even random conversations.
For example, we had a conversation tonight with someone about the absurdity of monogamy. He was adamant that it "mattered" if his wife had an affair, while we wondered why this should have more meaning than, say, his wife sitting in a different chair.
Interestingly, while he was unable to come up with a reason for why this should make him upset (perhaps because there are none...), he nevertheless clung to his initial belief as to a lifeline. He just could not face the reality that there is no reason he should care what his wife does, or does not do. In many ways such beliefs--drilled into us by society--are like religion, in that we accept them wholly and unquestioningly, despite the lack of any logical reason for doing so.
Now, this is not to say we don't sympathize with him. As Inigo pointed out recently, we ourselves do things we cannot explain, thanks to hard-wiring in the brain that is difficult to escape. Would we be upset if our wife had an affair? Perhaps. We would like to think not. But even if we were, we would recognize the absurdity of our reaction, and laugh at what ridiculous creatures we are.
That said, we understand that for many this is a leap too far. As Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix: "Most people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
It doesn't matter if your wife has an affair. It also doesn't matter if she dies tomorrow, or next week, or 50 years from now. Everything we think we experience is simply an incredibly seductive illusion...and nothing more.
Until next time...
Posted by . at 1:19 AM