THE BEAUTY OF OUR SITUATION
“The beauty of our situation is that, despite the danger and fragility and outright darkness that lie on all sides of us, we are free. We are free to be something. There is nothing marshalling or supervising the expression of our whims or will. We can find out what’s going on, all by ourselves - every sentient creature can. It must explore embodiment beyond precept or precedent.
Ours is not a set dance or a play with choreographed moves and scripted lines - nor is it even quite, for the lobster crab and mayfly.
Our freedom burgeons, a flowerlike thing ghosting, shape-shifting, sui generis. Anything can be chosen today; we can take ourselves down any trail or tracery tomorrow. We can try another spoor or detour the next day. We are free to live, free to die; free to pout, free to disco; free to fast, free to pig out.
Our bodies are algorithms, warranted to function or not, on any given afternoon. They are not even ours. They are pet dogs we wash, we feed, we play with. And yet we have nothing else to rely on, as we awake and set our course anew. Before we sleep and dream, and wake again.
We oversee a torrent of blood and crystalloids and catalytic saps inside our wetsuit, but we are utterly ignorant of how - how it came to be, how it works, what role we play in its maintenance or innate intelligence. We haul around this oasis of proteins and enzymes and genetic molecules, doing stuff that even advanced biochemists and neurologists don’t understand. It is no luxury or high-end conveyance, either. It is a crude proletarian beast, yet our sine qua non. It has to happen for us to happen. We rely on an invisible helmsman, the indifferent capacity of impersonal systems, and the esoteric command, to continue existing at all.
As long as these carapaces hold us, as long as they mumble mutely to themselves what to do, as long as the secret vessel sends out ciphers day and night, as long as we draw instructions out of some obscure imagination of what we desire, we are practitioners of this shindig of life…
Yet gloriously we are free, without a warrant or deadline. Any day we can live; any day is a good day to unravel and die. Now that is slaphappy, foolhardy, goofy, ecstatic freedom.
We become. Simply that. Exposed to novelty and chance and the aberrations of our own mindedness and circumstances, as every moment - nonlinear, linear. We are the perfect unchaperoned dance.”
- Richard Grossinger, THE BARDO OF WAKING LIFE