Little Deaths, Masks, and the Existential Joke (Halloween Party)

I got into bed Saturday night at 3 am, exhausted from a night of exerting the effort of facial expressions required to match the synthetic enthusiasm of drunk people. The night concluded with an Uber ride that was 1.6x the normal fare because of the increased demand, as all the drunks migrated home, some with a sexual partner in tow, not me.  I welcome the pillow at the end of the day, it feels like a small yet significant death.  I get to relax and breath into oblivion. All the thinking, the concern, the illusion of ego is turned off and internalized and my subconscious goes to war with itself for 8 hours, or does it recharge itself?  Does it sooth itself? My inner healer exposes the issues but I can only bring back a very small percentage of it when I wake up. I am glad to let the me of today die, the me of my mind, which is imaginary of course.  I am glad to be reborn tomorrow.

I spent a significant chunk of time talking with a girl named Mary who was intoxicated. Mary would utter a sentence with a slurred word at the end, followed by a semi-automatic round of four staccato sentences.

I had a wig on, and a cop uniform from the show Reno 911.   As the night progressed, wearing a uniform and viewing the costumes at the party, I began to feel a gradual comfort, sensing that we all wear emotional costumes and masks in regular every day life anyway.   So isn’t this just a little visual manifestation of the barriers we create around ourselves and the roles we already play? The costumes seem more natural to me than plainclothes in this sense.  Most people are wearing an emotional mask, or protective cover over their heart, and the very few, the spiritual warriors are operating with their true essence out there for all of us to see.

Artists who show the world their heart, that expose their desires and weaknesses, imperfections, are lions, in my opinion.  Artists and the open-hearted make the world a better place and enrich the lives of others who may not have voiced a certain feeling that they thought for certain was without anything resembling an equal or similarity in another.  The mind tends towards giving itself the idea that it is separate, terminally unique, and has carved out its own little piece of uncharted territory in the world of 10,000 things.  Artists soldier on in the face of people who try to strong-arm them into conformity.   The corporate automatons, or bitter critics in the newspaper, spew vitriol because they see the path that they might have had the courage to follow, had they not placed the value of safety and security over the search for the expression of the truest self.

As I stood leaning against a pillar in the middle of this warehouse type place.  I surveilled this Marilyn Manson looking girl on the other side of the room, wearing a black singlet, covered in white face paint, donning fishnet stockings and a top hat.   I dropped my attentional focus back into the conversations roughly every five seconds as I let the inebriated blonde with the sunny disposition, wax poetic about sales and the tickets she gets from her job and how she makes a lot of money.   I maintained an upright posture, careful to keep my arms uncrossed and chest straight, so as to depict confident and interested body language.   I angled my hips to face diagonally away from the blonde, upon a vague recollection of the book The Game and my research in the Pick Up Artist books and advice columns. I hope this will send a signal that, I’m here but I’m not desperate, I got options. I’m just floating around!

Mary told me I looked Jewish, and that I was easy to talk to, at separate times.  The simple act of letting a verbose, somewhat neurotic person finish full sequences of thoughts, however scattered, can go a long way.  Lesson:  roll out the red carpet for another’s ego, shut my mouth.  People just want to be heard.  I’m happy to be a quiet, intermittent speaker for a few hours.   I savor these morale boosters that serve as a spark for the usually depleted and waning cheering squad I have trained to work in my brain.  The cheerleaders work exhaustively leading up to a party and throughout the party.  The squad (myself) must continually push, motivate, and force Peter to be in the place he most fears, a place with other people, especially of people of the opposite sex.   What if I don’t talk to a girl, what am I gonna say?  Do I have value?  Yes! Reclaim your power.  

Another guy with a wig walked by with a wig at some point and gave me the head nod and point of a mutual acknowledgment.  I obliged, being pleased with this acknowledgment.  The number of sultry female cats in the party of 100 numbered over 15.   There were cows, zebras, giraffes.  A walking dead zombie.  A Britney Spears/sensual school girl won the night in my book; simple, elegant, execution.

Its all a dream, and we take it seriously because drama and the illusion of high stakes gives us a sense of importance.   It gives the soccer mom in a wealthy community a sense of worth to gossip about the other mom with Botox, and it gives the poor black kid in the Bronx a sense of significance to join a gang and get the approval of his peers.   It gives my life significance to put down words on paper that attempt to capture the intricacies of my mental processes, but all writing has a tinge or a heavy coating of existential desperation, doesn’t it?  My implicit message is- Please, remember and relate to my life experience, here’s a record so maybe my kooky perspectives will hold the illusion of significance for youConnect with me, connect with my heart, I need it because if I don’t relate and exchange deep yearnings then how can I know I exist and am not invisible?   Solitude is not for the faint of heart.   I play the game that the girl who ducked my requests matters, HA!   Should the universe care that I don’t copulate with someone I feel a fleeting attraction to? Should I mourn the many girls who turned away from me or never returned a call or text?

If I really wanted a girlfriend, I would have one.  At a deep, spirit level, the universe knows what a real intention is, what real selflessness is, and if I don’t have it, then the universe calls bullshit.  Universe (The mothership): Peter- you just want sex and some emotional junk food (puppy love) – really just a girl who serves as self-love enhancer for me.  What I really love is having someone that loves me.  Because I use that person as a stand in for my absent self-esteem.  Lightbulb! It’s like I am using the girl as a bolt or nut to plug up a leak in one of my pipes, or a generator that is providing the electricity that keeps my soul running and gives me the illusion of self-provided wholeness.

See, there is value in this for me beyond trying to impress people and flap and flaunt my pretty wings.  I am a shameless narcissist, but why do I deride “flapping my wings” as narcissistic?  I think if I was living in more in line with my true self, I would have child-like enthusiasm and be more flamboyant in my words and actions.  Woulda coulda shoulda, right?  Writing things out rapid-fire with shitty grammar, then editing after, helps me alot.  I have never regretted doing this.  Like I never regret a workout because it quells the restlessness of mind and body.

I stare down intergalactic intelligence’s and divine plant spirits but I can’t talk to a girl/ maintain a relationship.  There has to be a disproportionate amount of punishment and masochism here going on, that is not based in reality.  Okay, I see the problem, that’s the first step.  Writing is therapy. For me it has always been way more effective than any therapist I go to.   Talk- the medium of speech, or as Terence Mckenna calls it “small mouth noises”- is cheap.  For me it always has been, the more I talk, the more I feel my energy sapped, this is true because I am introverted, yes, but I think in the deluded shark frenzy of consumerism of the USA, 90% of my and our conversation are about complete and utter bullshit.   What rung of your career ladder did you reach?  I got this new toy that has four wheels today.   I watched ten guys shoot a basketball and run up and down a court and I had enough paper to see them right up close! 

You need more soul excavation, pick up your shovel and keep digging Peter.   You’re not done, we gotta set some C4 to blast a hole in the rock wall that’s blocking the route down to trauma in the subconscious.  My inner guide/intuition implores.  The inner guide and magnified intuition began operating and being audible to me after Ayahuasca.   It basically says,   Hey, this shit is here now for you to see Pete- your wounds are open and they ain’t goin anywhere.  So get to work on that scarred heart and your imaginary construction of this thing called ego. 

 Another off-shoot of this is that I have a much harder time putting on an act in an effort to have sex with a girl.   Its harder to fake it.  Just like its harder to fake being interested and deferential to my professors in school because they are just as clueless as anyone about the human brain.   What they sell at Universities, is the illusion that they can teach you something that isn’t in a book.    I’m sick of being reverent to professors that are lazy-witted products of their environment who accept the limited, culturally-bound concepts that they were once spoon-fed like they were a senior citizen, docile and helpless to whatever their nurse wanted to feed them.  Universities are bastions of group-think, they disempower our young people and keep them obedient to banks and government and corporations.

Many girls in the dating world in NYC act like they are shopping for a handbag yet also like it is a job interview I think miss the point of life-partner, its not stand-in, mannequin, who makes more than 500K a year, well for many it is.  But can I let the girls who want a guy for his money exist without draining and extracting my good energy and turning it bad?   Why do I waste it, dwelling on the attractive girl who will be told that her life is perfect and never forced to examine anything in any objective way because she is attractive?  My challenge is detaching from my need or illusion that I will ever change that girl or the many millions of girls and guys like her.   I can only change my self and any effort to change other is simply, wasted.

Ayahuasca, Holotropic Breathwork, Mushroom retreat, this past year.  In the near future is DMT, LSD, Iboga, when I get up to the higher proving grounds then I can meet the meaner spirits that will just kick my ass even harder.  Now I welcome it though because I know I always come out better.   Three high dose mushroom trips in the span of 6 days was physically and emotionally taxing but God knows I’m better for it.  “Where’d you go on vacation Pete?  I knew it could probably only be drugs or some form of self-punishment.”  I can’t envision spending my money on anything else with travel.  There is nowhere I’d rather be than projectile vomiting in a hut in the Amazon or encountering an Intergalactic intelligence while laying in the grass in rural Jamaica.  Because all that equates to a better me, and more love and authenticity for the people around me and an enhanced ability to see clearly and impact those around me.

Do people think that they somehow appear to be less of a loner by pulling out their phone, say when they are waiting for their companion to arrive at a restaurant, or dining alone, or waiting in a doctor’s office, or on an elevator?   Is sitting alone without having a technological baby’s bottle such a horrible and humiliating shame?  Would it be admitting to such a devastating defeat to wait quietly, without having a fence erected that prevents another person from beginning a conversation with you?

I know this because I have recognized and examined some of my own discomfort when I don’t reach for the phone, feeling pangs the way a heroin addict might in withdrawal.  I occasionally challenge myself to not look at the phone in the daunting 15-20 seconds of an elevator ride that most can’t bear to be phone-less, the way a vampire can’t bear the sun burning and melting his skin.   Rage and anger are such untidy emotions aren’t they?? To show humanity, to admit that you see weaknesses, contradictions in yourself and others and want to be better.  Oh how uncool man, you TRY so hard.   You don’t want to be a consumer automaton robot that only lives breathes, sleeps, and sits at a desk to make Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos more rich. 

Existential dread is a dangerous game for me because for every question, there is the common conclusion of what does any of it matter?  Girlfriend, no girlfriend, if we’re all headed for a lengthy dirt nap? Money, comfort, the trappings of success and society’s neat ladder of individualistic striving are all nice decoration, but if I can’t connect inter-personally then what the fuck is the point?  Being the best gambler on the stock market has value, it has utility, it could inflate my ego, give me the illusion of importance among the rest of the apes, who shit, fuck, sleep, cry, and fear death and have all the fancy answers to the unanswerable riddle of God. Oh this cult wears robes and jewels, has wafers and wine, they seem reputable!    And we murder each other because our answers don’t line up.   Believe in my God, worship at my altar, or I’ll kill you.   We came out of the world, we are a byproduct of it.   In no way were we created as the center of all life.  We are a lucky coincidence, and really, it is sort of a curse- the prefrontal cortex that is, and the ability to reason and higher level future and past thinking . Is knowing every last secret of science and the atom and being able to text grammy-grams from college every night and the moron walking down the street face-timing with his IPhone really worth anything if we don’t have five seconds to take a breath and appreciate the simplicity and beauty of life or connect and have compassion for our fellow human?

Watch, scroll, look, relax, enjoy,  get aroused, praise me, eat, consume, buy my clothes, my jewelry, my shiny toys, they will give your your life meaning= American Society.

Animals get to stay in the now, where every physical embrace is savored. Every meal can be absolutely delicious when you aren’t sure where your next one is coming from. So modern life really is a curse if you ask me.   How much more blissfully happy and fulfilled would I be if I had only 150 people in my hunter-gatherer tribe and there was no mass media.  School shootings don’t affect your daily life in a noticeable way, so stop acting like it makes you sad, you CHOOSE to turn on the “little box of horrors” every night. We (I) choose the world of horror and paranoid delusion every night by watching and reading the news stories on TV.   Your allowing the never ending 24/7 media consumption to occur and carpet bomb your inner stillness with repetitive age-old tales of human suffering.

The automatons at work and at class and at family gatherings, silently coerce by telepathy that you watch Netflix and be interested in bread and circus (Politics and sports) because these are safe and sanitized topics that won’t cause too much controversy.  We (I) mostly talk about what the TV tells me to talk about.  It is the arbiter of where attention and care is directed. TV is where celebrities use their mask of skin, with symmetrical eyes and pouty lips and sex appeal and “brand” to make more money by pretending to like Icy Hot patches and perfumes, and deodorants. The actor is a commodity that is bought and paid for, he is a paper cutout.

I had an argument recently with a friend who tried to maintain that books have the potential to perpetuate the same ideological programming as Television does. This was prompted  by my proclamation that television and news media are the single most destructive tool of tyrannic influence and control in our world.    He was agitated and defensive about it.   People do not like to have their addictions and illusions of stability intruded upon.   First off, television requires zero brainpower or cognitive skill beyond having sensory capacity (visual and auditory functioning), it appeals to emotion.  The actor or news pundit, can gyrate, raise their voice in an effort to appeal to the base emotions of the viewer. Also, one can safely assume, with regard to the sheer numbers pledged to a cause, that a large portion of those swayed politically through television viewing cannot read, and don’t possess the higher order mental faculties that come with a basic grasp of reading, like say, discerning what is real and fake, or when they are being being lied to- as all politicians do.

JFK, Obama were great Orators. They had charisma off the charts.  People could overlook their lack of experience and youth.   George W.  Bush was not the sharpest tack in the stack, nor the quickest wit, but he did have the patriotism spiel down pat (Please, keep my family’s oil conglomerates flourishing, my fellow Americans).

We’re all ego addicts really though.  Some are better at hiding it.   Its much harder to be “clean” these days than, say in the 1970’s when there was scant technology, because these days, goodness and morality are like trophies that people showcase and show off, in the age of the “third self” the digital self.  Thinking of the digital self stresses me out at night.  I am tempted to go to some computer guy and ask him to wipe clean every last trace of what I have typed on the internet.  It’s scary to think any of it might be permanent and accessible to anyone at anytime with a computer.  Television is the great equalizer in that it can command the loyalty and dedication of the master of his own destiny, wealthy man and the lazy drug addict who downs the donuts and six pack and doesn’t have a passport because why would you ever need to leave the greatest country in the world right??

As I took my introspective and masochistic view normally turned inward and turned its telescope out to the surrounding party-goers, I contemplated how our emotional masks and costumes unite us in real life; also how they effectively shield and deflect love.  The surface labels of political parties, religions, cultures, races, ethnicity, personalities are all masks, that precipitate overly generalized assumptions and stereotypes.  However it is safer and easier to join a herd that has strength in numbers than to open your heart and be the wonderful contradiction that is a sparkling and beautiful human person.

To reduce yourself to black, republican, conservative, catholic, Jewish, pro-life, pro-choice, Indian, Mexican, white, and delineate boundaries based around these arbitrary constructs of our divisive society is a shame to me.  It angers and saddens me that people can’t see we’re all pure light at our cores. I have societal programming, I have ignorance, I have prejudices, I’m not pretending they don’t exist and there is not gross injustice in the world.  I admit it and I want to learn about the other.  I want to learn what unites us, deep in our hearts, not what divides us.

The light doesn’t know a color or label or a team, or this nation vs that nation mindset, light only seeks to nourish, and to extract the light in another soul.   If I can help one person discover just a small part of the light in their heart today, or share my light, than my day was a success.   I feel more connected, hopeful, on that day, however rare it is.   If it takes months, years to come, it doesn’t matter, sharing the light what keeps me going through the dark times, the depression, when I feel no one can hear me at my frequency.  I am drowned out because I have been swallowed by the delusion of separateness and of being the most important person in my mind movie.  The solution is reaching out to another, being vulnerable, not being closed off and defensive, fuck that.  You never know what person you might impact with your words.

Today I feel the pain of my imagined ego.  I learn what I learn for the good of my heart and the good of the hearts of those around me.    I know there is a summit these days, even if the clouds are covering it 99% or all of the time.  That fact sometimes brings me to tears of gratefulness and just to acknowledge it is to be grateful and recognize the gift, of this life, this soul, this body.  I have the power to affect change in others and help them out of their cloudy mazes that don’t appear to have any clear end or hope.   I’ve been through it, I know where you are, I want to help you. -Do these words summarize everything contained in the meaningful path?  Those concepts transcend language, culture, dimension.  I suffer too, I understand, I offer my service to you.   Now I just need to figure out what work life allows me to execute those three actions in the most efficient way.   I have love to give, that I was previously unaware of and it just can’t stay in anymore, it would be too selfish.  That’s the biggest lesson the plant medicines have taught me.  It isn’t about me anymore. My worries about my personality and all the shyness bullshit will figure itself out, it is window dressing,  its the external mask, love is all and love is everything as the Beatles say.

What masks am I wearing today?   White dude from upper Socioeconomic Status?  Tough guy?  Whiny enlightened hippie? Serious intellectual guy who strokes his beard?  Why can’t I just laugh at myself about it? I take myself too seriously.  The antidote is realizing how fleeting it all it is, savor that smile, that laugh with that special person in my life today, and the rest is bullshit.

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