Unnecessary Evil

111

Songs of joy mean nothing without first hearing one of pain.

[1188 words]

Editor’s note: This passage is not purposely meant to be cryptic or confusing. It just is what it is. 

For some reason we’re all confined by pains which originate from our past and future

I don’t like what happened

I don’t like what could happen

Usually these arise throughout the day as we try to settle into the present

They inch closer bit by bit and slowly infringe upon our mood

Unbeknownst to all these drops of irritation and fear are fulfilled by our habit of only thinking in terms of past and future

And we use our calculative part of our brain to sort, list, and attribute a specific set of events occurring before right now and simultaneously a set of events that may take place after

This is what happened

This is what could happen

For the already skeptical please take a moment to distance yourself from your engrained processes of daily analytics to break down how you think about your seconds, hours, and days

You begin an activity or an encounter occurs to you

You immediately pause your senses

And start a run of calculations: What is this?

For you to conceptually understand what you’re doing you must also generate concepts from your memory to provide this moment “meaning”

You only “know” a bad friend by what you know of a good friend

You only “know” an unfair treatment at work by what you know of a fair and perfect treatment at work

You only “know” a lover is not meant for you by what you know of a lover meant for you

This is necessary because for most every action “leading to somewhere in life” you have to make decisions

These decisions are in the form of “good/bad” or “yes/no” binary pathways we use as executive heuristics to quickly continue onto more decisions “leading to somewhere in life”

And with all these new decisions that must be made we’re always reaching into carefully biased pockets of our memory to complete them

This means you’re likely spending the majority of your days “thinking” about what you remember in the past to better “predict” your future

It doesn’t sound too far fetched because that is how we all post-rationalize why we’re choosing to do anything at all

Now the problem with this daily ritual is that it trains your mind to always be asking “what does it mean?” and “do I like it?”

For the already skeptical please take another moment to distance yourself from your engrained processes of daily analytics to break down how you think about your seconds, hours, and days

You’re not directly and explicitly asking yourself these two honest questions of “what does it mean?” and “do I like it?”

No your mind is so well trained it performs this equation in the background as subconscious conceptual instinct

I’m sure when you encounter something you’ve already assessed is “bad” you immediately feel pain

That annoying liar of a friend

That ugly frame of body in the mirror

That poor bank account statement online

You only feel pain because you’ve previously decided this is not what you like

You only decided this is not what you like by a previous decision matrix after your first encounter with said pain

And if said pain was like most pains that we feel everyday

It wasn’t actually physically painful at all

No one person’s utterance merits any disgust unless you perceive them as such

No one person’s body merits any hatred unless you perceive them as such

They’re only painful because you decided sometime in your waking hours it wasn’t “right” or “not good”

So whenever any familiarity of this chosen pain appears in life you know exactly how to react

By feeling pain

In your mind

For the already skeptical please take a final moment to distance yourself from your engrained processes of daily analytics to break down how you think about your seconds, hours, and days

Our back catalog of pain to avoid is unfortunately based upon carefully curated memories and normative beliefs we register as assumptions for our logical wellbeing

A set concept is bad only because at some point you believed it was bad

But what if it wasn’t?

Having less money in the future is usually coinciding with a lot of pain and worry

But what if it somehow relieved you of the very pressures that rob your enjoyment of spending today?

Having no lovers in the future is usually coinciding with a lot of misery and loneliness

But what if it somehow relieved you of the very pressures to “find someone” today?

Remember the times you’ve misunderstood something and had to change your mind

And also remember the times something bad turned out to be something good

What we finger pick from our past feelings to strum into our futures is nothing more than what you can quickly remember and understand

Or what we choose to remember and are merely capable of understanding

At that precise moment in time

Both of which are always limiting in nature because they are after all calculated by our own unreliable and “mysterious” brains

Which is known to be as faulty, exaggerated, and erroneous as what you read daily in the “news,” “scientific studies,” or from the written and spoken word of all the “successful” and “happy”

Now back to my beginning point

Because we’re always venturing into daily decision matrices of rationality we’re always judging everything

These judgements are of course again always based in what we already “know” to be “good” or “bad”

There is little room for “I don’t know how I feel” because life can’t be made “better” with a string of neutral calculations

The equation always has to move the needle forward or backwards

That’s how you “feel good” about what you’ve done or “feel bad” before bed because of what may happen

And we are set to forever be riddled with such non-physical pain because we are set to forever be using our painful memories to calculate the pleasures of our present and future realities

When you feel pain right now you must first have equated this one thing is “not good” sometime before

When you want something “better” later on you must have first equated right now is “not good enough”

These frequent decisions are the exact reason you’re always stuck with mental pain

Because you’re always thinking of past “bad” to understand present and future “good”

It’s not only any one person’s or thing’s fault you feel negative pressure

It’s also a product of your own perception of what happened or could happen that generates those mental feelings of illness

The line cuts both ways

Without a listener there is nothing to be heard

Without an observer there is nothing to be seen

Without a thinker there is nothing to be felt

And without a feeling there is simply nothing else to dislike

So at this moment if you’re still using your calculative binary mind to figure out what this ending passage means

I’m sure you must admit the math laid bare is quite clear

There’s only everything else to now like

you just have to stop trying to understand it