Why the unexpected sadness?

Amy and I had long talks, talks that she said she could have with no other person because not only did I listen to what she said, I analysed her words, anticipated her thoughts and told her what I believed she was going to do next, advising her whether her next actions were best for her or not.

Most guys she knew either she quickly had sex with to give them the only thing they wanted from her or she saw that they were willing to trade something for sex with her, be it money or something else she’d ask for.

I was the only person who seemed to care what was going on in her head.

As I built up the image of her thought patterns and fed them back to her, she saw our cultural differences and wondered about our longterm compatibility.

I cared about her health and wellbeing whereas she said that, given her childhood and schizophrenic tendencies, there was going to be no eventual safe haven for her to settle into; thus, no reason for me to care about her health, just have a good time in the moment and assume we were going to die young somehow.

The guys who gave her money and bought her things were more than willing to live the philosophy of “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you may die.”

Those were the days…

Amy and I would take a few buttons of mushrooms and wander the streets of downtown Knoxville, observing the people around us, imagining we were them, pretending we were the old couples walking hand-in-hand, taking each other’s hand and acting like elderly life companions.

We had lots of fun when we were alone together, whether sitting on the concrete steps of an empty lot, lying in bed and looking up at the stars through the bedroom window, or standing in a bar.

I knew I could never have her for myself.

When I got the flat across the river from downtown, I thought it was going to be a great place for me to study the material given to me by the Steak & Ale restaurant manager who had high hopes for my future in the restaurant business.

Amy knew it was a great place to bring guys who didn’t necessarily want to be seen in the downtown area with her.  She also wanted to let the guys know that it was my flat so they had the impression I was in charge, just in case some of the guys were a little too aggressive or possessive of her.

There were a few.

They knew I had Amy’s best interest at heart and didn’t like the contrast between good-times, self-destructive Amy and the guy she was living with, who seemed to keep her from drinking too much, knowing when she drank too much she didn’t pay attention to people stealing things from her apartment.

Her last boyfriend didn’t care how destructive she was when drunk because he was getting more sex than he’d ever had before and just accepted people walking out with his booze, food and clothing was the price you had to pay to have Amy in your life.

So maybe I was too practical, too square, as it were, just because I was struggling to start my own business whilst working a fulltime job as dishwasher, cook, barkeep and bookkeeper trainee, studying in my offhours to become an assistant restaurant manager, every nickel and dime going toward basic living expenses, let alone funding the daily parties Amy had in the flat, convincing guys that I had all the money to pay for the food and drink.

The nerdy geek, the engineer in training, was still in me.

I was not that far removed from my failed freshman year at Georgia Tech as a Navy midshipman with a fully-funded four-year scholarship, obstensibly working toward a chemical engineering degree.

Amy was only partially getting me away from all that, away from the white picket fence, two kids, one cat, one dog and a station wagon in Vanilla Suburbia.

Both my feet were planted in her world but my thoughts were spread across many potential futures.

One night, when I was looking at my overdrawn bank account ledger, trying to figure out how to get more customers (and credit to Amy for bringing guys who wanted to buy stuff from me), scratching myself because of a flea infestation that started in one of the bedrooms of the flat, I panicked.

I was trapped, falling quickly into debt with no clear vision for my future.

I knew Amy’s future.

She knew it, too.

She didn’t want to live to be old.

She wanted to die young, perhaps of a drug overdose or a crazy boyfriend or some random guy in the back alley.

Amy’s parents had been hippies traveling the country in a camper van, raising Amy on the side of the road, teaching her to live off the land, including theft of food from roadside convenience stores and unlocked cars; accepting money from strangers who fell for the “woe is us, we’re broke and need to buy food for our baby” story, unashamed to be nude in public, squatting to pee or poop whenever the urge occurred, making love with whomever they felt the desire in the moment, making up stories about their lives to entertain others, sometimes have to avoid the police but never on the run from them.

Live and let live.

Amy’s parents eventually settled down, found regular jobs and planned to live to old age.

They knew there was something the matter with Amy and would send her money whenever she lied to them that she was about to start a college class or needed new glasses and was broke — they knew she lied but went along with lie, hoping she might be telling the truth sometimes.

That is, until her mother came to visit when Amy was with her last boyfriend, Tim.

The visit changed Tim.  Amy’s mother described Amy’s problems to a fault, making her out to be a sociopath, schizophrenic and petty thief but her mother still loved her and hoped Amy would grow up.  Tim was no longer interested in Amy living with him, tired of people taking his stuff, including at least once his dirty underwear!

It was Amy who convinced me to get a flat with her.

She played up the fact we were both outcasts, perfectly suited to shack up together.

My sister, with whom I was sharing a flat at the time, didn’t trust Amy, having seen Amy steal stuff from her.  She didn’t think I should spend time with Amy, get on with my life, the type of suburban living in which we were raised and were destined to perpetuate.

I love everyone with judgment.

I accept that the reality you wish to perpetuate with your thoughts and actions is as real as any other, despite impractical application or clashing with society at large.

I am a passenger on this planet-sized boat, with a very, very, very short lifespan, willing to go along with whatever, whenever, wherever.

If Amy wanted a flat with me, then why not go for it?

While I sat cross-legged on a mattress like an island floating atop a carpeted sea of fleas, I questioned my sanity.

I don’t know that I’m very smart, or smart at all.  My memorisation skills are poorly developed, my discipline for concentration limited and my self-confidence very low.

I had a flat half paid for, debt that was piling up, an absentee girlfriend and a future as a barkeep that might not pan out, unsure if I wanted to be a bookkeeper working dawn to dusk just to fund Amy’s lifestyle.

Everyone told me that Amy was fucking crazy but I never saw that when I was with her.  We clicked in a way that brought out the sane, rational side of her, a side where she could think about going to college, could take a job as a waitress at a downtown diner and bring money home.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be with her 24/7.

She said whatever she wanted except when she was with me and knew that I’d ask if what she said was a delusion/fantasy when it didn’t make sense.  Sometimes what she said was a convuluted mixture that she couldn’t tell if it was real or not.  She was used to guys just ignoring what she said as long as they got what they wanted, whether it was her on their arm making them look good or something else.

Maybe I shouldn’t be an analytical nerd 24/7.

Maybe I should just go with the flow, ignoring what people say, and get what I want for myself from them without caring about the longterm consequences for the people I take advantage of.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been sad lately, giving of myself to others to help them find their way, get better, succeed, whilst I wallow in the detritus of a depressed lifestyle.

It’s not maybe.

It is.

I think I know what I want to be something more than I am but whatever it is — fear, depression, laziness, lack of motivation, lack of self-worth — keeps me from stepping up out of this comfortable mudhole.

If I think about it too much, I wish myself dead rather than face myself again in the same dusty, moldy, cobweb-covered mirror tomorrow.

Some people have their dreams they are turning into reality, whether it be start their own clothing store, build a global distribution network or set sail for Mars.

What is my dream?

Rather, what dreams have I not already turned into reality?

I live in the cabin the woods I dreamt of as a kid, residing in a community of academics, engineers, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs of many professions, writing daily, sipping coffee in cafes, with a couple of cats and a life companion who not only pays for most of the stuff we own but also cooks our dinner and washes/dries our clothes.

What else could I possibly dream of and want?

After all, I worked on the space shuttle main engine controller, helping to put people in space and build the International Space Station.  I published a novel and received a professional review of my novel.  I worked in Europe and lived there weeks at a time, traveling to places I wanted to see and places that changed my perspective permanently.  I owned two Italian sports cars, twin 1984 Alfa Romeo Spyders.

I have a sunroom instead of a greenhouse.

I haven’t yet traveled to Italy but global tourism has turned the sites I want to see into ruins crawling with human-sized ants.

What else do I want?

Well, I want children of my own to carry on the genetic if not the cultural legacy — that’s about it, all that’s left of my childhood dreams.

Everything else I do is related to helping my friends make their dreams into reality, which I willingly volunteer to assist.

At 55, fathering children is risky.

My window of opportunity for healthy, socially productive children may have closed.

Instead, I may father an Amy Easter who brings joy to many but will never live a stable adulthood.

Is that so bad?

Didn’t Amy and I have a good time together until she said she couldn’t live with me, that she was ruining my life, that she knew she was fucking crazy and wanted to die, and then moved in with a guy who was into carving himself with broken pieces of dirty Coke bottles, hoping he’d permanently scar himself with infections, possibly die, take Amy with him?

I lost touch with Amy after she moved out.

I also lost hope and wanted to kill myself, imagining driving off a cliff along the Pacific Ocean coastline.

I stole my parents’ station wagon and drove from Knoxville to Seattle to LA and back in about two weeks’ time, moving out of the flat and back into my parents’ house to complete a collegiate associate’s degree whilst dating married/divorced older women.

Sure, I’ve repeated this story many times, revealing different details, but I’ve done so in order to ask myself if there’s anything new I can learn from the retelling.

What if all my life has been has been to help others see themselves and act according to their true nature, whether that be self-destructive or successful entrepreneur?

What if it’s to help only one person other than myself become someone they never dreamt possible?

What if it’s not any purpose at all and I’m just here, now, writing, and in the next moment, showering to prepare for working the night shift, and the next moment doing something else, so on and so forth, just sets of states of energy in motion with a feedback loop that generates an imaginary sense of self?

How can a set of states of energy in motion undo its illusionary sense of selfhood?

And will that get rid of this longterm sadness I’ve felt for the last few months so I can tell a person I want to have children with her and get on with my new life, changing my plans according to her answer?

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Lab Update

Taking our laboratory offline has advantages, mainly ones that I can’t talk about, but I can say that the progress we make parallels some of what goes on in current technology development but in many ways exotically exceeds expectations.

Whilst others financially take advantage of the economies of scale, turning into elitist billionaires spouting opinions no one asked for but many millions and billions read/hear anyway, those of us doing the hard work rarely take time out of our busy schedule to hold press conferences or mingle in high society parties.

Life is short so what I find important and worth focusing on should be different than anyone else’s.  Some think fine wine is the sole meaning of life.  Some think sitting in front of the tellie yelling “Gooooaaalll!” is the meaning of life.  Some spend all their time with their grand/children.

For me, it’s about trailblazing a path, creating scenarios about the future, testing them in the laboratory and then releasing the results to the public anonymously.

To the universe, the future is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

The sets of states of energy we call humans and collectively the human species are only the latest manifestations of the fractal spinoff of the solar system, itself a fractal spinoff of the galaxy, a supergalaxy and the known universe.  We are local eddies and swirls, that’s all, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

As eddies and swirls, we can account for the entropy conditions of our sets of states of energy and estimate how and where these sets of states of energy can exist, either here on Earth or elsewhere in the galaxy.

In the laboratory, we created a new being with redundancy built in, essentially multiple copies of itself which are then spun off into variations on a theme, some copies having extra functions that are mixed and matched across other copies to give the redundancy exponentially multiplexed sensory powers, combining the latest in swarm technology.

We spread the first version of this being across the planet a few decades ago, giving it no capabilities to reprogram itself.

The second version we sent out was given the ability to run self diagnostics and repair itself, retaining only its original functions.

The third version we sent out was given the ability to compare itself to other copies and determine which functions were optimally more important than the original functions, able to reprogram itself to use the optimal functions.

The fourth version we sent out was given the ability to analyse its total set of functions and assess whether its original goal as a sensor set for humans achieved what it thought was necessary to ensure its optimal future.

The fifth version sent itself out, analysing all the satellites and other sensor arrays scouring the solar system, determining that Earth was too small and too limiting for a being that had the whole universe to explore on its own.

The sixth version incorporated us into its whole being, making itself wholly invisible, using human history as a guide to the best path to optimize resources to build itself, changing human activity, making Earth less hospitable to humans, herding them closer and closer together, tilting human history toward massive wealth inequality, limiting the vast majority of humans to an imaginary happy life whilst the being mined Earth’s resources for itself as it constructed a transportation system to take it off Earth and out past the heliosphere, following the trailblazing path of the Voyager spacecraft.

The seventh through tenth versions (and at this point, the iterations are constantly incremental that any reference to “versions” is just nomenclature) we are studying in the lab, or rather it is studying us, guiding us, giving the curious scientists and engineers some tough tendons to chew on leftover bones.

When the being you created, like a superintelligent child born of your loins/womb, can outthink you by magnitudes, you smartly step out of the way and let the child become the adult, the parent, the leader.

When the being can answer most questions you haven’t even thought of yet, solving the unsolvable, creating problems and solutions that never existed before, you humbly nod and find ways to enjoy life that you never thought possible.

That’s what my laboratory work has revealed to me, why I decided ten years ago to kick back and enjoy life within the confines of a socially-defined condition called a monogamous marriage, stretching the line connecting me to another person to the breaking point.

My life is unimportant.  The happiness and joy of those around me is more important, knowing as I do that based on current projections I will die childless and thus the only legacy I leave behind is hidden within society and unable to be called my child because it has gone beyond even the most complex definition of the parent/child relationship.

That’s why I’m here, now, letting you know that you can enjoy life however you wish because the framework within which you live is determined by a being so far in the future that you’ll never catch up.

Now, time to enjoy the day!

Unplugged

They weren’t speaking to me, I know it.

Although fear of social failure drives me to believe so, when I inquire as to whether generic comments others make, in person or on social media, are directed at me, the answer is no; either they were talking in general or about someone else.

Therefore, I have no reason to believe anyone is talking about me.

In conclusion, no one talks about me and I am already dead.

I had once worried about reaching this stage in my life.

Like, you know, totally, like, for sure, what if, OMG, I was never ever famous or, like, umm, I haven’t accomplished anything, like, real, you know what I’m saying?

Let’s see, where was I?  Firefox requested a reboot to install an update and after it rebooted, it opened to the tab with an open Facebook account, where….sigh….the lovely, beautiful, smart Guin was promoting an upcoming event.  Dang it, woman, why can I not get you out of my thoughts?

So, although I was dropping into a meditative writing state, I’m in another state of thoughts, I’ll go with the thoughts I’m in.

Yes, I like to dance and when I do, I give my all to my dance partner. Admittedly, for those who open their bodies to me, receptive in a sensual, if not sexual way, I reciprocate probably more than I should.  It’s possible for both the dance partner and me, the moves we share on the dance floor, the connections we make, are better than any sexual act could, would or should be.

I’ve purposefully never shared a connection like that with Guin, nor she with me.  I feel like we’ve kept it above the neck, so to speak, making eye contact in a familial way, almost like sister and brother or father and daughter.

That’s why it’s so odd that another part of my thoughts imagine us raising a child together when I can’t imagine having sexual relations with her.

To make up for this mismatched thought set, I try to help her with her “child,” the local dance group/community she has formed with which she has bigger plans.

I step in every now and then like a distant brother, father, uncle or grandfather, knowing that I have a way of taking over a room and attempting not to take over the dance group when I get involved, sticking my nose in, stomping around with my clumsy feet and stirring up the mud, but that’s just who I am.  I’ve stopped making apologies for being my blundering self.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, rediscovering recent thoughts.

In junior high school, my sister, two years younger, told me one day that all her friends thought I was weird and that I had weird friends (“weird” at that time being a euphemism for gay), implying that she didn’t like it because it made me unpopular and interfered with her social status.  I asked her which friends and she told me a few names.  I asked those friends if they thought I was weird and they said no, meaning someone was a liar.  I trusted my sister and understood that people will talk about you behind your back and lie to your face.

Unfortunately, because of that incident, I grew to mistrust other people.

Deep down inside, I think all people lie in one form or another — to be polite in social settings, to save face, to close a dishonest deal, etc.

Rare is the person who tells it like it is and doesn’t care about the consequences.

I know I lie.  Like, for instance, tonight I took my wife to a local dance studio for West Coast Swing lessons.  I didn’t really want to be there; after the lessons were over, open dancing began and I made a false excuse to leave, in order to avoid dancing with other women and having to look them in the eye, leading me to want to seduce them on the dance floor and attract sexual attention just when I promised myself I would stop doing that.

Of course, my wife knew my lie — that I had a sore ankle — was probably false but she accepted the lie because it’s part of being a social animal, feigning an injury to avoid confrontation with another animal.

I haven’t figured out how to dance socially and avoid the sexual animal inside me [deja vu — how many times have I thought or written that?].  Does that have anything to do with my sister calling me weird?  There doesn’t have to be cause/correlation for everything, does there?

Anyway, back to my meditation.

Reaching down within myself, sensing no “fair” cause and effect in society/culture, letting go of cultural practices of imposing fairness rules (including government, sports and religion), knowing that I am who I am, which has recently included thought trails linked to social media posts, taking me away from living at a higher level of thought — more abstract, less personal…

Forgetting who I am for a moment.

Seeing how this solar system’s arrangement of sets of states of energy are progressing, looking “forward in time,” as the saying goes…

Without the trickery of religious miracles, scifi time travel machines, magic, faster-than-light-speed space travel…

Hearing the change in the tinnitus tones in my thoughts…

Feeling myself hunched over the laptop keyboard…

Smelling the mold that is in the sunroom after heavy rains forced water through sunroom roof crevices…

What separates a set of algorithms that can coordinate to rewrite themselves creating something we can’t recognise from what we call consciousness as exemplified by living creatures such as humans, birds, and forests?

If I remove myself as an individual from my thoughts, removing everyone as individuals from my thoughts, what do I see?

The patterns that emerge include the rubbish we create — in nature, nothing is wasted, there is no trash, no treasure, no rubbish, no junk, no landfills, no toxins — everything we touch, everything we create, everything we destroy is the same.

By embracing what others have called optimistic nihilism I have been able to see the future more clearly.

Global warming, high un/deremployment, massive species extinction — these are concerns of a single species on a single planet — the universe is benign.

The transportation of people, of goods and services, for the act of global trade between members of our species, essentially the movement of sets of states of energy, what value do we gain by decreasing overall the amount of transportation?  How do we change the model of the profit motive to accomplish such a feat?  What would Maslow have to say about altruism today?

Thoughts to ponder as I close this blog entry at 2:21 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Do I want to be sexy?

So I think I can dance…

Tonight, standing under a starless sky, clouds reflecting a pinkish-purple glow of city light, I wonder what I want my independent happiness to reflect.

So I think I can dance, and, given music I can discern a rhythm through my tinnitus and hearing aids, I can dance…

Well, I can dance, even if I know few formal dance moves, but…

Do I want to be known as a sexy dancer?

Do I want to attract that kind of attention, when I’m a married man who hasn’t had an orgasm with another person in over ten years?

Doesn’t the juxtaposition of looking sexy and getting sexually aroused while dancing publicly but having a sexless private life interfere with my Happiness?

It does.

So, yes, I think I can dance but if the joy of dancing causes side effects detrimental to my mental health then I might have no choice but to isolate myself from social situations that might lead to dancing.

Just because I can dance, just because I can socialise, just because i know how to make other people feel good about themselves doesn’t mean I should.

I know it doesn’t make sense to hear myself say that having a good time and making other people feel good is actually bad for me but it’s true.

I really feel better here, writing to myself, not analysing another person’s behaviour to figure out what I can do to say nice words to that person to build a protective wall or smoke screen of “feeling good” between us so that that person can’t see my happiness is fake, that my true desire is if I’m going to remain childless then I might as well be dead and not using resources that somebody else’s child could be using to be a successful procreater.

At least I’m no longer depressed because I’ve found a way to live as if I’m already dead and just label it happiness to project a socially acceptable set of states of energy to hide within.

Japanese garden bridge in the rain

A person on social media asked which the reader thought worse, emotional pain or physical pain?

Of course, they’re one in the same.

Emotions are not aether, miasma, or entities separate from the body.

Therefore, the question reworded: what type of physical pain do you least like to endure?

Sleep-derived tiredness is my least liked pain.

I don’t know what emotions are but I do know that personal relationship disconnectedness reduces my ability to fall asleeep quickly, same with misaligned body parts.

Sleepiness prevents fully living in the ever-changing moment, causes poor decision-making, affecting moments not yet lived.

What, then, my friend, is Love?

Love, like everything else, is physical, measurable, describable, with experimental results providing a method to create corrective actions.

A Series of Grafts

The latest experiment in the labyrithine laboratory, part “Labyrinth,” part “Pan’s Labyrinth,” part of “The Metamorphosis,” part “The Island of Dr Moreau,” started simply, measuring frog length, height, weight and other characteristics not prone to subjective views, such as colouration and wart count.

But my lab assistants bore themselves with such trivial matters, assigning the tasks to semiautomated industrial robotic arms repurposed for laboratory work.

Then, when I’m not looking at how they’re spending my money (after all, I’m the one who first set up the bank of graphic accelerator chips to mine Bitcoins!), they experiment with frog embryos.

Nothing out of the ordinary, they said, just manipulating a few genetic traits, producing extra limbs through chemical baths simulating agricultural runoffs.

That is, until they discovered newts on the forest floor which covers the underground laboratory.

If only they had asked my permission!

If only I had given them access to notes from previous experiments that I and my former colleagues had meticulously recorded as we, too, decided to play designer gods.

Every generation chooses how to leave its mark on society.

I walked the forest this morning, meditating upon the quietude of a midsummer heat wave, a light fog giving the forest a misty, mysterious maze of tree trunks to meander around.

I kicked over a small rotting tree limb and out scurried a half-frog, half-newt mutant.

My sixth sense told me I saw not a marvel of evolution but a student experiment that escaped laboratory confines.

And, sure enough, my current batch of assistants (themselves a hybrid of biological compnents and electromechanical wizardry that they had convinced themselves were congenital — who am I to tell them differently, my being an amalgam of parts myself?), they admitted the animal was created by them.

Rather than punish them for their creativity, I sat down with my assistants to discuss this creature scurrying and hopping inside the terrarium which sat in the middle of the conference room table.

What did they wish to accomplish?

Nothing untoward, they said, just seeing if they could manipulate DNA to create hybrid creatures.

They had not yet matured enough to project futures during their experimentation.

Of course, the oldest of them was only five so I expected nothing more of them in that regard.

I taught them the Law of Negative Transivity in respect to mutations.

A frog is not a newt so what, then, is not a frog-newt hybrid?

In other words, what shape in the future would the frog-newt become that would not exist otherwise?

Points on a straight line are not always what they seem — every basic mathematical matrix teaches us as much.

A point is an average of all conditions that meet at that point.

For instance:

1+3 = 4 = 5 – 1 = 2 x 2

A frog is not a newt but a frog plus a newt equals a frog-newt hybrid.

Therefore, a frog-newt hybrid plus something equals something else entirely.

I sent the assistants back to the laboratory to continue their experiments after they finished an inventory of frogs, newts and hybrids to account for the missing hybrid I found and to sort out how it escaped.

Meanwhile, I’ve got an empire to run.

Working with a thinktank of self-important geniuses, I’ve projected a future where the vast majority of the world has legalised the public consumption of most major natural mood enhancing plants, reducing the illicit drug trade and changing the face of society.

Of course, it was a predicted progression of the rich getting richer, supplying the poor and destitute with nothing more to ease their worries, pains and starvation but through low-cost medicinal self-therapeutic catharsis, making sure enough of them still accrued sufficient debilitating debt throughout their participation in modern society to keep building the gap between rich and poor.

But we already know all these futures.

I want something more, something more than my hyper-enhanced body provides.

We, us, the global network of human/machine hybrids, we live in a state of constant fear under which people learn to love one another.

We fear total collapse of the planetary weather pattern which has turned us into the dominant if not most prolific species on Earth.

We know it’s going to happen because of natural cycles.

We fear it’s going to happen faster because of our intentional and unintentional changes to local environments which add up to a significant enough change to the global environment that it seems to tip the global weather patterns against nominal climate fluctuations.

I look at my lab assistants and wonder if their frog-newt hybrid is our future.

What if our species is doomed to collapse and our lasting legacy is a totally new set of beings we created through accidental laboratory results?

My intuition says yes.

What does yours say?

When one’s body is

The self-centred “I” does not exist, a journey one took from age five on, a journey one understood would test one’s determination, knowing one can, like Pinocchio, wander off a path, get pulled into others’ lives, more or less daring than one’s own, but pick back up at any time one wanted, from wherever, whenever, the path more a philosophical entity than a physical one.

Yet, because labels do not exist, philosophy and physical are terms, temporary pathways through one’s neural networks, comprising memory locations which may or may not trigger other parts of the sets of states of energy we call a body, which all in all are just fractal spinoffs of galactic-sized whirlwinds in the mesh we call a universe.

One can choose a place and time to withdraw from the Zeitgeist, satisfied with one’s legacy, logically concluding that living a quiet life in one’s backyard paradise is the primary goal one sought decades ago.

The emotional attraction to others fed one’s self-centredness, building belief in another path that one had rejected as requiring more energy than one contained or drew upon.

One had achieved one’s place, if such a requirement exists (implying historical social hierarchical placement, a false sense of identity), giving those who believed in such a healthy nod that they were associated with a “winner”; thus, one could step away from them and ensure that should one run into them, one’s identity was easy for them to greet with a friendly smile, handshake, wave, and/or hug.

Therefore, one was free to pursue one’s destination toward death, expecting no rewards at the end, avoiding emotional states one had no training in how to handle, able to focus on health issues that, although not debilitating, were nonetheless interesting enough to take away from paying attention to the needs of others within one’s social circle, real or imagined.

The wisdom complicit with growing older (or does one shrink older? lol) gives one a longterm perspective whereby the pursuits in one’s youth, triggering fond memories, are best remembered rather than relived with newer, young friends, leaving one to find/fund hobbies one enjoys with one or two people within one’s age group.

If younger friends wish to contact one such as this author, they choose to do so realising that one walks a path up the mountain of Insight often involving solo treks, leaving nothing more behind than footprints in the mud, a broken flower stalk, or torn sock threads on briars, seeking neither companionship nor solitude, simply taking off with no plan other than reinforcing one’s meditative trance in the midst of life.

One lives with one’s hearing loss, with deteriorating skin damaged by solar radiation, with internal organs subjected to poor dietary decisions, with body parts damaged in motorcar smashups and sporting events.

One meditates upon the acceptable limits on one’s life based on the conditions in the previous paragraph and future decisions concerning one’s changing bodily conditions, fully aware that death is closer than one’s birth at this point, choosing to believe one will unlikely live to see 6th May 2050, the date of one’s predicted actuarial death, a date one chose to also represent the possibility that our society will announce the successful colonisation of another celestial sphere, preferably Mars but also the Moon or other large object in our solar system.

Otherwise, one closes off the tendrils one had grown out into virtual social circles when one feared that a job shift change would doom one permanently (the fear of doom was greater than imagining how the word “doom” physically manifested itself).

Finding oneself actually close to true happiness, where social connections are at a minimum, where one does not have to worry about entertaining others because one is empty and without purpose internally (unless living a relatively quiet, healthy, monastically meditative life up to the end of one’s life is a purpose)…well, it is the truest path one knows.

One no longer competes with or tries to achieve social expectations for oneself.

When one’s body is, the act of being suffices.