“As far as I’m concerned, I only exist in the eyes of others. I’m like a reflection. I’m my own mirror. I mean, what sick minded bastard would want to be the last person on earth? Would anything really be real anymore?”
The entire week had been a series of car crashes.
It’s strange when you think about it because everyone knows what a car crash looks, but much fewer people have actually seen one. Of course we’ve seen the roadside wreckages of cars, vans and lorries in varying calibres. Glass like busted eggshell strewn across the asphalt, crumpled bumpers, bonnets scrunched like used tissue burnt up in a mess of tin can butchery. You slow not for safety but to see if the sight of a body under white cloth would stir more feelings than it does behind the flashing glass of a TV screen. See if you’re numb yet.
One of my car crashes this week asked if I had a TV. I didn’t. But my mum did.
Watching a car crash happen, no matter how small, is a dose of reality. But it’s administered out of nowhere – there’s no prior warning even if you see it becoming. It’s not like you’re told, ‘okay, here’s the shot’ and there’s a prick, a bit of blood, and an unnecessarily necessary plaster. It’s more akin to a bucket of icy water thrown at you waist downwards when you least expect it. And you never do expect it – no one is supposed to throw icy water; cars are not supposed to crash.
To witness a car crash is to witness reality happening. Because, let’s face it, can anything we consciously control be real? Real is not our currency. Real doesn’t sustain the paradox of value. You can’t drink diamonds and a millionaire is worth nothing on a sinking ship. People everywhere give their entire lives just to sustain the illusion of reality because, when we scrub away the grime or passive norms, they simply haven’t had the courage at least once in their lives to say: “fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you – you’re cool – fuck you, I’m out!” It’s not that reality doesn’t “exist”. The point is that it’s constructed. And I don’t mean constructed with an eye toward the conspirational, I mean constructed with an eye toward infinity: anything is possible. If you settle for the reality that you’re given – the mediocre reality of “this is an Apple a you’ll fuckin’ eat is because it’s good for you” we give the possibilities of our reality constructions – the very beauty that is the infinite malleability of our conscious self, identities and perceptions – over to others who really don’t give a lost prophet about you, your family, your friends and anyone or anything else you hold dear and love in your life.
A guy once said that the problem is that we actually think we have time here.
And so I said: be selfish with it.
We we create realities to place an illusion of order and control on a world which is anything but. What we forget, however, is that it’s not the material world which is in chaos: it is our effort of trying to rationalise it – the very process itself – which is chaotic. Why? The most unhelpful answer I can give is that human consciousness is the most unnatural of natural phenomena. In term of the development of human consciousness, it seems that when we build another step, we kick away the one behind. We erase our history not by way of deliberation, but by the very nature of the development of consciousness itself. I mean, can anyone even remember how social interaction and social capital functioned differently before the internet? Could you have ever explained the concept of a cyber self – a cyber, social avatar – which collects social capital for you on a on a cyber stage with real, tangible, meaningful consequences (i.e. for ‘tangible’, organic social interaction)? We can never remember how things were “before”, because “before” no longer exists – it never did.
No past, no future – individual and collective conciousness exists only in a discontinuous flow of perpetual presents. Sometimes, however, we get a dose of un-reality.
The car crash.
Hydrogen nuclei are accelerated to 99.999999% of the speed of light. They collide with other protons travelling at this same intense speed in the opposite direction. The result is a recreation of conditions that were present a billionth of a second after the universe began. We can do this over 6 hundred million times per second.
Over 7 billion people occupy a land surface area of 149 million square kilometres. Only about half of this land is inhabitable. But throughout the expanse of our lives the average person would be lucky to develop truly meaningful relationship with more people than they can count on one foot.
A truly meaningful relationship develops like a car crash in slow motion. I a truly meaningful relationship you see each other broken to pieces as the layers of a protective social shell are slowly peeled to reveal not what is underneath. And what we see is that there is no ‘starting’ point from which an individual develops, no ‘a priori‘ – but a system of negotiation which creates a complex matrix which is the consciousness itself. And it is a process which reflects your own. You come to understand how another person negotiates their own process of cognition, the methods they use and, through extrapolation, acknowledge what is valuable to them in their personally negotiated reality.
When you truly collide with another consciousness you are given the opportunity to understand how its universe began. By way of acknowledging its particular process of formulation according to the methods of personal, social and spacial negotiation it chooses, you learn to predict how it will act, react and develop; you come to know it. And it is in this mutually acknowledged space of difference that new realities (realities in relation to other consciousnesses) are formed. It is in the crash that realities explode into being.
Just as protons do at 99.999999% of the speed of light, when we collide new realities are born. Each and every meaningful relationship you have had in your life – those in which you have invested and you give value – is an individual reality in itself. No two realities can be the same for the simple fact they never exist in a finite form. They are infinitely in flux, changing, developing, reacting, and taking on new forms as an innate property of the process of concious cognition, recognition and reflection. They exist only in the present with the spirit of the past and promise of the future
7 billion people on 74.5 million square kilometres of land, and yet the reality of a truly meaningful relationship is almost as rare as witnessing the becoming of a car crash. It takes protons to collide at almost the speed of light to create a universe, and yet we have the ability to develop new realities in the most commonplace interactions of consciousness.