On Invisible Ceilings
I have a strange theory, a kind of childish fancy. In the insignificant, unrecorded moments of our lives, when we chance to crane our necks and gaze up at the ceiling under which reside, we can estimate, by its mere appearance and size, the degree of luxury in which we, or the owner of its corresponding walls, live.
You know, perhaps.
The rich and prosperous reside under vast, vaulted ceilings, or modern, spacious expanses whose unadulterated whiteness is a match for even nature’s snow. Kings and Queens lived in long hallowed halls, their stone walls adorned by tapestries, their arched ceilings ornamented with sparkling chandeliers with one hundred glowing flames. Priests and imams and rabbis walk under domed masses full of calligraphy and jewel encrusted geometry or alternative earthly heavens, with paintings and carvings of gold depicting martyrs and cherubs and haloed angels.
It seems today, quality of life is measured by financial prosperity. That, I believe, is in itself a ceiling, a lid that claps down upon us and traps our full potential inside of ourselves, in the deepest of our unconsciousness, in our vaguest dreams-that untapped, ignored ability is a tiny pulse, a nagging, unknown memory; fading but not forgotten. That it hasn’t faded out entirely, that many of us still have time is the kind of thing that the poets call hope. We just need a magic pill for the effort and the sweat, blood and tears that can pull it up and out, pierce through the very core of the invisible dome while gravity sucks back the debris down into the earth’s greying waters.
Sometimes, I get abstract thoughts; it happens to most of us. They don’t interconnect until I look back and then unconsciously I submerge my vague memory with my scintillating, almost tangible present thoughts. Because to present them to society in their rawest form would become a frowning social perversity, because what sense is there in disorder and vagueness unless it provides aesthetic balance to the refined observer?
There is an invisible ceiling on society that erases our individuality and it exists among the very same rhetoric about being ‘individual’ and ‘unique’- unique by being like everyone else-but in a ‘unique’ way.
Some may call this ceiling order, the epitome of everything Apollonian in our daily lives, the way we make sense of the unprecedented circumstance of our existence, but I say that these are separate things, and not limited to residing firmly within the status quo.
One of the synonyms for the word ceiling is limit. Many of us limit ourselves to live to work, whether for mere financial gain or to feed ourselves and those who depend on us. We pass the spare time allocated in mainly idolatrous fashion, we are too fatigued and held captive in our Occupations, to occupy anything much worthwhile ourselves. And then there are others among us who acquire only hedonistic lifestyles, and those in themselves are as meaningless as being forever occupied by teeth grinding Occupations.
We are all guilty of these things at some point in our transient existence, because we are human and it is in our nature, and sometimes it’s too much effort and causes too much pain to turn that around.
Perhaps we shouldn’t work to live or vice versa-we should live and work, and let these two seemingly irreconcilable opposites co-exist in relative harmony. Then our jobs are no longer occupations, but jobs that we can go to and come back-and think of fondly. Money is only a necessity for our bodily and material needs and no longer a source of happiness, fulfillment, or measure of success-and no longer the end objective of our careers.
But that’s a mere fragment of the universal dream of a perfect, altruistic world, devoid of good and evil, right and wrong, left and right, no centers, no wholes, no halves-and so it follows it would be devoid of freewill. But perfection is boring and stunts human growth, because what is there to perfect if it already bears all the elements of supreme excellence? It is the striving for perfection that means anything, because we are doing, and when we are doing, the world is spinning and the seconds are ticking and the only difference between tomorrow and yesterday is today, the day that our minds are screeching hellfire through the suffocating ceiling at one thousand miles per second.
We cannot grant freedom to each other. We already possess it, in the form of freewill, and so we have to make good use of it. Freedom is not anarchy, nor is it democracy. Freedom is choosing what we do with our freewill. There may be consequences, ramifications, rewards, to our ensuing actions, but it is us who are the vanguard in accumulating these experiences. Freewill is more potent than democracy, because no human can take it, and no one human can grant it. Things like democracy and anarchy and dictatorship are merely the means to make temporary sense of the chaos of existence, subjective concoctions of over-zealous humans so they can understand the universal mind in all its ancientness.
Listen, we are great orators, great writers, great artists, great fighters, great warriors, great leaders, great mathematicians, great scientists, great philosophers; but there’s something more, both within and without. It’s a great deal, a potent force, and it’s hard to place or name. It is the antithesis of the absolute. Some call it the Soul; others rationalise it through scientific theory. Both explanations are erroneous in the assumption of being singular theories in of themselves, as if each are unrelated or bear no connection to the other.
In this world, in this point in time, that is all I know, and I know nothing – and I’ll leave the skewering to experts of the absolute.