Animals

Duck Family Shore

Geese Family 1

Geese Family 2

I am observing white geese, gray geese, ducks, and crows as they relax with their kin by the shore. The geese are individually cleaning themselves and, as I walk towards them, I seem a bit too close. The white, meaty beaked goose male stretches his legs, lifts his chest, and flaps his wings at the gray geese. The gray, skinny beaked goose male makes the same move back. I back away and look to the lake’s water. There are ducks of the same kind chasing after each other and they seem to be fighting with shoves and loud, uninviting calls. Incredibly indulged in this experience, I can’t help but think about humans and our egos.

All animals have their instincts to push away the other species and “intruders” from their kin, home, and food. Only humans do this with an ego atop the instinct of survival.

Animal Eyes

Animals with Weapons

Humans are, simply, just animals with a potential to tap into a heightened common sense and awareness through reason. Humans are all animals…and yet, with this beautiful mind, we tend to just tap into it for manipulation purposes.

We could potentially find a positive use for mankind on this planet if we used our common sense and awareness together. But, neurotic egos will not allow us the space to see the possibilities. How could we have the space to breathe with wars, technology used for distraction, stimulation of an image-focused society, unprovoked careers and social lives, and limited motivation to learn about ourselves (usually just a quick glance inside to fix what is unbearably painful)? Look at the small population of people you can scroll through on your Facebook newsfeed: everyone is vaguely arguing on one side or another and it is almost as if half are agreeing and half disagreeing (you can see this in presidential election polls too). As a whole culture, we are split with our arguments and, in our lifetime, only find small pockets of people we become comfortable enough to agree with before we die and call them friends (sometimes we create families just to force them to be those people agreeing with us).

What’s our purpose here? To argue? To have debates? To agree to disagree? Is our purpose here really higher than animals or are we doing exactly as they are but with stimulating distractions in our pockets at all times because we don’t desire the responsibilities of enduring pain, a lack of pleasure, and an empty character our whole lives? What’s the point of this life? I know it’s not to scroll through Facebook, to play video games, to watch endless TV series’, to endure all the movies ever made, and to get senselessly drunk so we ruin our minds that night and the entire following day which was our only time away from a job that takes up the rest of our time as we do nothing but push a commodity into our society’s face that no one really needs to survive and experience that livelihood. How do I know it’s not? Because I have put my whole heart into all of the activities that I listed above and I am still empty. It is common sense to look up at the list that I’ve observed and say,

yes, that will not make us truly fulfilled/happy,

yet, we continue to habitually do it everyday.

If you deny that we habitually do this (without thinking) everyday, then observe what we actually do: We are waiting for the next iPhone to come out; we are perfecting our game to get into one another’s pants; we are bringing a baby into this world to manipulate and package into a robot for society to suck all her energy out; we are pushing aside nature and using her limited resources because we need another golf course to spend hours of mindless whacking at a ball to make it go closer to a hole in hopes to make it in that hole at some point.

Band-Aid

During college, I spoke with career-driven students about what their goals were for their life. During my internships, jobs, and other random conversations throughout my days, I spoke with older business professionals in the midst of their careers and asked about their life’s goals. At the core, all of them answered:

to have a family in conjunction with a successful career that frees me up to have mindless fun, follow my impulses, and lead me to a very pleasure-filled retirement. 

^This^, I have boiled down to the core of the American Dream. What those individuals from ages 19-70 years old did not say was: 

to figure out who I am, to figure out my purpose here on earth, and to see if there is a way for our human race to add significant value to this planet above surviving (till we die from our life-span).

What could we do that would actually add value to this world? Truly add sustainable value (and not just add to the comfort and convenience of our lives)?

The small pocket of our human population that would like to use their minds at a high potential to be doctors, psychologists, non-profiteers, green initiative engineers, motivational speakers, influential songwriters, philosophers, etc. have only taken on careers that place band aids on a society that is producing the injuries at an even faster rate than what can be healed. A psychologist may want to help someone find her true self, but every overwhelmingly present advertisement is telling her to cover her truth with a beautiful exterior and distract away from any time alone through stimulating activities like the never-ending Netflix binge that they are so demonically kind enough to ask us “are you still watching…” As if they want us to stop…ever. These doctors will solve only the issues in the world that man has thus created. There are too many man-made issues and too few tapped into minds to go beyond that.

Instead of having our brightest, most sympathetic minds applying frail adhesives, is there something our kind was evolved to this point to do? Or, are we here to live and survive among the food chain just as all the other animals on the planet? Why even give us the potential to desire substance and meaning with a contrasted potential to be empty inside then? If we went beyond our neurotic, ego-founded issues, would we see the real reason we are here? With so many of us, is this even possible? What about if we try to figure it out in smaller, more manageable groups?

Negative to Positive

I have yet to read about, hear about, or meet a person in human nature who has gotten to a point of no neurotic nor controlling egotistical behavior in their life. There is no one shedding their light in my perspective who has an unbiased openness to the clear reality of meaning…of definition…in a deliberate, purposed fashion to learn and grow within each thought, feeling, and motivation and for each outside action and force. I think if men tried to fulfill their potential to be unbiased and clear (especially inside their own minds), then we would slowly begin to divulge the purpose of human beings. As I have pointed to: it logically cannot be our evolved purpose to please ourselves endlessly until we die.

I, myself, will continue to grow towards the truth of common sense through awareness and scientific exploration of both internal and external realities. I will see if I, as a human being, can go further. Then, only if it is important to further where I have gone, I will pass on what I have learned…otherwise, I can just tell people:

we are at an irreversible stage on planet earth and there is no hope to create any higher value from our race then to just survive…which also means that we are doomed to die from the ever-increasing heat waves, national disasters, and human genocide, terrorism, and cruelty all stemming from our existence on this planet alone.

Either way…it’s worth a shot and it may make my depressing state on this earth mean something more than controlling my own pleasure stimulators and distractors so that I have no recollection of pain. As Thoreau once said,

we can (have the conscious ability to) stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things go by us like a torrent.

Reality is inside of me. Reality is all around me. And, I plan to breathe it in, explore the core, and understand the grayness as it is.

Side-note

These insights above make me so depressed it punches the air from my gut each time I remember them. But, with the sadness from this exploration, I can at least see that if there really is no point to our human race than to just survive, then why fear our society-made fears. Why fear judgement? Ridicule? Embarrassment? At its core, why place so much importance on what others think of me? Especially, my exterior image. Do animals? No. They don’t have insecurity. What I have learned from this exploration is that the external is a mirage and doesn’t matter as much as what is inside our minds. The internal is where our most significant value lies, especially as human beings with the potent mind we carry. It’s what determines meaning. If someone makes fun of me in a superficial form, then I am conscious of it and either tell them what is truly important to me or, rather, just go along my way and let my focus on what is important free my obsessions about the irrational intricacies that this society believes in. At the very least…I can remember this and make life, by comparison, more meaningful than impulsively following my sporadic, come-and-go emotions.

Motion

Now, as I bike away from this lakeside view and this place of reflection, I continue forward. I am aware now that there could be no substantial, positively progressive purpose for our kind on this planet. And yet, I do not have any thoughts to end my life. I continue forward with a purpose to grow inside myself. I continue forward with a purpose to work hard, think hard, and not get too wrapped up in the neurotic fears and egotistical paths in my journey to clarity. Where will this clarity take me? What will I see once there? Nothing? A value in our species never seen before? I have no idea…yet I continue forward.

Papa-Sans Point at Miramar Lake

Papa-Sans Point at Miramar Lake

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Sweatshop Union: The Human’s Race

This rap group didn’t quite make their point transition into a beneficial and productive positive, but they do get to a very keen understanding that they are looking for freedom from a place full of war and neurotic, manipulating behavior. This has been one of my favorites since I was 17…not knowing at all what it meant and just loving the flow and the groove. Enjoy 🙂

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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