Storytelling and Pain: Navigating a Society in Chaos

A stream of consciousness reflection in the face of Florida's recent Parkland school shooting.

Like nerves represented evolution’s need to share information for the sake of survival and growth, humanity similarly evolved because language as an information sharing medium proved an immense boon for survival and growth.

We were designed to be storytellers, to have experiences and interactions unique to ourselves, to then process it within ourselves, to determine what felt honest and true, to allow every new bit of information we gained to coalesce our understanding of reality toward a higher resolution.

In this way, we constantly became more valuable to those around us, because we constantly had better insights and deeper understandings to exchange for their processing.

But we fucked it up.

Because we had a bunch of storytellers who got greedy. They discovered they could manipulate the information and it would empower them, would help them be less afraid of the human experience. And they used their newly gained power to make the human experience worse for others, and thusly they permeated fear like a ripple on a pond’s surface across the otherwise serene waters of the global consciousness.

And the waves have never subsided. Now we all fight the other waves, all afraid that the “other” will make it so that we won’t get enough food, that we won’t get laid, that we’ll die alone, that we’ll lose our control.

And now the waters in which we occupy are full of selfish liars and radicals, or apathetic and comfortable folk who’ve found a way to float above the chaos and feel no need to address the causes of the waves, the causes which they can see much more clearly thanks to their elevated point of view. And if you’re lucky enough to get this view and still wish to do good, you collapse under the weight of its scope and tragedy; you want to do something, but how do—1 person—combat millions of manipulative, selfish, terrified, angry, abused and abusive individuals who are clawing each other in the hopes for a sense of security they just can’t seem to find amongst the chaotic waves?

The prospect makes you feel as though you either wash your hands of it, or you get in there and you fight to fix it. But that’s the problem. You’re still fighting. We’re all fighting.

We all lose sight of the fact that we’re just storytellers, informational nodes meant to process honestly our experiences so that we can share them for mutual growth. And it’s not as callous and calculating as it sounds. Honest sharing is vulnerability, and vulnerability is love. You want to know what calms the waves? It’s feeling like your understood—but we can’t do that if we all have facades and egos and masks blocking us from any form of vulnerable, honest sharing.

And I get it: the waters may be drastically tilted by those greedy wave-makers, and it feels like an impossible force to move against. But a simple way to change it is to just share with honesty and vulnerability. Take some time to reflect, kill your ego, step away from your indoctrination, challenge(kindly) your community members who pose utterly irrational and hate-fueled propaganda.

Set aside time from the distractions that keep you from processing your information.

Put down your fucking phone for a minute—even if its just while you wait in line for your coffee. Speaking of coffee, stop abusing drugs. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy them—I think psychedelics, pot, and coffee are all wonderful when used in a way that helps us process. But if you’re drinking 3-5 drinks a night or getting stoned 24/7, you’re not processing, you’re blurring your sight of the problems and inhibiting your processing machine so that it can’t grow from anything you’re learning—instead, you just stay in a rut: work, drugs with people who confirm your ideas, wake up exhausted with the same views as the day before, go to work, blur every bit of downtime with reading content online that only further confirms the views you already have.

Go exercise, stop eating so many carbs and sugars, meditate.

Do a little critical thinking, take time to process, ask yourself what makes the most sense to you if you weren’t considering how every other individual would judge you for the resulting opinion; but don’t discount the perspectives of others; instead, consider how other points of views exist and deserve as much value as your own bias does. Consider that every person you interact with has a history of experiences and information sharing that has created an entire different story inside their minds, a story that might look completely different than yours, a story that has as much honesty in it as yours does. This realization is the point of those nerves, of that consciousness, because then you get the gift of sharing these perspectives, experiences, and stories with each other, so you and the other person both get the benefit of the experiences and empathy the other person holds behind their unique life.

In this way, when you objectively look at yourself and empathetically look at others, then you can come to the most honest perspective on reality that your mind is thus far capable of making.

Process this new perspective, share it, stand behind it, and do it kindly. Just please, stop perpetuating bullshit lies and ego and trying to virtue-signal so you’ll get a bunch of likes and hearts. That shit is empty and you know it. Go have a conversation with your community members—with people different than you, not just those who pat you on the back for agreeing with them.

I don’t know the point of all this, to be honest, I’m just trying to give you my story, just trying to give you an insight into my processing, hoping that by doing so I can practice what I’m preaching.

I guess all I’m saying is just fucking be honest, and be kind about it. Because doing otherwise is like the nerves in your body sending information when nothings happening, and that would just mean your nerves are sending pain to your brain, making you hurt all over your body. Well, guess what? Every time you bullshit someone, every time you lie, every time you cater to your own ego at the cost of others, every time you perpetuate the propaganda of your in-group without reflecting upon it, you’re a nerve sending a false pain signal to the brain. And with so many people doing this, it’s just activating those ripples of pain that are making our society hurt all over; and when it gets this bad, you’re gonna get school shootings, you’re gonna get depression, you’re gonna over eat, you’re gonna take advantage of other people to fill that void, you’re gonna do anything you can to feel a little bit of pleasure in the hopes it will make all the pain stop.

But you can short-circuit that pain. You can stop creating waves that will ultimately only came back more violently against you. Just take time to stop and process.

If you do this, if you surround yourself with loving, honest people and spend enough time processing to keep your life going in a direction that actually fulfills your dreams rather than the “American dream,” and I promise that the pain will be turned down to the lowest setting you can ever expect as a human. And if you can get to that place, you no longer have to perpetuate the waves that make you feel so unstable, that make us all feel so unstable.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I this statement (Take some time to reflect, kill your ego, step away from your indoctrination…)

    You advocate killing that part of the mind that, by definition, mediates between the conscious and the unconscious. (Which is communication) and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
    It does appear at times that humans first reaction to something they don’t understand or are not willing to communicate nor negotiate with, is to destroy it. I do not believe this is the best recourse.

    Taking the time to explore and communicate even negotiate with your ego with the use of some positive self-exploration has more lasting effects regarding your overall wellbeing than to demonize and attack a part of you that does not hold malicious intent.

    I do agree with you. Real communication, that is not masked behind the illusion of digital individualism, will be a critical challenge as we continue our exploration of life as humans.

  2. I feel the exact same. Strange to see my ideas realized by another person. I was always thinking I was insane and on a different level, but now I know… This is the level of true humanity. The rest is obtained through unconscious means.

  3. “We all lose sight of the fact that we’re just storytellers, informational nodes meant to process honestly our experiences so that we can share them for mutual growth…Honest sharing is vulnerability, and vulnerability is love.” <– This is lovely.

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