"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."--George Orwell, 1984
Through my schooling, I have begun to realize that there is no objective Truth--at least not in the way that most people understand it--and that all truths are others' narratives where they seek to understand life and the ways of the universe, and perhaps some are closer than others to some sliver of understanding. I have realized, to some extent, that it is absurd that we continue to live by others' narrow conceptions of life while feeling miserable and powerless to do anything for ourselves because everything seems so far out of our control.
But that lack of control is an illusion, it is a fundamental part of the status quo--that subjective truth that the major lives by--because it is how social order is maintained. If people realized that truth is malleable--that they are living by others' conceptions of life and not their own, and that they can create their own conception of living based around their needs and not others'--they would realize that it is possible to change their lives and to live the way they choose.
Of course, it is not as easy as all that. The status quo has a powerful effect on people, feeding them lies about morality and nature, feeding them things to desire in order to distract them from their actual desires, making them powerless, by choice, to make any significant changes. The shackles are there because we place them on ourselves.
In spite of these shackles, there are changes that need to be made. Instead of each going off in our own direction, however, we should work together to create our own conception of the status quo, and bring about a new, more encompassing version of the social contract, one that leaves no one out of it. We need to strike a balance between our individual needs and social needs, and not allow anyone to have too much authority over either.
Otherwise, we are going to destroy ourselves, or let ourselves be destroyed.
Somebody is going to attempt to create change, and instead of meaningful change, they are going to create chaos and further erode our freedoms. Your finger might not be on the trigger, but if you sit by and idly watch as everything unfolds around you, your complacency allows that trigger to be pulled, and you are every much as deserving the blame as the person actually pulling it, because you did nothing to stop it. If more people don't stand up and fight for what they believe, and what they really believe and not what they have been lead to believe, then it will be too late.
It might already be too late. We might just be trapped in a cycle that will only be increasingly more difficult to escape The void might already be below us, and all we have to do is look down to realize that we are already falling into emptiness...
But wait... Is that merely me projecting my own insecurities, my own conception of reality? Are things really that way, or am I just paranoid, insecure, and feeling betrayed by my intelligence?
Even though I have worked hard, and struggled, but never-the-less supposedly succeeded in doing what I was told would help me get a better job and earn a living, and pay off my bills, buy a house, a car, etc., pursuing "the American Dream", it has gotten me none of those things, so far, and I only seem to be getting further and further away from them.
It has all seemed to turn out to be a lie that has been perpetuated so that more people would go to college, so the administrations, filled with people with business degrees, could justify their large salaries and the turning of the institutions of learning into for-profit businesses that feed off of government-sponsored student loans, putting those who they are seeking to control, under control, since being in debt places limitations on you that are hard to get past.
It doesn't seem like I am projecting, but then again, a crazy person supposedly doesn't know he is crazy. Maybe I am truly crazy and out of line, and just need to accept reality as it is and not as I think it should be.
Maybe, like Winston Smith, I just need to accept that there are forces that are more powerful than me, accept my powerlessness and their power over me, and just move forward, and take whatever job, and do it, and do it, and do it, until I can't even remember what the hell my problem was in the first place.
Or maybe the zombie apocalypse is already happening, and most people have already lost and the only real way to survive is to think for yourself. Maybe that means that you will never succeed in their conception of the world, but maybe that is okay.
Maybe it is okay to have a different value system--one that is predicated on empathy and sound judgment rather than on just following what you are supposed to do unquestioningly. Maybe true freedom is a state of mind, and that you can break free from the shackles and live the way that you wish to live, regardless of what it seems like everyone else around you is doing. Maybe it is all about how you perceive reality, rather than how reality is. Maybe you do have control over it, and by selecting a better narrative, you can have a better life.
Perhaps you do need a job to survive in the world, but that job doesn't have to be your life. It doesn't have to control you, and you don't have to place your soul on the altar of some artificial value system. Maybe the best thing to do is to find a job that allows you to have a balance between your life, and your job function, so that you can dedicate yourself to that job function when you are performing it, and leave it behind at the end of the day. Perhaps, it is all about finding a balance and finding a state of mind that allows you to be at peace with yourself and the world around you. Maybe that is maturity.
The real battle isn't you versus others, you vs. society, you vs. sin, you vs. whatever other outside force that may or may not be real, but you vs. yourself.