The Conscious Ape

1.35 kilos of existence

Question of certainty:

We don’t know anything, yet we are certain of everything. Certainty is like a mound of guano that we stand on, completely mired in shit to our knees and utterly oblivious to it. For what reason have we evolved certainty? One can only speculate, maybe to be better at conquering other tribes or members of your tribe, only those with heavy certainty historically were those that conquered and “succeeded”. War chiefs, generals, emperors, and men of faith, all choke-full of certainty: of that most beguiling and most profound certainty that makes corpses out of those that have certainties of their own and slaves of those that bow their heads to those certain men. Our little grey wrinkly nexus of being is where it lies, that certainty, in the 1.35 kilos of existence. We are entirely overmatched by the day to day contrivances of our lives, let alone by the inextricable pathways of the universe. Yet, we are certain of everything: our political beliefs, our religions, what we think of others, and what we think they think of us, what we should and should not do about our planet, nature or food sources, all of that stemming from a small fleshy part of us that we don’t know anything about. So if you think you know something and you find yourself judging other people because you think you are certain of it, maybe you are wrong. I certainly am, in more ways, than I can fathom, in ways that you or I can only feel in the small of our souls, there where all the guilt and pain lies where we feel it the strongest, the burden of our certainty and misery that we bestow upon the world with it.

Two-faced coin:

We can notice that we possess two faces or two personas based on that. We are aware of the one that we have built for others to see, the highlights of our human concoction, and the other that is unseen by us for the most part. The others are the ones that see it the clearest in this case; it is all the small mistakes in our character, all the cracks in our soul through which the wretched and sordid slips out when we are not looking: avarice, capriciousness, and narcissism beyond everything else. Our certainty in ourselves blinds us to that other face that is turned from us. And in the same measure, we see it in others. In short, we see the best in us and the worst in others, a rough and cynical view admittedly. I believe that there are genuine and honest people, to themselves and other’s, on an individual human-to-human basis, but as a heaving mass of troubled beings, I do not see a species worth its opinion about itself. We are but slaves of compulsion addicted to our beliefs, and what separates the mad from the “normal” is the depth of their faith and certainty. The rot in the human soul accumulates the more we separate the two personas; as long as the two faces of the same coin are not facing each other, the rot will keep spreading, a paradox considering that the two sides of the coin can never see each other’s faces, but a paradox that we need to find a way to solve never the less. Because that rot feeds only one thing, our ego. Which in turn, exacerbates our assurance of being correct and knowing everything, which creates an infinite loop that we are forever trapped in.

Our chaotic nature and panacea for our suffering:

This is what we humans do to ourselves. We make actors of us on a stage full of other actors unaware of each other, we are all main stars in our films, and everyone else is a random NPC. We are not perfect beings, not even remotely; we are flawed and miserable for the most of it, lost in abstractions of ourselves and surrendered to the whims of a fickle mind. Chaos rules us all, yet there is a way out, maybe not on the level of human species but assuredly(and yes, I am aware of the irony of being certain in an essay on the wrongness of being absolutely certain) on a level of the individual. The solution for this problem is straightforward in its nature yet tough to implement; try to be the exception and doubt yourself first and then everything you are absolutely certain of. This will take a lot of recriminations and mindfulness of ones own nature, and it will undoubtedly be never-ending labour, a Sisyphus climb up the mountain for the rest of your life, but a climb that will bring more good in your life than suffering. You are not the measure of what is correct in this world, your soul is not the cubit for others, but you can maybe become a measure for yourself, a present you that stands astride of the past you, a better person, a more caring human.