Peace and Joy

By: Maven Cade Leary

So today I was going home, entering the metro station, when some kid jumps out in front of me whatever reason. Perhaps, because I seem like a kindred spirit, the odd ones often do. This kid had some weird white shit on his nose. Looked like an arrow pointing down or something… but his eyes seemed very calm. The kind of buzz I only get when meditating, or on good acid. Not asking me for money?… So I stopped to talk to him.

To understand my behavior fully you have to understand that as a general rule, any Jehovah’s witnesses that come to my door end up putting me in their little black book. And not because I am an asshole, but because their beliefs just don’t hold up to scrutiny and they can see that when talking with me. Don’t think I am just talking shit. I had the head of a large congregation spend one hour a week for months on end coming to my place so we could discuss things in detail. It was enjoyable and enlightening for both of us. It’s the noobs who have no idea and no real confidence that are afraid of me.

So what was this guy trying to convince me to join?

The Hare Krishna’s…

But he didn’t have the same lack of thought in his eyes as most I have seen. He didn’t look totally “blissed out” or whatever. And he was dressed almost normally, except for the whatever the fuck it was on his face. His disguise worked.

So I questioned him. Pushed him past his comfort level… contested the premise in their faith that “Krishna” is the real godhead in favor of the more widely held belief that brahman is the big cahone… He took it well, though it became evident he was defending something he didn’t fully understand, and had likely only read through, if even that. The Bhagavad Gita is fairly long to read and very confusing. And not very fun to be honest.

Anyways, so what I got out of it is the sense that he was buying into this dogma because it helped him be a better person. He claimed to not have the strength as an individual to overcome his animal instincts and that everything was in this path and that following it was the only way to attain true peace and joy.

So the point of the universe was peace and joy for him. How boring. And he was too weak to do it on his own. Yeah, ok there… And there was only one single way to get there. Wow… really? No other way to peace and joy?

Peace and joy?

Jesus H. Christ! Smoke a joint! Play some guitar! Shoot a gun for no good reason! How hard can that be?

No, he was missing the whole point. They sold you the brownies telling you it was peace and joy, but in truth there’s nothing in the brownies. The bastards didn’t even make’em with chocolate! No, those fucking brownies are gluten-free, fat-free and flavored with carob and stevia!


They tell you to renounce to the world of the senses, to not indulge. To practice abstinence-sexually and in food and in everything good and fun. They bring you to this low-point of bleak desolation so that when you are let out into the world, to go and jump into the face of random strangers, you are so high on just being around regular people, that you fool the poor misguided bastards who see the joy at being let out of a cage temporarily and take that for a sign of hey, maybe this is a pretty good idea after all…

Life is complicated. Holy fuck, is life complicated…

Before I meditate, I like to eat real brownies, made with chocolate and sugar and stuff… and smoke a good joint, or two. And after I meditate, sex is awesome. Now, I don’t meditate to reach anything other than the simple sense of inner stillness that becomes a reassuring hum in my being. I don’t expect to become a super being through that shit. If it worked, we would have more living examples of real power instead of a bunch of really calm, self-centered douche-bags. No, I am more confident in symbiotic relationships with computers for a viable evolutionary path. It’s why I am busy teaching myself genetic algorithms, how to control “agents” using finite state machines and enhancing my general programming skills.

On the other end of the metro, some homeless guy caught my eye and wouldn’t release it. I went and talked to Bill for a good twenty minutes. First thing he says to me is that I seemed like I came from somewhere he’d never been. Then halfway through our conversation, due to a skill I have to be present with people, he turns to me and says hey, I looked so familiar… like a close family member or something… He is a kind man, and it was easy to be honest and direct with him.

My talk with Bill was just as meaningful to me. Both were attempts at coming to grips with my own reality and helping others do the same by mirroring their behaviors. From Bill, the homeless guy, I got pretty much the same response as from the Krishna kid… The point is to be happy and at peace with one’s place in life.

Now, joy is an elusive one, but both these very different individuals seemed to me as more at peace with themselves compared to most of the sheeple and the swine. It just seems an awful shame to me that they have to suffer such a rigid and non-indulgent path to attain that peace when life is just so rich with different experiences, with things to enjoy, to gain and lose, to participate in…

Holy fuck is life complicated… Or maybe we just make it so.

But as I grow as an individual, as I question myself on why I do this or that, as I work on becoming someone I enjoy being, I have come to feel a sense of peace, of acceptance of who I am. And more so, I give myself the option to change who I am from moment to moment, from situation to situation, without feeling any kind of inner conflict at these seemingly conflictual behavioral patterns. I am not saying I think I have everything figured out. God, I don’t even know what such a thing would mean… No, I know nothing. But one thing I do have is a seemingly non-dogmatic perspective of life that gives me the same serenity, appreciation of life, and desire to serve life that I normally only find in my “spiritual” friends.

I often wonder why that is.

This odd sense of purpose, combined with a partially voluntary isolation due to my unwillingness to accept any one dogma as ultimately valid, has left me feeling oddly apart from the world I love so much and attempt to serve.

This obviously leads to resentment, for the human race and unfortunately, against my will, sometimes for my friends and family. On a bad day, I say damned be to all of humanity. It’s not the point anyways. Life is the point. Growth is the point. Anything that is so obviously a threat to the delicate ecosystem of the earth, life’s only viable option at this point in time and space, should be eradicated. Life will pick up again. It has billions of years before the sun’s lifespan is a real issue. But if humans are allowed to continue their insane exploitation of all forms of life, human and non-human, then the links lost in the chain of the ecosystem will bring it all crashing down on us.

But then I realize, that even if we were to burn the whole house down with ourselves in it, there would still be billions of years to work back up to something viable, this time perhaps sufficiently different from our flawed evolutionary lineage, so that maybe the first self-aware beings won’t take it upon themselves to dominate and destroy everything they don’t understand. Which, as it turns out is pretty much anything and everything for humans.

So with this in mind, I say, go for it, bring this insane ride to it’s inevitable end. I can accept that life will not pass with us and that gives me comfort. Hell, on a normal day, I believe that we have a chance of coming out of this thing alive. And on a really good day, I believe that somehow I can help be a part of that… hopefully as a city-block sized cyborg spider thousands of years old…

Now, ultimately, humanity will be dust under some other form of life, maybe our direct biological descendants, maybe our AI enhanced cyborg offspring, or maybe something else entirely, such as crows or rats… So it’s really just a question of what that something will be. Whether it will be the result of our willing participation, or the result of our failures, that is up to us, here and now. What is to be determined is if we have a part in that future or if we are destined to be eradicated as the disease on the rest of the ecosystem, we so obviously are.

Oh, did you think this way going somewhere? no, sorry… I’m just rambling…

You can leave now, or I can tell you about the time I…