/* ?! wHAT bOX: March 2010

Mar 17, 2010

...Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything...

Heh....yyeahhhh, I'm finally updating this thing....I remembered my password....or some other lame and fully untrue excuse.
    Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. - Zhuangzi

    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. - William Shakespeare

One thing that I have trouble dealing with is the perpetuated and tumultuously disconcerting issue of the amorphous nature of human beings. And perhaps it truly isn't the ever-changing state that disturbs me nearly as much as the fact that one can seldom track those changes, be prepared for them. It would surprise many to learn just how quickly a person can snap, lose their mind.

Can we really and truly know if we are the butterfly or the man? In the end perception is reality to the mind, so then to us as a whole being. Is pain real? Is psychosis valid? Do we truly exist in a world that we think that we exist in?

Or is it all just a big stage that we, the players, the actors, fill our own little performances that may last a year, 70, or maybe 150??

One can run so far and fast with the philosophy of existentialism that one can completely obliterate the idea that any other man or butterfly, perhaps, can exist. We run our race, through our labyrinth, our lives, all the while hoping to find the way out.

"Alice in Wonderland", a child's story...or so we attribute it. Carroll's writing, I think, is one of the most involving and relevant stories that exists. All through the book he builds characters of his making from real people, but at the same time weaving a story so fantastical that it cannot be real....or can it??

Just how close are we to hysteria? Where is the edge for each "butterfly" to fall over that precipice into the crevasse of neurosis, into the crazy world of Wonderland. Or perhaps, in each and every version of each man/butterfly's world, in each of our private little stages, our show...our little world is a Wonderland. maybe it is just a fantastical and mythological as a battle of the Greek gods or a belief in little green men or a rabbit running around in a strange world or a person believing that some really large being way out there flips tiny little levers and makes everything around us work or an idea that tiny little balls called atoms make up our bodies and all matter around us or that you can get cancer from looking into a microwave....

And yet, regardless of how and where....we do exist....or do we?? Can one prove empirically that we do exist? Can one prove, outside of the system that we are in, to show that we actually do live? Or perhaps aren't a butterfly as Zhuangzi suggests? Often we're asked to prove the viability of an existence of a concept or person of God, or aliens.....but what if we are to question our own existence?? Butterfly? Man? Or maybe just an idea.....maybe just a thought....who are we anyway?

Where does "crazy" start and normalcy end? Or is there a distinction at all? Or maybe in each little butterfly mind, on each little butterfly stage, with each little butterfly mask, with each little butterfly change.....and assuming that we DO exist, in the end, regardless of perception, we will then exist "...sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."