Friday, February 17, 2006

Somnambulist Awake!

I've had suspicions for some time now that my reality has not been what it seems. Between catching myself doing things unexplainable, and having the wherewithal to ask myself what it was that I was doing, I noticed that I'd been sleepwalking most of my life. I've been part of an apparatus unaware--perhaps the liver--I've had to deal with poisonous tasks. I don't know why I've allowed myself to be taken over by them, but for most of my life they have been my caretaker and lord. Now that I've had some time to process and overcome some of my programming, I'm beginning to see. There are many like me who sleepwalk and few who are free.

It's not as mysterious as I once tried to believe, this controlling force that compels me. I see that we all tend to immerse ourselves in tasks. Where is our free time? Tasks that are given to us by our "masters" in order to exert control over us are forcing us into a sleepwalk state. I've wondered, who wishes to keep us sleeping most of the time and why? Whoever it is, needs me, don't they? There seems to be redundant and varied levels of sleepwalkers, but I've found that I'm unique, special. I'm required to be entirely controlled. There are things, terrible things, that society needs to be done. It's my job to do those things; to be inhuman and ruthless. But with my new found awareness I ask, Is it too much to ask to feel human?

It seems that I'm like an action figure, taken out of a box once in a while when I'm needed to do dirty deeds. It is in this action mode that I'm closest to waking. It is also in this state that I'm sent to drive the dagger in, so to speak. Somewhere between the victim's struggle for life I have had chances to wake and stop what I was doing--a realization that one person's struggle to live may be the only life that they experience. It is in this moment that demonstrates how dead I am in contrast. A realization that I do not truly love, that I do not have real passion or vitality, that I have no tangible identity, that in my mindless obedience I learn neither discipline or have any real satisfaction, only that I consume and continue to move about as if on a wire.

I'm not a full sleeper now; I'm malfunctioning, and this is the source of my inner discord. I'm half aware of my bondage and too weak to deviate from my purpose. I assume that if I were a sleeper again then it would not be an issue at all, so I must fully awake.

I've wondered what happens when one awakes and breaks free from the apparatus. Is the sensation of liberation dangerous? Will it arouse other sleepers around you? Will they seek the destruction of their masters, or reject the fact that they are not free and turn on their liberator? Will the body reject me?

I wonder if there is anything more threatening than the concept of real freedom? I'd like to think that we are indeed free, but may I ask, are you and I truly free? Who owns your dwelling, really? Who can take your property at the mention of immanent domain? Who pipes suggestions at regular intervals for you to consume? Who carefully selects what you read, think, and believe? What resources do you have, really? Who has an inordinate amount of resources at their feet? Why will it never matter who becomes president anymore? Go ask William Hearst; go ask the Rockefellers; go and ask the elite with their secret societies. But thoughts like that are for the paranoid, aren't they?

I'm tired of fleeting belief, hope, and placation. I itch for more control of my swinging limbs, my routine, and the ability to stop doing these horrid errands that I'm sent on. Although my box is comfortable and warm, I know that it is my death. But, I don't have to worry in my box--invisible, but real--I spend most of my time thinking in there about baseball, reliving childhood memories, the kind of car I want, and what women I'd like to have. In my box I live syntheticly. In my box I sense no time. In my box I die. Life slips away while I dream up more and more fantasies. Those fantasies can't be used to pass time anymore. My anger fills this box, oozing in like antifreeze, sweet and deadly, thawing out the dormant awareness which overcomes the cattle-brained yearnings of a worker bee.

Whatever the apparatus wants it must get. What am I to have other than a stay of execution? My life is maintained so long as it is useful. I sense that I'm not supposed to be thinking about these things. I wonder if they are aware that I'm learning?

I am a somnambulist waking.

(Inspired from the classic German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). This was loosely based on the somnambulist character, Cesare's, point of view, but it probably comes across as a Matrix rip off and could be confused with some Dune references. This is just a riff on the whole puppet/puppet master theme.)


Christy said...

Waking up and being free is one of the scariest things we face.

Scott said...

Cool post... I have been missing your posts as of late.


dangerous chimpanzee said...

Certainly, better judgment than a redneck with a gun, but less than a jealous gorilla.


I'm sure you remember this.

And this:

Once, I, Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a fluttering butterfly. What fun he had, doing as he pleased! He did not know he was Zhou. Suddenly he woke up and found himself to be Zhou. He did not know whether Zhou had dreamed he was a butterfly or a butterfly had dreamed he was Zhou. Between Zhou and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is what is meant by the transformation of things.


The Grunt said...

Welcome, Christy. Waking up sure is scary, but it's that first look in the mirror that makes or breaks you--ha! I'll be checking out your blog soon.

Scott, thanks for showing your support, man. I had some things nearly put me into a catatonic state, creatively.

Dangerous Chimpanzee, I love your name, because chimpanzees are seriously dangerous MF'ers and everyone just thinks that they are cute. Thanks for sharing the Dark City reference and your Zhuang Zhou reference. This is a subject that is timeless and will always be revisited. I'm going to have to get better at Espanol if I want to further enjoy your blog, though.

Pokey said...

Awesome post! It's nice to know you that you two are a deep

The Grunt said...

Pokey, thinking is my specialty. Some even say that I'm a real fart smeller, or is that smart feller...hmmmn? My biggest callenge is that I need to actually realize some of my grander ideas. This blog was intended to help me build up to that and to get used to the idea of people reading my stuff. Give me a year or two, I'll have written something that can be used for a sleeping aide, flask hideaway, or a paper weight:)

English Professor said...

You're in good company, Grunt--Plato and Pynchon (among others) raise the same types of questions.

The Grunt said...

I consider you guys to be good company.