The Revolution Issue

Fictitious lives

A loving look at unreality.
Our Lives Are Just Fictions - Grounded not in reality, but in illusion.
In China people get together in the corners of parks and dance. The unofficial history of America is not a story of rugged individualism and heroic personal sacrifice in the pursuit of a dream. It is a story of democracy derailed, of a revolutionary spiri

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We forget too often that our lives are just fictions, that this human life of ours – abstracted from the land, abstract in itself – is not grounded in reality, but in drama, illusion. Our lives are no different from dreams, a scattered blur from one meal to the next, from one conversation to the next, one megaplex, one strip mall, one coffee cup, one beer, one fix – a ceaseless drifting from sensation to sensation, a constant sating of the base desires.

We are raised in this “reality” so its contours are invisible to us. We see each moment but fail to see the unifying thread – the alienation of humanity from nature, the ills of domestication, the dependence of humans upon technological death machines to survive and a growing inability of these generations of young humans now in possession of the planet to connect to it in any living way. We have lost our ability to experience the grander trends as revealed through the almighty Moment. We cling to our petty satisfactions as a paddler fallen from a canoe clings to the rocks. We do not dare to imagine a life without pizza, ice cream, microwaves, transportation, convenience, comfort, ease.

The 21st century has been too kind to us so far. It holds new horizons for us as an übersoul and as an überspecies, but it remains pregnant with disaster. There must be wars, Great Wars, which span all frontiers, in which all are embroiled in conflict: the inner war spilling out into our long-abandoned commons, opening up doorways between men and women to converse freely, tearing down walls between minds and bodies, flesh and the soul. Bottles will be uncorked and men in pajamas will run terrified and buoyant through the streets. If there is not madness, there will be blood, midnight rivers of blood rushing mad like the Mississippi through the markets of the world, stampeding through those who stand still, toppling those who once towered above the meek and lowly, lifting the strong and light, buoying them up on its terrible tide …

—Hudson Spivey

133 comments on the article “Fictitious lives”

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Indeed, it is enough to spill blood only once to see if one is still human, and when the tyrants facade is broken they appear as helpless and confused as any of the slaves, and you realize that violence is always misdirected. There are many would be tyrants among the revolutionaries that aspire after power far more than they aspire about common good and harmony. Every violent revolution is simply impatience and that's where it fails. The old tyrant is always replaced by a new tyrant selected from the ranks of the revolutionaries, whose wished for benevolence is always in conflict with the need to retain power. It seems we do live in times of Benevolent Tyranny. True change comes from how you live your life, what you say and what you do. Such change is slow but incorruptible, because your very being has already realized it. "let him who is perfect cast the first stone.." some highly mythologized figure once allegedly said.

My advice to all the would be revolutionaries would be: discover all the lies you tell yourself about who you are and if you still feel the need to change others, then go ahead, but not any sooner.

Dennis Kazmierczak

Although I agree with parts of this article, it is a bit too cynical even for me. I also believe that the history of America contains many stories of people's heroic personal sacrifice for a dream. What is suppressed IS our rugged individualism in favor of a dependency on large institutions to materialize our dreams, to convince us that we cannot create anything positive in our world without large amounts of money. The illusion is of weakness and powerlessness. My dreams are radically different from the reality in which I live. I believe we can always edit the reality around us.


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