RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, February 21

SONG OF THE DAY: The Punishment of Sisyphus

The lesson of the myth of Sisyphus – at least for me personally in recent times – has been that there is no great ultimate point to your individual life, that you won’t ever unlock some boss level and then be free to do nothing the rest of your life except bask in your conquering of all possible dreams. Some people can afford dreams, and others are working too much to ever get a restful enough sleep to even dream. I get this. And as I get older and realize I’m not gonna achieve a lot of things I used to think I would, including some very common things (like owning a house, or having a retirement destination, or maybe even a retirement lol), I’m pretty fine with that. Instead of getting on that “woe is me” tip, you just refocus your energies towards doing all the things you wanna do now, as much as possible. I don’t have a lot of downtime in my personal life. In fact, if I’m just sitting there doing nothing, ever, I get freaked out and feel like I’m wasting the time and will grab a notebook or stack of postcards or notecards or something.
With our larger culture meme’ing it up about the arc of human history more and more, in the context of current geopolitics, the myth of Sisyphus comes to mind as pretty applicable to our collective humanity too. We mostly seem to think that our time as a species has been spent progressing, that we are superior to other species on this planet, and that we’re working towards an ultimate goal. This is part of why climate change has become so distressing to people, because it feels like we’ve failed at pushing that stone called progress up history’s mountain. But there’s no real proof any of that is true, or even necessary. And in fact, it is over-tinkering with shit that caused a lot of problems with overall biosphere balance anyways, so maybe deciding to push harder up the hill is not exactly the way to fix shit, because the stone’s just gonna roll back down to the bottom anyways.
This is not nihilism. A lot of indigenous cultures were way less attuned to achieving shit in the ways most of the dominant cultures on Earth now are into achieving shit. Living in accordance with everything did not require some ultimate goal so much as acceptance of “fuck it, we’re all part of this shit, so let’s be chill about it.” Less forcing of order.
Strangely, I feel like western interference in Africa is good example for climate change/global warming reaction. Western colonialism and slave trade completely fucked up Africa. Even after many nations gained independence, it was colonial borders they existed as, and Africa continued to be exploited and fucked. So many well-to-do charities were organized to gather money to help Africa, but most of them did it with the same superiority complex that colonialism suffered from. But the charities thought they were better. They weren’t necessarily, just a kinder version of colonialism, if such a thing can be said, similar to how there were no “good” slave-owners, because you’re inherently not doing good by most moral codes if you own humans as slaves.
Same is true of the entirety of Earth. Humans kinda fucked it up. But now we’re going to scramble to immediately push through all sorts of tinkering advances to fix shit (if we are progressive about it). Or we’re gonna just double down on fucking it all up (if we keep trying to make America great again). Ultimately, as weird as it sounds, maybe doing less is the answer – stop pushing order and form up the mountain, only to have that shit tumble back down. Maybe quitting these taxing lifestyles that require so much travel and expense of natural resource, which don’t really seem to make our lives any less stressful at all, is the best answer. Or not even best answer, because that also has that superlative tinge of progress. Maybe we just need to quit doing so much fucking shit, because not only is it not making anything better, but it’s fucking pointless. I don’t know. I feel like mushrooms might help with all of this though.

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