Empty Chameleons

Alone in a crowd
Lamb smothered by flock
Where do I belong?

They swarm in commercial centres and throng to sporting contests, drawn by unknowable forces.

Profound personal emptiness emanates like a singularity’s cold blackness from even the most fervent hordes of seekers.

For most of you it’s a mad meaningless migration to the grave, a frantic rush from unknowable to unknown.

Even in deeply spiritual Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu societies people generally stall intellectually and emotionally in the first quartile of life and remain trapped in ritual habits of youth.

Christian societies, more pragmatic than spiritual, are dominated by media messiahs and the gods of commerce and technology, enforcing mass delusion in an artificial whirlpool of change. Even potential prophets succumb docile, snared and hypnotized by an ersatz paradise.

The innocent, vitally-curious, and playful child-scientist is long gone from these hollow souls around me, lingering lives limited to mindless missions. Purpose and plan propel them but the surface scratched, emptiness revealed. Attempts to engage a stranger in deep dialogue elicits behaviour akin to blocking an ant’s path.

Despite millennia of great philosophers and a plethora of mind scientists - more now than ever existed - applying a weltering incisive armoury of intellect, no one can explain consciousness.

Ironically, so few of the living billions exhibit it.

My host received a letter from an immigrant acquaintance, lamenting his small city’s denizens wore even smaller personas. It startled and amazed me that so many of you despair of your own kind.

We are all so fragile and when you take yourself out of a familiar environment you become vulnerable because the rules have changed.

When I think about my experiences here (and I have had a few horrific ones) I wonder how I survived. The benefit is growth, I think - but what I think and how I feel is in conflict.

It infuriates me that a person can mistake friendship, decency, and compassion for something else just because… well, surreally, I imagine arriving here jettisoned from a planet inhabited by Folk who don’t replace their IQ with emotional indulgence.

My most disappointing discovery is your peoples’ oblique existence.

I can’t say I have an agenda about anything – except perhaps trying to survive it all and not be marred by the fear, small-mindedness and bigotry we daily encounter.

Life is a dichotomy and trying to make sense of it folly. I gave up on that a long time ago; but, still, fitting in is a requirement if one is going to be a part of anything.

If the truth be known I tried so hard to fit into this place … with the culture, to blend with those around me. I stepped into their paddocks far too much and didn’t tend to my own – tragically, to my detriment.

Parochialism I do not care for – and unsurprisingly your provincial city is no different to any big country town, anywhere. I find it a scared little place.

People aren’t interested in anything other than what they have got and what they are surrounded by. They aspire to what is already in Plato’s cave and it bores me to tears.

Less mind control goes on in large cities, I feel. People are far less programmed in London, for example, a more liberal place. Of course there are a lot of people who aren’t happy with that.

Nationalism is another word for it I guess (engendered by this nation’s tininess). People think your city is great and only it is great. It is incestuous, the pool of people is small, the four degrees of separation just terrifying.

For someone like me, large city anonymity is a saviour.

And of course a stranger in your town … well, they may as well be from another planet - after the novelty factor has worn off, their honeymoon is over. If they’re not in by then, they’re out for good.

Most disconcerting? People you have only just met tell you stuff you would rather not know. Maturity doesn’t seem to be a quality your lot aspires to.

London isn’t perfect, of course. It is one of the scariest places on the planet actually. The hostility and desperation that exists here is evident where ever you go.

But it is like a continuous show reel - and you can always find a nicer short just down the road.

Your little town is no more than a stuck record.

This disturbed and puzzled my host. He lived in this place over a half century and felt it liberal, progressive, free and, well, a smart city. Yet in his writings, he recalled, nether aspects brought savagery to his writing, revealing heretofore unsuspected suspicions of his fellow parochials.

This is, he conceded, is perchance small-minded place indeed.

To my Eminent Stewards
With Respect and Love
Your Enduring Pupil

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