Breakfast at Apathy’s
Today I’m reminded of a quote from author Leo Buscaglia. He stated, ” I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.” Apathy is when you would do nothing for someone. Love is when you would do anything. I’ve come to realize that apathy is in fact the main subject that I was taught from the earliest age continuing on to the present. If I’m completely honest apathy has become my ‘normal and natural’ condition. Business as usual one might say. The world of human affairs seems to work with all its might to reinforce this particular state not only in myself but also in all those around me. Fed by a willful, chosen, ignorance about the true condition of humanity, one that allows and even encourages evil to run rampant. Apathy gives fear permission and free reign to rule the day. Of course in such a place feeling deeply only brings suffering. And so we have a perfect circuit of sorts, seemingly perpetual: that’s just the way it is, has been, always will be, or so I’ve been told. Ours is a United States of Apathy, bound together by the common purpose of wanting to be left the hell alone whatever the cost. On this point the majority of us all seem to be in agreement. With that in hand our masters have our consent to enslave us, and all who come after, in chains fabricated by our very own compliance and acceptance.
None of this should be too surprising really, seeing how all of society, economy, religion, culture, is geared towards driving us towards that result. Quite the machine we’ve constructed out of our combined awareness. Describing it is easy: it’s everywhere. It is the very fabric of our reality, the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, the language we speak, the world we inhabit, the school in which we swim, it is the sackcloth over our heads, the noose around our necks…the metaphors are unending because it is true wherever one looks. It is our matrix, our prison, our virtual reality, and our separate selfish selves: a foreign installation to be sure, parasitical, artificial, alien.
A slave is defined as a person who is the legal property of another, who is forced to obey them. That definition reminds me of childhood, of parents, of police, of government, of the legal fiction that has become of our collective consciousness. By hook and by crook our shepherds continue to lead us down a path of certain destiny.
What exactly do we expect for our troubles of not troubling to bother about the crimes against life perpetrated in our names? What can we expect as our reward for continuing to empower the psychopathy in humanity? Look around. It’s not hard to see. We pay for it in everyday. Its price is terrible in deed. Of course if we have our proverbial heads in the ground the rest of us will soon follow, but not before we get a good you know what from you know whom. After all, assuming the position invites the act.
So I fight. Not anyone else. Not even myself. Not anymore. Been there done that. Been that – done there, too. I fight apathy, my own. I’m doing it right now. I fight it with tailor made techniques, designed with the express purpose of re-possessing my Being. I’ve given in to it for too long to not know it deeply. I’ve lived with it all my life after all. Studying it, learning patience, biding my time. It’s been my constant companion through childhood, adulthood. I was given little choice once here. It may even be why I agreed to come. Apathy, and fear in all its forms, has been an excellent teacher and has afforded me a soul deep education in my own evolution. And in the grand tradition of evolved consciousness I fight by not fighting. My ‘weapon’, if it can be called that, is knowledge and my strategy is simplicity itself. Know thyself. Know thine enemy. Make of your enemy your friend. Do no harm, though difficult and without question challenging the admission of our ‘worst’ selves into the totality of our being puts us all into perspective: personally and globally. The contextual field of my experience offers all that I require to see clearly and therefore to choose wisely. What do we really have but the power of our decisions. How else do we get anywhere? Step by step, moment by moment, one choice at a time.
Every morning so far, even before my eyes open, when I might be at my most vulnerable, my friend, here named Apathy, challenges me with the question of the proper use of my energy. I can give in right away, indulging myself in the imagined warmth that giving in promises so sweetly, and thereby set myself on a very certain path, well trod and familiar, or I can be present, really there in the now, knowing that the game is afoot, recalling to myself the truth of that promise which is the momentary warmth of a loosened bladder, soon to become the embarrassing cold of an incontinent will. Instead I dare to make a new choice, an exciting one, one filled to the brim with an absolute gratitude for that very challenge and everything else to boot. My choice is to wake up, not to pretend sleep. And so I begin my day with exactly that intent, only to be challenged again and again and again, from every corner, through every medium, by almost everyone everywhere, visible, invisible, on and on.
To care, to be grateful, in a world gone to hell is an awesome, truly empowering act. Sure, I feel fear, despair, desperation, joy, elation, the whole spectrum, at times so deeply I might burst from encompassing the depth and breadth of my humanity. There’s even a time for apathy to play, for when the flow becomes too much, for when I am asking to be reminded of the contrast to being so wonderfully alive. Doing so within that context I remain free from the trap that seems to await my every step, I remain myself. I exclude no part of my experience of being. To do otherwise brings us to where we are now collectively, at war, in fear, lost and abandoned by our own choosing, never owning up to it, avoiding responsibility at every turn, headless chickens still running from the axe, ridiculously impossibly, looking for a hole in which we can hide till the danger passes.
Wordplay aside, I’m here to share with you something you probably already know but have possibly chosen to forget to make your experience of rediscovery as joyful as can be: Life is the Play of Love. How’s that for breakfast?