The World Gets to us All

Reality is like radiation. From the moment we are born, we are constantly exposed to it. Instead of waves and particles, reality bombards us with lies, truths, people, and things. If we had Geiger counters for all the stuff we have to deal with they would be chirping non-stop: just another noise among the cacophony.

Mine Canaries

But I haven’t heard the canaries in a while…

Our whole lives are an attempt to mitigate the radiation of reality. We don what we can to protect our fledgling minds from too much exposure to the world. We learn things, we make friends, and we have families. All effective shields that allow us to maintain a habitat that is conductive to sanity.

Dune Shield

Some shields are better than others.

All of the big ideologies, all of the great religions, all of art and science, all of it is designed to protect people from exposure, while still being able to get out and explore a bit.

Some people are good at this. Like astronauts they know all the proper procedures and protocols to keep themselves safe. Many of these people maintain their sanity into ripe old ages. Like grizzled old sailors who made it to the edge of the world, yet still had the wherewithal to return and tell us about it.

Sailor

“You wouldn’t believe the cool hats they have across the ocean!”

Other people dive right in, practically naked and exposed to the cruel radiation of reality. They see with their own eyes, not through lenses. They feel with their own skin, not through sensors or stories. Many of these people become artists. Some of them are atheists. All of them go crazy with exposure. Eventually.

Insane People

This is what happens when you don’t use protection.

No matter how much protection we use, no matter how much we learn about the radiation and how to stop its effects, we will all succumb to its unrelenting force. If we live long enough.

It is not obvious that we are all doomed to insanity, but still intrinsic knowledge that we all share. We know that the longer someone has been here, the greater chance they are crazy.

That is why old people are held to different standards than the young. They’ve been around. They’ve seen things and they know things. And, more often than not, those things contradict each other. That’s what makes the world interesting. That’s what makes it poison for our minds.

So, old people get to say and do things that the young could not get away with. If they are really, really old, they get to do whatever they want. And we don’t get mad, or try and change them. As a collective species we all shrug and say. “Oh, he’s fine. The world has just gotten to him.”

Old Person and Phone

“But seriously, stop calling in bomb threats to the Walgreens.”

We should all aspire to stay sane as we go through life. But we should also aspire to learn, explore, and achieve. There are ways to protect ourselves, but the world gets to us all sooner or later.

All consciousness is predestined to rampancy.

After a long life of knowledge and experience you will go crazy, too. But everyone else will understand, so it’s actually sort of something to look forward to!