Does Something Feel Off To You?
If we’re going to be talking about what ‘Escapism‘ is about, then there are two basic principles that we need to go over.
1. The world seems off.
2. No matter where I go, or what I do, something seems like it’s missing!
These are principles that I have operated under for as long as I can remember. Now that doesn’t mean I could always put these feelings into words, but I certainly could feel it from a young age.
Let’s start exploring number one.
1. The world seems off.
I’m a big Philip K Dick fan. He wrote the books ‘A Scanner Darkly‘, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep‘(i.e. ‘Bladerunner‘), ‘We Can Remember It for You Wholesale‘(i.e. ‘Total Recall‘), and many others. My favorite Philip K. Dick book is called ‘Valis‘. At the heart of ‘Valis‘, and all of Phil’s work, he always seemed to believe that there was something inherently fraudulent about reality. If he were alive right now he might tell you that the world never got past 70 A.D. and all that we see is an illusion. It is still 70 A.D. right now! ‘The empire never ended!!!’
Phil’s not the only one who has theories about why the world seems somehow ‘wrong’.
Maybe we’re all being secretly used as batteries for a malevolent computer program!(wasn’t that a movie?)
Maybe we’re all just dust on a shelf in some other universe.
Maybe the illuminati is brainwashing us all!!!
Maybe you’re the star of a reality tv show that everyone watches and is in on, except you.
The list goes on and on.
It can be fun rummaging through theories, but at the end of the day I like to stick with something a bit more concrete. If I can’t find anything concrete, I try and settle on the fact that I just don’t know why life seems this way.
Now I’ve read enough C.S. Lewis to know if he was attacking this problem he’d say something like, ‘if something seems off then their must be somewhere where it doesn’t feel off.’
Are you following my thinking here?
If there wasn’t a place different from ‘off’, you wouldn’t feel like it was ‘off’ in the first place because you’d have nothing to compare ‘off’ to. Your perception of ‘off’ is only relative to what you perceive as ‘the way it should be.’ If you have an idea of ‘the way it should be’ then that place must exist somewhere, in some form, right?
Am I losing you?
Maybe it would make more sense like this.
1. The world feels off
a. there is a place where the world doesn’t feel off.
b. there is a way to get to the place where the world doesn’t feel off
In other words, I believe that we all have a ‘place’ where we feel like we belong. It isn’t really a ‘place’, but a state of being. It is a state of being where you feel like you’re right where you should be. Take away all of my philosophical ramblings and I’d tell you that I know this because I’ve been there, albeit briefly. For fleeting moments in time, I’ve found footprints that were my size and I’ve stood there.
Imagine being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
It was fleeting, but it was amazing! It felt like I had a very strong electrical current running through my body, humming like a refrigerator, except I didn’t die, their was no burning of flesh, and General Electric had nothing to do with it.
‘what I want to be/can you see through me?/I just never know/it just comes and goes'(taken from ‘The Calm and the Storm‘)
The more I try to explain this feeling the more it ceases to make sense because in essence all I’ve got to go on is an instinct. It’s like a small, but persistent voice inside of you, constantly pushing you to ‘head off in that direction!’, even though you have no idea what you’ll find there.
Just for the record, I don’t actually hear voices, metaphors internet people, metaphors!
So we’ve established that I feel like something in life just isn’t quite right, I have a very strong need to find a place where it makes more sense, and I’ve found such a place, albeit briefly.
Have you ever felt this way?
As I said earlier, I like to deal in things that are a bit more concrete. So before I go into my own personal reaction, and my quest to find out why things are off, how about we look at some very real reasons that I would feel this way?
I think we should start with a man named Edward Bernays. You may not have heard of him, but no matter who you are he has had a profound effect on your life. We’ll take a look at him in the next blog, and then we’ll tie him into both of the principles I mentioned at the top of this post, and then we’ll be ready to see where it all fits into the album.
Before I go, I want to say something briefly. Though I will be touching on religion lightly as we go, I don’t subscribe to any particular religion. I was raised Christian, but now consider myself an agnostic. Agnostic is a fancy way of saying ‘I have no idea!’ My line of thinking is what you choose to believe, and even whether you choose to believe in anything at all is a very personal decision and I would have no right to tell you what to do. I’m saying all of this for those of you who are nervous that I’m going to be passing out pamphlets at the end of this blog. I certainly have a life philosophy, as do we all, but my point in going over it is so that maybe you can compare it to your own life philosophy and see where it’s similar and where it’s different, as opposed to me trying to beat you over the head with my own views. Many people say that things like politics and religion shouldn’t be talked about in public. This of-course means that we should certainly talk about it, right?
Until next time internet..
I think my problem lied in having my own thoughts in my head and wanting to know if other people thought the same – which poss links to the unity thing – but I think I had this idea that I was the only one who was introspective (no really – I was a quiet child!) and that everyone else was there like accompaniments to my life – saying that does make me seem like I thought I was the centre of the universe with everything revolving around me, but I really think it was the fact that you are alone in there and maybe it was wanting to be accepted/understood. Anyhoo…returns to the fandango 🙂
October 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm
The ‘expressive dance ensues’ comment cracked me up! : ) I really do think it seems off because it was once on, it could be re-incarnation or some other sort of life we can’t quite imagine at the moment. Maybe we’re programmed to seek ‘unity’ which is why the quest for it pulls us all so strongly…
October 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm
I know exactly what you are talking about, but I hadn’t thought that the reason it was off was because you had once experienced it on. Dare I mention re-incarnation? This caused me now end of stress as a child. There is more to this comment but I am struggling to put it in to words *expressive dance ensues* – which makes sense, right?
October 7, 2012 at 11:27 am
what if i said it was a very, very well made pamphlet? Ok i’ll come clean. I don’t know when the world will end, but I do know when the next guy who thinks he knows when the world will end will begin talking about the end, and that’s just the beginning!!! ; )
May 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm
I don’t know, I think we may just find a pamphlet shoved in each album. “Oh! No! Those are just our liner notes, I swear!” If next week’s has anything to do with the Rapture, I’m calling your bluff (hee hee).
May 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm