A thought that entered my mind today while I was working out : “This is all pretty fucking ridiculous”:
Rows of human beings, gathered in a room – often too crowded and gross – systematically moving their bodies…for no apparent reason.
Teleport your ancestor into the midst of a YMCA, and he’ll be perplexed as to why you strain your muscles and expend your energy resources for seemingly no immediate return of investment.
Living outside his culture, his ape-like mind would not be able to comprehend how you got to this point. Outside of the cultural context, everything becomes ridiculous.
For him, fitness was the result of living life. There was inherent value to his actions. His health was built by him. By a pure engagement in life – exerting effort towards bad-ass shit like hunting, defending against other tribes, building important structures – running for miles to get to a more fruitful land.
For you, it’s a quirky hobby… if even that.
Some modern people don’t even participate in it. They take the available option of complacency. Made available by industrialization.
Rational arguments for working-out, like developing a healthy body, fail to waken their sedated motivation systems. The body is forgotten.
Maybe this is what we sacrifice for the thinly-propped up comforts of industrialized culture?
We’ve loss inherent meaning, and as a result, inherent motivation, to do useful activities.
Looks like the path is surely going to be even further industrialization.
My day to day perspective already consists of mostly data…
Everything around me is a brand, letter, number, idea, celebrities, click bait.
Straight edges, engineered structures, light pollution.
To think that there were times when humans only knew of trees, rivers, mountains, and the sun. That lived with stories and culture that consists of only those elements.
That time has passed long ago.
What do we have now?
Now, looking into a high-resolution screen is like a cannon of data – all which is used to create a simulation in your brain – or in other words – create an idea… a story… a narrative for you.
VR is a cannon of data that can also hijack your motor senses. And so the immersion continues to deepen.
By eliminating the most basic of hardships a biological being can experience – we have essentially overcome nature…
But like any victory, it didn’t come without sacrifices. Did we go overboard with this industrialization?
Perhaps, without the most basic hardships of nature, we are left to seek our own vague meaning out of all this industrialized crap.
We’re not motivated to “work out”, for instance, because we don’t need to get resources or defend ourselves.
We don’t closely observe our environment and learn from it because nothing around can hurt us. All the information is just blasted into our brains.
We don’t sing, dance, and talk to others people – we can just text message them.
Our day to day activities are “industrialized”, and if we’re not careful, they will further serve to get us sedated… to get us fat, lazy and out of touch.
I guess this is the sacrifice we make for “victory” over nature – to live with physical comfort, but with a universal underlying feeling of discontent. Sedation. Meaninglessness. Gluttony.
Cheer up, though.
It all sounds pretty dystopic.
That is, until you realize that the solution to all of that is to willfully take on hardship. To be conscious. Something you, ironically, learned from a packet of data.
Taking on hardship is the solution because it can return you to a semblance of meaning.
Working-out in a great example of willfully taking on hardships.
Seek to solidify this concept of fitness – and to health – and act as if you are entering into a glorious new arena in which you may use your body, your being, and fight back against the ruthlessness of nature. This is a narrative you need to paint for yourself.
And as a result, when you continue to put in the work, this new arena will allow you to explore and to win.
Winning, conquering, getting shit done… All of this makes you more in tune with your body, and to a more primordial state.
By pushing yourself against the limits of your body, of nature, you can create a feeling of meaningful action.
So, that’s probably why you’re there again, today… lifting your arms with resistance, at 90° parallel to your torso… to ensure development of your anterior deltoids.
It Makes You Feel Like You’ve Got Your Shit Together
It also gets your noticed by the opposite sex.
And that’s important… because, well, you constantly have the urge to have your body-chemicals in another being. In fact, it really messes with you if you don’t get an opportunity to do this…
Just another subject where cultural context is important.
Because, industrialized ape is going to do something about this biological need.
While your ancestor was throwing spears at wild animals for meat, showing off to the tribe ladies, then claiming his reward… if you know what I mean.
You, being an industrialized ape, gave yourself some unique options…
You can, for one, get into a metal box and travel to a relatively distant land so that you can lift up heavy things and put them down again…
Then, from pixelated representations of other human beings, find compatibility in a mate – get into the metal box again, and travel to said mate. Then you can get to know each other.
Better yet, another option is that pixelated representations, themselves, could do the trick. Where sex was once a meaningful activity, set upon a backdrop of victory and celebration, it can now be packaged as porn and masturbation.
For victory over nature, we’ve discovered novel new vices. Social media, porn, click bait. We are left to fall into a trap of neglecting proper stimulation – and to seek meaningless over stimulation.
Human beings are built to connect – to make eye contact, to fight, to love, to communicate with our spoken voices. Often times, these things can make us feel uncomfortable. But to neglect it, which is so easy in modern times, will only mean a further straying away from meaning.
Along with taking on physical tasks, we need to take on social activities like talking with our neighbors, reaching out to people that we haven’t talk to in a while, and fine-tuning our ability to connect and express ourselves.
Even though industrialized culture makes it so that deep social connections are no longer necessary for day-to-day life, our DNA still strives for these experiences. The comforts of modern life can trap us into unspoken loneliness and a life unfulfilled. The only way to fight against this is to be conscious of it and to take on activities that will remedy what we lack… and create a better culture for ourselves.