Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Less I Know, the Happier I Am

State Highway 46, westbound, Utah
To marvel at the sight of a newborn child is perhaps to appreciate perfection. Just as with holding a brand new laptop fresh out of its box, or running your hand across the fuel tank of a new motorcycle, we take pleasure in something unadulterated, yet lament that it will never be as pristine as it is now.

"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors." 
- Thomas Jefferson
In an attempt to downsize even further, I recently got rid of more childhood things. The old Mickey Mouse clock my mom bought me when I was a kid, the samurai swords that were in our living room when I grew up, pieces of dishware my grandmother handed to me, I felt ready to let them go. Even the Japanese geisha doll that my mom bought in the 1960s, and subsequently passed on to me with implicit instructions to take great care of, I don't want anymore.

It's amazing the amount of memories the brain can hold, and even more amazing of what emotions it associates them with. I suppose I could remember a lot more if I had only been more happier back then.

Maybe the reason why parents only take photographs of their children during happy moments is to save us from the pain of knowing all the shit we went through. I wonder how fucked up I would be if my mom videotaped herself beating the shit out of me, and saved them on Facebook for me to look at when I got older.

But instead of our minds developing into a well-crafted, evenly-balanced network of synapses, it's becomes more of a jerry-rigged patchwork of bridges, dead-ends, and detours designed to avoid the painful thoughts that mire our decision-making, and focus on what works to keep us alive.

Yet ironically, as I strip away more layers of material barrier, I feel myself getting closer to the truth of what I am.

And what exactly is that?

While it's generally accepted that knowledge comes with experience, I wonder if our path through life is more like a bell curve. We have to experience both the world and humanity just to end up back at where we started. We had to go through all that shit to discover that the less we know, the happier we are, that we're better off just being ourselves.

Those bridges, dead-ends, and detours are becoming more visible to me now that I don't need them anymore.

At the root of what I am is 50% of my father's neural network and 50% of my mother's. Everything else about me came from going up and over that bell curve. But if I were to strip away all of those experiences, I still could not be as pristine as I was when I was born. We can't unhear what we heard, and we can't unsee what we saw. It's a scab we can never pick off.

Truth is acceptance.

We tend to think that truth is reality. In fact, truth is not even fact. Truth is what is real to each person individually, just as "Harvey" was true to Elwood P. Dowd, and Santa Claus is to millions of hopeful kids. There are skyscrapers without 13th floors, and people who live on the 30th floor actually believe they are 30 stories up.

The root of what we are, is what we see in ourselves. Accepting that as true means we don't have to build bridges, dead ends, and detours to deal with the world we live in. Acceptance is to absorb everything we take in, add it to our neural pathways and not have to be traumatized by it.

"I am what I am, and that's all what I am." 
- Popeye
Another thing that's true is that I haven't been riding my motorcycle as often as I used to. I have been putting a lot of time into my website design work, playing Clash of Clans, and drinking beer. I don't know if that's going to change soon, but I know that life will change once Sash and I move out of this apartment and into our new RV.

By then, I hope to share more wisdom from the road with you.

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About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)