Bigsley the Oaf

THEN WHAT!?! (paranoia/self-destruction)

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 6, 2012

The words “I am not fun” can be fun.


You can struggle back to your childhood. You can stare your death in the face and say “no.”


They told you “don’t fear rejection,”

but you had never even thought of any sort of idea like “rejection” to fear.

Now you wondered “what is rejection?” and you formed hypotheses and built it up to be capital-R Rejection and now


Now it had you. Now their omen had taken root in your psyche,

“What if I get Rejected?”

What if no one no one ever again ever again loves you as your mother loved you? What if you never find that solace again? What if, when you die, it is howling chaos, horror transcendent, fantastic void, formless, alone, vast, alone, vast, alone, vast, alone?


Your childhood held the answers. Answers to questions such as:

What is the nature of abstraction?

Why is there anything rather than nothing at all?

How do we attain language?

How does a small clump of genetic material grow into a fully-formed and functional human being capable of

manipulating symbolic representations of high-level abstract concepts,

manipulating physical objects whereby the ambient air is filled with vibrations whose combinations of frequencies cause psycho-chemical reactions and resultant macroscopic phenomena  in other cell-clumps,

transcending singular spirit and reconnecting temporarily with the all, the everything, the one?


And you’re worried about Rejection? You’re worried about some other strange little clump of cells not desiring participation in a social form which neither of you decided upon, which neither of you want, which neither of you even need? A form which will give you nothing lasting, which is symbolic, which is empty of all essence?


When I take my body and rub it slowly against your body all of my cells speak with all of your cells and they say


And the collective cell-structure which I am here referring to as “I” am calmed by the presence of your cells. I am calmed by a reminder that other cells with other origins exist, but that there is an commonality to us. I can feel this. In that moment I am drowned in ancestral knowledge of peace and harmony on the plains.


Return, return, return –

Where would there even be to go, but back? What are we reaching out for?

Even the universe was once a tiny speck and all our collective before-stuff would fit inside my nostril.

— So let’s say we do build a rocketship and do transcend space and distance to arrive at another planet and find our long-lost cosmic brothers. Then what.

It’s like a clock ticking inside me:

Then what!? Then what!? Then what!? Then what!?

You do well at your job and make some money THEN WHAT
You fuck someone you find physically attractive THEN WHAT
You write something that someone likes THEN WHAT
You smoke some weed and attain a new epiphany THEN WHAT

Then what? Huh? Anybody out there?



I don’t have answers. I use various substances and social forms to hush the question, momentarily, but it always rebounds, often with greater force than when it left.

Then what?

Where did this question originate? Is it a self-reflecting demon of some kind, existing only in its own consideration, coming from nowhere, breeding destruction and grief?

How does there exist a question without an answer? This feels like a question – I can ask it honestly. Why do I do anything? Any reason I give requires a new justification. This questioning operates on all levels – emotional – spiritual – intellectual. I achieve some sort of spiritual success or connection – then what? I feel good for a while – then what?

It boggles my mind that society is not entirely paralyzed by this question. What the hell are we doing? Sometimes I’ll ask someone “why are you doing what you’re doing? why are you married to that woman?” and they’ll become uncomfortable and quiet, and then they stop being my friend, or get distant. As I get older, fewer people want to engage with it. They’re just “doing what they’re doing,” and that’s that. I tell myself that they’re afraid of death, that they can’t think about it because it’s too uncomfortable. But I don’t even understand these dynamics. It’s as if the discomfort of asking the question is somehow itself an impetus to act.

This is much like the concept of Freud’s “Death Drive,” which is that lack of attachment itselfintrinsically drives us towards attachment. That there is some sort of anti-gravity in the ether which pushes us towards matter. Perhaps space pushes rather than objects pulling.

But even if this is true, it’s only classification. It’s only saying “the ‘Then What?’ phenomenon is somewhat more general than you’d thought.” It’s only connecting it up to Buddhism & Physics & whatnot. It does not answer the question “Then What?”


Probably there isn’t an answer. Well, provably there isn’t an answer, since any answer merely begets another question. But so this undoes the entire concept of justification. But so this undoes the entire concept of conceptual thought at all.

But, so, now this gets really mucky. Because certain professions which are key to the continued existence of the human organism – for instance computer programming – require a linear and structured thought process whose entire basis is justification. You can’t write a program that doesn’t do anything – a program has to do a thing. Similarly, each part of the program must do a thing such that the harmonization of the actions of these parts corresponds to the overarching function of the program. And so on

But we could imagine these professions existing even without an overall justification. We can imagine functions or actions existing as sub-objects in the big object called society so that we have, in some sense, “local justifications.” The concept of “consumable” is in some sense equivalent to this. E.g. a toothbrush has a justification locally (tooth health for a human, for a while) even if it does not contribute to some overall justification.


So, there is provably no answer to the question “then what?” There are no justifications. So what happened? Why are there local justifications?

Trying to answer this question inspires extreme paranoia. Either we begin to perceive that our projected self-justifications:

“I’m going to be a good man and a good father!”

“I’m going to provide for my community!”

“I’m going to make art which inspires other people!”

are themselves simply commoditization routines which turn us into objects useful in some greater scheme.

Or we realize that the human organism has merely grown, seamlessly, since before we were speaking complex languages, and that our roles and are simply distortions of ancestral responsibilities which have become perverse and meaningless.

Neither option is fulfilling – it doesn’t feel nice if someone is in control – it doesn’t feel nice if no one is in control.

So what would feel nice? What explanation would even begin to satisfy? Is the type of introspective cognition I’m involved in at the moment itself fundamentally unsatisfying? Perhaps I am merely caught by my own “satisfaction” bug which tells me that if I continue down this road long enough eventually I’ll reach an answer; while I know definitively that this is not the case.

Perhaps this is the culmination of this analysis – perhaps I should simply, once and for all, come to the conclusion that it is not useful – that I should simply stop.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: