“Greetings. We are not of this planet. We do not understand your strange customs. Your planet’s ecosystem is failing. Your leaders deny this. Explain. Why do your leaders lie to you? Why do so many of you believe these lies? Explain your strange customs. Why believe these lies? Save the planet. Kill yourself. Save the planet! Kill yourself!” ~The Church of Euthanasia
Or, maybe instead of killing yourself, you can figure out a way to live in healthy accord with the greater cosmos. Maybe instead of suicide, just don’t attempt ecocide. Maybe instead of giving into entropy, it would behoove you to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy. Maybe unfucking the world (making the world healthier) means unfucking yourself first (making yourself healthier). Sure, you could take the easy way out (death), or you could challenge yourself to become a healthier more robust version of yourself (life) that lives in flexible balance with the environment.
But suicide is always an option. Nobody can stop you. As Albert Camus intuited, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” This existential conundrum, above all others, must be reconciled before there can be any sort of clarity. Otherwise, we are left drowning in the absurdity of it all. Indeed, but the solution to absurdity isn’t suicide; it’s rebellion.
Here then are seven ways to unfuck yourself as an alternative to killing yourself.
1. Embrace Your Cognitive Dissonance
“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.” ~Daniel Goleman
“Cognitive dissonance” is fast becoming as cliché a concept as “thinking outside the box.” Both of which the majority of us imagine we have a handle on, when really we don’t. It’s classic Illusory Superiority: Psychology 101. Yet still, most of us take it for granted that our perceptions are fallible and our ideas (especially our ideals) are flawed. And so we hypocritically go along with the status quo, disingenuously engrossed, cow-eyed, mackerel-eyed, and caught up in the ignorant whimsy of a fundamentally unhealthy and unsustainable system.
You want to be worthy of that air you’re breathing? You want to become a reason for not committing suicide? You want to unfuck yourself? Then embrace your cognitive dissonance first and foremost. Wrestle it into submission. Humiliate it. Kick its ass with malicious modesty and honorable humility. Then teach it how to dance properly in accordance with the greater cosmic orchestra that’s been playing its Song of Truth despite your petty faiths and myopic musings since time immemorial.
2. Become the World First, a Person Second
“Behind every problem, there’s a question trying to ask itself. Behind every question, there’s an answer trying to reveal itself. Behind every answer, there’s an action trying to take place. And behind every action, there’s a way of life trying to be born.” ~Michael Beckwith
Don’t want to kill yourself? Tired of being just another cog caught up in the cultural clockwork? Fed up with remaining just another deceived pawn on a chessboard of lies? Had it with being a mere bystander on the people-mover carrying everyone else toward death? Then put your ego in check. Put your encultured humanity on the backburner. Put the cart of your independence behind the horse of your interdependence. In short: become a force of nature first, a person second.
As a force of nature, you become the embodiment of Self-as-world and World-as-self. Oneness and interconnectedness with all things becomes forefront. Empathy replaces apathy. There’s a profound, all-encompassing intimacy with the numinous when the rhapsodic union of opposites manifests itself through you for a time. Being a force of nature is being a walking talking flow-state, a fountainhead through which the universe can geyser its magic. Who you once were is like a swaddling caterpillar to your current butterfly emergence into a global force to be reckoned with. And, behold! With but a flap of your cognitive wing you’re able to create tsunamis of thought on the other side of the globe.
3. Create Alternative Modes of Consumption
“The aim of abstraction is to wrest the object of the external world out of its natural context, out of the unending flux of being, to purify it of all its dependence upon life, i.e., of everything about it that was arbitrary, to render it necessary and irrefragable, to approximate it to its absolute value.” ~Wilhelm Worringer
Don’t be afraid to change. Impermanence is the only permanent. We are transitory blips on the cosmic radar? So be it! We must embrace our ephemerality and engage with the fleetingness of the moment. And right now the moment is beckoning you to change, to create a healthier version of yourself, an updated version of yourself that doesn’t want to commit suicide or ecocide and leaves the world a healthier place. Blind consumption is old hat. Buying shit you don’t need is outmoded. Hoarding has become obsolete. Business as usual –conquer, control, consume, repeat– has become timeworn and clichéd. The ignorant, brain-washed, materialistic consumer of your preconditioning is longing to recondition itself.
It’s high time we all created healthier alternative modes of consumption. The kind of consumption that doesn’t leave the world bleeding and dying at our feet, drowning in pollution, but rather prosperous and bountiful in our midst, flourishing with abundance. The kind of consumption that balances the following statement by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, “The cycle by which food becomes shit is functioning. The cycle by which shit becomes food is broken.” I’m not going to rattle off a list of healthier, more sustainable modes of consumption. We all know them. I’m here to state that if you don’t know them, then it’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to get off your too-comfortable, overly-pampered, over-indulgent ass. In short: It’s time to unfuck yourself before the planet does it for you. I assure you, the planet will not be as gentle.
4. Demand Daily Creative Revolution
“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Become a creative disruptor, an imaginative interrupter, a visionary insurgent. Don’t allow the failed unsustainability of the past to ruin a potential sustainable future. Reclaim the creative commons. It’s yours for the taking. It always has been. Use it to make your own declaration of creative interdependence. Upset all apple-carts hell-bent on remaining stuck in a failed system reeking of rotten apples. You have creative license. Use it! Shove it in the face of anyone attempting to keep you contained, especially authority. Jam it into the gears of the unhealthy man-machine churning biodiversity into chopped-up ecocide. Create your own Goliath-toppling sling shot and show all the other up and coming Davids how it’s done.
The art of rebellion is consistently creating a future that transcends the past, and it can only be accomplished within the dynamic present. This moment, right now, is all you have to become a more imaginative version of yourself. Carpe punctum leads to carpe diem leads to carpe vita, but it never begins without an open and courageous imagination.
5. Don’t Just Ask for Justice, Exact It
“To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill.” ~Aristotle
Never seek permission from someone or something that threatens you with violence if you do not obey. In such cases, disobedience becomes the highest virtue. Give yourself permission, because your permission is the only permission that matters, as long as you’re non-violent. Anybody who says otherwise is exploiting you. And so you must rise up with anti-violence in your fists, anti-exploitation in your heart, and anti-expropriation in your soul. Turn the tables on any person or system seeking to violently exploit you or expropriate you by becoming an unapologetic force of self-justice.
True justice is becoming a freedom unto yourself. It’s drawing a line in the sand and declaring to any and all comers, as Thoreau did, “I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”
6. Don’t Just Protest Power, Take It
“Revolution is at once the most tragic and redeeming social experience. It is what societies do instead of committing suicide, when the alternatives are exhausted and all the connections that bind men’s lives in familiar patterns are cut.” ~Andrew Kopkind
Other than expiating power, getting power over power is perhaps the most powerful thing a person can do. Power tends to corrupt when not reconciled by the individual wielding it. The problem is most people neither understand power nor understand themselves enough to even begin to attempt such a reconciliation. And so we live in a world of run-away power constructs driven by men blinded by their own power. In such a world, the only viable option, indeed the most courageous and virtuous act, is to get power over power despite the powers that be.
Power needs to be humbled because power is dangerous. Similar to fire. Both can be useful tools when used moderately and intelligently. But when not used moderately and intelligently, they burn the one wielding it just as much (if not more so) than the world they are used in. If knowledge is power, then imagination is getting power over power. The individual who can manage this, and in turn is able to atone for such power, is given the second greatest power of all –wise prestige. Second only to a wise and prestigious sense of humor.
7. Practice Spiritual Insurrection
“Death smiles upon us all, all a man can do is smile back.” ~Marcus Aurelius
The ultimate feat of unfucking the self is gaining a powerful enough, and humbling enough, sense of humor to stare death in the face and laugh. The person who can manage this is truly unfuckwithable. But it’s no easy feat. It requires a spiritual rebellion of the highest order. It requires having both a Humor and a Courage of the most-high. It entails a complete existential overhaul, despite a culture that refuses to be overhauled. It necessitates achieving a state of self-love that subsumes the world, thus making ecocide equivalent to suicide and thereby untenable.
Achieving such a state inverts the declaration of “Save the world, kill yourself” into “kill your unsustainable self and save the world.” Life then becomes a force compelled by life and empathy rather than a force comforted by entropy and apathy. Such a force cannot be contained by such rigid constructs as religion, nationalism, and statism. Such petty concepts are transcended by the individual who has unfucked him/herself. These individuals are free to create a healthy Now, despite the unhealthy past or the uncertain future. They are revealing the courage of a soul set on fire, blazing brightly in dark times, daring those who have not unfucked themselves and encouraging those who have, to rise up and declare to all naysayers the following Chinese Proverb: “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.