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interview chairby: Dante E. Battista
Thus Spoke Dante 1/15/04

These are my thoughts on “happiness” as well as life in general—an entry in my personal journal, if you wish to think of it as such. It will be my way of working through my thought process and perspectives, allowing others to take a step inside my head as I walk along the various paths in my mind.

What’s the point in telling someone what “happiness,” is, or should be, unless they actually recognize the step-by-step process through which your travels eventually led to a destination that you call recognition and resolution? That is why it is possible to “know” something, without believing it. The very nature of a true belief entails that you not only recognize the value and the implications of that belief, but as well, it is actually a true part of the fabric of your being that adorns you; something that you cut with the sheers of your spirit, not a hand-me-down garment of soul even if it was stitched by a sage.

I sit here and question myself on all levels constantly. Recently, I’ve been questioning the very nature of my being. Not, “Why am I here?” as I never question myself in that regard, but instead, “Is what I’m doing consistent with my vision of happiness?” So I cannot preach at the moment; I cannot tell you what you should want, and how you should get it. I can only allow you a moment to take a step inside my head and travel along with me as I attempt to find solace. Perhaps you’ll leave with an entirely new vision, perhaps you’ll walk away disenchanted, or, it is also possible that my ideas aren’t so far removed from those of your own.

The Life Lovers and the Death Merchants

Children are fascinated with everything they see; wherever they look and whatever they perceive is a perceptual explosion that detonates the confining shelter within which their minds rest. In the process of living life, this sprightly skip for most eventually turns into a trudge of routine and compliance, not a dance of innocent lust and unwavering explorative zeal.

“But I march to the beat of a different drummer,” you say—perhaps you do…and perhaps he’s intoxicated. I question the nature of my steps as well as the reasons behind them. The first step made by the rote or dictated only by rebellion, not by forward-driven design, is the first note of your funeral procession.

What’s better: To live life by the rote, because you’re told that’s the true path to the “good life,” or to occasionally fail in the process of exploration? Perhaps this is the reason why most never truly progress, as they don’t possess that Promethean fire to melt the glacier that conceals wisdom.

If at some point, the will to explore, and the will to define yourself by your actions is supplanted by the will to “know” and recite for only the hope of recognition, that will to exist is no longer a star defying the light-exterminating wave of the eventide, but rather a star that feigns life as it dances around a black hole, before it’s finally drawn in. Like a piano’s keys, after each lever has been programmed to sing with its master’s pitch, the symphony of your voice is dictated by how your buttons are pushed.

They are the true death merchants, for, to them, happiness is only a perfunctory dance for others to appreciate; an actor whose every step is dictated by a cast of thousands—the more people he can please, regardless of the “hows” and “whys,” the more pleasure he’ll receive. The death merchant seeks not creation, but only acknowledgment by whatever means it may come, and whoever offers it; he will sing his song just as long as it pleases others, with a voice that even he does not understand.

The lover of life recognizes that the world’s face is covered by a condemned man’s hood, and uses his knowledge to punch holes in its dark fabric, so that he may stare into the hangman’s eyes with full awareness. To call out to the others, urging them to pierce the flesh of the blackness that surrounds them; they see him – a light, a fire for all to see and follow, if they dare.

Another Drop in the Puzzle

How often we are told that we must “socialize,” and find the good company of others in order to be in cheerful spirits—as if human relations in general were a necessity, without thought to the reasons why one may wish to associate. In order to consider this, we must consider what is the fabric of our being, and who is best fit to patch the holes in order to achieve spiritual ascendance on a secular plane.

Instead of “socializing,” as a concept, I prefer to think of it as relating. In that sense, for those who have a brain and a will to exist—not just for the sake of being alive, but in order to exist a certain way—it becomes more obvious as to whom is tear in your fabric, and who is another stitch in your essence.

Matters of love are no different, as love is, or should be a logical extension of your fabric; not just a haphazard attempt to shelter yourself from the cold, as if a glove could serve the same purpose as a hat if you needed to keep your head warm.

“We’ve grown apart,”—perhaps it’s because you never grew together, and each brought the various pieces of a puzzle that could never fit together unless you were both willing to destroy the very essence of your being. However, in order to realize this, one has to know what pieces of the puzzle they hold, what pieces another person carries, and what picture will be the result of this unity.

“The Hands of Time Are the Spears of Mine”

I never know where I’m going. I never have and I never will. However, I’ve always known what I wanted, and always recognized where I could apply myself when I came across an opportunity. Part of the joy I experience in life: always knowing what I want and never knowing where I’m going to get it.

If you’re in the abyss, you draw a map with the stars, letting them guide you, even if you don’t know where you’ll end up, but knowing very well where you have been. This happiness—the ability to perceive, act, conquer, or fail, without suffering— is earned by learning, and experiencing, not just in knowing and having; as I hold several pieces of a puzzle, and recognize when someone else carries the several pieces that I’m missing, but never knew, I am able to draw life—and give life—wherever I go.

For control is knowing not only cause and effect, but also that which you desire, and how the present-term and long-term are related. If you know what you want, and are rational in those pursuits, desiring nothing more than that which is in your control—such as your will to recognize and act—then any short-term suffering can be taken as delayed gratification. For those who suffer in the present, but don’t have rational goals, or an apprehension of cause and effect, their misery is an endless condition, one that not even a constant infusion of stimulants or sedatives could allay.

The hands of time, for them, form a cross upon which every second pounds the nails tighter—they are nailed by seconds—protracted spiritual suicide. The life lovers, those whose will isn’t to merely exist without effort, but to triumph and wage war, tear themselves free of the clock that imprisons so many others; hands raised to the sky like rods for the lightning. Each second is now a spirit-charged spear fit for conquest, not a sadistic drug that fails to deliver an instant mercy killing.

A Maxwellian demon stands guard at the gate of their soul that separates their will from the present weather of reality. They defy entropy, for if the world perishes before them, and men grow cold, they channel whatever fire is left into them in order to make their final stand. With each second as their weapon and that demon as their guide, only they know how to experience pleasure. Only they can give light—life—to a world or heart barren of heat or pulse.

Free Will: Freedom in Restraint?

I don’t question why I’m here; rather, I know that I am here. Anything beyond that is nothing more than a desperate hand trying to stroke a senescent and hopelessly spent mind into an orgasm. Let’s put aside all arguments on religion and existence, and think of it this way:

We’re here; cause and effect exist; you can choose your actions; the fact that there are causes and consequences doesn’t betray the notion that you are free to act as you wish. If you wish to live in a world where you can do whatever you wish without regard to any causes or any effects, how are you able to define yourself, or be defined? Action is a correlation to identity, the recognition of hows and whys. As all causes, or effects, aren’t known, the very process of living, acting, succeeding, and failing defines you. Let that be enough.

Author’s note: Thank you, Matt, for looking over this.

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