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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interest is NOT Belief

So a few weeks ago, the maintenance man dashes into the laundry room with a McLaughlin Group barrage of questions: What's with Syria & Iran? Are we going to bomb Iran? Do they have nukes? Is the world going to end with 2012? And as is typical, he's out the door before I get going on a really good answer. I'm not sure why men ask a woman open questions like that and then don't wait for the answer. I have another friend that gives me the last 5 minutes before I have to leave to answer a question that is worthy of at least a coffee flavored 20 minute discussion. At any rate, this one sticks around for a little while. But then he's out the door like someone popped a balloon behind a cat.

My answer was a bit rushed on the Syria & Iran thing. But the Mayan calendar answer is right on the top of my tongue. I do not believe the world will end with 2012. I hope we will have a shift in the way we think as a result of collectively averting disaster. But I do not want it to end. That is NOT what I told him.

I laid on the whole end of the world, do-over would be great thing because I know how much talk like that freaks him out. And because I like to see how much BS I can get away with when it comes to him. I've surprised him with the things that I really do believe. And the things that I am interested in. And I have fallen for a shit ton of BS from him. So it's nice to get one over on him. Well that whole conversation scared him so much he shot out the door like the devil was on his ass. And then a few minutes later he popped his head in the door and told me that I was crazy.

Funny thing is that one of the blog posts  that I wanted to write on vacation was about him and a similar hit-and-run laundry room conversation. We've been having the Mayan calendar conversation for a couple of years now. At first it was about how much he'd like to be on a mountain or the beach in Mexico with a cold drink as the sky falls down on the 21st of December. And I have mentioned those conversations here and in the art blog. So one day, several months after he gets a custom piece of art on a Mayan theme, he breezes through the laundry room like a herd of wildebeests running from the Tasmanian Devil and says "I'd don't really believe in all that Mayan shit."

I never said he did. I never thought he did. I know that he is fascinated by these kinds of things. He is a sane and rational person who would no more believe and desire the world to end than he would believe in Big Foot. I think that he is interested in these things. Interest is not the same as Belief. He would have been a freshly made adult in the era of "In Search of". It is always interesting to the rational people to see the circus of absurdity that goes on in the minds of those with imagination and a few screws loose. And truly, the Mayan calendar is a fascinating thing to contemplate. But finding it interesting and believing the myths are two different things.

I am 11 years younger than him and was an impressionable youth with a HUGE Nimoy crush in the "In Search of " era. Unfortunately for me, because Spock was talking as if it was fact, there are a handful of things that I took as gospel. Being imaginative by nature I could take a topic and go light years down the road before logic could step on the brakes. There are a good many things that I believe that rational people would not. Although, if Jung could build the whole science of psychology on an archetypal system similar to astrology then I have to say that perhaps that is not so far fetched a thing as believing that I will never dip my toes into Loch Ness because I know what is in there. But I digress...

Like I said, there is a good reason to be interested in the Mayan calendar. These "primitive" people made an accurate calendar that amazingly somehow (when matched with modern astrometric calculations) took into account Red Shift, can accurately predict celestial events tens of thousands of years away, acknowledged planets that modern Europe (of Galileo's time) did not know about. The facts beg a lot of questions. The questions encourage more questions and investigation. The interest does not predetermine the "inevitable" conclusion of World's End.

And this is where he and I diverge. He has a family, a kid, grand babies, and places that he wants to see before he dies. At his age there is still a world of opportunity ahead of him. He's had setbacks like the rest of us. But none of those setbacks have him harboring the Fantasy of Planetary Doom. He has many reasons that the world should stick around. I do not.

Born in stress, raised under duress (mom's not mine) and the resulting lack of desired outcomes for the plans that I have set into motion, the End of the World as We Know It, is a fantasy. On a personal level the only thing that I will miss should the world end before I am ready for it to is a fantastic trip to Germany. And maybe I will figure out how to gain my break out artists moment which would suck to have that be preempted by a planetary implosion. But, it would also kinda be my luck. The end of the world is a fantasy. And the fantasy comes out and rides the surface of an ocean of stress. And I am pretty stressed out right now. I can not make my relationships work, I am stressed with my job, and a recent date has left me frustrated with the daily struggle I have between hope and despair. The only thing that I know about myself for sure is that I am an artist and a geek. And I wonder if that is all there is. And if that is all there is, is it enough? Not to mention, I am perfectly secure in the belief that we are spirits in a material world and that we will go on even if the physical world dies. So I am not worried at all about never seeing my friends again. It is only the experiences of the world we currently live in that will no longer be available if the plug gets pulled.

He caught me on a bad day. I laid on the whole Hope for the End thing really heavy. If I were not in such desperate need of a do-over I would not entertain that fantasy so frequently.

Interest is not Belief. And Fantasies are not always what a person truly desires. Sometimes we have to settle for fantasy because we can not make reality work. It is a coping mechanism. Fantasy is also the impetus for innovation, so I will not diminish its importance in the human existence.

As for the Mayan calendar: the same thing will happen with that calendar that happened with the Greogrian calendar the rest of us use. We will go to the bookstore and buy one for the next cycle. the only real difference is that we have to buy a calendar every year. They only have to buy one every few thousand years.

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