429: The Pool of Oughts

I have been living through a familiar dread—one that I have carried with me my entire life.

A major part of my predicament is in the stringing of my thoughts—in the way my mind instinctually expands off one concept onto another. At times I seem to be thinking, or at minimum existing, at multiple levels. Not in a psychedelic way; yet, in a very definite effectual state in which I am neither here nor there, but everywhere. There aren’t any lights or awakenings, but there exists this extremeness of a structure or building, as if I were a skyscraper itself expanding out in exponential infeasible directions beyond the view of the naked eye. And here, I slip simultaneously beyond what I am able to see and into the place of invisibility.

I recognize I am absent, with my faraway stare. I recognize I have lost my leash to the rest of self. I see from beyond that I am standing outside of where I am, holding a string to the other place of where the rest of me exists; my body in most ways remaining a shell.

In life as in fiction, I can be watching a scene play out, and at the same instant be analyzing the characters’ personalities, the actors’ personalities, the screen writer’s purpose, the landscape, the environment and feasible psychological ramifications of the spoken words and actions of the people. My mind seems spider-like in its ways, capable of reaching out in a potentially infinite array of directions, with its spindly legs sprouting and spurning in fanatical rupture. The rhythmic zeal moves from abstract to concrete, and I am swept up in the weaving of a thousand stitching legs—the legs themselves as streams pouring out of a waterfall, each spawning another waterfall. Picture after picture. Image after image dripping down in a thousand ways. All of this birthed into a whirlpool of thought that is neither disorganize or organized, but collected in the same manner in which one would forge food for the winter or build a nest for safety. Here is where everything is.

In sitting to do or think of anything, I am sitting as the aching spider, as the legs, as the fountains, as the streams, as the nest. Some large living machine pulsating with connections. I can sense this happening, as I am thinking about thinking about thinking. I take an elevator in thought or jump through the illusion of self that is in actuality the mirrors set upon mirrors—each image further, smaller, deeper, but just as real and just as exact.

I don’t actually see a spider and legs, and the rest, but I feel this movement as such; where if I had to describe the pulsating chains of me, this is as close as I could come. But in truth there isn’t anything I can follow or find, just this sense of substantial never ending depth akin to the collective pool of unconsciousness or perhaps liken to a life-size mold where self enters to be reinvented again and again.

Here in this space of no space, I meander through the chambers that hold the record of all experience, shifting through the files and bringing up into the light that which has yet to be discovered: a scaffolding mechanism reviewing what has been, what will be, and where I ought be.

The trouble begins, need I say trouble, when I open the files of ‘ought.’ There is where the stinging nettle comes, with the burning so distracting that all else falls down. The ‘ought’ files take over. For some reason or another, my essence absorbs the rules, regulations, how-tos, structure, system of being, and so on. I don’t know why, and it hurts to try to figure out the why of why I need to know the whys. I just do.

And in so being immersed in the ‘ought’ files, I get lost. I become over-expanded, swelled, and pressurized. A sponge in a pool expansive and foreboding, each movement of thought yet another burden onto self. Here in the pool of ‘oughts’ I become confused, primarily because there exists contradiction beyond contradiction. One school of thought against the other. One way of being beyond the other. Each standing in line shouting to be heard. Here is a room that has too many choices and too many directions. Too much depth. For a child as I be, I become mesmerized and trapped in the gooey notions of ‘ought.’ I begin deciphering each segment, each crumb, reaching the same conclusion continually: That all is an illusion and all is not.

I stand there ashamed of my own being for not being who I ‘ought’ to be. As I stand there, too, erect in self proclaiming who I am. I stand there crying in the confusion. And I sink there too, the strokes of my arms useless, as I wade through the muck of nonsense.

I become useless onto myself with so many options that lead to either dead ends or the opposite or the contradictory voice of a mass of many; the ‘oughts’ tie up the whole of the machine into a ball of inability. Motionless enters. I remain trapped, focusing and refocusing on what is evidentially lies or mistruths. I hear the echoes of the all. The ways in which the ‘wrongness’ hurts the masses. The ways in which we are each silently tormented in our minds by the rules established by the ones who are equally predispositioned to torment. It becomes a jumble of confusion and mayhem; something far beyond the enchantment of mystery and far closer to the bowels of a bleak twisted jail yard.

I am myself here, still. Uncorrupted, unmoved, but nonetheless made into something I don’t want to be. I am crying on the inside while strong on the outside. And then I am strong more so in the depths of self and made weak on the outer layers. I am bathed in this place of non-discrepancy, baptized in a sense by the very alive confusion. Drowned too, unable to breathe, and then spat out, left as naked and brought back to this place I am now. Here. Present. Aware. Alive.

I go through this in a way so swift and abstract, yet so expansive in distance and very real, that I cannot help but to be altered, existing as this being reborn and reborn again, through the loud shattering chaos that the world whispers as truth.

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12 thoughts on “429: The Pool of Oughts

  1. whoah. I feel those endless thoughts too. that place where thinking is (although a pleasure and a pre-programed necessity) is burdonesome as more questions mean more thoughts in an already overcrowded mind that seeks answers where there are sometimes no questions. I have a ” faraway place” that is reached by stimming……here I drift when the questions become too drowning and it’s here that I can ‘develop’ answers, I don’t think things through in this place…the answers literally drift into my mind and the world is made clear.
    The interesting thing is. is that I love my mind and its thoughts and its amazing capacity to sort things out!! It always does sort things – things that other people can’t sort – a simple clear vision of things that makes life easier for everyone. Crystal clear solutions.
    I just wish I could communicate better.

  2. Beautifully written. Bravo. I understand completely.

    A couple of days ago I came across this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGZPprhTIhA
    and somehow thought of you. I found it fascinating and significant in its message. I also related it to what you have written here (what a coincidence) – not in its conclusion per se, but in the essence of being the guardian of a profound intuition and feeling lost in a whirlpool of ubiquitous thoughts. It’s almost as though knowing anything is pointless anyway, simply because there are never any real certainties in our realities’ to ‘knowing’. This in itself is confusing, and a difficult concept to articulate for me, which is why I feel trapped inside of my own head. I know that I know nothing, the more I know. You know?

    Or better put: “Education is the progressive realisation of our ignorance” (Einstein)

    I think the man in this film also felt as though nobody else could understand the burden of his thoughts, or the true value of blissful ignorance, and this is how I could relate.

    I haven’t had enough time to expound the significance of what it is I know I feel when thinking of how this man must feel, but I know the relevance deeply strikes a chord, one I cannot articulate yet, but it’s there, waiting!

    I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did!

  3. I like reading your articles as they bring life to what is inside my head ,rather than trying to understand myself through text books, although i do that too. I identify with many of the things you are saying, such as the thoughts that go everywhere and all over the place and you wonder how your mind ended up there. Only tonight, i was watching a film, but analysing all the components! I have found myself standing staring at nothing, or a wall, and much time has flown by, simply because i just ended up carried away by my train of thoughts. I also identified with the need to know why to everything. I find it difficult at work to do something just “because” it must be done, especially if I can see a better way of doing what needs to be done, I find it harder to motivate myself if I don’t know why. I also find I have too many choices or possibilities going on in my head.
    I think the thing I find most difficult is the feeling of constantly being “outside” of everything involving other people, having to constantly being alert to reading and interpreting others thoughts and actions, so as to react appropriately. I think it is harder being female and having Aspergers as women are supposed to be more naturally good at being more empathic andcaring towards others I do care about others but it is not natural and has required a lot ofconscious trainin. I think that oit is more accepted that men can be less good in social situations and are ore not able to multi-task, a skill that is expected as almost !innate” in wome. I would be interested in what you and othwers thought

    1. Gosh…I am just so happy when someone else gains something from the stuff that keeps pouring out of me. Yes….I know that feeling of being ‘outside.’ You make some very valid points. Oh the ‘musts’ ….they get me every time. much light and love 🙂

  4. Everything you speak of here Sam…for me, these things are reflected in my paintings of no continuity. There is no ‘style’ for my artwork to be recognized by, no ‘one’ style at least. My art, my voice…many voices in my head-many voices, too many choices…I think you understand.

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