you know

You know that imagination is as important as rationality, and you know that your imagination died decades ago.

You know that emotions are at least half as important as breathing, and you know you do not have access to or facility with half of who you are.

You understand that your lack of imagination and inability with your own emotions puts you at a significant disadvantage in navigating a rapidly changing and evolving world. You know that there are millions of humans whose whole lives are in front of them, millions who are fully present–in imagination, in emotion, in possibilities—and they terrify you.

You grasp for the pills and the treatments and the infrastructure sold to you by AMAC–to keep your unhealthy, dying body going. You believe their narratives telling you you’re entitled to every single bit of what you “earned” in a lifetime of “self-made” success. You believe the stories about deserving a second chapter, to be a “new” you who is entitled to construct fresh layers of resource-consuming life choices. The tales are nourished by those who are dependent on your resources. And you thrive on their need.

You know that the starved and shriveled half of yourself—where imagination and emotion live–is the half connected to new experience, to the actual, to the body, to the earth—to joy and self-knowledge and pain and hope. It is the half that makes the other half meaningful. You know that your quarterly earnings statement only gives you a sense of fragile security, but no love or light or humanity.

You know that everything you lack is everything that makes it possible for humans to evolve, to become more than their little self-interests. You know that the universe detests stoicism and the empty place where imagination should reside.

You know you drive the slow-moving vehicle of your life sitting backwards, gripping the steering wheel with white hands while fearfully staring out the rear window, throwing molotov cocktails of misinformation and old, poisonous ideas out your passenger side window at those shouting at you to pay attention to the road, and running down anyone and anything in the way of your slow-motion destruction.

(Except you’re not really going slow, are you? You’ve hooked yourself on to a fast-moving vehicle of destruction driven by a madman bent on stealing everyone’s power, including every living thing on the planet. And now, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t get yourself off of there. And there’s nowhere for you to go anyway, right, even if you could be convinced to stop enabling and empowering the madman. You know you’re toast if you have to justify what you’ve allowed to happen, so you just enjoy the ride, ignoring the screams of those writhing in pain under the indifferent treads of your hot tires.)