An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
Loneliness, Solitude and Freedom
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
What is loneliness? Unwanted solitude. How does that come about? One, if one happens to be lost, either on the tundra, in a desert or on an ocean for example, in some large expanse where there is no one else to commune with. How about in space, alone in a small ship that maintains a life-support system but has lost self-mobility and communications and directional-finding computers have fried their stored information.
There are other ways to experience unwanted solitude. It can happen in dreams of course and if one isn't trained on how to wake up from such, that can be frightening, for who knows where dreams can take us, and how long one can remain "lost" within that place or non-place? For the mind cannot differentiate between what the senses consider "real" and "unreal." To the mind, everything is real.
But the greatest, the deepest and saddest loneliness is when one is surrounded by people but the level of heart-felt (empathic) communication no longer exists. You hear the words, the thoughts expressed, but the mind deflects them as a broad-brimmed hat deflects sunlight or the rain. You hear, you even understand if you make the effort to bring your "receptor" in tune with those others, but most of the time your mind says, "I've heard this all before and there is nothing there, nothing at all. I'm not going to learn anything from this interaction so I'm going to pretend to listen and interact but I'm basically shutting this frequency down and going out looking for something meaningful to explore."
I experienced much basic solitude where I was raised. The north country was huge and although signs of man's passage there were always visible, "man" wasn't there most of the time. Some places, particularly valleys and muskeg-type swamps had never experienced man's depredations and remained pristine. When you wandered through those places you could really feel as if you were the only person on the planet. There was an aloneness so deep the mind, through the brain/body, perceived itself as in a different environment. In those times it perceived itself alone in all of space and to compensate the brain/body mechanism would begin to assess its survival possibilities. It would judge the season and the conditions. Check for available potable water, material to build a suitable shelter, food, fuel. It was a natural process and so engrossing that "loneliness" never crept in. I never actually experienced loneliness in the great northern solitudes.
I have however known and experienced much loneliness since then, having tasted life in the city. I used to wonder why that was. How can one be lonely surrounded by people and all the clap-trap of Earthian society? How can one be lonely in a classroom, in a church, a sporting event, at a movie, in a milling crowd in a park or on the street? The answer is simple: loneliness doesn't come from solitude but from inability to commune with others, whatever those "others" may be.
I've spent a lifetime "exploring" the worlds of the mind and of the Matrix. I discovered that true sapient sentience is mind, not physical. The physical is but the mechanism the mind uses to probe and experience its current involvement in life, nothing more. Sapient sentience adapts itself readily to any type of physical machinery. It doesn't have to be biological. It can be mechanical, it can be electrical or a combination of all three. Likely it can manifest in other forms as well, perhaps simply as thought, or space occupancy. Anything is possible since "mind" is how life expresses and how it evolves.
If there is no awareness or understanding of this simple fact then there is a great danger that the "mechanism" intended to probe and experience a particular manifestation can become the main focus of one's life. The physical overrides the mind, traps the mind and dictates to the mind. That of course can only lead to death because nothing physical, especially nothing complex, can live very long. There are too many factors involved and if the mind is basically trapped and dormant, what guides, directs, analyzes, adapts or repairs the physical entity? Nothing, so it becomes dependent on external input for its own survival. Ridiculously it becomes dependent on other mind-dead physical entities similar to itself to explain things and to fix it. This is like expecting a passing car, say a BMW, to stop and re-start or repair a broken down Hundai on the freeway. According to Matrix programming the BMW, being a "superior" vehicle, can indeed fix the Hundai. That's the God-believer relationship, or doctor-patient, or lawyer-client, or politician-voter. The "smarter" fixes or makes life possible for the "dummer" - for a price. Pure Matrix system make-believe.
I know that I in understanding I have only touched on the surface of the whole Earthian short-life problem, its general unhealthiness of body and rapid deterioration or aging process past a certain point, but I do understand some of it. It goes back to the Matrix, the slave-owners, the controllers. They know that mind-entities cannot be enslaved and cannot be sucked from for their energy: mind is too evanescent, too volatile. They can't keep track of free minds but they certainly can "farm" bodies or matter aspects. It is the Matrix in its varied controlling aspects, particularly its massive brain-washing apparatus, that traps evolving minds into physical envelopes and incapacitates the mind-being. Simple and oh, so obvious. But how does one get to that place where such an understanding can be of some use?
In the worlds of the Time Lords; of the Matrix and all of their lesser servant systems, breaking free is certainly not an easy thing to accomplish. In my case, I had to be born with an open mind, with a certain awareness that kept a pin-point of light always on the workings of the Matrix. I sensed the wrongness of the system and my studies and quests were all directed at discovering the puppet masters. I found them, much like many are also finding them today - in politics, in religion, in business, in education, in entertainment, in short in everything that the Earthian indulges in or cannot avoid functioning within. The System, that "evil trinity" of money, politics and religion, is what the people of earth live in, and for. There are simplistic "rules" backed by ridiculous beliefs that keep the Matrix in control at all times. Mind-dormant Earthians believe and continue to believe; act and continue to act; even when they can see that what they believe is pointless and repetitive; that what they do is generally detrimental to themselves as individuals and certainly their environment. But nothing they can do about it because they must believe that things are the way they are because without those controlling things, well, everything would fall apart. That's the simplistic religion of the Matrix and it only works when the mind is dormant.
How does the Matrix keep the Earthian from awakening its mind? It uses the basic fear of being ostracized from society in general. Of never being able to fit in. The fear of loneliness. That is the greatest fear of all and it is very effective. There are people who want to see change happening; who can see the world moving ever-closer to some catastrophic results for earth due to man's slavish obedience to his masters. Such people remain ineffective simply because they do not realize that change comes from the self, not from groups. History shows over and over that no matter how well-intended, all revolutionary groups revert back to serving the Matrix. Oh yes, Mao's red book may replace the Bible, or some dissidents may create successful communes here and there and internally live by their own rules but as for the effect over society in general, or any kind of power emanating from such "changes" creating meaningful change: forget it, it never happened and can never happen. All things must go back to the "god" who gives them; all communal resistance only feeds the masters who always return to their conquered place of rulership in one way or another.
The one who would break out of this mindless servitude has to choose to become an individual. Only the one with an awakening mind can accomplish this. On this world, being an awakened mind automatically means entering a unique solitude. The awakened mind, whether operating in a highly intelligent or educated physical entity, or of low IQ, or in poor physical health - crossing the whole gamut here - must of necessity become self-empowered and develop its own sense of place apart from all others. It cannot continue to engage the common Matrix beliefs or interactions or it will be re-mastered by the Matrix and re-absorbed. It must accept the ever-widening field or rift that separates it from the believing throng. It must accept its loneliness and learn to reach out to other places, other spheres, other concepts for communing and dialogue.
When I was young nature provided me with the means to realize that solitude and loneliness are not at all the same thing. If one accepts the solitude that accompanies expanding awareness as it accompanies wide open spaces, then loneliness becomes less a matter of concern. It becomes possible to play a game here: to "pretend" at being a part of Earthian interaction, engaging Earthian events to satisfy the needs of the brain/body entity but without believing and without joining in. It becomes possible, even enjoyable, to pass through, to flutter from earth-man concern to event to situation as a butterfly flutters from flower to flower. It becomes possible to drop the level of judgment, to realize that pollen from a dandelion will "taste" different from that of an orchid but it's still just pollen.
Point: the mind is so designed as to be in a constant state of awakening. When it isn't awakening or evolving, that means it is trapped in the loop of the Matrix. A mind so trapped is not really alive but in stasis. The brain/body entity left to its own devices has no choice but to serve the Matrix in some aspect or other. It must believe and it must obey. To do otherwise is to die. A church or a speedway; a war or a wedding: those are events orchestrated by the Matrix to ensure the mind never awakens. There is no difference between any of them in the final analysis. That is the pain/pleasure principle. To counter-act it one always begins with "satyagraha" - non-violent, non-cooperation. Every individual act of non-cooperation with any of the systems of the Matrix weakens the system and breaks another chain, another lock, on the entrapped mind box. Every such act done consciously and volitionally also brings an individual to that place of solitude from which loneliness is banished. That is ultimate freedom.
Words cannot convey truth. Only what lies behind the words can convey truth: knowledge, experience and awareness.